What is a Functional Resume?
A functional resume is a resume format that focuses on your professional skills and not your work history.
Similar to the chronological and hybrid/combination resume formats, a functional resume presents your career highlights to hiring managers and recruiters. However, two things make it unique:
- The resume introduction and skills section are the focus of a functional style resume, and are longer than usual
- The work experience section is not the most important section
For many job seekers, their work history makes the strongest case for being hired. Such applicants tend to use the chronological resume format. However, this is not the case for everyone.
Should I Use a Functional Resume?
If you’re one of the following types of people, you should use a functional resume:
- You have long periods of unemployment. If a timeline of your career doesn’t illustrate steady professional progression, a functional resume is a good choice.
- You’re switching industries. In particular, you’re making a transition out of the field that makes up most of your work experience.
- You want to highlight specific professional skills rather than your experience.
How to Write A Functional Resume
Learn how to write a functional resume by looking at our example and reading about its six sections:
Now you’ve seen what a functional resume looks like, here’s how you write each section of your own.
1. Contact Information
In this section you should include your name, phone number, and email address.
Your name should be the largest text on the page. You’ll also need to choose one of the best fonts for your resume to ensure it’s professional.
Finally, if you have a LinkedIn profile or personal website that boosts your application, then add it in this section.
Note that you don’t need to include your address on your resume, because recruiters can contact you over the phone or by email.
2. Resume Introduction
A resume summary gives the hiring manager insight into your professional background. It allows you to list your responsibilities and achievements from your work history at the top of your resume.
Therefore, in this section you should include 4–5 examples of your most relevant personal achievements. By “relevant,” we mean they must be related to the job you’re applying for. Check the job description to make sure they are.
3. Skills Section
If you use the functional format, the skills on your resume are more important than your work history. They give recruiters insight into your expertise and talents.
Take a look at our examples below. You’ll see that the skills section is about the same size as the work experience section of a chronological resume.
When writing your resume skills section, choose at least three skills that are applicable to the job you’re applying for. For each skill, add 3–4 bullet points that prove your abilities.
Adding numbers to your resume gives employers confidence that you can fulfill the job requirements. Include at least one quantified bullet point for each skill to catch the hiring manager’s attention.
4. Experience Section
The work history section of a functional resume is much shorter than on a chronological resume. You only need to list the names of the companies you worked for, as well as each job title.
You don’t have to list your previous jobs in chronological order, because adding employment dates for those jobs is optional.
Here’s how to write an effective work history section on a functional resume:
Explain Your Periods of Unemployment
You may have good reasons for being unemployed. Some examples include:
- Being a full-time student
- Independent study
- Being a stay-at-home parent
- Personal travel
You must show on your resume that you worked on developing as a professional during those gaps of unemployment. However, don’t use words that suggest you were unemployed for:
- Medical reasons
- Getting laid off or fired
Hiring managers may think you’re a high-risk hire if you provide one of these reasons.
Don’t Include Months
The candidates in the resume samples on this page have left the months off in their work history sections.
Even if they didn’t work for six months in the middle of 2020, it looks like their employment history is unbroken.
This is an acceptable way of writing your resume. You can explain the details of your work history during your interview if necessary.
Unless the educational section of your resume directly relates to the job you’re applying for, only include the name of your university or organization, the city and state, the degree you received, and your GPA (if it’s above 3.5).
If you have an award or honor related to your target position, add it to your resume.
Earning an award shows you’ve stood out among your peers, proving you’ll be a valuable addition to a workplace.
Functional Resume Template and Examples
The functional resume template can be used on any of our resume templates. To give you an idea about how to do this, we’ve put together two examples for different positions.
You can download the following two functional resume examples and change them to your exact specifications. Or feel free to copy-paste the text and modify it to your own background.
We’ve also provided the text versions of these resources for your convenience. Good luck on the job search!
Substitute Teacher Functional Resume
Phone: (669) 623-6234
Address: 34 North San Pedro, San Jose, CA 95132
- Proven track record of improving the progress of struggling students and increasing class text scores
- Recognized for ability to increase student participation and motivation in learning through engaging lessons and activities
- Certifications: Possess a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
- Technical skills: Adept with Microsoft Office and SMART Board lesson development
- After-school Programs: Served as the assistant coach for the women’s basketball and track teams
- Write comprehensive reports to regular teachers regarding lessons and student progress
- Collaborate with regular teachers in developing long-term plans for struggling students, as well as designing new activities to enhance learning engagement of students
- Designed and implemented lesson plans that increased student engagement by 47%
- Regularly engaged students in open discussions and other team building activities that increased class morale and created a more energized learning environment
- Effectively helped three struggling students to improve their reading ability — all three achieved grade-level targets within the first year
- Instruct Math, Art, and English to classes ranging between 13 and 24 students, Grades 2 to 5
- Incorporate digital technology for learning activities, including software applications and a SMART board — leading to implementation by the full-time teacher
- Adhered to strict school policies and procedures regarding students with disciplinary issues
B.A. / Primary Education
San Jose State University, May 2012
National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, March 2013
Problem Solving (5/6)
Time Management (5/6)
SUBSTITUTE OF THE YEAR
Bradford School District, Pleasantville, CA, 2014
Customer Service Functional Resume
Phone: (323) 555-5555
Address: 4397 Shelby Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047
- Proven track record of boosting month-to-month sales figures by +10%
- Strong customer service skills: Predict, evaluate, and meet the specific needs of customers
- Interpersonal skills: Expert at getting product from the backroom to the floor in a cost-effective and timely manner
- Awarded “Employee of the Month” for consistently receiving positive customer feedback
- Receive a +95% on customer service feedback surveys on a consistent basis by providing a friendly in-store environment
- Enhance the customer experience by providing quality assistance and in-depth product knowledge
- Educate customers on up-and-coming brands and the latest fashion trends
- Exceeded sales goals an average of 10% for 5 straight months
- Upsell customers through the recommendation of products that meet their specific needs
- Process 30+ customer transactions a day and factored sales, discounts, and promotions into the final price
- Restock and organize new shipments of inventory in a timely manner, cutting average of 2 days off the merchandising process
- Develop and create unique displays that attract customers to a desired product
- Team worker who is able to adapt in highly dynamic and changing situations in the office
Ulta, Manhattan, NY
GAP, Albany, NY
The North Face, Albany, NY
Associates Degree/Fine Arts
Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
– 3.77 GPA
AWARDS & HONORS
Employee of the Month
GAP, August 2014