The resumes I write are reverse chronological. What does that mean? I start with the client’s most recent experience and work backward for 10 to 15 years. This gives the reader a clear understanding of the client’s most recent employment and the value they bring to the position.
What’s a functional resume?
The functional resume was created to help a person who has a less than perfect career history with gaps or times when they were out of the workforce. Typically, you highlight skills without relating them to the specific job. It makes it very difficult for the human resource manager to believe you or double-check the information.
I can’t remember if I ever wrote a functional resume even in my early days. But I run into someone every once in awhile that tells me they were told to write them. And even worse than that is when they were told to write one page and send the same resume for every job even when the fields are as diverse as banking versus manufacturing.
Don’t get career advice from people who are not career experts
I hate it when people get the wrong advice from outside the career industry and are baffled why their job search isn’t working. Professional resume writers are constantly talking to others in the field to make sure that their strategies are sound. I belong to three professional career industry organizations and review resume writing standards all the time.
A functional resume creates red flags for employers!
This is assuming a human eye reads it. The Applicant Tracking Systems are looking for a career history on the resume. They can’t follow the logic in a functional resume.
Don’t believe me because you were told it was a good idea? Consider this:
A functionally formatted resume lists experience in skills clusters. A truly functional resume omits dates and may not even list specific jobs and employers. As you might imagine, hiring decision-makers especially loathe the purely functional resume for its omission of this key employer and date information.
This quote is from Katherine Hansen, Ph.D. in an article called The Demise of the Functional Resume. That same article also says this:
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.
You are sabotaging your job search by using ineffective strategies in an attempt to disguise problem in your work history. Instead work harder at injecting true value into your resume. Think harder about what you did in each position and tell the story in your resume. Or hire an expert who understands what employers look for in resumes and can teach you more effective ways to search for your next job.