Functional resume template
If you're familiar at all with the functional resume format, you've likely been spooked
by the warnings. Warnings like, "avoid at all cost." But when it comes to choosing a
resume format to put your best foot forward in a competitive job market, things are
not always that black and white. Indeed, there are actually some scenarios whereby
the functional resume would be the preferable format over its more popular cousin,
Functional Resume Format - Defined
While the chronological resume relies on a detailed work history that is organized by
chronology (historical timeline), a work history that consumes the lion's share of the
resume, the functional resume format takes a skills-based approach. This format
rounds up the skills you've mastered from past work, and organizes those skills into
functional categories (three or so) that are deemed particularly relevant to the
positions being targeted.
In its purest form, the functional resume has no "experience" or "work history"
section; no names of companies, no employment dates; no job titles or descriptions.
So, Why The Ugly Reputation?
The functional resume format comes by its bad reputation for legitimate reasons.
Employers are wise to the fact that job seekers often rely on the format when they
have something to hide (i.e., too many jobs in a short space of time). Because of that,
many employers see red flags when they see functional resumes. Still, for those who
do have something to hide, it remains the preferable format because the alternative
(the chronological resume) will take that embarrassment and magnify it.
The 6 Real-Life Scenarios That Call For A Functional Resume Format
A functional format may be your best bet if...
You've changed jobs frequently.
You have one or more large gaps in your work history.
You're attempting to change careers (i.e. administrative assisting to
You're leaving the military and joining the civilian workforce... and looking to
perform a different job function than you performed in the military.
You're seeking a position to which you're overqualified.
You're a recent graduate with no first-hand experience in your chosen field.
But Wait - A Combination Format Is Often A Safer Bet
A combination format, or 'hybrid' of both the chronological and functional resumes,
may be the safer bet for many people who fit one of the above categories. A hybrid
formula combines the positive elements of both formats and results in a resume that is
at once familiar and trusted (the chronological) while still showcasing the most
relevant job qualifications of the candidate in a skills summary section. Combining
the two can be a challenge. But the potential payoff is the kind of competition
advantage that lands job interviews.