Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Functional Resume: Definition, Examples & How To Create

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

Functional resumes are among the most popular types of resumes because they help employees focus on showcasing their top skills.

These resumes are ideal for those who may not have much work experience and want to display knowledge instead of workplace history.

Deciding what to include on a resume is challenging, but a functional resume may help introduce yourself to employers.

Consider using a functional resume to highlight your best skills and show why you’re the best person for the role.

What Is a Functional Resume?

A functional resume is a resume that showcases how well an employee can function in a specific role.

This resume type has an outline that forgoes the chronological order of work and educational experience to instead focus on how well you perform in a position.

Functional resumes highlight sales numbers, specific abilities, and performance in a role.

How Is a Functional Resume Different?

A functional resume is different because it won’t have a list of chronological educational and work history as its focal point.

Instead, a functional resume may highlight abilities an employee needs to have to succeed in the desired role.

For example, a functional resume may list desired qualities and include statistics to help focus on personality, character, and capability.

Functional Resume vs Chronological Resume

A functional resume may still list some work and educational history, but these lists are not the center point of the resume like they are for a chronological resume.

Instead, a functional resume seeks to help the employer understand who the employee is and what they can offer the company.

Chronological resumes will try to showcase these traits by listing previous work and educational experience as they occurred.

Functional Resume vs Combination Resume

A functional resume can borrow aspects from a combination resume, which takes aspects of different resume styles to fashion something new.

However, a functional resume is easy to identify and will likely not have much pomp and flare.

Combination resumes are easy to spot since they borrow multiple aspects of other resume styles. Functional resumes remain straightforward.

Why Do People Use Functional Resumes?

People may opt for a functional resume for a wide range of reasons. For example, some people may want to change their career field or industry and need to showcase their abilities instead of any work history.

This resume style can be essential for people who don’t have much experience in a relevant field.

Changing Careers

Consider using a functional resume if you want a career change. Not every position will be the same and require the same capabilities or aspects as the one you currently have.

However, some skills and functions may carry over and make you a candidate worth investing in.

Highlight Skills

A functional resume can highlight your skills and show your capability in a role. A functional resume will focus on how you handle obstacles and deal with problems in your positions, meaning you can use this resume style to show all the skills you’ve acquired in other positions or industries.

Changing Industries

Changing the industry you work in can be challenging, especially since you may lack specific knowledge to get a position. However, a functional resume can show you know enough of the required skills to be successful.

In some cases, a functional resume can land you an interview where you can express your desire to learn the things you don’t know about the position.

Who Should Use a Functional Resume?

Anyone looking to diversify their experiences or change their workplace should use a functional resume.

For example, someone who has spent years working in freelance industries, such as writing, arts, or photography, may choose a functional resume to help them land a salaried position.

Why Do Potential Employers Like Functional Resumes?

Functional resumes get straight to the point and help show what you’re capable instead of looking at the kids of positions you’ve worked in the past.

Within 30 seconds of looking at a functional resume, an employer should know what you’re best at. These aspects of the resume make it a good choice to help land you in the interview pile.

What Should Be Included In a Functional Resume?

A functional resume should include all of your skills and interests.

For example, if you have hospitality or guest service experience, your functional resume should outline these soft skills along with the hard skills you know. Highlight any proficiency or expertise you have in any field applicable to the position you want.

Contact Information

Your resume should always have accurate contact information. You likely won’t need to add your physical address, especially with remote positions and work-from-home roles becoming more common.

However, you’ll need to include an email address, phone number, and name.


Always list your most proficient skills on your resume. These skills should be related to the position in some way.

Evaluate the skills you have that can make you a better candidate for the position. Some of the best skills include proficiency in computer languages, HTML, graphic design, copywriting, and customer service skills.

Work Experience

Your functional resume should have your work history listed somewhere. However, this experience should not be the focal point of the resume.

Consider adding a small list of positions previously held and periods when you worked there. This list can be small and showcase the most relevant positions to the role you want.


Your education should be listed on your functional resume, including any in-progress degrees or certifications. Your educational history doesn’t need to be expanded on and can remain as simple as you want.

How To Create A Functional Resume

Creating a functional resume can be challenging, but many resume templates can make building this type of resume simple. Ensure you fill out each section as thoroughly as possible to ensure you showcase all the reasons you are an ideal candidate.

Use a Functional Resume Maker

Start making your functional resume by looking for a functional resume maker. Plenty of resume makers are on the internet, although it can be hard to find a template for a functional resume since it’s a less common resume.

Start With a Functional Resume Template

Start building your functional resume using a template. You can find a template online using graphic design tools like Canva. Consider looking over the sections you need to fill out to decide if a functional resume is right for you.

Functional Resume Template On Microsoft Word

Browse the available functional resume templates on Microsoft Word to get started. This program is among the most popular places to get started with a resume and includes plenty of modifiable templates that can be perfect for you.

Functional Resume Template Free Download

Some templates can be found online. However, ensure your resume doesn’t have a watermark when you download it. Your functional resume shouldn’t have any advertisements or watermarks on it that will distract your employer from your accolades.

Wrapping Up

Functional resumes are among the most useful resumes because they offer a resume outline that can humanize the employee and make the employer see how useful they can be. You may be able to appeal to an employer’s need for soft and people skills by using a functional resume.

Use resume templates to help you list all the things that make you a functional and useful member of the company and a clear choice for the position.

Leave a Comment

Back to all Posts

Explore More within MyJobSearch

My Job Search
Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.
post explore
post explore

Explore Resumes

Browse our templates to find one that matches your personality.