Resume Sample

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Chronological Resume
Functional Resume

Functional Resume

When to Use Functional Resume

It could well be your resume that gives you an edge over the rest of the crowd and makes you stand out from amongst the other applicants. But for this, you would have to create a brilliant resume that perfectly matches with your specific conditions and requirements. A functional resume proves best for those with less or zero work experience or even for those who envisage a career change.

This functional format differs from the traditional chronological resume with regard to emphasis on employment history. A functional resume puts greater stress on the skills and aptitude by grouping them in clusters with the quality that needs to be projected as a sub heading. This allows a candidate to divert the attention of the reader from his/her lack of work experience and focus on the strengths and abilities instead.

When would it be best to use a functional resume?

  • For candidates with varied work experience
    If you have tried your hand at many jobs that are unrelated to each other and to the field you currently seek to pursue, you would need the flexibility of a functional resume to project your skills and mold them as required.
  • Little or no prior experience
    College students or candidates who have never worked before would find this format to be useful as it takes away the focus from the employment history. It gives them the freedom to concentrate on their skill sets and capitalize on them in order to make an impression with the recruiter.
  • Long breaks or gaps in career
    In some cases there are unavoidable circumstances when an individual is forced to take a career break willingly or unwillingly. Often many ladies decide to take a sabbatical of a few years to devote more time to their young children. However when they intend to rebuild their career, the long gap in the employment section does not look too good in a conventional resume format. This is when the functional format comes to the rescue.
  • Planned a career change
    Some people realize midway through their careers that they aren't really cut out for the line they are in and think of trying their hand at something else maybe converting their passion or hobby into their new career. A functional resume is the ideal format in cases like these as it allows them to use their transferable skills gained from their previous experiences to prove their potential worth.
  • Ex military personnel
    Some people employed in the military opt for voluntary retirement after serving for a stipulated period and choose to pursue another career. They would surely benefit from the flexibility that a functional resume allows and let them capitalize on the vast and rich skill sets that they may have acquired through years of military service
  • Unpaid or voluntary work experience
    Many people on a hunt for their very first jobs have only unpaid or honorary work experience to their credit. Although such jobs surely hone and refine many fine skills the chronological resume format does not do justice to them. They can be included in the skill clusters under a relevant heading like "administration" or "Leadership".
  • Unconventional Careers
    The functional resume succeeds in bringing out the finer shades of aptitudes, abilities and personality of the individuals in careers where merely listing prior experience would not suffice. Examples of such unconventional careers are music, history, psychology, art, theater, dance, designing. A chronological resume would fall way short of describing the talent and potential of the candidate.
  • If age is a constraint
    A functional resume would be appropriate for those who for some reason want to conceal their age- either because they are too young or quite senior in age. Since no dates are mentioned and neither is there any chronological work history, it becomes difficult to judge the age of the applicant.

For whom would functional resumes not be the correct choice?

If you are in a conventional career like banking, management, finance, law, or technical careers, it is better to stick to the typical chronological resume format as that is the one that most employers from such fields prefer. It would not be a good idea to experiment with a new resume format if you have been in a steady career, shown good progress and intend to continue in the same line.

So if you are convinced that the functional format would be able to describe you and your abilities in a way that would interest the employers, go ahead and design one that puts the spot light on you.

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