Benefits of a Functional Resume
- Focuses on skills rather than lengths of employment
- Career change positions and employment gaps do not stand out
The majority of employers who were surveyed agreed that they prefer chronological resumes. In fact, some employers said they will not even read a functional resume. This is a serious drawback to using a functional resume. When there are more people than jobs, employers have more people to choose from and are therefore less likely to interview an applicant who submits a functional resume. If, however, you have changed careers, have gaps in your employment, or have job hopped, you may want to use a functional resume.
Key Points to Remember When Using a Functional Resume:
- Select three or four general skill areas.
- Utilize accomplishment statements that are relevant to the position you are applying for and put those at the top.
- Include an educational/professional affiliation section.
- Create an employment history section that lists position title, company name, city, state, and dates of employment.
- If you have no work experience or a spotty record, list your employers/experiences, leaving out employment dates entirely, but be prepared to talk about this at the interview. Put this section at the bottom of the resume after educational information. If your chronological resume is not working for you, try a functional one. People are getting interviews deviating from the traditional formats. However, there are usually other contributing factors such as networking contacts or unique skill qualifications.
Outplacement consultants interviewed by the National Business Employment Weekly (NBEW), in an article written in May 1990, recommended functional resumes for people who are in the following circumstance: professionals who are re-entering the work force after interrupting their careers to raise a family, to go back to school, or to change careers. Also included were professionals who have utilized their expertise in a wide variety of unrelated projects. The NBEW suggests that functional resumes help "show areas of expertise and affiliations" by focusing on two or three skill areas.
Example of a Functional Resume
Patrick A. Jones
A suggested format for career changers is the reverse chronological resume. This resume is useful when the job you are applying for requires different skills or simply the same skills but with a different emphasis. The reverse chronological resume starts with a qualifications statement, then the education section and ends with the employment history. This format allows you to market your transferable skills in the qualifications statement.
|Employer Viewpoint||"I used to review resumes while driving between appointments. The job applicants had to make a quick impression, because I skimmed resumes at quick shots while driving. If it looked like it was too hard to read, or if it was messy and unprofessional looking, I didn't even bother reading it, and it was tossed into the back seat."`|
Anonymous Employer, Greater Boston Area