Answers to Common Questions About

Functional Resumes


After my post “Chronological vs. Functional Resumes“, I’ve received a few questions – and I know it can be puzzling to figure out which resume format works best for YOUR unique work history, and most importantly – current job goals!  

So this post is for you, dear readers, hope it helps!

Resume puzzle concept
Resume puzzle concept

How is it different from a chronological resume?

A chronological resume is what most people think of, listing their work history in reverse time order including job title, company name & location and dates, then listing the skills, experiences and accomplishments of each job directly under each job title.

A functional resume divides your skills, experiences and accomplishments into separately listed skill sets that not attached to each job listings; it shows what you can do and have done, but not where and when.

When should a functional resume be used?

A functional resume is best used when:

  • Ÿyou want to highlight skills and experiences that are from jobs or experiences before your most recent 2 or 3 employers
  • Ÿyou want to highlight transferable skills from one industry into a new field
  • Ÿyou want to highlight skills and experiences that you have but would not be noticeable enough in a chronological format
  • Ÿyou have had many jobs with extremely similar skills and experiences that would be very repetitive in a chronological format (this will save space and make reading your resume more clear, easy, and appealing)
  • Ÿsomeone has a spotty work history or large gap in employment to combine short term jobs and briefly fill in gaps.

Doesn’t a functional resume give employers the impression that I’m hiding something?


No.  Your work history is clearly listed the same as a chronological resume, but the difference is that your skills stand out and are listed first.  Your work history is listed very simple and straightforward in the section following your skills and experiences.  Functional resumes are becoming more popular and therefore more common in our dynamic working world where the average employee will change jobs and/or careers 4-5 times in her/his working life, and have many more jobs on average than in generations past.  It condenses information in these instances.