Another type of resume you might consider using is the functional/skills resume. Instead of listing your job history in chronological order, this type of resume if organized according to your skills. It’s the perfect resume if: 

* You’re changing careers
* A chronological resume doesn’t indicate all of your skills and accomplishments
* You’re returning to the workplace after many years for any number of reasons
  (raising families, military service, etc.)
* People just entering the workforce (ie. students graduating college) 

According to authors John Brereton and Margaret Mansfield, “A functional resume will highlight your abilities, not necessarily how well you climbed the corporate ladder. However, many employers are suspicious of functional resumes, thinking that people using them may have something to hide. Avoid this problem by confronting it head on in the Overview/Objective section of the resume:

‘New Psychology B.A. with experience in counseling and student relations seeks personnel position. Pre-college experience includes 10 years as a successful administrative assistant at a Fortune 500 company.'” 

Or, explain your career change and/or return to the workforce in your cover letter:

“Ten years of engine repair in the Air Force showed me I was best at working with people, so I enrolled in courses in training and instructional design.”

Unlike a chronological resume, where you list your most recent position first, a functional/skills resume lists the skills/experience you have as opposed to going into specific details about each job you’ve held. I’ve included a sample functional/skills resume at the bottom of this post, but in general, this resume should include: 

* Overview/Objective
* Experience (Skills)
* Brief Employment History
* Education/Training
* Any Other Pertinent Information

To see a sample of a functional/skills resume, click on the resume below:



  1. jamiek says:

    Great post – I used a functional resume when I was moving on from a job that I had had for 10 years and wanted to move ‘sideways’ from one career into another. These resumes really help you to pull apart your job skills and spread one job across many parts of the resume. Plus they’re a good exercise in seeing what you really know how to do!

  2. Bartolomea says:

    Nice work! Ill have to do a cross post on this one 😉

  3. Liza says:

    After reading through this article, I feel that I need more information on the topic. Can you share some resources ?

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