Cover Letter / December 23, 2018 / Gina Pennington
Not all of us have that strong work history displaying a clear career path. For many reasons including the unavailability of the right job many of us have taken a job outside of what would be considered a normal career path. If this applies to you then you may be more interested in the next format. Functional Resume The functional resume places a heavy emphasis on skills and abilities. If you have a very strong skill-set however you lack a solid work history you may want to consider the functional format. By drawing the employers attention to your strong set of relevant skills your lack of a solid work history becomes of secondary importance. Did you notice I said relevant skills? By relevant I mean of course those skills that directly apply to the job position the employer is trying to fill.
Here are some cases where a functional resume is best: When youre new to the workforce or coming back after a long absence When you have large or many gaps in your work history When youve worked for only 1 or 2 companies over many years When you want to make a career change When youve been in the workforce for many years and you want to de-emphasize your age Youve worked at a number of different unrelated jobs. Tips for using this resume format. Highlight your most relevant assets for each job youre seeking up front in the resume in their general order of importance. If you dont have much formal work experience then list any skills or experience that can translate into such including volunteer work and internships. Be honest though; dont make stuff up.
Each entry MUST be followed up with verifiable evidence that you indeed have practical knowledge and application of the stated skill. So ... how do you know which resume format to use? This ultimately depends on the job you are applying for previous work history and skills. A simple rule of thumb is if the job you are applying for is similar to other jobs you have had in the past you can use the "professional" format. If the job your applying for is not similar to other jobs you have had in the past you may want to use the "skills" format. Regardless of which you ultimately end up using writing a draft of your resume in each helps you focus on results and skills that future employers are looking for. Previously I never really thought much about resume formats but one day I realized having periods of unemployment on my resume may be costing me interview opportunities. To take the focus off of these gaps in my employment history I wanted to design my resume so the focus is on the skills I have and how I have applied them successfully in my career. I found out there was a functional resume format which does just what I was looking for. I am certainly not the only one out there who is frustrated with standard formats for resumes and feels as though these do not work well for them. Many of these people get discouraged when they review their own resumes and wind up not applying for jobs they really want just because they feel their resume is not strong enough. I was one of these people and routinely avoided applying for certain jobs because I was not happy with my resume but then I learned different formats could really improve my resume.