If you’ve decided that you want to create a functional resume for your career qualifications, you need a good tutorial on how to go about just that. Here are the basic steps that someone creating a functional resume should take to make sure that their resume is a success at getting them the job interview.

What is a Functional Resume?

Before you begin creating a functional resume, you may want a better idea of just what a functional resume is, what purpose it offers, and what kind of candidate it serves best. Basically, the functional or skills based resume is one that highlights the skills and achievements of the candidate, instead of the actual chronological employment history of the applicant. The functional resume format is the best choice for someone who has a lot of skill sets and achievements to offer a company to which they are applying, and a somewhat disjunctive or inconsistent employment history.
What is an inconsistent career history? Basically, one in which a person may have had many short lived positions, or one that has a number of unrelated jobs, or one that has a period or two of unemployment. While employment history will be a part of any resume format; the career history is hugely underscored in a functional format; so as to emphasize what the applicant does have to offer: skills and achievements and examples of these.

How to Create a Functional Resume?

There are a number of steps involved with creating a functional resume that showcases your best career strengths and value, and downplays the weaknesses in your application for a job. We offer these steps below:

1.Contact Information

Just like with any career resume, you must begin your functional resume with one of the most important parts: the contact information. This will offer the employer or hiring manager a reference if how to get a hold of you, if they are interested in your qualifications. Include your full name, your mailing address, your phone, and your email address-as you would in any standard resume.


Next, include an objective if you would like-which is a 1-2 sentence statement about what your career goals are and how you hope you achieve them.

3.Skill and Achievements

While, in many resumes, the skills and achievements section exists as well-in a functional resume, you must highlight this area of expertise by including it first and also, expanding upon it. There are two basic ways that people using functional resumes will address their skills:

a.As a box

Create a box that shows five impressive skills on one side and five impressive skills on the other in a formatted box that you have inserted for this purpose. This should be stellar skills and achievements that you want to grab the employer’s attention right off the bat, and should not be ordinary skills and achievements. One good way to approach this is by giving them exactly the skills that they requested in their job posting in this box, but expanded upon with a specific experience of achievement in your career life.

b.In sub categories

Another way to create a skills section that is successful is to list the skill sets you have in sub categories, and list bullet points below which showcase times when you proved these skills and achievements. So, the sub categories would be something like “Communications Skills”, initiated with an underline, and the bullet points underneath would show a time in which your great communication skills brought about positive results.


Another aspect of the resume that many people using a functional resume format include to make their resume more powerful is by including a section entitled summary which is like an objective, should come first, and gives a summary of the best achievements, experience, and skills listed in the resume below it. It should be no longer than a paragraph of 3-4 sentences, and is worth considering, as many employers appreciate it for its convenience.


Though the main purpose of using a functional resume format is to underscore your employment history, employers do want to see that you have been employed in a brief review of your employment history. In the case of a functional resume, you may include the past five years of your employment, and list it in a list manner. Include the employer, the dates employed, and your position title-with no extra details.


The next section in a functional resume is that of your professional education, which should be addressed in the same way you would in a standard resume. Include education from most recent to least, and if you have higher education to offer-do not include high school details. In each statement about your education include the following details: name of school, dates attended, degree obtained, city/state of school, and any special related achievements such as a high GPA or the like. Also include any related coursework that you have taken with bullet points or in a paragraph form.
Here is a working example of what a functional resume, if created correctly, should look like:

John Thomas

678 West Side Street
c: 999-999-9999 e: [email]


Seeking a retail management career that utilizes my high level communication skills, 10 years experience as a manager, and excellent training in operational and administrative excellence.


Management and Leadership

Successfully led team of more than 30 for a fully functional big box department store.
Mentored, trained, and hired staff to the highest standards in maintaining the store’s profit goals and the customers’ satisfaction.

Customer Service

•Ensured the utmost in customer satisfaction by on the floor monitoring and troubleshooting of all customer comments and complaints.
•Evaluated the market trends through research as well as in store review to determine what products and services would best serve the customer.

Operational and Administrative Excellence

•Organized store team to maintain high standards of cleanliness and operational standards of the store.
•Implemented strategic scheduling so that all aspects of scheduling, financial management and all administrative functions of a business were upheld.
•Maintained a high standard of safety for customers and staff by thorough and regular training meetings.


Store Manager

, 2006 – Present
Great Clothes Inc.

Store Manager

, 2000 – 2006
Styles R Us

Co Manager/Lead Visual Manager

1995 – 2000
J&J Clothing


B.S. Business Administration

, 1991-1995
University of Wisconsin, WI