Academics

Writing a Functional Resume

Functional Resume Style

This style essentially outlines abilities and transferable skills and tells employers what you will most likely do for them. Descriptive phrases are used to illustrate when and how each skill was used. Employment and volunteer experiences are listed at the end.

Strengths:

  • Draws attention to accomplishments.
  • De-emphasizes dates, positions, and employers.
  • Best for those with volunteer and leadership experiences or a variety of unconnected experiences.
  • Highlights your skills rather than your work experience (or lack of it).

Weaknesses:

  • More difficult to organize, write, and read.
  • Employers may assume you are trying to cover up something, such as a gap in employment.

Content for a Functional Resume

Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Telephone Number
E-mail
(include permanent and present information if a college student)

OBJECTIVE
Your objective is a one-sentence statement of what you intend to do for the employer. Focus on a career area, level of responsibility, and skills. The objective should be the focal point to which all other elements in the resume relate.

EDUCATION
List post-secondary education in reverse chronological order. Juniors and Seniors should not include high school. Include degree(s), highlights, and special training/courses. Degree(s) should include the month and year received, college, location, major(s), minor(s), or emphases. Grade point average and/or percentage of college education expenses you paid can also be included here.

RELEVANT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
What are two or three major skills or areas of expertise that are relevant to the objective you stated? When have you used these skills in your past work or volunteer experience? Write statements that describe your achievements using a variety of strong action verbs.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
List in reverse chronological order your position, employer, city, state, and dates.

OTHER POSSIBLE CATEGORIES
Leadership/Activities
Languages
Honors/Awards
Summary of Qualifications
Professional Affiliations
Volunteer Experience

Sample Functional Resume (.doc)