Functional Resume Format: Examples and Tips
A functional resume – also known as the skills-based resume – highlights your skills and training and can be a good fit if you’re applying for specific jobs. Read on to learn more about the functional style resume and how you can apply our functional resume examples to create a best-in-class resume in our Resume Builder.
What is a functional resume?
A functional resume is a resume format that focuses on highlighting skills and qualifications instead of work experience. Your abilities are grouped under various skill sections, such as “Summary of Qualifications” and “Professional Skills,” where you explain what it is you can do. The goal of a functional style resume is to show the employer that you have the skills to get the job done, even if you lack work experience.
Some claim that employers aren’t enamored with skills-based resumes or can even have trouble scanning them. It’s important to note that a functional resume is an incredibly useful and valid way to present your qualifications if you’re a switching careers.
How to write a functional resume
A resume summary is your chance to explain why you’re the best person for the job. Highlight your best skills and expertise in a few sentences, matching your abilities to what the employer is looking for. If you don’t have much work experience, are changing careers or applying for a goal-oriented job, you might want to consider using a resume objective in your skills-based resume instead.
Summary of Qualifications
Like the functional resume sample above, give examples of how you’ve used your top skills. Think beyond standard full-time jobs — if you excelled in an internship, a volunteer position, a personal project or an extracurricular activity, they’re all worthy of being mentioned. For example, if you’re applying for an accountant position, you can include details on a volunteer job you helped manage finances.
Follow this example of a skills-based resume and group your skills under major categories that address what the job needs. For example, if you’re applying for a web development position, you could create a “Software” category where you list all the programs you’re proficient with.
The work history section of a functional resume looks a little different. List companies you’ve previously worked for, your job title and employment dates. Your major achievements at these jobs (and the skills you’ve used in reaching these accomplishments) should be featured in your summary of qualifications and professional skills sections.
In your skills-based resume certifications, advanced courses or training that can contribute to success on the job (e.g., project management certification for a product manager position).
Functional resume examples
Use these functional format resume examples for popular jobs as a foundation for your resume or visit our resume examples page for hundreds more job and industry-specific examples. We also have dozens of resume templates, from professional resume templates to creative and modern, as well as free downloadables you can use to create your skills-based resume.
Functional resume example for babysitter
Like in this skills-based resume sample, list any activities or volunteer work you’ve participated in that displays your ability to monitor and take care of children, as well as a mix of intangible skills (such as patience and flexibility) and practical skills (First Aid and CPR).
Functional resume example for bartender
While drink mixing skills are valuable, make sure your functional style resume also lists skills related to working with and supervising teams, managing supplies and inventory, and keeping dining areas clean and organized.
Functional resume example for cashier
List activities or part-time work where you’ve had to display a good customer-service attitude in your functional resume and include practical skills that can help you excel, such as basic math or familiarity with payment apps.
Functional resume example for cook
Stress abilities that show you can thrive in fast-paced work environments (such as teamwork or efficiency), as well as any cooking specialties you have. If applicable, make sure your skills-based resume includes all recognition you’ve received for your cooking (e.g., participating in cooking contests).
Functional resume example for customer service representative
In this functional resume sample, the job seeker makes a compelling case by presenting past activities that utilize valuable skills for a customer service role. The candidate also points out important soft skills that make up for the lack of professional experience.
Functional resume example for graphic designer
Feature key software you’re proficient with, such as Adobe Photoshop and consider adding a “Portfolio” section where you can list top examples of work you’ve done. You should also include a link to your portfolio site. If you’re writing a functional resume for a career change, include a good mixture of soft skills like organization and time management and explain how you’ve used your creativity to create designs.
Functional resume example for maintenance technician
List your vocational training as part of your education section, with the title “Education and Training,” and highlight specific skills and knowledge you’ve gained through training in your skills-based resume.
Functional resume example for medical assistant
Select one of our functional resume templates to focus on communication skills, empathy and other intangible qualifications that are necessary for working with patients, as well as specific medical training and certifications.
Functional resume example for restaurant server
This example of a skill-based resume highlights summer jobs and volunteer work that shows the candidate already has plenty of solid experience, even if it’s not full-time employment. As with the other example, soft skills that relate to customer satisfaction come to the fore.
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Functional resume format FAQ
Who should use the functional resume format?
Use the functional resume format if you are applying for your first job, have gaps in your employment history, or plan to change careers because it highlights your skills and education over your work history.
How should I display my skills in a functional resume format?
We recommend listing your related skills in a functional resume because it helps employers see your most relevant qualifications. It’s acceptable to create headings such as “Soft Skills,” “Programming Skills,” or “Leadership” in your resume template. You might consider grouping your skill set by theme, such as “Technical Skills,” “Customer Service Qualifications,” or “Leadership Credentials.”
How do you write a functional resume?
To write a professional resume in the functional format, start with your contact information, followed by a strong professional statement to outline why you’re the best applicant for the job. After that, focus on your relevant hard, soft and transferable skills. One way to do so is to create a section highlighting your most relevant skills for the job with descriptions of how you used them. Then, add another to call out specific skills. Review the functional resume example on this page for guidance and browse our library of sample resumes for more functional resume examples.
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