Functional Resume

As with interviews, there’s more than one style of resume, each serving a unique purpose. Knowing which resume is right for your career needs can feel challenging. After all, resumes play a prime role in catching a recruiter’s attention, so it’s important you use a structure that properly emphasizes why you’re the right candidate.

Let’s say you’re applying to jobs and you’ve identified a work history hurdle. Maybe you’re re-entering the workforce after a long absence, or you have employment gaps, or this is your first job, or you’re switching careers. If any of those sound applicable, you can consider using the functional resume.

Unlike a chronological resume, which lists your work history in reverse chronological order and includes dates along with brief mentions of your duties and responsibilities, a functional resume first highlights your skills and capabilities. You then include any work history and education at the bottom. Similar to more traditional resumes, you can still use headings to organize the flow of information.

The purpose of this structure is to focus a recruiter’s attention primarily on what you can bring to the role instead of the amount of time and formal titles held at previous places of employment. It’s a helpful structure for quickly identifying and outlining your transferrable skills.

With a functional resume, you can start by including a summary at the top that focuses on your skills that are relevant to the job. From there you can use a heading like “Achievements” and list out a summary of your skills. These can be organized by theme, such as customer service experience or managing experience. Underneath each theme you then include a couple bullet points effectively outlining specific examples.

As with any resume, be sure to thoroughly review the job description for key words and important skills that you can incorporate into your functional resume.

If you need examples of a functional resume, or help writing one, you can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page. Good luck with your job search!

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