Functional Resume: Ultimate Writing Guide to Be Really Noticed

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Those who are wondering what is a functional resume already know that it is a less commonly used format. Functional resume definition is simple and easy to grasp: it is a non-chronological resume structure that foregrounds an applicant’s skills rather than focuses on the order of one’s work experience. Functional resume format doesn’t rely on job titles and the amount of time you held a position but allows you to list your key competence, skills, and your accomplishments. 

Here you can find the relevant information about this format and tips on writing a functional resume that would help you to change your career.

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Difference between Functional Resume and Traditional Resume

The main difference between chronological vs functional resume is the structure and emphasis on your work history. Traditional resume always includes a list of your work experiences, job and company titles, and your professional timeline. The traditional chronological resume is a safe choice when you have an extensive work history, and you apply for a particular position related to your previous qualification. 

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All functional resume examples display a similar structure of starting with your career objectives, core skills, and experiences. It is arguably one of the most logical ways to approach a job search.

Any career advice expert would suggest trying different resume formats according to your job search goals. Your future position and how you want to approach the application process may impact your final choice of creating an appropriate resume for recruiters. 

Who needs a Functional Resume

Many would ask when is a functional resume advantageous? It is perfect for job seekers who have gaps in their experience. A career change functional resume format is another reason for its usage. It is especially relevant when you don’t have enough previous experience but all key skills for the position you want. 

The functional format resume is also useful for recently graduated specialists who possess all relevant knowledge but may lack actual job experience. It is normal to enter the job marketplace having less experience than one would expect, and any experience counts; you have to focus on your key competencies and skills. 

You also can have relevant accomplishments that are connected to less traditional job positions. Whether you worked part-time or had a volunteer position, your skills are valuable.

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What to Include in a Functional Resume

Don’t worry about how to make a functional resume, as it includes easy steps to follow and even easier ways to create it within minutes. A perfect entry-level functional resume has:

  • Key skills organized by theme; (for instance, Human Resource Management; Complaint Resolution; Quality Assurance;). 
  • Each theme should have a specific example of tasks, assignments, and competencies completed. They should support your claim of having those skills.

At the same time, keep in mind how to successfully deal with an applicant tracking system (ATS). You always have to check your resume for a compatible file type, include bullet points, position-relevant keywords, and put relevant information elsewhere in the header and footer. The functional resume format may be the best choice to beat ATS system filters and get your resume to the hiring manager.

Related: CV vs. Resume: What is the Difference? 

Functional Resume Example

Here you can see a functional resume example commonly used for most job applications. The example should include a summary of your skills and abilities, and experience. A functional resume also includes employment history, but it is a brief recount of the jobs you had. 

Also, remember that ATS bots can toss your application aside if it won’t include position-related keywords or lack concrete structure. The core idea of this resume format is to be as precise and detailed as possible. But you also might consider it as a brief “straight-to-the-point” option for your career boost. A functional resume builder is a convenient option to make your application look clean and neat. 

Double-check your contact information and position keywords if you want to get more interviews.

Administrative assistant functional resume example

Joan Doe

000 Main Street 

Richmond, VA 

(123) 456-7890


Experienced and goal-oriented professional with advanced management and organization skills in the HR area, seeks a position of administrative assistant in a major NGO or tech company with the possibility of relocation. 


  • Management of all HR activities and processes; 
  • Ensurance of consistency of regulations and procedures; 
  • Assistance with soliciting and coordinating budget; 
  • Keeping up-to-date work unit files; 
  • Processing of invoices and payments;


  • Proficiency in all relevant software;
  • Professional formal writing;
  • Accounting; 
  • Interpersonal communication skills;
  • Problem solving;
  • Planning and scheduling;

Administrative: coordination of daily HR activity processes according to the standard procedures. The initiation, processing, and monitoring of job classification reviews, training, performance appraisals as well as ensuring regulations and procedures.

Human Resource Management: Timely submission and processing of recruitment requests by using appropriate software. Organization and review of charts, staffing tables, and internal database to provide monthly reports and updating vacancies status.  

Problem-Solving: Timely and relevant response to internal inquiries as well as information and advice assistance to staff according to all relevant procedures, processes, and practices. Experience with effective communication with multicultural teams and resolving  requests.

Budget and Finances: assistance with goods and services requisition and insurance of requests prior to Executive Office approval.

General Administration: preparation of formal documents and insurance of processes to the official requests. Tracking of invoices and payments.


Administrative Assistant, September 2018-Present

Name of the company, Location

Team Assistant, September 2015-September 2018

Name of the company, Location

Team Assistant, September 2014-September 2015

Name of the company, Location


  • Master of Accounting (2013);
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (2010);
  • Trainings if applicable

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Key Takeaway

Without a doubt, as an applicant, you want to invest in your career. And knowing the possibilities to create a cover letter and the best resume is one of the options to increase your chances of employment. To create a perfect resume, you have to know your skills and advantages, focusing on what you can offer to the company. Even though writing a functional resume may seem hard, especially if you never did it, it opens new possibilities for you.

The key conclusion is not to be afraid to look for functional resume templates or get professional help. The key to success is to practice writing different formats of CV and always have one in your pocket when you see the offer of your dream.

Please refer to Skillhub articles if you need more details about top career tests.