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What is a Functional Resume Format: Template & Example

What is a Functional Resume Format: Template & Example

Finding out about the functional resume was quite a revelation. So another resume format exists? Heck yeah, it does! And you’re about to learn all about it in a few moments.

So you’re about to write a resume but you’ve just found out there’s more than one format.

 

What a nightmare!

 

Is it, though?

 

You can choose whichever format suits your circumstances best. How bad can that be?

 

With this article, you’ll find out more about the functional resume—the one that elevates your skill set above the competition’s.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A functional resume template better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write such a functional resume sample and land interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put experience on a functional resume.
  • And how to describe your skills on a functional style resume to get any job you want.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

Create your resume now

 

functional resume example
functional resume example

Sample resume made in our builder—See more resume templates here.

 

Grab a list of contents and jump into:

 

 

Functional Resume Template

 

Suzanne Browning

Digital Marketing Specialist

416-473-9075

suzannebrowning@email.com

linkedin.com/in/suzannebrowning

suzannebrowning.com/portfolio

 

Objective

 

Innovative digital marketer that delivers design solutions exceeding expectations. Seeking to leverage digital marketing agency and freelance experience to bring the quality that wins awards. With proven social media marketing, creativity and writing skillset.

 

Skills Summary

 

Social media marketing skills

  • Proficient marketer managing social media accounts across various platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. 
  • Drove marketing campaigns on brand awareness, winning over 5,000 shares.

 

Creativity skills

  • Excellent in designing infographics for Digital PR articles. Won features in such outlets as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Bloomberg.
  • Ideated organic campaigns for the clients to strengthen their position in the industry.

 

Writing skills

  • Able to produce well-crafted 2,000-word content per day, ranging from blog posts, newsletter campaigns, and landing pages to press releases.
  • Excelled at understanding the voice of the customer and used it in marketing campaigns to boost engagement.

 

Additional Skills

Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, Google Trends, Ahrefs, MailChimp, AdWords, Facebook Paid Ads.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Marketing

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

September 2011–June 2015

  • Major in Digital Marketing
  • Excelled in Advertising and Branding courses
  • Collaborated on the design for the website, shortlisted for the Academic Website Design Award in 2015

 

Experience

 

Social Media Manager

Freelance

September 2017–Present

 

Junior Digital Marketer

Les Digitales, Shawville, QC

August 2015–September 2017

 

What Is a Functional Resume?

 

Unlike a chronological resume, a functional resume emphasizes a candidate's skills. For this reason, it’s also known as a “skills-based” resume. It groups abilities and qualities into categories tailored to the role.

 

Who Should Use a Functional Resume?

 

The functional resume is perfect for career changers and candidates with limited relevant experience. By focusing on your skill set, you can hope to hide any gaps in your professional history and still bring out the highlights of your career.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

 

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

How to Write a Functional Resume?

 

So you’ve had a hunch that a functional resume could look different from a chronological format, and you were right!

 

Let’s transform your hunch into an informed view.

 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to write a functional resume:

 

1. Design the Functional Resume Format

 

First things first.

 

No matter which resume layout you decide to go with, you should always create proper resume formatting to begin with. That way, you’ll ensure your resume doesn’t spill the contents outside set frames. And ATS will read it successfully.

 

Follow these resume formatting rules to guide you:

 

  • Set the margins to 1-inch on all sides and 1–1.15 line spacing. Create additional space between the sections headings and the content.
  • Align the text to the left.
  • Pick Calibri, Garamond, or Helvetica for the best reading experience. And set the font size between 10 and 12 points.
  • Use bullet points to enter information.
  • Stick to a one-page resume.

 

To make the most out of the functional resume, you’ve got to create the correct sections in the right order and give them the real estate they deserve. 

 

So—

 

2. Start With Contact Information

 

Add your contact information for recruiters at the very top of your resume in the heading. Include: 

 

  • your name
  • phone number
  • email address

If you’re applying for a job requiring portfolios or examples of your work, add links to your website, too.

 

(The following deserves a separate paragraph, so:)

 

A professional email username and domain are a must. Don’t use your high school or SPAM handle that goes tallsarah@amore.com. It’s a downright no-go.

 

3. Write Your Objective

 

You’re about to change careers and there’s one if not a couple of reasons why behind it. Your employer wants to know what those reasons are and why they specifically are included in this plan.

