I have covered this topic before, but am frequently asked about functional resumes by jobseekers, so I figured I’d address them again here. I strongly advise against using a functional resume. Period.
Most recruiters and hiring managers do not like functional resumes. They are more difficult to read, and immediately raise a red flag. The reader asks him/herself “What is the candidate trying to hide by grouping together their competencies and not showing me what they did where? A gap in employment, excessive job jumping or lack of experience?” Regardless of your reason for using a functional resume, you are doing yourself a disservice. The last thing you want to do is cause any negative feelings — and confusion is a negative feeling. You want the reader of your resume to feel nothing but positive feelings. The goal of your resume is to pique the interest of the reader and entice them to invite you in for an interview, right? So, don’t annoy them. Make it easy for them to see the value you would add to their team.
If you are using a functional resume because you were advised to do so — find a better source of employment advice. Ask someone who has been trained in effective resume writing within the last few years, because the resume world has drastically changed. If you are trying to hide any of the fore mentioned scenarios, it won’t work. The hiring manager will see it anyhow, so it is better not to attempt to hide it. You should address anything that an employer may see as negative in your cover letter. Explain it simply and let the employer know why it will not be a problem. They just might appreciate your honesty and directness.
I won’t even write a functional resume. If a client comes to me requesting a functional resume because they want to change careers or get back to something they enjoyed doing in the past, I show them how we can effectively sell them with the traditional reverse chronological resume. Still not convinced? Give me a call and I’d be glad to discuss it. 860-658-6480.Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people advance their careers with rewarding jobs that provide more than just a paycheck. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she provides her clients with the tools and strategies needed to achieve their goals and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful.