Reasons for a Functional Resume

Choosing the appropriate resume format for your job search is essential for professionals in all areas, and at all levels of the career spectrum. Whether you are just entering the work force, re-entering the work force, or are a professional or executive that is currently transitioning, you need to take into consideration the appropriate format to utilize in order to achieve maximum success in your job search.

SCC ResumesThere are beneficial reasons for choosing the functional resume format for your job search.

First, however, let’s briefly discuss the two main resume formats. There is the functional and the chronological format. The most popular being the chronological format, which is more favorable among employers and recruiters. This format reflects a successful career where an individual has productively progressed with very little to no job gaps or holes in their resume.

The functional format on the other hand, is appropriate to utilize in various situations. While the functional format may not be the most favorable, there is no reason at all why, if done correctly, that this approach cannot achieve significant success for the job seeker.

3 Reasons for Using the Functional Resume Format:

1. A career change / transition: Whether you are a relatively elementary worker or an executive or professional that is currently making a career change, the functional format is very suitable for this situation. Through the proper use of the functional format, you will create a resume that focuses on your skills, experience, and achievements suitable for the industry and job you are interested in transitioning to.

Instead of focusing on a progressive work history with emphasis on dates and position titles, you will instead address your areas of strength and talents that relate to your section of concentration. In addition, you will be able to convey to an employer or recruiter your ability to successfully transition into your next job and industry.

2. Re-Entering the Workforce: If you have been out of the workforce for some time as either a stay-at-home mom, due to an injury, by taking care of a relative, or for any other reason, it will be very beneficial to employ the functional format.

This holds true due to the fact that you want to deemphasize your long gap of employment. Instead of beginning the resume with a focus on your employment history, you want to focus on your knowledge, skills, and accomplishments essential to your job/career objective.

A strong focus on your education, if it relates to your area of interest is also very beneficial to promote on the front page of your resume.

You can achieve this focus through your professional summary and a list of groundbreaking strengths and / or accomplishments. You can then list whatever volunteer or work experience and education you may have at the end of the resume.

SCC College Graduate for Functional Resume3. College Graduate: If you are just graduating from college, or just entering the workforce with very little, to no professional experience, the functional format is essential.

In the case of the college graduate, you can focus your resume on education highlights and courses related to your targeted area of interest.

Prior to your work or volunteer experience, it would be very beneficial to list your education, including your college, your degree, and your grade point average, if high enough. You can then list the completion of courses that pertain to your industry objective.

You can also create a list of accomplishments throughout your part-time experience that promote certain competencies and skills beneficial for your desired industry.

The functional resume format also applies to individuals with an unstable career consisting of various employment gaps or an obvious habit of job hopping, mothers re-entering the workforce, individuals with little to no paid working experience, and people with a strong volunteer background.

In all cases, the main focus of your resume needs to remain on certain skills, talents, expertise, education, and achievements related to your area of interest rather than a chronological summary of your work history.

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