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Functional Resume: Template, Examples, and Writing Guide

Ida Pettersson

If you have non-traditional work experience — or a lack of relevant work experience entirely — the functional resume format may be the right choice for you. Learn how to write your own functional resume and use our template and examples to help you get started.

An example of a functional resume format

Looking to emphasize your skills rather than your career progression? The functional resume format is the ideal choice for you. If you’re a career changer, a job seeker with employment gaps , or someone with a highly developed skill set, the functional resume format gives you the best chance to impress hiring managers.

In this article, we’ll teach you what the definition of a functional resume is and how to write one. Let’s get started:

What is a functional resume?

A functional resume is a common resume format that focuses broadly on your professional skills, rather than each job you held and when you held that job. It’s sometimes referred to as a skills-based resume .

The biggest difference between a functional resume and the standard chronological resume is that a functional resume groups your experience under skill categories instead of job titles. Under each skill category, bullet points are used to highlight examples of your skills, and those examples can come from both work and life experiences.

Here’s what a functional resume looks like:

Functional resume format

Should i use a functional resume.

Yes, you should use a functional resume in the following situations:

If one of these statements applies to you, a functional resume will draw attention to your greatest strengths and away from areas of your professional background that you’d rather not highlight.

However, for the majority of job seekers, a chronological resume is the way to go. Even if you’re a recent graduate with no work experience, you can make a traditional resume work for you by listing other relevant experience (such as volunteer work or student government positions) in reverse-chronological order.

Functional resume template and examples for Word and Google Docs

Here’s a functional resume template that you can copy and paste into Google Docs or Microsoft Word and fill in with your own information:

Functional resume template

1. Resume Heading


Email: [email protected] | Phone: 895 555 555 | Address: 4397 Aaron Smith Drive Harrisburg, PA 17101 | Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/yourprofile

2. Resume Summary

Skilled [industry] professional with [# of years] years of experience. Seeking to leverage my expertise in [relevant skills] to fill your [position name] position. An intuitive worker aiming to help achieve [Company’s Name] ’s goals and take on more responsibility as quickly as possible.

3. Relevant Skills

First Skill

Second Skill

4. Work History

Most Recent Job Title Employer Name / Location / Start Year – End Year

Earlier Job Title Employer Name / Location / Start Year – End Year

5. Education

Degree Name / Major University, Location | Start Date – End Date

6. Additional Resume Section

Not sure what your functional resume should look like? Choose a functional resume sample below to download and use as a reference when writing your own:

Functional resume example 1: substitute teacher

A substitute teacher functional resume example

Substitute Teacher Resume (Text Format)

Certified substitute teacher with a proven track record of improving the progress of struggling students and increasing class text scores. Recognized for ability to increase student participation and motivation in learning through engaging lessons. Adept with Microsoft Office and SMART Board Lesson Development.




B.A. / Primary Education

San Jose State University, May 2016

National Board of Professional Teaching Standards

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, March 2017


Broadway High School, San Jose, CA

Substitute Teacher

January 2020 – Present

Britton Middle School, Morgan Hill, CA

February 2017 – March 2018

Download This Resume Template

This example contains a large skills section with quantified bullet points that emphasize the applicant’s top teaching-related skills.

It also lists a teaching credential in the education section, showing that they’re qualified for a role as a substitute teacher.

Functional resume example 2: customer service

A sales clerk functional resume example

Customer Service Resume (Text Format)




Ulta , Manhattan, NY


Sales Clerk

GAP , Albany, NY


Sales Representative

The North Face , Albany, NY

Retail Clerk

Associates Degree/Fine Arts

Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY

The functional resume sample above only contains the years, not dates, of employment. If you have employment gaps, this can be an effective way to make those gaps appear less significant.

Functional resume example 3: career changer

A functional resume example for a career changer switching from sales to marketing

Career Changer Resume (Text Format)

Seasoned sales professional with 5+ years of experience in sales forecasting, market research, and customer relationship management. Possess a deep understanding of customer behavior and market trends as well as a proven track record of driving revenue growth. Seeking to transition into a marketing role and leverage my ability to translate market insights and turn them into impactful marketing strategies.




