Functional Resume Is a Risky Choice


Top Notch Executive Resumes Hiring decision-makers surveyed for the book, Top Notch Executive Resumes identified this as one of their Top 30 Executive Resume Pet Peeves: Resume is in a functional format or otherwise lacks dates. Employers do not like functional formats or even chrono-functional because they want to see dates and get a clear picture of how your career has progressed. “I ignore resumes that do not include dates,” said Miriam Torres, president of HRStaff Consulting, an executive-search firm in Miami Beach, FL. In fact, decision-makers will often read your resume from the bottom up to see how your career has developed. “I need to tell hiring managers where you worked, when you worked there and what you did under each job, recruiter Alice Hanson said. “If you are old or haven’t worked in a year, a resume isn’t going to hide that. I’ll figure it out, be sure of that or I’m not worth my salt. Functional resumes undersell. I assume there is something wrong when I see them.” At Hanson’s recruiting firm, resumes are reformatted into a standard company style before candidates are presented to employers. “When I go to format the candidate’s resume into our chronological company resume template, functional resumes are pure hell,” she said. “Creating a chronological resume from a functional resume takes time, and time is not what recruiters have much of.” While some job-seekers have successfully used functional formats to de-emphasize problematic elements of their careers, recruiters tend to discount this “de-emphasis” as an attempt to hide something. A functional resume might not completely exclude you, but given a choice, recruiters will always gravitate to chronological resumes. “I haven’t found a time when a chronological resume doesn’t make sense,” said Kristina Creed, a senior manager at a for-profit education provider.
See all 30 peeves: executive resume peeves 1-10 in Part 1, executive resume peeves 11-20 in Part 2 and executive resume peeves 21-30 in Part 3.