Functional resumes are best used in situations where specific skills and accomplishments gained through experience or academic qualifications will demonstrate the candidate's compentency. Your skills should be listed in order of their importance.
The functional resume is ideal when you're looking for a complete career change. This resume is ideal for students who have no previous work experience and are applying for their first job.
Avoid the functional resume when you are applying for traditional jobs, especially positions within government or institutions.
A functional resume categories are based on :
- Personal Details
- Career Objective
- Professional Experience
- Work Experience(optional)
- Professional Affiliations
Resume Personal Details
List your name, surname, postal address, email address, contact phone numbers
A definition of your career Career Objective. Your career objective / personal profile should be defined three lines or less.
This is the most important section of a professional resume. This section should list your key skills along with proof of how you gained these skills. For example, if one of your skills is event organisation, list the events and conventions you have organised. Use a simple format to show your skills : Skill 1 Achievement 1 related to Skill A Achievement 2 related to Skill A
This is where you list previous jobs. Also include any unpaid or voluntary work that you've done.
This is optional Your work history isn't strictly required in a functional resume although listing it will show potential employers that you have nothing to hide.
If you work history is irregular, there may well be more disadvantages than benefits by listing it, in which case, skip this part.
Include: year start - year finish, job title , name of organisation , job description in each of your work history items.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Functional Resumes
- Shows skills that would be hard to see in a chronological resume.
- If you have an irregular career this format will 'make more sense of things'.
- New graduates can use this format to highlight their skills rather then their experience.
- Useful when changing careers.
- Some employers find the functional resume difficult to interpret and are more interested in the actual organisations you have worked for and the positions you've held. Employers need this information to determine the level of responsibility you've previously had.
- Leaving out dates and job titles can raise recruiters suspicions.
Another functional Resume Sample
More information for those considering the functional resume
If you have had multiple jobs and, as a consequence, have a wide variety of skills, you should consider using the functional resume. If you are changing careers and are applying for a position that is completely different to your previous jobs, you should consider the functional resume. If your career history is patchy with several gaps then a functional resume will promote your skills rather than your employment history.
Those who have worked voluntarily should emphasise this by pointing it out in the detailed listing of your job history. Workers who do not wish to show a the length of their employment history (eg because of their age) can use a functional job format.
College students may also benefit by using the functional resume. Choose your main skills and organise your extra curricular activities, voluntary work and studies around those skills.
Military personnel applying for jobs in the civilian world should also use the functional resume. Potential employers are generally interested in your transferable skills rather than your military career.
When changing careers, the skills you list need to be related to the position you're applying for, Look at tasks performed in your previous job from a different angle. If you were an air traffic controller and are applying to become an office manager, show you can carry responsibilities and that you know how to work under pressure. This is far more imporant than your aviation knowledge.
A synopsis of your work history can help show potential employers that you are not trying to hide anything by using a functional resume.
Unsure about which format to use? Try writing your resume in both formats, show your functional resume to your friends and ask them their opinions ot it.