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Another Resume Option - A Functional Resume

The functional resume, also called the "skill" resume, is a type of resume that highlights what you can do, instead of the timeline of places you have worked. Rather than show the employer "when I did what", the functional format should highlight the applicant's skills and potential, and show "what I can do".

Although it may sound logical for an employer to want an applicant with extensive experience, it is surprising to find that many employers prefer the functional resume. The thinking behind this is that just because someone has been working for a long time, you can't automatically expect him or her to be an ideal candidate for the job that's open.

However, there is one problem. For every employer that prefers skill over experience, there is another who prefers experience over potential. This leads us to the main weakness of the functional resume. Some employers see the lack of a timeline based work history as an indication that the candidate is less reliable and credible.

So how to do you decide when to use this type of resume? Generally, if you are applying for a job in the same field, especially if you have been moving up the chain, stick with the traditional chronological resume. It's what many employers expect and emphasizes your time in the field.

If you are changing fields, a functional resume may do a better job of showing what skills you are transferring into the new field. For candidates without a long career, or with work experience not related to the job position in question, then such kind of resume is a good choice to utilize. Even if you choose to write a CV, it still may be a good idea to include a brief work history so that potential employers who are not comfortable with these resumes can learn a little about your background.

Another category of job seekers that may benefit from a functional resume is students or new workers with little job experience. If you are new to the job market and don't have much practical work experience in any field, a chronological resume can look a little pathetic. Using this kind of resume can help an employer learn what your strengths are and where you have potential. The functional resume allows others with large gaps in their work experience, such as stay-at-home mothers, to minimize those gaps and to focus on their skills.

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