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What is the functional resume?

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

  • Chronological resume: it highlights your work history and the last position that you held. This is the most common type of resumes
  • Functional paper: it lists your skills and achievements, giving less attention to your employment history
  • Comprehensive resume: a resume of achievements with major milestones in your career and a biography with detailed descriptions of works, skills, and successes that are not included in the usual resume. This type people usually use only on request of the recruiter. This type is too big sized, so in the usual situation, the employer will never read it.

The main characteristic of the functional resume is the emphasis on the skills and achievements of the candidate. In this kind of resume, the list with skills and achievements it should be located at the most significant place - right after the general information about the applicant. After that (in a more concise form than, for example, in the chronological resume) here should be the description of experience and the list of workplaces. The difference between the functional paper and the usual resume is that it does not indicate the workplace and the duties of the candidate in chronological order, but gives a short description of the applicant and lists his key skills and the main achievements. Therefore, a functional paper is certainly a good way to show yourself effectively, especially if the list with your 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 what position you hold now, what you are applying for (the purpose of your resume)
  • Skills and achievements. This block should include your strengths and the result of professional activity
  • Professional biography (names of posts and employers). As a rule, only actual years of work are indicated (without the date of admission and dismissal).

As it was already mentioned, the functional paper is not so popular as the chronological. However, there are five situations where 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 useful in a new direction of work. For example, the position and specialty of the designer can’t make an impression to fill the vacancy of the programmer. But your experience as a developer and expert in programming languages can.

Resume of gaps

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

  • Example with dates - Graphic designer, RTG Company, May 2009- October 2012. After that - Graphic Designer, DFRE Design Company, 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 gap here.

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 this tactic. This is just an attempt to make the breaks less significant, so that is why the employers will pay more attention to your potential. To avoid wrong conclusions, you should always include a short cover letter explaining the breaks. Do not be afraid, to tell the truth. Recruiters are also people and know about layoffs, restructuring and caring for sick parents.

Fresh candidates with little experience

Chronological resumes are not useful for graduates because they have no experience at all. In many cases, their work activity is not 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 are best to start a resume from the list of skills acquired during their internships, experience of volunteering, extra-curricular activities, and then briefly list the progress in studies and overall experience. An indication of "photography skills" as a kind of job position in the school newspaper will not have much weight 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 about its employees. And for many years you worked in one place. But this does not mean that you have not grown up in your field.Perhaps you occupied different positions, worked in different departments and learn related professions, even staying in the same company. Since you worked in one place, the chronological format of the resume, which is based on promotion and mention of different companies, is not useful for you. At the same time, a functional resume will highlight all your achievements and professions. And it will save you from doubts that you have missed 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 the portfolio for many reasons. One of the reasons is the reason of time. If the brief from the portfolio falls directly into the hands of the HR manager - not the recruiter who considers the mass of applications in different areas - perhaps the manager will evaluate the portfolio with dignity. But if you submit an online application you must have a functional paper to be noticed. For example, the functional paper of the designer should look more corporate - with the job posts, skills and data that managers expect to see. This should not be a list of random projects.

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 also portfolio if there are any. Brief information block is usually called "Briefly about professions", "Basic career data" or even"Personal profile." Since you only have six-eight seconds to attract the attention of a recruiter, such data should be summarized and very attractive. It can be a bulleted list or a narration. Qualification block shows the skills of the candidate.They can be divided into three categories:

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

You may think that adaptive skills are important only for a beginner 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 find candidates for the specialty. It is difficult to find people who can work well in a team and understand the corporate culture of the company.

Achievements block should include achievements related to future work. Employers are interested in candidate’s awards for leadership, great service to the company and other successes in the work, not in winning a competition for eating Hotdogs. Here are 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, personal projects, and volunteer activities. Nowhere is it said to be limited only by paid works. Education and training block includes seminars, online courses, and retraining that candidate visited.Do not forget to show your languages knowledge or leave them for the skills section.

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