Functional Resume Examples and Writing Tips

Functional resume
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Depending on your work history, you may want to consider using a functional resume. A functional resume focuses on the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for a position. Unlike a traditional resume, the functional resume does not highlight your chronological work history. Instead, it focuses on the skills you have developed that fit the requirements of the job for which you are applying. These kinds of resumes are ideal for people who have gaps in their employment histories or are new to a particular industry.

Functional Resume vs. Traditional Resume

A traditional resume, also known as a chronological resume, emphasizes your work history. It includes a list of your work experience. For each job you have held, you include the dates you worked, the job title, and the company. Most traditional resumes list work experience in reverse chronological order (with your current experience first).

You should use a chronological resume when you have extensive work history that is related to the job you are applying for. It is a good way to quickly show that you have related experience.

On the other hand, a functional resume does not emphasize your chronological work history. Instead, it highlights your skills and abilities. Typically, your skills are organized by theme (for example, “Customer Service” and “Oral Communication”). Under each theme, you provide specific examples of projects, tasks, and assignments you have completed that show you have those skills.

That being said, it is still a good idea to include a brief work history section in a functional resume. Consider including a short, chronological work history section at the end of your resume. If you have gaps in your employment, or frequently changed jobs, you can leave out your employment dates.

Other Types of Resumes

Functional and traditional resumes are not the only resume types to choose from. For example, if you want to both highlight your skills and include your chronological work history, consider a combination resume.

If you are in a creative position (such as graphic design), consider using a nontraditional resume. This kind of resume allows you to include visuals, such as graphs and infographics. This way, you can show off your design skills within the resume.

When to Use a Functional Resume

Functional resumes are ideal for people who do not have lots of work experience related to the job they are applying for. If you are switching careers, are new to the field, or have gaps in your employment, consider a functional resume.

Also, if you frequently change jobs, you might also consider a functional resume. This helps you avoid highlighting the fact that you have not stayed at one job for very long.

Tips for Writing a Functional Resume 

As you can see from the sample above, including a summary provides recruiters and interviewers with a sense of your skills and talents even before they delve into the details. 

A functional resume isn't organized by position, so you'll need another organizational structure. This can be categories based on your skills or qualifications. Look to the job description for cues about what to emphasize here. 

Functional Resume Example

Read below for an example of a functional resume. This example includes a resume summary statement, which is a great way to quickly demonstrate your skills and abilities. It also includes a concise list of experience, and a detailed list of skills.

While this resume includes a work history section (labeled “Experience”), it does not include the dates of employment. It also includes this information at the bottom of the resume, to avoid highlighting it.

John A. Doe
4120 Chevy Trail
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48111-9626
(111) 555-111


Experienced and versatile professional with strong systems planning, people, and research skills, with the ability to:

  • Direct transportation planning & programs
  • Manage programs and people
  • Anticipate & project for organizational change
  • Design & develop cost-saving systems
  • Administer office operations


Government guidelines ~ Environmental impact mitigation research
Urban planning ~ Geology/hydrology ~ Site evaluations
Computer software tools ~ Scientific/business/grant writing ~ Quality control


Administrative - Lead coordinator for the daily processing of thousands of checks for payment and the mailing of confidential reports, meeting strict deadlines, and avoiding late fees.

Problem Solving - Designed a waste management program involving Recycle Ann Arbor and a major book company, intended for the efficient handling of tons of paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass, achieving net savings of $20,000 per building annually and reducing company disposal obligations.

Management - Oversaw operations of an expanding research lab, providing expertise, commitment, and quality control during a time of significant transition.

Organizational - Consolidated community awareness information into an effective and easy-to-use pocket guide for Bicycling in Ann Arbor, distributing them throughout the area to promote bicycle safety and ridership.

Cost Awareness - Verified the accuracy of office processes and expenses, eliminating overbilling and cultivating an attitude of quality control among staff.

Creative - Make transportation program literature, maps, and correspondences to politicians and agencies, employing innate abilities and formal training, resulting in program recognition and 20% increase in product use.


Shepherd's Watch
Design and Research Consultant: Design, lay out, and assist in marketing sundials and assorted wearable and garden timepieces for a specialty company.

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Member: Collaborate with other alternative transportation people to better develop pedestrian and bicycle-friendly communities.

Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition Advocate: Advocate bicycle and pedestrian use, rights, and responsibilities.

Ann Arbor Bicycle Coordinating Committee Member: Guide bicycle program, road projects, parking, and facilities to include and encourage bicycle and alternative transportation.

City of Ann Arbor
Research Assistant I: Managed a large and growing science lab, overseeing legal compliance, as well as database and administrative duties.

Functional Resume Example With a Summary

The following is an example of a functional resume for a process management position.


Bachelor of Science, 19XX
Major: Biology - Ecosystem/Environmental
Business and Fine Arts Concentrations

Functional Resume Example

Karol Miner
336 W. Chugalug Way, Sentinel, WY 33666
c: 444-222-4339 e:

Process manager with communication and analytical skills. History of success influencing organizational growth and bottom line profitability.

Research Information and Analyze Options

  • Researched and purchased better heat exchanger that alleviated our heat-loading problem. Saved company 4-6 hours of downtime per 8-hour shift and improved product yield at extruder.
  • Purchased and refurbished used gearbox as spare. Saved 12 days downtime and eliminated risk involved to rebuild critical pieces of equipment. During emergency rebuild we are now down 2 days rather than 2 weeks.

Manage People and Projects

  • Successfully led refurbishment campaign on all 3 extruder gearboxes. Pro-active rebuild of gearboxes puts downtime at 2 days rather than 2 weeks.
  • Reallocated resources during 2-week annual shutdown so that no downtime was encountered and all projects finished on time.

Extrapolate Essential Data

  • Proved that product quality issue was not due to equipment processing parameters. Product design team discovered fault in their print test methods.
  • Evaluated trends of realtime data on AFG grinder. Proactive identification of problem prevented coarse particle contamination. 

Utilize Subject Matter Expertise to Influence Management Decisions

  • Determined capital project would need to be undertaken proactively to avoid having to use our business resumption plan in the event of failure. Company will save about 1 million dollars.
  • Created viable process for extrusion, during new product development, with no start-up difficulties.

Effective Communication Throughout the Organization

  • Implemented safety-related information to senior staff, peers, and subordinates.
  • Frequently requested to explain processing issues involving extruder and batching processes.
  • Provided technical information to senior management as well as operational information to the process operators and managers on the floor.

Senior Process Engineer / Technical Support, 20XX – Present
Zezee Corporation

Process Engineer / Technical Support, 20XX – 20XX
Zezee Corporation

Technical Professional, 19XX – 20XX
Halogen Energy Services

MBA with Financial Emphasis, expected graduation date 20XX
Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK

  • Courses: Organizational Communication, The Economic Environment, Management of Organizational Behavior, Accounting & Finance Environment, Marketing Management, Human Resource Management and Administration, Legal Environment of Management, Ethics & Management from a Christian Perspective, Strategic Management, Management Seminar – Entrepreneurship, Managerial Accounting

BS Chemical Engineering, 19XX
University of Missouri, Rolla, Rolla, MO

Professional Development

Xerox – Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt    
Xerox Corporation                                                      

ISO 9001:2000 – Internal Audits for Organizational Success                                           
Paradigms, Inc.                                    

Confined Space Entry Rescue
Fire Service Training, Oklahoma State University