Eversana | August 2021 – Present

Sales Manager

Riverside | June 2017 – August 2020

Sales Associate

University of Memphis – Memphis, TN

Bachelor of Arts in Sales and Marketing Management

This functional resume for a sales professional seeking to transition into marketing highlights transferable skills that will appeal to hiring managers in a variety of industries.

How to write a functional resume

Now that you have an idea of what a functional resume looks like, it’s time to learn how to write one. Here’s a section-by-section guide for writing a functional resume:

1. List your contact information

Include the following contact information on your resume :

Your name should be the largest text on the page, and typed out in a  professional resume font .

If you have a LinkedIn profile or personal website related to the job you’re applying for, add it in this section.

2. Write a detailed resume introduction

If you’ve been out of a job for chunks of time, a convincing resume summary is the best way to start your resume .

A resume summary provides hiring managers an insight into your professional background and skills. It allows you to list 2-3 examples of your most relevant achievements and responsibilities at the top of your resume, either in a bulleted list or paragraph format.

The best way to make a resume summary is by doing some research and writing it yourself or by using a  resume summary generator to do the work for you.

Here’s an example of a strong resume summary in paragraph form:

Resume Summary

Conscientious administrative assistant with 4+ years of experience providing executive-level support. Introduced inventory supply software and saved 5% in costs. Highly proficient with QuickBooks.

Additionally, check the job description to find resume keywords that you can sprinkle into your resume summary.

Adding keywords to your functional resume makes it more likely employers will notice your application and help ensure you make it to the next stage of the application process.

3. Group your skills by type

If you use a functional resume format, the skills on your resume are more emphasized than your work history.

Typically the skills section of a functional resume is about the same size as the work experience section of a chronological resume.

When writing the resume skills section on your functional resume, choose at least three skills that are highly applicable to the job you’re applying for. For each skill, add 3 or 4 bullet-point examples that prove you have that skill.

Then you should add numbers to those bullet points to give employers confidence you can fulfill the job requirements and deliver concrete results. These numbers could be anything that you impacted through your work, whether that’s dollar amounts, percentages, numbers of people, or time saved.

Include at least one bullet point with numbers for each skill to catch the hiring manager’s attention.

Here’s an example of what a functional resume with hard numbers looks like:

Relevant Skills

4. Write your employment history

The work history section of a functional resume is short. You only need to list the names of the companies you worked for, as well as each job title.

You don’t have to list your previous jobs in a specific order either, because adding employment dates for those jobs is optional.

Ultimately, the goal of writing a functional resume is to downplay your chronological work history as much as possible, and your professional experience section should reflect that.

Here’s an example of an effective work history section on a functional resume:

Work History

Ulta , Manhattan, NY (2016-2017) Sales Clerk

GAP , Albany, NY (2014-2015) Sales Representative

The North Face , Albany, NY (2012) Retail Clerk

5. List your relevant educational background

Unless your resume’s education section directly relates to the job you’re applying for, only include the name of your university or organization, the city and state, the degree you received, and your GPA (if it’s above 3.5).

Here’s an example of how to list your educational background on a functional resume:

B.A./ Primary Education San Jose State University, May 2012

National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, March 2013

6. Highlight your professional accomplishments

If you have an award or honor related to your target position, add it to your functional resume.

Earning an award shows you’ve stood out among your peers, proving you’ll be a valuable addition to a workplace.

If you have numerous accomplishments , you should list them in a separate awards section on your resume. Otherwise, you can mention them in your summary or skills bullet points.

7. Include additional sections (optional)

Entering a new field? Make up for your lack of relevant work experience by showing employers that you’ve been proactive in developing the skills necessary to succeed in your new industry. Include a separate section for certifications you’ve acquired or training you’ve undergone that makes you qualified for the job.

Or, if you’re going back to work after a long break, showcase projects you’ve been working on while unemployed.

By adding these sections to your resume, you demonstrate initiative and commitment to your professional development.

Click to rate this article

Ida Pettersson

Written by Ida Pettersson

Ida is a Content Writer at Resume Genius, where she assists job seekers as they plan their next career moves. She graduated from New College of Florida with a double major... more

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Functional Resume: Examples & Skills Based Templates

Functional Resume: Examples & Skills Based Templates

Bart Turczynski

As seen in:

A functional resume focuses on transferable skills and experience instead of a chronological work history. It's generally used by career changers or candidates who have employment gaps.

