How To Write A Functional Resume – Memo For A Jobseeker

Functional Resume

A functional resume is the best way to communicate your strengths to a recruiter. True, to the detriment of the chronology of professional experience. That is why HRs are suspicious of such a resume. For what cases is functional cv suitable? How can you compose it to help you achieve your goals?

The main feature of a functional resume is the emphasis on the skills, abilities and achievements of the candidate. The block with their listing is located in the most honorable place – right after general information about the applicant. Further, in a more concise form (than, for example, in a chronological resume), there is a description of the experience and a listing of jobs. The difference between a functional resume is that it does not indicate the place of work and responsibilities of the candidate in chronological order, but gives a brief description of the applicant, listing his key skills and major achievements. Therefore, a functional resume is definitely a good way to show your best.

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Functional resume composition:

1) Brief description of the applicant. Write what position you occupy, what you are applying for, that is, the purpose of your resume.

2) Skills and achievements. This should include the strengths and the result of professional activity.

3) Professional biography (job titles and employers). As a rule, only years of work are indicated, without the date of admission and dismissal.

What exactly is worth writing in the Skills and Achievements section? The formula “I know, I can, I am able to” (or better – “I know, I can, I practice”) fits perfectly here. Better to use the reverse order. In the beginning – those actions that the candidate is used to performing during his work in his position, that is, functional (for example, “drawing up primary documentation”). Then – skills that help to achieve results (for example, “confident user of the program“). It is also helpful to mention your knowledge of the professional area (for example, “excellent knowledge of tax law”). Achievements can be displayed on a separate line.

Here are some examples of skills and achievements: “For example, if you work in the field of bank sales, you can mention in separate columns or subsections: skills and sales results (“ I successfully concluded an agreement for the sale of this and that for the amount of such and such … ”) And knowledge of the subject area (“ I have knowledge of banking products of such and such … ”)”.

The terrible secret of the candidate

However, those looking to build a functional resume are in danger. The point is, most recruiters are not thrilled with this type of resume. For this reason, a functional CV that is “misplaced” is usually sent to the trash. In the best case, the candidate will be asked to send another one, chronological. Why?

First, most positions in most companies require stable workers. After all, stability for an HR is a smooth chronology of experience without long career breaks. In this case, a functional resume does not provide an opportunity to trace the professional path of the applicant.

Recruiters in recruiting agencies are not very fond of functional resumes, because, firstly, they focus on their clients, most of whom ask questions to applicants based on chronological experience. It is much easier to understand what a specialist was doing if his functionality is reflected in the CV.

Secondly, the recruiter may suspect that the candidate is hiding something. The disadvantage of this type of resume is quite significant – the employer may think that you, as a candidate, are trying to hide something without listing your experience in chronological order. If you are interested, you may be asked to send a regular chronological resume, but your CV may be ignored altogether.

Is this suspicion justified? How often do applicants really try to hide some secret behind a functional resume? Actually, not so often. And what they are trying to hide always comes up during a personal conversation, because the lie is immediately visible – it is enough to ask an uncomfortable question in the place that raises questions. Perhaps, over time, HRs will become more loyal to functional CVs, and conspiracy theories will be pushed aside.

Experience is nothing, the result is everything

Who, then, is a functional resume suitable for? To candidates for positions for whom stability and loyalty are not the main values. Such a resume is recommended to be prepared by specialists working in projects (including temporary ones), freelancers or managers of various levels. If you are applying for a position where it is important to demonstrate your achievements and focus on the result – this type of resume is just right.

For example, if you are a manager of IT projects in a bank or a system integrator, then a recruiter or hiring manager will only be glad if you list your successful projects in your CV, because he will already understand what qualifications and you have the skills, and he will be able to discuss the project of interest with you in more detail at a personal meeting. However, a lot depends on the specific recruiter and the company.

Use carefully

Just in case, the expert advises not to overuse a functional resume. Moreover, employees of the recruiting agency can themselves point out to the employer the strengths of the candidate. Before presenting a profile to a client, the recruiter will usually write their own short commentary, which they insert into their resume or cover letter to the employer. The commentary is written after the candidate has been evaluated, which is a listing of the basic skills and achievements – that is, it is a micro-functional resume. 

Finally, other types of resume can do their job no worse than a functional one, if the CV is written correctly, and most importantly – by the work of the candidate himself. A well-written resume always stands out, be it chronological or functional. Often, one minute is enough for an experienced recruiter to assess the professional experience of a candidate using his CV (provided, of course, that it was compiled by himself, and in fact there are such craftsmen who ask their friends or acquaintances to write a resume for them, which is easily found out when telephone or personal interview).

Nevertheless, you can use a functional resume, especially for those categories of employees listed above. If you want and consider it necessary to send a functional resume to the employer, do it thoughtfully. Do not forget to list all the most important achievements that will help you to profitably “sell” yourself. And if it is written competently, clearly and structured, it is unlikely that someone will want to miss a valuable employee just because he chose a CV form for himself that is different from the one the recruiter is used to in this company. In addition, when you pay attention to the phrase “sell yourself”, one has to admit that the candidate’s competencies need advertising no less than a product or service. This means that advertising must be thoughtful and compiled in accordance with all the rules.

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