 

To deliver, there’s a section called a resume objective. Fill it out with:

 

  • Strong adjective describing yourself
  • Job title or degree you graduated recently with
  • Position and company you’re after
  • Number of relevant skills
  • The problem you want to solve for the company.

 

Write all that in two to three sentences, tops, not to bore the reader to death and just be concise.

 

Here’s an example of a resume objective in a functional resume:

 

Objective

Innovative digital marketer that delivers design solutions exceeding expectations. Seeking to leverage digital marketing agency and freelance experience to bring the quality that wins awards. With proven social media marketing, creativity and writing skillset.

 

4. Move On to the Skills Summary

 

You shouldn’t expect a simple skills list as in a traditional resume.

 

Nope. 

 

Writing the skills summary section in a functional resume format involves grouping the skills into primary categories and giving proof in bullet points with achievement statements. 

 

It seems like no piece of cake, but it really is easy. 

 

First, scrutinize the job description looking for keywords related to the skills you need for the job. 

 

Then, think of both soft and hard skills you’ve displayed throughout your academic and professional career and match them with the keywords you want to target. You’ll always hit the bull's eye with in-demand skills, but forget not about the transferable skills. They’re the ones that give you an advantage if you’re at the start of your career or changing paths.

 

Lastly, name three to five skill categories and follow them with several bullet points. They should describe the results that the skills have brought you. 

 

Why don’t I show you how to write a skills summary with an example:

 

Skills Summary

 

Social media marketing skills

 

  • Proficient marketer managing social media accounts across various platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. 
  • Drove marketing campaigns on brand awareness, winning over 5,000 shares.

 

Creativity skills

 

  • Excellent in designing infographics for Digital PR articles. Won features in such outlets as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Bloomberg.
  • Ideated organic campaigns for the clients to strengthen their position in the industry.

 

Writing skills

 

  • Able to produce well-crafted 2,000-word content per day, ranging from blog posts, newsletter campaigns, and landing pages to press releases.
  • Excelled at understanding the voice of the customer and used it in marketing campaigns to boost engagement.

 

5. Include Your Educational Background

 

Don’t lose precious room for your qualities and skills, and keep this section brief:

 

  • If you have some experience, list only the highest level of education.
  • If you don’t have experience, add more to it. Mention academic achievements, such as a high GPA, acting as a student council president, or graduating with honours.

 

Unless your education is in any way relevant to the position, e.g., having graduated with a bachelor’s in commerce and applying for a job in sales, then don’t dwell on it. 

 

Check how to write an education section for a functional resume:

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Marketing

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

September 2011–June 2015

  • Major in Digital Marketing
  • Excelled in Advertising and Branding courses
  • Collaborated on the design for the website, shortlisted for the Academic Website Design Award in 2015

 

6. Describe Your Professional Experience

 

Your work experience won’t be the a-ha moment this time, too.

 

List only your titles, employers, and dates of employment in chronological order.

 

That’s it.

 

See the following example of a professional experience section in a functional resume:

 

Experience

 

Social Media Manager

Freelance

September 2017–Present

 

Junior Digital Marketer

Les Digitales, Shawville, QC

August 2015–September 2017

 

7. List Other Strong Points

 

The functional resume is all about the qualifications and how skilled you are. So, what can give you more credibility than a sleek certifications and licences section?

 

There are actually several additional sections you can include in your application that add value:

 

  • Certifications
  • Licences
  • Awards
  • Foreign languages
  • Attended conferences
  • Publications.

 

Beware, though! Don’t bring up an SEO-magazine guest publication if you decide to go for a role in finance. You must stay relevant at all times.

 

Now that all the sections are ready, it’s time to match your functional resume with a gripping cover letter. .

 

A great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

Take these home:

 

  • The functional resume focuses on your skill set and qualifications instead of experience.
  • Functional resumes should be used by career changers and entry-level or junior candidates who lack experience.
  • The most impactful section is the skill summary that includes main skill categories and your accomplishments involving the skill in question.

 

Thank you for reading my article!

 

Please tell us—

 

What is your opinion on functional resumes? Do you believe they’re as helpful in finding a job as chronological formats are? Which is easier to write?

 

Give us a shout in the comments! Let’s get the conversation rolling.

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Katarzyna Furman
Katarzyna is an empathetic career expert dedicated to encouraging growth in job hunters through building perfect resumes, CVs, and cover letters. At Zety, she gives her Certified Professional Resume Writer advice to make you realize you have a successful track record that only needs to see the daylight.

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