Functional Resume: When to Use It, Template, Free Download for 2020

functional resume

A functional resume presents relevant work accomplishments and skills as a way of telling the hiring manager or potential employer that the job candidate is a good fit for the role. This is different from a chronological resume (or reverse chronological resume format) since the resume is 2/3rd skills or accomplishments and only 1/3rd previous work history or experience.

The functional resume format is best for the job seeker who is applying for academic roles, science roles, and other positions where your accolades and accomplishments are going to measure your ability more than your work history. For example, the job title of a professor. If you’re tenured, you may only have one previous work experience. But many publications, certificates, and academic accolades that speak to your abilities as a professor.

The two other scenarios where a functional format is necessary is when entering the workforce after taking time off or when seeking a career change. For example, after taking time off, you may have a strong employment gap on the resume. This means you don’t have significant experience to share on your resume. But do have a key skill, specific skill, technical skill, or relevant skill that you know the employer will value for the role.

Before you start writing, be sure you’ve chosen the right format for your job application. The other potential formats would be a traditional resume (chronological format), a hybrid resume (or combination resume), or a functional resume.

Functional Format

As a job seeker, you should be wary of this resume style as it is really only applicable to a select few types of jobs in the job search process. If you aren’t sure whether or not the job you’re applying for requires functional resumes for the application, you can ask the recruiter or ask a resume writer about your circumstances (employment gaps, career change, or specific job title requirements).

Functional Resume Sample

Below is a functional resume example and explanation.

functional resume examples

free resume format template

Resume Template Download

Download this functional resume template. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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