It’s the most effective way to deal with a winding work history. And it’s easier to write than you think if you follow our detailed guide.

This guide will show you:

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes?  Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click.  See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here .

sample resume templates

Sample resume made with our builder— See more resume examples here .

Need to jump to the right section you’re most interested in? Use the table of contents:

What is a Functional Resume?

A functional resume is a type of resume format which showcases skills over experience. The purpose of a functional resume is to draw attention to transferable abilities rather than focusing on a chronological overview of your work history.

Because of it's properties, it's sometimes called a skills-based resume . 

This resume format works for people targeting a job where their work history doesn’t relate directly.

Sound too good to be true, right?

Here’s the problem:

The functional resume format is the one most recruiters hate .

Consider this. Statistically speaking, recruiters spend 7 seconds scanning each resume. They don’t read resumes. They skim them for what’s most important.

In those 7 seconds, here’s what recruiters look for in particular:

A functional resume hides what the recruiters are looking for. Worse—you lose credibility if your skills don’t link to relevant job experience .

Does that mean such resumes are totally worthless? Well, not so fast.

The point of a functional resume is to help those who don’t have the relevant work experience.

It’s not about hiding your skills, it’s about showing they go beyond traditional work history. 

Here is what sets a functional resume—or skills-based resume format—apart:

And that’s what matters for some jobs. To land an interview, you need to emphasize your strongest abilities—a set of hard and soft skills .

Let’s see if the functional resume can work for you.

Who is the Functional Resume Format Good For?

In general, the functional resume is best when:

Need some specific examples? 

Here are the most common types of candidates who benefit from a functional, skills-based resume:

One critical disclaimer: a functional resume won’t work if you don’t have any work history behing your belt whatsoever. Sound like you? Switch over to this beast of a guide written by my friend Christian: No Work Experience? Here’s How to Write Your Resume

The major positive of a functional resume—it’s versatile. 

And skills do matter a lot to recruiters.

Still, functional resumes are suitable for extremely few job-seekers.

Luckily, there are other common resume structures to pick from:

Before you make your final decision, let’s compare these resume structures to see the pros and cons:

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a  professional resume template here for free .

Create the perfect resume

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Not convinced the functional resume is the best format for you? Take a look at our detailed guide: Resume Format: Samples and Templates for all Types of Resumes (10+)

Functional Resume Sample and Why It Works

Now you know the basics of a functional resume.

You understand who it’s best for.

Time for some fun—seeing a functional resume in action.

Let’s have a look at a well-written functional resume and and see why it can be so effective.

Functional Resume Format Example—Concept Artist

Janice Sather

Concept Artist

4335 Pringle Drive

Chicago, IL, 60606 USA


[email protected]



Twitter: twitter.com/jsatherconcept312

Resume Objective

Passionate concept artist with a BA in Fine Arts from Northwestern University seeking to leverage my experience as a concept art developer with Technicolor. Experienced in developing visual guides (see my portfolio) and creating project artwork for clients publishing needs. Interested in developing and creating new conceptual art forms for both digital and print designs to increase brand awareness for large companies and organizations in the tech and robotics industry.

Skills Summary




Work History

Graphic Design and Illustrator March 2018—present Jsather Concept, Chicago, IL

Freelance Conceptual Artist May 2012—September 2017 Conde Nast, Chicago, IL

BA in Fine Arts

Northwestern University,  2010

Additional Skills

Janice has talents .

And she backs up her talents with key skills.

She chose the functional resume format to highlight the different skills she has as an artist.

See her use of bullet points in the skills section? It’s easily scannable for any HR recruiter to glance through.

She may not be a seasoned candidate who worked one job in the last several years.

But—her skills show how her transition to the new role will go smoothly with all the key achievements she highlights.

Functional Resume Layout, Structure, and Writing Tips

You’ve seen the functional resume in action.

And the functional resume format is super helpful.

But—you need a bit more detail to make each section of your functional resume shine.

Look no further—this section breaks down each part of your functional resume.

Let’s start with the basic layout of sections on a functional resume:

Let’s break down each section so you know how to write a functional resume.

Start With Your Name and Job Title

Seems to be the easiest part of your functional resume, right? Well, it’s a bit more difficult than you think. 

What job title should you put if you’re a creative type or unemployed?

Or, should it be for the position you’re hoping to land?

