A traditional chronological resume is one of the commonly used resume formats by most professionals. However, that is not just the only option available and it may not be appropriate for all the professionals, especially those who lack experience or are not too confident about their previous work experience. If you fall under this category of professionals then a functional resume format is the one you should be relying on. A functional resume is also a great option for those thinking of transitioning to a different industry.
Wondering how to start writing your functional resume? Read on to know all that you need to know about the functional resume format.
Key Pointers of Functional Resume
What is a Functional Resume?
A functional resume uses a skills-based resume format. Similar to its chronological and hybrid/combination cousins, it is a popular resume format used by job seekers worldwide. Functional resumes emphasize your abilities, such as managing, hiring, supervising, or coaching. Developing a strong functional resume takes some time; however, this type of resume allows you to give prospective employers a good look at what all you can offer.
Functional Resume Format v/s Traditional Chronological Resume Format
A traditional resume, also known as a chronological resume, is one of the most commonly used resume formats. It provides a completely date wise history of your work experience. This means for each job that you have held so far in your career, you need to include the dates you worked, your job titles, and the companies you have worked with. Mostly, this traditional resume format lists work experience in reverse chronological order, which means that your current experience comes first.
A functional resume, on the other hand, does not emphasize your work history. Rather, it highlights your skills and abilities. In this resume format, your skills are organized by themes. These themes may be customer service, communication, analytical skills, etc. Under each theme, you explain specific projects, tasks, and assignments you have worked on that proves you indeed possess those skills.
A chronological resume format is ideal when you have an extensive work history that matches the requirements of the job you are applying for. This resume format effectively communicates that you possess the relevant work experience required by the hiring managers.
On the contrary, if you do not possess the relevant work experience or your work history has many gaps, it is best to use the functional resume format. This resume format very efficiently takes away the focus from lack of experience and employments gaps by highlighting your skills.
Tips for Writing a Functional Resume
Start your functional resume with a summary section that focuses on your skills that are also relevant to the job. Adding the summary section is a great way to shape the way employers see you right from when they take the first glance at your resume.
Organize your functional resume by themes instead of simply listing your work history in reverse chronological order. These themes could be your skills or qualifications such as recruiting experience, analytical ability, research, forecasting, etc. Putting together your skills in the resume will help the hiring managers easily see which all skills you can bring to the table regardless of your lack of experience in a particular industry or type of job.
Make sure to add relevant keywords in your functional resume so that it can get past the application tracking systems and successfully reach the hands of hiring managers. The simplest way to identify relevant keywords is by studying the job description provided by the hiring managers carefully.
Functional resume are all about highlighting your skills and the best way to do that is by explaining some key and relevant projects you have worked on. Ensure that the projects that you choose to talk about match the requirements of the job you have applied for and validate your success in developing and completing tasks.
Make some space to include your employment history in the resume. Best would be to put it at the bottom. This way, the employers’ focus would not be diverted from your skills and they would still have access to your work history if they want to know more about your previous experience.
Before you send your functional resume to prospective employers, spend some time drafting a strong cover letter. A cover letter allows you to elaborate on the skills and abilities that make you a candidate worthy for the job you are applying for.
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