Functional Resume Tips

What you should know before you start.

There are many choices when it comes to selecting a resume format. The functional resume was designed place the focus directly on your skills and experience by showcasing them in major skill categories.

The functional resume offers some great advantages if you have ever had different career changes or several jobs as showcases your skills vs. highlighting your work history.

Ask any two resume writers and they will probably have a different opinion on what exactly the functional resume format should contain but we'll offer some functional resume tips based on the standard format.

The basic standard for the functional resume format is that your skills and experience are grouped into skill categories that let your reader know where your strengths are from all of your work experience. Your educational information should also be included.

Some writers include the employment history on a functional resume format. Other resume writers consider that more of a combination resume format and you can search the web and view the differences to see which one you prefer.

If you are considering creating your resume using this format, here are some functional resume tips that can help make your resume stand out from the crowd.

1. Summary Of Qualifications

Our first functional resume tips is for you to consider using a summary of qualifications instead of the bland resume objective that doesn't offer much to you potential employer. Why? Because a summary of qualifications will allow you to create a powerful first impression right off the bat for your reader.

A summary of qualifications contains usually 2-3 sentences describing your skills and experience. Here's an example from a resume I recent created for one of my clients.


SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS: Over five years of sales, customer service, and management experience. Skilled in project coordination, time management and the ability to work with a team to achieve department objectives. Proficient in several computer software programs including MS Office.


2. Resume Power Sentences

Once you have your summary of qualifications for your functional resume format, you will want to showcase your skills grouped together in a few skill categories. These skill categories should be major areas where you have work experience and/or accomplishments in. Examples include major areas such as marketing, management, sales, communication, administration and so on.

Underneath each skill category you will want to place several bullet points that relate to that category. These are what I refer to as resume power sentences. They are not just simple sentences that describe what you have done at your jobs. Instead, they are action statements that really make your resume pop!

The formula is pretty simple.

  1. Select a resume action word (usually a verb) such as "facilitated" or "organized" to begin your sentence.

  2. Place your skill or work experience after the resume action word. Let's say you led training groups at your company to train them on new office procedures. Then you could use the following, "Facilitated training groups to provide information on new office procedures."

  3. Finally place a "result" at the end of your power sentence. What you are saying here is basically what happened as a result of your skill or experience? If we use the sentence above regarding training, a result might have been that the office productivity was increased. So end your resume power sentence with that result. "Facilitated training groups to provide information on new office procedures resulting in increased productivity.

Here is what that resume power sentence might look like on a resume if that person selected "management" as one of their skill categories.



Once you've created several power sentences for each skill category, you can simply fill them in on your resume and it will start taking shape fast!


3. White Space Is Good

One last functional resume tip. When creating your resume, remember to keep plenty of white space (empty space) on your resume so that it looks appealing to the reader. Many people make the mistake of cramming too much information on their resume to fit it onto one single page.

Most of the resumes I write are two pages in length for that very reason. You want you resume to flow as if they are reading a book. Having adequate spacing between your skill categories as well as your margins will help your resume look sharp and create a strong first impression.

Functional resumes can be very effective in showcasing a person's skills and experience to a potential employer who is looking to fill a position.



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