If you are new to the workforce or your work history is incredibly diverse, creating a resume can be a daunting task. You might not know how to best showcase that you have the right skill set for a role, particularly if you don’t have much-related experience.
Luckily, there’s no need to fret. By choosing the right resume format, you can highlight why you are a great candidate and stand out from other job seekers. If you are wondering which format you should use, here’s what you need to know.
The Resume Format That Can Set You Apart
Most resumes are reverse-chronological. The work experience section begins by covering the person’s current (or most recent) role and then moves backward through their career.
If you have prior experience in jobs that relate to your target position, the reverse-chronological approach is usually best. But, if your work history is more diverse or you don’t have much experience in the workforce, it isn’t ideal.
With a functional resume, the focus is on your skills, not your past jobs. As a result, highlighting why you are a great candidate may be easier for anyone whose work history isn’t a good demonstration of their relevant capabilities.
How to Use the Functional Resume Format
Writing a functional resume isn’t challenging. You need to make sure you use the right format.
Begin with your contact information, as that should always be front and center. After that, create a brief professional summary. Here, you have a chance to make a connection with the hiring manager by creating an introduction that makes them interested in learning more about what you have to offer.
Next, instead of discussing your work history, create an “Areas of Expertise” section. Create headings based on skill categories that relate to the role you want to land. Then, highlight your relevant accomplishments or capabilities, using bullet points to make each statement stand out.
After that section, you’ll discuss your work history. You can keep this reasonably brief, listing only your position titles, basic employer details, and your dates of employment. Follow that up with an education section, and you are finished.
Should Everyone Use a Functional Resume to Stand Out?
While the functional resume format can be ideal for candidates with limited work experience, a diverse work history, or who are trying to pivot into a new industry or field, it isn’t the best choice for everyone. Usually, if you have past jobs that closely align with the target role, the reverse-chronological resume is a better option, even if it’s the same format most job seekers will use.
However, a combination approach can also work well for candidates with relevant experience. With this format, you add a brief skills section between the professional summary and work history, listing only the most pertinent handful of skills as bullet points. Then, you dive into more detail in the work experience area, just as you would with a reverse chronological resume.
Ultimately, a functional resume can be a solid alternative to the traditional approach if you don’t have much (or any) closely related experience. If you’d like to learn more, the staff at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us today and see how our resume writing knowledge can benefit you. If you’re searching for a new Upstate NY job, click here!