Resume Writing: When to Use a Functional Resume

Resume Writing: When to Use a Functional Resume

I am often asked whether a client should use a functional resume. The simple answer is almost never. There are 3 reasons why people use a functional resume and only 1 reason is valid.


Functional resumes are usually used either to cover a career gap or highlight an old accomplishment. For these reasons, functional resumes send up a big “red flag” to employers who immediately look to the work portion to see what the candidate is trying to hide. Better to use a hybrid resume that states core skills up front and then follows with job details.

Functional resumes are appropriate for career changers so they can stress their transferable skills. Still, the functional skills portion should be followed by a reverse chronology of how those skills were demonstrated in their jobs. The bottomline? Think twice before using a functional resume format.

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