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Typically, resumes are chronological. They list all the jobs one has done, from most recent to oldest. For each job, the list of duties and achievements is summarized.

A functional resume takes a different approach. The resume focuses on grouping all like activities or achievements together into categories, such as Sales, Project Management, or Team Leading. The Employment section is simply a list of job titles with dates and employers.

Here are some of the reasons you may want consider a functional resume:

  1. You have had multiple jobs with similar job duties. A chronological resume would be repetitive.
  2. You want to emphasize specific skill sets. This is especially useful when applying to positions that select candidates on strict criteria such as many government agencies.
  3. You have one employer for many, many years. Progress and growth in individual skills, or key achievements can be showcased.
  4. You want to move from one industry to another. Creating categories with terms used by the new industry will help employers see you are a fit, such as using “Training” instead of “Teaching”, or “Results Oriented” instead of “Project Driven”.
  5. You want a shorter resume. At best, a resume should be two pages. One page is often more effective for certain industry. In either case, a functional a resume is focused and direct, listing key categories of duties and achievements.

Creating a resume is a skill. If you want to put your energies into the things you do best, consider hiring a career coach to help you refine your resume, whether chronological or functional, for your next job search. Contact CareerFirsts for a free appointment.

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