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What is a Functional Resume?

Article Details
  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a few types of resumes job seekers may use, including the functional resume. Unlike the traditional chronological resume, which chronologically lists a person's work history, a functional resume is more skill specific. It highlights the skills and qualifications that would make the applicant a good candidate for a job. Although some companies prefer a traditional type of resume, some individuals, such as those returning to the job market, may benefit from functional resumes.

As with any other type of resume, this resume starts out with a header containing contact information. This typically includes an applicant's name, address, phone number, and email. If a person has a professional website that directly relates to the position for which he is applying, that can be included as well.

After the contact information, the next part of a functional resume is usually the objective. This is the part of the resume in which the applicant outlines his career goal or objective. Professional resume writers usually recommend that the objective be short and to the point. One to three sentences is the norm. A resume objective can be omitted if a candidate is applying for more than one position within a company, or if the resume is being used somewhere where a target position is unknown, such as at a job fair.

On a functional resume, a person's education is usually listed next. This usually includes where a person went to high school and college, along with his graduation dates. Any awards, honors, certifications, and degrees should also be listed, either in this section or in a separate section after it.

An applicant's skills and knowledge should be listed next. These skills should pertain to the specific job, or type of job, for which an individual is applying. For example, if a person is applying for a truck driving job, he would not list his superior cake decorating ability in this resume. Instead, in this case, listing different types of machines and trucks that he has operated would be recommended. Specific career achievements can also be mentioned either in this section or in a separate section following it.

A functional resume is not always the best choice because most employers usually want at least some idea of an applicant's work history. Some people, however, may benefit from using this type of resume. Typically, professional resume writers recommend that people with little or no employment history, long gaps between jobs, or a number of different jobs use a functional resume format. Generally, recent college graduates would also use a functional resume.

Older applicants can also benefit from using an experience-based resume. A functional resume eliminates the need to list every job that an applicant has had. Instead of appearing redundant by repeating the same job description over and over, certain pertinent skills can be listed.

A combination resume, sometimes known as a chronological functional resume, is a mixture of a functional resume and a chronological resume. These types of resumes allows an applicant to showcase specific skills relevant to the job for which he is applying, as well as provide a condensed version of his employment history. In a combination resume, the skills are listed first, followed by a short work history.

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