The Functional Resume
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The Functional Resume

The functional resume is not liked much by human resources and functional managers. It is even less liked, by executive search consultants. Some consultants will simply not look at a functional resume. Nevertheless, it has its uses and, may work to your advantage.

However, if you have a difficult work history, or make a radical career change the functional resume may be your best option.

This type of resume only has a short chronological list of your past jobs and places it in a subordinate position. Instead, your work experience is presented under prioritized skill headings that shows your achievements on the basis of relevance to the job your are applying for. Your work history (dates, titles, companies, places of work)is only mentioned, very shortly, at the end of the resume. This type of presentation is useful if one or more of the following occurred:

You have been job hopping. Anything less than 18 months, some say 2 years, in a job in the same company is considered job hopping and, probably detrimental to your career.
You have other difficult to explain job gaps (e.g. you went for the third time on an extended trip to an ashram in India to find yourself)
You made several lateral (horizontal) job moves, that cannot be explained by a career pattern.
You reenter the job market after a considerable absence (for instance after bringing up children, or after a long illness)
You have been laid off and then had to search and accept a much lower level job for financial reasons in order to survive.

The functional resume will mask some of the problems, that could challenge your suitability for the job on offer. Because, you are concentrating on skills and the specific experience which you bring along with these skills for your new job, the focus is moved away from the ups-and-downs in your job history. That is, obviously, exactly the reason why it is disliked by some human resource professionals and managers.

The Functional Resume: An Example

The functional resume is useful in some circumstances.  It is especially good for job seekers

  • who reenter the job market after a long absence
  • who wish to make an extreme career move into a field totally unrelated to their past job history

John Tumbleweed III
113 Sun Street
Cloudville GA 30333
Phone: (404)xxx-11xx


The Job you apply for and the goals you have for this job

Qualification Summary

  • The prior experience and skills you have in the field of the job your are
    applying for or in a closely related field.
  • A summary of your overall work accomplishments that indicate to an employer
    the quality of your seriousness and your ability to perform the required tasks.

Relevant Experience

Major Skills
- a specific work experience that clear shows evidence of the skills required for the job you apply for.
- a job achievement that shows you are persistent and can follow through to a set goal or solution
- an instance of having accomplished your responsibility with a visible or noticeable impact on the company, department or group you worked in.
- awards and commendations for job performance that support in some ways the job objective you stated
Related Experience
- the experience that your skills provided in a specific project or task you accomplished that has relevance to the job offered
- positive experiences you enjoyed and that have relevance in your prospective job
- quantifiable instances that show how good you are at your work

Work History

20xx-Present Job Title - Company Name - City - State
19xx -20xx Job Title - Company Name - City - State
19xx - 19xx Job Title - Company Name - City - State
19xx - 19xx Job Title - Company Name - City - State

Education (and Languages - if any)

19xx Your highest Degree, Major (subject) - University, City, State
19xx Your next lower Degree (if any)
19xx Professional Training (if any)

You may assume that the main purpose of this resume is getting you a pay check. It is not, because you are not that far yet. First, you have to get an interview to present your case before you get offered the job.

Because, for one or the other reason you have a difficult job history, the main task of the resume will be to calm any fears in the mind of the employer or his staff, that you may just be too high a risk and will therefore not work out. Remember, if the staff or human resources manager makes a mistake with you, it is a "black mark" against him and his ability to find the right people for the job.

It is therefore very important that you put a lot of thought into how you present the skills, qualities and experience in your resume, so that they can give some assurance against the potential fears which an employer might have.You have to stand out from the crowd, but you have to do that in a credible way and a well written resume will help you.

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We have a resume writing service that offers a written resume sent to you by e-mail based on your data, plus a generic Cover Letter (or a specific one, if you want that). Turn around is usually 48-72 hours. MS Word format (.doc not docx) or html. Please send the supporting material (resume draft, cover letter draft in .doc or .txt format only, and a short description of job applied for) after the payment to the address given in the order acknowledgement.

Special services such as translations or the writing of a Curriculum Vitae are also available.

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We will edit your existing resume and a specific cover letter. You send us your resume and cover letter by e-mail and we will edit it to help it along and make it appropriate to the job you apply to. Obviously we will need a short description of the job as well (we do not need the employers name, but the country location would be useful since resume and cover letters can different from one country to another). Please send the supporting material (resume, cover letter in .doc or .txt format only, and a short description of job applied for) after the payment to the address given in the order acknowledgement. We will normally edit your resume/cover letter within 72 hours.

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