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What is a Functional Resume?

Definition: Functional Resume

The most common type of resume is in chronological form and lists job experience starting with your most recent position. Another type of resume is the functional resume, which lists experience and skills in a nonchronological format. A typical functional resume includes a section highlighting qualifications and elaborating accomplishments; another section with places of employment, job title, and dates employed; and other sections with education and community service participation.

Functional resumes are most often used by job hunters with gaps in employment history, and they're sometimes used by people hoping to change careers or those who have had many different types of jobs. Dates of employment are still included on the functional resume, but the hope is that an employer will see past any gaps because the applicant's skills are a good match with the skills required for the open position.


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czafon czafon 6 years
I also use the functional resume format, but my only problem with it would be the length. I'm always hearing that resumes should be kept to one page, when mine has always been 2+. Any suggestions?
gemini7827 gemini7827 8 years
Thank you savvysugar, wackdoodle and ilanac for all your information and advice. I am starting to look for a new job back into the field of marketing, where I started. This is going to help :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i have to say that depending on where you are in your career and what position you're going for, this could be the best type of resume. something that i've noticed in the last couple interviews that i've gone on is that i've been asked more about what accounts i've worked on rather than how long i've been at each place or even out of school. i thinks that it's just one of those things that shows us how employers are looking at new employees - and how they don't care how long you've been working and in the market, but instead the quality of what you've done.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Actually, the rules have change and a functional resume can be use by people anyone even if there are no gaps in their work history. It was suggested to my last year after a prolonged interview where I had sent in a traditional resume but when I met with the HR person and management I gave them a functional resume and they found it easier to target questions and to know what I the extent of my experience. I don't have any gaps in my work history for the past 15 years. I've been encouraged by employers/headhunters to use it because its easier for them. Using the functional layout to actively list all of my responsibilities along with my achievements at each employer has eliminated the guessing game of what exactly I know how to do. I was told by my current employer that my functional resume made it easier to understand the scope of the responsibilities I had beyond their assumptions about my previous job titles. In my case the saw - "Transit Operator" and thought I drove the bus home and then just started work and had no other responsibilities. Or my Executive Assistant experience they think that they know what I did but the actual scope of what I did for my boss was fair greater than that of the average EA. Functional has got me a lot of positive responses and job offers. I actually suggested that my inexperienced nephew use it and he's gotten more responses and is going through his second round of interviews that I don't think they would have considered him for with a traditional resume. His best friend a Med Student pursuing grad studies in research while attending Med School - has had 4 long term jobs since high school and 1 since graduating from University. He switched his resume to functional for his Med School Application and Interviews and for applying for a new position with a Bio Tech firm near our hometown. He had applied before with an old traditional resume and go no response - with the functional he got a response and offer within a week. Now he works with one of my brothers at this BioTech firm. Having a functional resume that stands out works from darn near everyone regardless of work history or experience. At least in my experience. It's providing detailed info to potential employers up front rather than the pat info on a traditional resume.
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