What is a Functional Resume?
Toggle Job Search Resources Menu

What is a Functional Resume?

A functional resume is a style of resume that lists your skills and achievements under headings at the top of the resume, instead of under your work history. The work history section is simply a listing of job titles, employers and dates of employment.  While many employers prefer chronological style resumes, a functional resume will draw attention to the skills that are most important for the job which you are applying.

A functional resume may work best if you:

  • Are making a career change.
  • Do not have a lot of work experience
  • Are returning to the workforce after a long absence
  • Have many breaks in employment
  • Recent graduate

Sections on a Functional Resume

Job Title

  • At the top of your resume state the title of the position you are applying to.

Profile or Summary

  • Use the Profile/Summary section to list your skills, experience and education that are most relevant to the job.

Relevant Skills and Experience

  • Check job postings to determine which skills are the most important for the position.
  • Use these skills as headings and list your related accomplishments under each heading.
  • For each heading, list 2 to 5 related accomplishments, taken from your employment, volunteering, education or personal experience.
  • Use verbs when describing your accomplishments.
  • Include the previous employers name when describing an achievement so that it is easier for employers to see where it occurred. 

Work History

  • List your work experience, starting from your most recent job.
  • Include the job title, company, city and dates of employment
  • Also include any related unpaid work by mentioning “Volunteer” in brackets, for example, Office Assistant (Volunteer)

Education

  • List any relevant education and training programs you have taken.
  • Include the school or employer where you received the training and the year.