Different life situations may cause career switches or even gaps. A holder of a traditional resume, being a newbie in the industry, has a rare chance, if any, to become shoo-in. The considerable gap between the workplaces or the lack of experience will raise HR’s objections.

Therefore, a functional resume is a helping hand for the candidates. It draws the recruiter’s attention to the gained skills, achievements, and working capacity. The article explains how to write a functional resume, avoiding mere chronological job titles listing.

A Resume As Your Marketing Tool

A strong functional resume is perfect in its capability to focus on your skills rather than on experience or working history. It accentuates your relevant abilities and aptitudes, e. g. managing, coaching, or hiring.

The Way to Present Yourself

Your task is to group all acquired skills, which can be transferable through the workplaces, without any reference to the positions occupied earlier. Listing of what you manage to cope with, placed in a definite field under each group, adds to the quality of the document.

You wrap up your special features in a unique way to provide the same information in an improved package. At the bottom of the page, you still should point out work history in brief. By that time when the hirer has gotten to the last blocks, he often decides to invite you for a meeting.

When Functional Format Is the Best Choice

Job experts recommend arming with the skills-based format if a candidate:

● has got a work hiatus or a large career gap;
● hasn’t worked for a long time;
● is a graduate with no experience;
● is going to reenter the workforce;
● changes jobs regularly;
● transits into new careers;
● doesn't quite meet the employer’s requirements.

The Ideal Structure of Functional Resume

A functional resume layout should be the same as it gets covered in a chronological resume. You can see the difference in resume formats in this article: https://resumesbot.com/resume-examples/ as the samples perfectly demonstrate the differences between them.

Choose the same size, fonts, accent colors, bullet points to make it easy for reading. Note that this is the best format to send to an individual via email or to hand it at a facemeet.

1. Start formatting with placing your contact details at the top. You may include the name, email, phone, as well as a social network profile.
2. Then put down 3-4 sentences of a summary. Note, it should be shorter than that presented in chronological kind. Avoid keywords repeating from it in the next section designed for skills.
3. The skill section presents no more than 4 broad groups, which should include your qualifications and experiences. Give a title to each group (“Areas of Expertise”, “Professional Skills”, “Qualifications”, et.c.). Put down those competencies you are the best at, e. g. “Administrative Skills”, “Design Skills”, “Computer and Technical Skills”, “Sales”.
4. Describe each category in detail, enumerating all skills, training, or achievements under the relevant group.
5. Proceed with a brief history of your work, ignoring job duties, skills, accomplishments. It should consist of the company’s name, a title of a position, and the dates of working.
6. Place the block with your education below your work experience. Stick to the same format as it is in any other resume kinds - the school, the dates, and any received degrees.
7. A section for volunteer experience is the last block. It should contain the places, your position, and the period of it. Insert any relevant competency you’ve gained at that time under the categories of skills.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Functional Format

You can find different points of view about why a functional resume is not so popular as a chronological format. However, letting you know what the cons are would be a means to put all the pros into context.

Potential Disadvantages

Job coaches or recruiters exhort candidates not to use the format, being skeptical about functional resumes for several reasons:

1. Recruiters dislike a way it hides things with a spotty work history or lack of experience.
2. This format might be hard to read and understand when and where you got those skills.
3. It never tells the full story about career growth and never shows a straight career line.
4. Applicant tracking systems can’t scan, read, and rate functional applications.


There are ways it will work in favor of a candidate:

1. It helps to cover up employment gaps after continuous sitting out of work.
2. If you belong to career pivots it demonstrates that you know what you’re doing.
3. It translates what you’ve learned from unusual jobs into useful skills.
4. You can complete it with a full story of employment at a face-to-face meeting.

Though not all employers accept a functional format with eager, a well-composed resume expands your chances to get the invitation. Try it if you get worried about career switching or gaps.

Author's Bio: 

Md Rasel is a professional blogger.