E-mail QUESTION from Amanda Holmes asking “What is a functional resume?”
A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history. It is used most often by people who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history.
A functional resume is arranged around skill sets — the functions of a job the candidate can perform. There are lots of options for categories. Sometimes you’ll use hard skill sets that show off technical prowess (like virtualization, desktop operating systems, or data protection) and sometimes soft skill traits, like project management or interpersonal skills. The actual companies worked for are then listed at the bottom of the resume, sometimes with dates and sometimes without.
So who might need a functional resume? Functional resumes work best for career changers, people re-entering the workforce and those leaving the military.
- Career changers — This doesn’t refer to people switching jobs within an existing field — from an employee to a manager, for example — but instead to more radical career shifts, like from a career managing a restaurant for five years to one writing database code.
- People Re-Entering the Workforce — Sometimes, if you haven’t worked in several years (say, because of raising children or going through medical issues) a functional resume can camouflage the gap. This strategy can be especially strong if you picked up skills during your time off that didn’t have a professional affiliation — like through volunteer work.
- People Leaving the Military — Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging. On the professional front, it requires you to package skills learned in military service in a way that makes sense in the non-military world, while not violating (potentially) any disclosure agreements. A functional resume can help you organize military experience, and draw exact connections to your goals as a civilian professional.
Review " Best Functional Resumes For 2012” samples below.
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Reminder: Livonia/Detroit Job Fair November 28, 2012 at Holiday Inn Livonia, Michigan from 9am-3pm. Details at JobFairGiant.com