Functional and Other Resume Formats

Read this chapter to learn more about functional résumé and curriculum vitae (CV) formats. It offers several categories for the functional format, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership, which you can use to emphasize your skills and accomplishments in an impactful way. If you are applying for an academic or research-oriented position, you may want to use a CV format, which is considerably longer than a traditional résumé and includes published material and conference information.

Other Résumé Formats, Including Functional Résumés

Functional Résumés

This chapter thus far has reviewed a résumé that follows a chronological format. Another format to consider is a functional résumé, which highlights the skills you have developed more than the individual jobs you have held.

Functional résumés can be different from what most recruiters will review, so it is best to proceed with care. This includes consulting a career services office and consulting a professional résumé writer.

It is important to note that throughout the many, many years that individuals have been drafting résumés, recruiters have expected to see a chronological résumé with certain sections: employment, education, and additional information. In most cases, it is best to give recruiters what they expect: a chronological résumé.

With that understood, functional résumés can be used for college students and experienced candidates for the following reasons:

  • Individuals may want to highlight their skills and achievements rather than the companies for which they worked.
  • College students who do not have a strong work experience history can use a functional résumé to give them a chance to include other achievements, honors, and abilities in a very pronounced way.
  • Experienced individuals can deemphasize gaps in employment because recruiters often notice gaps and then want those gaps explained.
  • Experienced individuals can also deemphasize career mobility and emphasize skills and achievements.

Here are some categories you may want to consider when drafting a functional résumé:

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Honors and special achievements
  • Athletic involvement and achievements
  • Volunteer experiences

Figure 1 Sample Functional Résumé 1

Sample Functional Résumé 1

Figure 2 Sample Functional Résumé 2

Sample Functional Résumé 2

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Some people interchange the word résumé with curriculum vitae (CV), which is incorrect because they are different items. A CV is mostly used internationally, particularly for research-oriented positions. A CV is often longer and more detailed than a résumé. In some cases, CVs are six to eight pages long and include published material and conference information if the person presented information to colleagues. A CV may or may not include biographical information, including marital status and nationality (this is typically the case with international students studying in the United States).

With this said, a résumé is the appropriate document when seeking any nonacademic or nonclinical position in the United States. If you are interested in working overseas, use research to familiarize yourself with an employer's expectation regarding résumés, CVs, and additional information.

Key Takeaways

  • Functional résumés are not what most recruiters expect, but they have certain advantages that can help your candidacy.
  • Functional résumés highlight specific strengths rather than the name of the company for which you worked.
  • CVs are very different from résumés because CVs, which often are used for research-oriented positions, can sometimes be six to eight pages in length.

Creative Commons License This text was adapted by Saylor Academy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensor.

Last modified: Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 12:12 PM