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When Should You Use a Functional Resume? 

Written by CB Community

Whether you have had years of experience in the field of work and careers or freshly out of a college or vocational school, there is always that nerve-wracking decision when applying for a brand, new, shiny job:

Which type of resume would impress your future employer the most?

Times are changing and people’s demands increase by the day to which different types of industries are being established to meet these needs.

With the most recent events putting the ‘normal’ routine at a standstill, a lot of companies are resorting to #WFH or remote posts.

Reality is, only 37% of jobs have the potential to be done from home while the rest faces unemployment or finding another career path. Getting your resume from the spam to the read folder is more vital than ever.

We are all probably familiar or have been using the ‘basic’ type of resume, which is known as the chronological resume.

This format lists down one’s work experience from the most recent down to the first job. Skillset is usually listed briefly at the end of the resume if any.

Let us agree on one thing: a resume’s primary purpose is to pique the interest of the reader enough to want to keep on reading.

One way to get your foot in the recruiter’s ‘door’ is by using a functional resume.

What is a Functional Resume?

A functional resume is a skills-based resume where the what is being highlighted and not the where. It allows one to emphasize their skills, capabilities, or areas of expertise of previous work history.

It is not as confusing as it sounds.

Here is how to know when to use a functional resume:

When You Have Zero Work Experience

You may be fresh out of school, but that does not disqualify you from landing an interview.

A functional resume allows you to highlight the skills you have honed that you need not learn from job experiences such as data entry, organizing an event, being an assistant, or managing a social media page.

You can highlight your achievements and highlight your contributions.

When Your Skills Are More Impressive Than Your Tenure

It could be that you may not precisely fit the description of what the recruiters are searching for or maybe you went on hiatus in between jobs.

However, using this format where citing the skills that set you apart and what you can offer to the employer is more valuable.

When Making a Career Shift

Use this format if you are applying for a job that does not directly relate to your previous career or work experience.

When you have had extensive experience working in a more field/corporate environment and want to shift to a work-from-home set-up, putting the focus on your skills relevant to the job you are eyeing on gives the interviewer a more organized view of what to expect from you.

The Benefits of Using a Functional Resume

You may want to stick to the standard chronological resume format, but a functional resume gives you a fair chance in landing that interview.

Of course, it will all depend on how you ‘sell’ or package yourself on your job application, but using a functional resume gives you the opportunity of being assessed based on your capabilities and expertise.

Whether you’ve just graduated from film school, looking to change careers, or applying from within your current organization, a functional resume allows you to focus on the skills that suit and relate best to the job.

Submitting an organized skills-based resume saves the recruiter time by quickly directing them to what’s important: the skills that you can bring to the table.

By doing so, this gives you a higher chance of getting that job you are aiming for.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.