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Why You Shouldn’t Use a Functional Resume

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

Want to work in a place like this? A functional resume won't win you an interview
Photo by Venveo on Unsplash

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 overcome an employment barrier, 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.

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A Certified Career Transition Coach specializing in overcoming employment barriers, Trish McGrath has been helping people across industries advance their careers since 2009. Whether you are looking for a complete career change, competing for your next promotion or trying to identify your best fit career, Trish will make sure that you are prepared for success. An experienced resume expert, job search coach and LinkedIn trainer, she guides her clients through the job search process to make it less overwhelming with quicker results. Contact Trish at (860) 658-6480 or trish.mcgrath@edgecareersolutions.com to see how she can help you build a more satisfying career.