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The Functional resume format is sometimes known or referred to as a skills-based format, and there is a good reason for this. The purpose of the Functional resume is to strategically group your key skills and achievements into specific categories to steer focus to a candidate's qualifications. It's organized by categories of skills and achievements rather than by jobs. Functional resumes place very little emphasis on employment history. Most of the time when people are advised to use this strategy it's because they have gaps in their employment records, or perhaps they're returning to the workforce, or they could be switching careers. But there is one little flaw in this advice.
If you're in the white collar business world, functional resumes are a red flag to employers and recruiters that there is something wrong, even if there isn't. Just simply using this format will make them suspicious. Instead of focusing on what's right in your resume, they will immediately be looking for what's wrong. Hiring managers and recruiters look at enough resumes to know that the traditional resume format includes some sort of chronological history of your work experience. They also know that those that aren't using this format usually have some reason for not using it, and they are apt to make the assumption that there is something wrong or the person has something to hide.
A lot of folks choose this format when they have inconsistent employment histories. In today's employment market, the last thing you want to do is immediately send up a red flag before they can even begin to look at what your resume contains. That doesn't mean that you need to stick with the traditional chronological resume format. But you might consider using the chrono-functional format instead if at all possible, simply for the sake of not standing out from the competition based on resume format.
Yet again, there are some cases that the Functional resume format can work out beautifully to showcase and highlight your skills. Every individual has different circumstances. So as we take a look at this example, be thinking about your own set of skills and your own individual situation and how you may be able to use this format yourself. Let's take a look at an example of how someone had their own business for 18 years and is looking to transition to working as a construction project manager using the Functional resume format.
This is actually a really good example of how utilizing this format can have a positive effect. As you can see, the beginning of this format starts off the same as the chronological and combination formats. It starts off with the name, the contact information-- of course, this one is a little bit different because the contact information is on the top, but that's okay--the headline, and then it goes into the qualifications summary. Now following this information, the Functional format begins.
So it has functional headings. The functional headings in this resume are Surveying, Concrete, Steel, Roofing, Exterior, and Interior. Functional headings could also include such things as Management, Leadership, or things such as those. This resume also has an optional sidebar, and this sidebar here is showcasing the targeted qualifications for a particular position. At the very bottom, this resume has a Professional Experience section, but notice how short it is.
You want to just make sure that this section includes any pertinent information focused on your targeted position. At the bottom, it shows the Education. And of course, you can put an optional section in for things such as Honors and Awards. You needn't strictly adhere to this particular format. Remember to keep the most pertinent information towards the top one-third of your resume for each targeted position. Besides making a career transition, another reason to consider using the Functional resume format is if you have huge time gaps throughout your resume, or if you have an extremely poor employment record.
If you live in a white collar world, because functional resumes immediately put up a red flag to recruiters that something is amiss, use this format only as a last resort. Using Chronological or Chrono- functional formats are always your best bet as recruiters, and hiring managers not only prefer them, but they expect them. If at all possible, avoid using this format. You don't want something as simple as a format to keep your resume from being read at all. If you're in the white collar world and are considering using this format because of gaps in your employment history, you're switching careers, or you're entering the workforce, check out the movies on these topics in this course.
You may still figure out a way of avoiding this type of format by using transferable skills and combining jobs to hide gaps in your professional experience timeline. If your situation is similar to our construction project manager; go for it. It can work perfectly for your situation. But if you're trying to hide employment gaps and you've carefully weighed the pros and the cons of using this format, and decided that this is the best format for you, make sure it's the very best it can be. Don't forget to add your headline, your qualifications summary, education, technical information, any awards or honors, and any other pertinent information for each targeted job.
Functional resume formats are designed to highlight skillsets and deemphasize employment history. It groups your key skills and achievements into specific categories to call attention to a candidate's qualifications. It is organized by achievements and skills, rather than by each job. It can work out beautifully for some based on their specific situation. For others, consider the industry you're in. This format may send up the red flags before the viewer even reads the contents.
So just be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons, and be sure to know what type of information is expected prior to selecting what's right for you.
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