Types of resumes and how they can work to strengthen your application

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We all know the standard resume format: contact details, employment experience, educational experience. But this resume works best for the ‘standard’ job seeker – someone with experience in their chosen industry and with the right qualifications behind them. What if your past doesn’t fit the mould?

A new type of resume for a more flexible type of applicant

Introducing the functional resume. It’s the perfect solution for people who think they may not look as impressive when using the standard ‘experience and education in chronological order’ template. A functional resume shows employers that you are qualified for a job, even if you may not appear to be at first glance.

What is a functional resume?

This type of resume focuses on your skills and accomplishments, rather than specific roles you’ve held in the past. In a lot of ways, it’s the modern approach to work: these days, people are less impressed by the fact that you’ve previously been able to complete a specific list of tasks and are more interested in whether you have broader but arguably more important skills. More and more, position descriptions call for stakeholder management, organisational skills, and the ability to work autonomously. All of these can be honed and developed across a wide range of industries and roles. By highlighting that you have these skills, and showing how you have demonstrated them in previous positions, you can prove that you are qualified for a role even if you haven’t worked in that specific field or industry before.

Why a functional resume?

Maybe you have gaps in your employment history that you’re self-conscious about. There are plenty of reasons why someone might take a few years off work, from having kids to taking time off to travel to dealing with problems in their personal life. Or maybe you’re changing careers and moving into a whole new industry where you don’t have any direct experience. Or you might just be starting out and don’t have extensive work history to draw on.

Unfortunately, when an employer runs their eye down a list of work experience and notices gaps in dates, company names they know aren’t connected to their field, or a lack of experience altogether, they may reject your application outright.

But when you use a functional resume, you have the opportunity to highlight your accomplishments without tying them to previous roles. If nothing else, it could get you in the door for an interview, where you can explain why you think you’re the best fit over other applicants with more relevant work experience. 

Want help creating your own functional resume? Get in touch and let’s work on it together.

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