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The Proper Resume Format: Chronological vs. Functional Resume

A lot of people make the same mistake of thinking that resumes’ purpose is to get them jobs. In reality, resumes open and close doors for the job seekers. Which means resumes’ true purpose is to make an employer interested enough to invite you in for a job interview.

But how do you create that interest in hiring manager when you don’t exactly fit that mold? Jus as everything in life comes in different sizes & shapes, so do resumes. Therefore, selecting the correct resume format is very important in the quest for landing the dream job. Here is a short overview of when you should use a functional resume over a conventional chronological resume format.

“The reason functional resume work well…is that many of us have acquired skills while working that are very transferable.”

Chronological Resume vs. Functional Resume

What is Chronological Resume?

This seems to be the most popular resume format used by job seekers. This type of resume usually contains a career objective or professional/career summary statement followed by a chronological listing (from most recent to the earliest) of all your work experiences along with related accomplishments. Then the educational information is included along with certifications & special skills.

This type of resume may be fine for individuals with experience and applying for jobs in the same industry leveraging that experience. But if you are willing to switch careers from one industry to another or just entering the workforce as the fresh graduate from university, this type of resume will not help you getting the hiring managers’ attention and probably wind up in the “no” pile. So, how do you showcase your talents if you can’t lay them out like everyone else is doing?

What is Functional Resume?

If you are one of those job seekers mentioned above, you should take your time to develop a strong functional resume. Functional resumes highlight your abilities, such as hiring, managing or coaching, instead of your chronological work history. Although, you would still need to summarize your work history. But this is usually done at the bottom of your resume. Don’t worry! By the time the reader has gotten to that section, he is convinced on bringing you in for an interview.

Here is a sample for a Functional Resume.

Who Should Use a Functional Resume?

A functional resume is particularly useful for the people who:

  • Have gaps in their work history.
  • Are re-entering the workforce or entering for the first time.
  • Have frequently changed jobs in their career.
  • Are looking to transition into new careers.
  • Don’t exactly fit the requirements of what recruiters are looking for in the positions they want.

The reason functional resume work well with these group of people or in these situations is that many of us have acquired skills while working that are very transferable. For example, if you have worked as a retail sales or branch manager, chances are very high that you were responsible for hiring, training, coaching, evaluating and handling employee relations issues.

If you want to submit this information in a chronological resume, there’s a good chance a hiring manager (or conventional job portal system) might skip right by you, because you did not hold a title of human resources manager in the past, even though 50 percent of your daily job was spent dealing with HR-related issues.

In conclusion, it all comes down to how you package yourself as a candidate for the position. You will give employers the same information, but only in a new and improved package that suits you the best. This is bound to get you more interviews, which will increase your chances of landing the job you want.

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AKCEED is an online employment solution for people seeking jobs and the employers who need great talent, providing behind-the-scenes look at job opportunities and original career advice & resources for career growth.

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