Functional Resume Writing Guide

The functional resume hides carrier changes and irregularities in work history

In a functional resume (skill-based), you highlight the skills and accomplishments developed through work, academic and community experiences. You should list your work experience and skills sorted by skill area or job function.

If you are changing careers, or have gaps or other inconsistencies in your work history, a functional resume is recommended. The functional resume format emphasizes your skills, capabilities, and accomplishments, and de-emphasizes your job titles, employers and dates of employment.

The functional resume format allows you to prioritize your experience and accomplishments according to their impact and significance, rather than chronology. Your skills and potential can be stressed and lack of experience or possible gaps in work history are de-emphasized.

Use the functional resume format if you:

  • Have changed jobs frequently in the past few years.
  • Have gaps in your employment history.
  • Have limited work experience in your job target.
  • Are changing careers.
  • Gained significant experience outside your career path.

The functional resume is advantageous when:

  • You want to emphasize skills not used in recent work experience.
  • You want to focus on skills and accomplishments rather than lengthy employment history.
  • You are changing careers or reentering the job market.
  • You want to market skills and experience gained through coursework and/or volunteer experience.
  • Your career growth in the past has not been continuous and progressive.
  • You have a variety of unrelated work experiences.
  • Your work has been freelance, consulting or temporary in nature.
  • You want to highlight accomplishments, skills, and experiences most relevant to your career objective.
  • You want to take the focus off gaps or inconsistencies in your work history.
  • Your experience is not directly tied to specific job titles and dates of employment.
  • You want to de-emphasize a range of paid and non-paid experiences.
  • You are looking for a position for which a chronological resume would make you look "overqualified."
  • You want to de-emphasize a lengthy job history - suitable for older job seekers.
  • You want to make it difficult for hiring managers to know exactly what you did in each job.

The functional resume is disadvantageous when:

  • You have little work experience or leadership experience.
  • You want to emphasize promotions and career growth.
  • You should highlight employers if you are working in highly traditional fields, such as teaching, accounting and politics.
  • Your experience is not directly tied to specific job titles and dates of employment which can lead employers to suspect you're trying to hide something.
  • You want to emphasize promotions and career growth.

Check the spelling and grammar of your functional resume. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and usage errors in English or other language or if you need help in organizing your resume, bring it to a professional for assistance.

Remember that your CV/resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your CV writing or resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples and CV templates, resume samples and resume templates.

Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV or resume. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.

Other Functional Resume Info

Now to finalize your functional resume topic, if your cover letter and resume are ready, you may email them through an international job search to job recruiters and headhunters worldwide.

Start preparing for job interviews and check the job interview tips dos and don'ts. Also, find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on job search, visas, work permits, cover letters, CV & resume, job interview and dress codes pages, you will find very useful tips for many different countries.

Good luck with your functional resume!