University at Albany

Functional Resume

This style can often be effective for certain job seekers. It focuses more on your accomplishments and skills as opposed to where you have been employed.  

Some individuals who may benefit from a Functional Resume

  • Career Changers
  • College students without much work experience, but strong skill sets gained through various volunteer and on-campus activities
  • Individuals with gaps in their employment history
  • Individuals trying not to appear overqualified who want to minimize some of their job titles.

Please note: While functional resumes can be very effective for certain individuals, they sometimes raise red flags with recruiters and hiring managers as they are often viewed as trying to hide previous work history or lack of experience.

Information that may be included on a functional resume.  See samples.

  • Objective – This is used in the functional format and draws the reader into learning more about the applicant. A strong objective statement that gives a quick peek into the background and experience of the individual.  
  • Summary of Qualifications – 4-6 statements that identify and support your key strengths, skills and qualifications as they pertain to the position.
  • Skill Sets that you possess and pertain to the career (Name the groups by skill or function) e.g., Leadership, Project Management, Budget Management, or Customer Service. Remember to support each section with 3-5 statements that support this skill. These statements reflect your experience and accomplishments in that function.  
  • Employment History - This section includes your job title as well as the organization and address, but does not give a real in-depth look into the work done at the position.
  • Education – Similar to chronological, but usually at the end of the resume.
  • Other sections you may choose to include: Technical and language Skills, Certifications, and Training. It depends on how relevant they are and if these skills or certifications support your case for both the organization and the position.

No matter which format you use, always try to read your resume as though you were on the hiring side. As you review, think to yourself; "Is this an individual who catches your attention and you want to invite in to interview."