If your skills match with the position then go with a standard title—artist, copywriter, teacher.

If you’re the one using a functional resume to switch roles or industries, don’t add a job title as it could confuse the recruiter.

Need more information on what job title to put on your functional resume? Read our guide: 450 Job Titles that Work on a Resume & Job Hunt [Current & Desired!]

List Your Contact Information

Make sure your contact information on a resume is up to date.

Do include your mobile phone number, a LinkedIn profile on your resume , and an email address.

Ensure your email looks professional.

Go With a Resume Objective

Let’s downplay the gaps in your employment with a pitch-perfect resume objective.

It gets your functional resume off on the right foot—by showing off your skills and key achievements.

Include 3-4 examples of your most relevant personal achievements. Choose achievements based on the position you’re applying to.

Convince the recruiters you’ll use your skills to benefit your future employer.

Need help writing your resume profile? Check out our in-depth guides: Resume Summary Examples (30+ Professional Summary Statements) and 50+ Resume Objective Examples: Career Objectives for All Jobs (+Tips).

Write the Perfect Skills Summary

This is the shining moment for your functional resume.

It should make the hiring manager’s brows heighten.

It should convince them your skills are more important than your work history.

Remember, the position you’re applying to has requirements. This is the section where you prove you’re capable of nailing the job role.

Follow these simple steps to get the skills section right:

Want to know more information on how to put your skills on a resume? Read our guide:  99 Key Skills for a Resume (Best List of Examples for All Types of Jobs) .

Describe Your Work Experience

Now comes the hard part.

How do you show relevant work experience when you have gaps in employment?

Follow our tips and it shouldn’t derail your application.

First, think about why you were unemployed. There are many acceptable reasons for why people are unemployed.

Were you a full-time student? Parent? Travel? Label your periods of unemployment and list why it’s the case.

Maybe you took on a lot of intermittent projects but had no stable workplace. Use years instead of months to indicate your work experience on your functional resume.

If you had a gap within the year, it still shows you had consistent work, with small breaks in-between.

When you list work history, be sure to list the dates, job title, and the name of the company for each position you held. Add the location of the company as well.

Add Your Education

The education section tells your employer you have value.

It also factors into what skills you have on your functional resume.

If you’re fresh out of school or have breaks of employment, consider adding the following:

Read up on more tips for your education section in our dedicated guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples].

Detail Your Additional Skills

Use this section to add any additional skills you have apart from the ones you listed in the skills summary section.

Only add skills to boost your chances. Here are some ideas:

Finally, remember to write a cover letter to send alongside your functional resume. Cover letters are still expected today!

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

And there you have it!

You’re now ready to write a functional resume for your specific need.

Don’t think your imperfect work history as a vulnerability.

Think about the great skills you have—and highlight it with a pitch-perfect functional resume.

Here’s everything you need to know about writing a functional resume:

Do you have any questions about writing a functional resume? Maybe you’d like to share advice on how to get everything right? Give us a shout out in the comments below. We’re always happy to help!

Bart Turczynski

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Functional Resume Example and Writing Tips

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

functional resume sample

Other Types of Resumes

When to use a functional resume, what to include in a functional resume.

Review More Resume Examples

Depending on your work history, you may want to consider using a functional resume. A  functional resume  focuses on the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for a position.  

Unlike a traditional resume, the functional resume does not highlight your chronological work history. Instead, it focuses on the skills you have developed that fit the requirements of the job for which you are applying. 

Functional resumes are ideal for people who have gaps in their employment histories or are new to a particular industry.

Functional Resume vs. Traditional Resume

A traditional resume, also known as a  chronological resume , emphasizes your work history. It includes a list of your work experiences. For each job you have held, you include the dates you worked, the job title, and the company. Most traditional resumes list work experience in reverse chronological order (with your current experience first).  

You should use a chronological resume when you have an extensive work history that is related to the job you are applying for. It is a good way to quickly show that you have related experience.

Functional and traditional resumes are not the only  resume types  to choose from. For example, if you want to both highlight your skills and include your chronological work history, consider a  combination resume .  

If you are in a creative field (such as graphic design), consider using a nontraditional resume. This kind of resume allows you to include visuals, such as graphs and infographics. This way, you can show off your design skills within the resume.

