Resume Basics: Part 2, Functional


Last week we talked about chronological resumes, and what their advantages and disadvantages were. A functional resume, unlike the chronological resume, focuses on your skills, rather than your work experience. According to the ALIS website “A functional resumé highlights what you did, rather than where and when. It focuses on specific skills you have gained—through school, hobbies, paid employment or volunteer work—that relate directly to the work you’re seeking.” Some people choose to still list their employment history at the bottom, with or without dates, but it is also standard practise to leave it out entirely.

Sample 1

Sample 2

So who would benefit from using this resume style?

  • Someone who has had gaps in their employment history, or has never worked at all
  • A recent graduate with limited work job related experience
  • A person who has frequently switched jobs
  • Someone who is transitioning into a new career

Are there any drawbacks in writing a functional resume?

The biggest problem with the functional resume is that many employers are suspicious of it. Employers tend to think that the applicant is “hiding” something (rightly so), and red flags begin to pop up. There’s a possibility that the potential employer will start to focus on searching for what’s “wrong”, rather than focusing on the skills that the applicant actually has. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a functional resume, especially if a chronological or combination resume highlights the work experience that you don’t have. You want to choose the style that best showcases your skills.

What’s a combination resume? Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on the final instalment in our resume series!

Still overwhelmed in your job search? Come on down to our Community Resource Centre! We offer resume writing assistance, as well as access to computers, printers, fax machines, telephones, and a fax machine. We are open Monday to Friday from 8am until 4pm.

Posted on October 2, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Nice to see an organization in my home city providing advice like this, I love it! Functional resumes can be a great style for a job seeker depending on what they are looking for.

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