The Best Functional Resume Style for 2021

The Three Styles of Resumes (Part 2 of 3) The Functional Resume Langley Writing Services

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at The Reserve Chronological Resume, ideal for those with a steady school and career record, looking to advance in their existing field or the fields of law and academia. Click here to read Part 1. In Part 2, we will be looking at The Functional Resume, also known as the Skills-based Resume. You can find part 3 here.

The Functional Resume

In this format, your primary skills and accomplishments are highlighted at the beginning, rather than your chronological work history, helping the hiring manager clearly understand what you can do for them. It’s ideal if you’re looking to move your career in a new direction or field as it emphasizes your essential skills and qualifications from past roles. With the Functional Resume, actual company names and positions are listed in a subordinate position, with descriptions omitted. The Functional Resume type is used rarely and is not recommended in most instances.

What to Include

  • Your skills organized by theme (i.e. Customer Service and Verbal Communication), including 3 – 4 bullet point examples of projects, tasks, and assignments you have completed that illustrate each skill. Try to include ATS friendly
  • A brief work history section listing the name of your employer(s) and job title(s).
  • An explanation of your periods of unemployment (i.e. being a full-time student, independent study, being a stay-at-home parent, personal travel). Avoid mentioning if you were unemployed due to medical reasons or getting laid off or fired as it may lead employers to think of you as a high-risk hire.
  • Your core qualifications.
  • A summary of qualifications or executive summary.
  • Your academic history (name of university or organization, the city and state, the degree you received, and your GPA (if it’s above 3.5).

This format is for you if you:

  • Are looking to change careers or switch industries, particularly if you are transitioning out of a field that makes up the bulk of your experience.
  • Are a generalist who has held a loosely defined role (s) within an organization.
  • Have a spotty or divergent career, long periods of unemployment, or an unsteady professional progression.
  • Have a wide range of skills and experience related to the job you are applying for, and you want to highlight specific ones.
  • Are entering the workforce after a long absence (student, military office, returning homemaker, a caregiver who has spent a year or more treating an ill or ageing family member).
  • Are entering the workforce for the first time.

The advantages of the Functional Resume include:

  • Helping you to highlight your transferrable capabilities and skills, especially when you’re looking to change careers.
  • Helping you avoid highlighting job gaps, short career stints, and periods of unemployment.

As with the Reverse Chronological Resume, there are also some disadvantages:

  • Leaving off dates and titles could be interpreted as you trying to hide something.
  • The format can be confusing to a hiring manager trying to figure out where you performed a particular accomplishment since this information is listed under skills rather than job titles.

Need help picking the right resume format? Give us a call today at 778 878 6210 or click here to fill out our contact form. Together we’ll communicate your value as an employee in a clear format that will make catch the hiring manager’s attention.

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