Functional resumes are ideal for people who do not have lots of work experience related to the job they are applying for. If you are switching careers, are new to the field, or have gaps in your employment, consider using a functional resume.

If you frequently change jobs, you might also consider a functional resume. This will help you avoid highlighting the fact that you have not stayed at one job for very long.

A functional resume isn't organized by position, so you'll need another organizational structure. Typically, functional resumes are organized by categories based on your skills or qualifications. Look at the job description for cues about what to emphasize here. 

A  functional resume  does not emphasize your chronological work history. Instead, it highlights your skills and abilities:

That being said, it is still a good idea to include a brief work history section in a functional resume.

Consider including a short, chronological work history section at the end of your resume.

If you have gaps in your employment or have frequently changed jobs, you can leave out your employment dates.

Functional Resume Example & Template

Read below for an example of a functional resume. This example includes a resume summary statement , which is a great way to quickly demonstrate your skills and abilities. It also includes a concise list of experience and a detailed list of skills.

While this resume includes a work history section (labeled “Employment History”), it provides only brief details about the jobs held. It also includes this information near the bottom of the resume, to avoid highlighting it.

Download the functional resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Functional Resume (Text Version)

John A. Doe 999 Main Street Ann Arbor, MI 99999 (123) 555-1234 johndoe@email.com


Experienced and versatile professional with strong urban planning as well as people, management, and research skills seeks a position in urban planning and environmental impact analysis with a major city or Fortune 500 company.



Administrative : Lead coordinator for the daily processing of thousands of checks for payment and the mailing of confidential reports, meeting strict deadlines, and avoiding late fees.

Problem Solving : Designed a waste-management program involving Recycle Ann Arbor and a major book company, intended for the efficient handling of tons of paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass, achieving net savings of $20,000 per building annually and reducing company disposal obligations.

Management:  Oversaw operations of an expanding research lab, providing expertise, commitment, and quality control during a time of significant transition.


Senior Process Engineer, September 2018-Present Zezee Corp., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Process Engineer: Technical Support, September 2014-September 2018 Zezee Corp., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Technical Professional , September 2012-September 2014 City of the Stars, Mich.

Master of Business Administration (2017); GPA 3.9 Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Okla. (Online Program)

Bachelor of Science (Emphasis: Ecosystem/Environmental Business) May 2014 Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich.

Review more professionally written resume examples for jobs, internships, gigs, volunteering, and other positions.

CareerOneStop. " Select the Best Format ." Accessed March 11, 2020.

CareerOneStop. " Resume Styles ." Accessed March 10, 2020.

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What is a Functional Resume? (+Proven Templates & Examples)

What is a functional resume, 2. functional resume template: is it a good idea to use this resume format , functional resume template, functional resume example, 3. how to write a functional resume, personal information, resume objective, skills summary, was it interesting here are similar articles.

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Functional resume format: Examples, tips, & free templates

Anna Muckerman

Choosing the right format is one of the first and most important decisions you have to make when writing a resume. This guide will discuss the nuances of the functional format and the circumstances for using it. We'll also provide you with adaptable examples and plenty of other resources to help you choose the right type of resume.

A functional resume focuses on your skills and talents. It shows the reader how you can contribute to their organizational objectives from day one. It also helps to mask any issues with your employment history which a chronological resume may expose, such as limited experience or job gaps. We will discuss the pros and cons.

This guide will help you to confirm that a functional resume is the best choice for you, by teaching you the following:

Why do many recruiters hate functional resumes? While a functional resume will be suitable for certain job seekers, as we will explore, we cannot escape the fact that recruiters dislike them. Functional resumes make it hard to understand when you accomplished specific things, there is little opportunity to understand the context of accomplishments and they automatically assume that the applicant is hiding something. If you have any career of note (3+ years) - think very carefully whether you want a recruiter to be feeling this way.

The functional resume: An introduction

The functional resume format is applicable for individuals with a great deal of education and training and/or a strong set of job-related skills. This includes new graduates or experienced workers transferring to a new industry where their skills and education will apply. It is also good for people who have worked for a limited number of organizations and whose skills are more important than the employers they have worked for.

A functional resume highlights your skills and talents and how they relate to the job you’re applying for. Often, the skills you have are the same ones described in the job posting. This type of resume is best for people working in technical or skill base professions, or who are transitioning into a new career.

