The resume is the essential part of the application, and there is no space to tell superfluous stories. Instead, facts, data, knowledge, and arguments advertise yourself. Ideally, these will jump straight into the HR manager’s eye and match the requirements profile formulated for the respective position.

In addition to the classic tabular resume, the functional resume is also enjoying increasing popularity in the USA. Its structure combines the applicant’s functions, knowledge, skills, and successes to provide the recruiter with a complete profile. The HR manager or employer has quick access to school or professional information necessary for the job being offered. In comparison with the tabular resume, the year figures play a subordinate role. The focus is on the applicant’s knowledge and skills.

What is a functional resume?

The tabular resume describes a person’s career without gaps. An essential feature is the chronological structure of the applicant’s stations. The period of employment is stated for each station. The HR manager can easily and quickly understand the applicant’s career.

The functional resume is very similar to the standard resume. However, it focuses on the applicant’s skills and competencies; the time reference is irrelevant. The content of skills is grouped into thematic blocks. In this way, the same or similar activities can be combined even if you have worked in different companies. The professional stations are not shown separately, as is usual with the tabular resume. The time aspect plays a subordinate role and can even be completely neglected. Examples of subject blocks are “practical experience,” “language skills,” or “experience in sales.”

As the functional resume focuses on your skills and knowledge, the relationship between your skills and job requirements becomes even more important. As a result, the functional resume has to be compiled anew for each application. The skills must be developed from the job description, which is then incorporated into the resume.

What does the functional resume look like?

There are no strict, formal requirements for the design of the functional resume. Instead, you are asked to find a meaningful compilation with emphasis on clarity.

For example, you can use the tabular resume as a guide. In the left-hand column, which produces the temporal reference, you use the subject area’s name, i.e., generally for naming capability. Several skills can also be listed in bullet points. The right column describes in detail how, where and through which tasks you acquired the skills. You can name your previous employers, optionally with the employment times – but you don’t have to. Depending on the scope, you will focus on professional success.

As an alternative to the tabular presentation, it is possible with sub-headings to work. Your skills can be presented in more detail, such as “Experience in software development”. The description is then often given in bullet point form – possibly also with bullet points.

What are the advantages of the functional resume?

Many advantages result from the lack of the time component. Time gaps in the applicant’s career are not noticeable as periods of unemployment are not mentioned. Due to the grouping of activities, frequent job changes are also not noticed. Even non-topic activities can be bridged effortlessly. Even if your last job is not related to the new position’s content, this is no longer a problem.

This makes the functional resume ideal for career changers with a broken resume who have thematic leaps in their professional development.

By focusing on essential skills, verifiable qualifications take a back seat. So you can apply for positions for which you have the appropriate skills but lack professional experience.

There are also advantages for applicants who have only worked for one company for a long time. After all, you can go into much more detail about the skills you have learned. In the tabular resume, occupational stations are often only described in more detail with three activities.