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What is the functional resume?

There are three types of the resume. Each of type has its ownadvantages and disadvantages and useful in specific situations.So, here are three types of resumes:

  • Chronological resume: it highlights your work history and thelast position that you held. This is the most common type ofresumes
  • Functional paper: it lists your skills and achievements,giving less attention to your employment history
  • Comprehensive resume: a resume of achievements with majormilestones in your career and a biography with detaileddescriptions of works, skills, and successes that are notincluded in the usual resume. This type people usually use onlyon request of the recruiter. This type is too big sized, so inthe usual situation, the employer will never read it.

The main characteristic of the functional resume is the emphasison the skills and achievements of the candidate. In this kind ofresume, the list with skills and achievements it should belocated at the most significant place - right after the generalinformation about the applicant. After that (in a more conciseform than, for example, in the chronological resume) here shouldbe the description of experience and the list of workplaces. Thedifference between the functional paper and the usual resume isthat it does not indicate the workplace and the duties of thecandidate in chronological order, but gives a short descriptionof the applicant and lists his key skills and the mainachievements. Therefore, a functional paper is certainly a goodway to show yourself effectively, especially if the list withyour previous workplaces is not your strong side.

How to write resume

The structure of such paper consists of three big blocks:

  • The brief description of the applicant. Write here about whatposition you hold now, what you are applying for (the purpose ofyour resume)
  • Skills and achievements. This block should include yourstrengths and the result of professional activity
  • Professional biography (names of posts and employers). As arule, only actual years of work are indicated (without the dateof admission and dismissal).

As it was already mentioned, the functional paper is not sopopular as the chronological. However, there are five situationswhere the functional resume works best:

  • Change in type of activity
  • Resume of gaps
  • For fresh candidates with little experience
  • If you still at the same company but different job
  • Candidates who rely on their portfolio.

Change in type of activity

The functional paper is great to show skills that will be usefulin a new direction of work. For example, the position andspecialty of the designer can’t make an impression to fill thevacancy of the programmer. But your experience as a developer andexpert in programming languages can.

Resume of gaps

The functional resume is useful when the candidate returns to hisprevious job or it was a gap in the career. For example, it canbe because of illness of the parents or something else. Suchresume helps to fill the white spots in the career to still makea good impression on the employer. You can make a list of jobpositions without specifying dates. This will fit the whitespots:

  • Example with dates - Graphic designer, RTG Company, May 2009- October 2012. After that - Graphic Designer, DFRE DesignCompany, April 2013 - present. You can see the gap here
  • Example with no dates - Graphic designer, RTG Company, 2009 -2012. After that - Graphic Designer, DFRE Design Company, 2013 -present time. You can see, that employer will not see the gaphere.

The half-year break is invisible since no months are indicated.Unfortunately, this thing will work only for some recruiters.Most of them, who read hundreds of resumes a day, is used to thistactic. This is just an attempt to make the breaks lesssignificant, so that is why the employers will pay more attentionto your potential. To avoid wrong conclusions, you should alwaysinclude a short cover letter explaining the breaks. Do not beafraid, to tell the truth. Recruiters are also people and knowabout layoffs, restructuring and caring for sick parents.

Fresh candidates with little experience

Chronological resumes are not useful for graduates because theyhave no experience at all. In many cases, their work activity isnot related to the work they are applying for. In other cases,such work experience is not considered to be "work experience",because it is an internship, not "actual work". Graduates arebest to start a resume from the list of skills acquired duringtheir internships, experience of volunteering, extra-curricularactivities, and then briefly list the progress in studies andoverall experience. An indication of "photography skills" as akind of job position in the school newspaper will not have muchweight in the eyes of the employer.

You still at the same company but different job

For example, you had a job in a powerful company that cares aboutits employees. And for many years you worked in one place. Butthis does not mean that you have not grown up in your field.Perhaps you occupied different positions, worked in differentdepartments and learn related professions, even staying in thesame company. Since you worked in one place, the chronologicalformat of the resume, which is based on promotion and mention ofdifferent companies, is not useful for you. At the same time, afunctional resume will highlight all your achievements andprofessions. And it will save you from doubts that you havemissed something by working for many years in one place.

Candidates who rely on their portfolio

It is better to write a resume without relying solely on theportfolio for many reasons. One of the reasons is the reason oftime. If the brief from the portfolio falls directly into thehands of the HR manager - not the recruiter who considers themass of applications in different areas - perhaps the managerwill evaluate the portfolio with dignity. But if you submit anonline application you must have a functional paper to benoticed. For example, the functional paper of the designer shouldlook more corporate - with the job posts, skills and data thatmanagers expect to see. This should not be a list of randomprojects.

Creating your own functional resume

Here is the structure of such paper:

  • Contact information
  • Brief information
  • Qualification
  • Achievements
  • Work biography
  • Education and training

Contact information block includes the name of the candidate,phone number, email address and website address, and alsoportfolio if there are any. Brief information block is usuallycalled "Briefly about professions", "Basic career data" or even"Personal profile." Since you only have six-eight seconds toattract the attention of a recruiter, such data should besummarized and very attractive. It can be a bulleted list or anarration. Qualification block shows the skills of the candidate.They can be divided into three categories:

  • Work-related: received at school or in the workplace andsuitable for future employment. For example, Web designer skillscan combine knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, understandingcross-browser compatibility and the interaction of HTML and CSS.
  • Universal skills: they are used to different professions andindustries and, as a rule, are underlined when moving to anotherjob. Universal skills can assume the ability to manage a team,communicate well or negotiate. Such skills also help to solvecommon tasks, such as gathering information, working withsuppliers and innovation. If you are not sure of your universalskills, see the guide.
  • Adaptive or personal skills: traits that are difficult toprove on paper, but that are important to the employee, forexample, "an honest team player with the ability to act."

You may think that adaptive skills are important only for abeginner who has nothing else to tell about. But in real life,many employers are looking for candidates with all the qualities.In the end, for most vacancies, it is not difficult to findcandidates for the specialty. It is difficult to find people whocan work well in a team and understand the corporate culture ofthe company.

Achievements block should include achievements related to futurework. Employers are interested in candidate’s awards forleadership, great service to the company and other successes inthe work, not in winning a competition for eating Hotdogs. Hereare the standard formulas for demonstrating success:

  • The situation + your actions + result
  • Work assignment + action + result
  • End result + why it was needed + action.

Work biography block includes the list of internships, personalprojects, and volunteer activities. Nowhere is it said to belimited only by paid works. Education and training block includesseminars, online courses, and retraining that candidate visited.Do not forget to show your languages knowledge or leave them forthe skills section.

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