Best resume format 2023 (+free examples)

There are 3 common resume formats: chronological, functional, and a combination. Here's how to choose the right one for you.

My career path hasn't been smooth. Should I hide it with a functional resume? Being open and honest about your career is the only choice. If you attempt to hide job hopping and career gaps with a functional resume, you guarantee an awkward barrage of probing questions in an interview (where you will have to tell the truth). Career gaps happen, mistakes happen and people get fired for no reason. Interviewers understand this - a bumpy career history doesn't mean that you won't do a fantastic job.

Format of a functional resume

The format of a functional resume is very specific. It is structured to enable recruiters to quickly determine your qualifications for the job and to encourage them to read the complete resume to learn more about you. An easy way to create your resume is to select a functional resume template which you can find online and simply insert your details into the appropriate sections, following the prompts provided by the functional resume template. However, you still need to know what the structure of a functional resume looks like.

The basic structure for a functional resume is:

Using the chronological resume format

The chronological resume format is the most common style used in resumes, and there are good reasons for that. See if it’s the best choice for you, and learn how to use it.

Career change is a valid reason for a functional resume format. Having said that recruiters don't like functional resumes, when you are changing careers and wish to emphasize that you have the necessary skills to do your new job, a spotlight on functional skills and competencies is exactly what you need.

Sections to include on your functional resume

The basic content you include in your resume is similar for any resume format you choose to use. However, how it is organized and how much detail you provide for each section differs depending on the type of resume you are writing. Here are the content and organization recommendations for the functional resume .

Contact information

The resume starts with your contact information. This will allow the employer to reach out to you to invite you to an interview, which is the purpose of a resume. Your contact details should include:

Each of these items could be at the top of each page of the resume so the employer will know whose resume they are reading. Your name should be slightly larger than your contact information. Your email address and LinkedIn URL can contain links which the employer can click on. Anything you can do to make it easier for the employer will help you land the interview.

Professional summary

The next item in your functional resume is a brief summary of your professional background. This enables the employer to begin to know something about you and encourages them to want to read the rest of your resume. It should be the same as your ‘elevator pitch’ or your answer to the infamous ‘Tell me about yourself’ interview question. It should summarize your skills, experience, and ability to contribute to the employer’s business objectives in 2-3 sentences.

(Adjective 1) and (adjective 2) (job title) who is passionate about (job duty) and offering (service provided by company) with efficiency and attention to detail. Excited to learn more about (field) from (company name) and be a part of achieving (goal.)

Resume summary: What it is, why it matters and how to write it

A resume summary is one of the most important components of any resume, and it’s probably the most challenging part to write.

This next section will include both ‘hard skills’ , which are directly related to the job you are applying to, and ‘soft skills’ , which are character traits. This latter category will demonstrate your ability to work well in the employer’s environment. They include things like communication, teamwork, attention to detail, and others.

When you opt for a functional resume , the skills section is the most important and you will spend more time on this section than you would in other types of resumes. The individual skills will be grouped in similar categories and described in much more detail. It may also contain examples of accomplishments related to the skills.  

Here is an example of the type of skills you could add to your own functional resume:

Similar to the skills section, the employment history or professional experience section of the resume will differ depending on the style of the resume you are using. For all formats, the basic information you include will be:

The positions is listed in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position and working backward. You should only list jobs going back for about 10 years. Anything prior to this either is no longer relevant to contemporary positions or the experience has already been described in more recent employment listings.

In the functional resume, this is all the detail you need to provide. The focus here is on your skills, which you have already described in detail.

This section details both your formal and informal training related to the job you are applying to. The formal education is listed in reverse order, starting with the most recent or highest degree attained. The information you include is:

If you have had informal education related to the jobs you’ve held or are applying to, include it in your resume. The descriptions should include:

These items should only be included if they enhance your qualifications for the job. If any education, training or certifications are listed as ‘Required’ in the job posting you are applying to, you may want to move this section to just below Skills and ahead of Experience. If you have a higher education degree, there is no need to list your high school on your resume.

How to list education on your resume

Learn about best practices for listing education on your resume, plus tips for special circumstances.

The best functional resume example

Check out our example of a great functional resume below. You can make one just like this in only a few clicks by using our easy-to-use resume builder .

functional resume example

Pros and cons of a functional resume

A functional resume poses certain advantages that can quickly help you get your career off the ground. However, it's not the right choice for everyone since the structure can be limiting in terms of work history. Let's explore the pros and cons of this type of resume.

