Job seekers with only one job in their employment history will find their résumé looking rather sparse if they use the common chronological résumé format. However, this is where the functional résumé format can really shine. Rather than offering up a listing of your one and only job, a functional résumé will let you highlight the other qualities that make you a valuable hire instead.
A functional résumé is designed to highlight your skills and accomplishments. While you may only have experience at one job, you have probably acquired many different skills from that experience that you will now be able to list in detail. Skills obtained from other places such as extracurricular college activities, volunteer work and even hobbies can be included on this type of résumé as well.
Carefully consider all your areas of expertise when developing your functional résumé. Go through a typical work week at your previous job and make note of all the tasks you performed. Answering a multiline telephone and assisting customers with problems demonstrates both organization and customer service skills. Regular reports and presentations you worked on helped hone your skills with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Even performing standard retail transactions goes to show your skills with money handling and POS systems.
Don’t neglect your evening and weekend activities here, either. If you serve on your child’s PTA, you may have excellent skills with organizing events, working with large groups and communicating with both parents and children. Editing a neighborhood newsletter requires excellent grammar and proofreading skills. Hours spend remodeling your house through a series of DIY projects probably taught you a lot about plumbing, woodwork and other aspects of home improvement.
Tailoring Your Résumé
As you put together your functional résumé, carefully consider the needs of the company that you’ll be sending it to. Don’t develop a single catch-all résumé to send to everyone. Instead, tailor each one to highlight the most relevant skills. Your prize-winning begonias may be relevant to a position as an editor for a gardening magazine, while a cooking publication with a similar job won’t be as interested in this particular skill. If you’ve raised six kids, a day care center may love to have your years of hands-on experience, while an office won’t see as much talent in this accomplishment.
Though you only have one job to list, this piece of information shouldn’t be completely neglected on your résumé. Simply list the job information near the bottom, beneath your detailed skills listings. A job title, company name, address and dates worked are sufficient for the section. You should also list your education, certifications, licensures and other relevant training in a separate section. These pieces of information will help complete the package that is your valuable qualification for the job in question.
- Monster; Breaking Tradition with a Functional Resume; Karen Hofferber
- “Knock 'em Dead Resumes”; Martin Yate; 2010
- “No-Nonsense Resumes”; Wendy S. Enelow, et al.; 2006
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