16 years of expertise writing resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and providing interview career coaching to help clients land the perfect position.

Why Functional Resumes Should Be Avoided

functional resumesIf you are about to create your resume, you may have searched through the thousands of templates that are available and realized that there are two distinct types of resume formats. They are the chronological resume (which is most widely used) and the functional resume. Functional resumes summarize your successes at the top in a bulleted list, and then follow it with a brief work history. Here’s why functional resumes should be avoided.

When writing a resume, the idea of the functional resume may seem like a good option to you. If you have large gaps between positions or there are points you’d like to omit, like titles or length of time spent at each company, you may think that the functional resume will help cover up this information and, instead, bring attention to your skills and knowledge base. This strategy tends to be a poor idea, however.

A functional resume is meant to display only functional skills and eliminate all references to previous employment history. The reasons behind this layout were that it would bring more attention to a candidate’s functional and transferable skills and knowledge base without bringing attention to employment gaps or irrelevant work experience.

It Doesn’t Hide as Much as You’d Think

I must warn you, however, that no employer will be fooled by this. Omitting this important information from your resume will only serve to bring more attention to its absence. Employers will be immediately suspicious about your omission. This will cause them to dispose of your resume before you have a chance to defend your choices.

Also, functional resumes can be detrimental due to the fact that they are confusing to recruiters. The average recruiter spends 15 seconds scanning a resume; therefore, you don’t want your 15 seconds being spent with a recruiter getting frustrated over trying to make sense of your resume. Recruiters definitely will prefer a resume that is straightforward and in a familiar format. Recruiters want to see a resume that visually separates each position and highlights accomplishments instead of bunching everything together.

Use a Combination Format

In order to explain employment gaps or career changing, include as much information as possible in a combination formatted resume. This way the hiring committee won’t reach their own conclusions about them. Include categories that are specific to your functional skills, while explaining employment gaps. State things like “left company to raise my children” or “left to return to university”.

Remember that the more transparent you appear in your resume, the better. You will not fool a recruiter if you are trying to hide something. They will notice what is missing and not bother to offer you an interview. Instead, it is a much better strategy to not be ashamed of any points in your history; show your future employer that you embrace all of your past achievements and have nothing to hide. This honesty will pay off in job interviews.

 

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