Pros of a functional resume:

Cons of a functional resume:

Functional resume format for freshers

When you are leaving university it is unlikely that you will want your resume to focus on the various student roles that you undertook to earn some money for weekend socializing. 

The jobs in themselves are not important. It is the skills that you developed which matter.

Because it is likely that freshers will have do a whole range of casual work, the format of a functional resume allows them to pick out the specific skills that each role demands. Employers will understand the sense in avoiding a long list of roles in chronological order - they are interested in your assessment of whether you have what it takes to succeed.

What are the common mistakes found in a functional resume? The most common mistake in a functional resume is the lack of context for the skills that you listed. Every resume, no matter what the format, should be packed with quantifiable proof of your career story. By all means, put a lot of emphasis on your skills, but do not forget to outline exactly what value you have brought to previous employers.

What is a combination resume?

A functional resume is most useful in situations where you need to highlight skills and knowledge that can't be attributed directly to a previous position. But what about when you do have some experience? That's when the combination resume can be a great asset.

The combination resume takes elements of a functional format and adds a shorter work history section similar to the one found on a standard reverse chronological resume. Generally, the skills/experience section that comes from the functional resume will be placed at the top of the page and the employment history will come later. 

The combination resume is a great choice when you have some work experience to show but not enough to fully switch over to the chronological resume. It can also be a good idea to create a combination format if you work in certain creative fields where your skills are more important than previous employers. Freelancers also find this format useful because it focuses more on the services they offer while letting them highlight just a few impressive clients.

The combination (hybrid) resume is increasingly popular. A hybrid resume combines the skills focus of the functional resume with the context-laden career story of a reverse chronological resume. No employer can read too much into a one-word skills section, but a hybrid resume offers a dedicated space to explore the functional fit in more detail. 

Functional resume: Final thoughts

Most people are good at what they do for a living but find it difficult to describe it in writing. Luckily, there are many online resources available to help you design and write a resume. The key is choosing the right format for your particular situation and then filling it with the right content, written in the right way.

Once you select the format, you can either write the resume yourself or find a functional resume template you can use. These are available on the internet and make it easy to create a professional looking resume. You simply fill in your details in the appropriate section and then save or print the resume.

This tool removes unnecessary corporate jargon from your emails

Resume and Cover Letter Examples and Writing Guides

Functional Resume Example

functional resume example

Below you will find an example of functional resume for professional who is highlighting three major areas: administrative support, customer service and management.

This sample starts with summary of qualifications to put emphasis on skills in customer service, word processing, computers, accounting, data archiving, office, telephone reception and problem solving.

Rather than listing specific details, the job seeker lists responsibilities and achievements under the three main highlighted areas. The employment history is simply listed underneath the functional areas followed by education, training and other complementary sections.

Use FREE Resume Examples to Create Your Resume Online

Functional Resume Example – Sample

Functional Resume Example – Writing Tips

In most cases, you will want to use a Reverse – Chronological resume format. However, there are times when a functional resume format is more appropriate.

If you have some gaps in your employment history or you jumped around jobs then this type of resume may be more effective. As an example, you may be a graphic designer for 5 years but then took a customer service job for 2 years. Now you decide you want to target graphic design jobs, so it would be helpful to focus on the function of graphics work and downplay the customer service work.

Free Resume Builder Using Professional Examples

Another reason for using a functional resume is during a career change. In this case, you want to really focus your resume on transferable skills. If you are in customer service and changing to sales, then focus on the communication skills, relationship development, documentation.

One last reason to use a functional resume is when you have career with many jobs but your duties and responsibilities were exactly the same. So rather than repeat them in each job, you just write your functional responsibilities in a summary at the top then include a list of achievements throughout your career. This can also be beneficial if you had some really good achievements mid-career that you don’t want to bury in the experience section on page 2.

Other Functional Resumes:

Examples of Functional Resumes by SusanIreland.com

Functional Resume Samples by Career Advice – Monster

OWL Purdue Functional Resume  


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  3. Functional Resume Format: Templates and Examples

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  4. Functional Resume Template

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  5. FREE 5+ Sample Functional Resume Templates in PDF

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