Resumes come in all shapes and sizes and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to what format you should use. A chronological resume is the most commonly used format but it isn’t your only option. If you are just out of college with limited experience in your field or you are looking to make a transition into a new career you may want to consider a format known as the functional resume. A functional resume features your skills first before cataloging your education and experience. Here is a basic template to crafting a functional resume to showcase your skills.
- Objective. Many recruiters advise against using an objective at all. They can easily be misdirected at jobs that don’t appear to have any association with your stated objective. However, in a functional resume format it may be important to express your intentions clearly for the resume reviewer. Write a simple one or two sentence objective that outlines the type of work you desire.
- Accomplishments. Next, rather than launching directly into your job history as most resumes would, spend some time summarizing your accomplishments. Use bullets to draw the eye to each new thought. Be as specific as possible when describing what you’ve done in your career. If you’ve saved money for your department include the dollar amount. If you used your skills to implement a procedural change, describe the situation before and after.
- Skills and capabilities. You want to showcase what you bring to the table. If you can, focus on individual skills that are sought after in this industry and that your competition may not possess. This gives you a chance to share the types of skills you learned while in college or transferable skills that can relate to a new career path.
- Employment history. Of course, each resume should show the hiring manager what you have done in your previous jobs. With a functional resume you’ve already pulled out your accomplishments and skills so you can now focus on just the facts. Use bullets to list the company name, your job title, and dates of employment.
- Education. Finally, you want to round your resume out with your education. You may wish to list your undergraduate work as well as any advanced degrees that you obtained. You will also want to share any specialized certifications or additional classwork especially if they are related directly to the type of job you are seeking.
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