When designing your resume, you'll want to spend some time deciding
on the format which presents your background most favorably.
Functional resumes visually emphasize the positions you've held. These
resumes arrange work experience, and sometimes campus or community
activities, in descending order of importance based on your
In general, functional resumes organize work experience according to
position titles or functions (i.e.systems analyst, special events
coordinator, probation officer). Each function is then described using
action statements detailing responsibilities held, duties performed, and
If you're thinking about using a functional resume, consider the
- A functional resume is appropriate if . . .
- you're interested in emphasizing positions and accomplishments
rather than job time spans, skills, and employers.
- your background fits one of the following three categories.
- You've had impressive job titles and duties.
- You can't list work experience in chronological order without
- You've held a variety of jobs or assignments not directly
related to your intended career but have performed functions
directly related to your career objective.
- A functional resume is inappropriate if . . .
- you've had little paid or volunteer experience since this
approach depends on actual job titles for its effectiveness.
Sample Functional Resumes
Although the following sample resumes are for specific jobs and
reflect specific experience, consider looking at them all for a wider
range of ideas and strategies.
- management information systems position sought; recent college
- position in mass communications sought; no objective, which is
appropriate for this discipline
- entry-level position in production supervision sought; unusually
good work experience and lots of honors
- position in finance department in industry sought; showing
multiple schools for education with lots of unrelated but good
- position in building construction and contracting sought; showing
projects completed and relevant work experience
- academic position sought; resume includes publications,
presentations, and a category listing significant academic projects
Sample Functional Resume