Functional Resume Example and Effective Writing Tips

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Recently heard of a functional resume but don’t know what it is, and when to use it? Or maybe you have been off the workforce for some time and looking for an effective resume format to use? The functional resume is an absolutely ideal choice resume format that can help you land a job even after you have been away from the workspace for some time.

There are basically three most commonly used resume formats; the chronologically, functional or skills-based, and also hybrid or combination resume format. But these resume formats have been proven to be effective in certain situations.

The functional resume format has proven to be the go-to resume when you are just starting your career or even after you have taken a long break off the workforce.

Want to know everything about a functional resume; what it is, when to use it, the writing guide and also functional resume example? In the next few minutes, I will be providing you all the details you need to know.

What is a functional resume?

A functional resume also referred to as skills-based resume is a resume that emphasizes majorly on skills and experiences rather than your traditional work history.

The main purpose of a functional resume is to draw more attention on your transferrable skills rather than a reverse-chronological overview of your work history.

Although functional resume still remains one of the most used resume format, employers don’t like it when candidate make use of it. They kind of find it difficult to believe in a candidate’s abilities without sufficient work history to show for.

Yet, the point of the functional resume is to help you when you don’t have relevant work history to showcase. It’s about showing that your skills go beyond your work history since you have a gap in your work history.

When to Use a Functional Resume

Generally, a functional resume shouldn’t be your idea choice resume in every situation. But it can be an effective resume to use when you fall under any of the category listed below.

  • When there is a big employment gap in your work history.
  • When you are an entry-level candidate
  • When you are a fresh graduate
  • When you recently changed career
  • When you have been away from work for some years.

If you don’t fall under any of the above category, you can either go for; a chronological resume format when you have enough industry related work experience to showcase in your work history section, or a hybrid format that is a combination of functional and chronological resume format.

Functional Resume Writing Tips

Want to customize an effective functional resume? Below are the effective tips to take to craft the functional resume that lands job.

1. Include contact information

In this section, you are to include your name, phone number, email address, and street address (optional). It is not compulsory for you to include your street address on the resume if you have personal reasons not to. Besides, recruiters can easily contact you via your phone or email address.

Your name should be the largest thing on the resume. And you should also pick a perfect font that will set your name apart from other piece of information on your resume.

Additionally, if you have LinkedIn profile, portfolio, and personal website that can be relevant to the job you are applying, you can also include it in this section. This will enable the recruiter to have multi options she can use to reach you.

2. Add a summary

Next after the contact information, the summary section is the best option to go with when writing your functional resume.

The resume summary gives the hiring manager insight into your professional background. It allows you to summarize your key relevant skills, achievements, and experiences that makes you a prominent candidate for the job you are applying.

Your summary should not be more than 2 sentences long.

3. Add skills section

Your skills section is one of the most valuable sections in your functional resume.  Unlike the chronological resume format where work history is of higher precedence, the skills section is of higher precedence in a functional resume.

Go through the job description of the job you are applying to get key skills required for the job. Include 3 – 4 of the key skills. And in each of the skills, highlight your accomplishments with the skills; including metrics to boost the employer’s confident in your abilities as the perfect candidate for the job.

4. List your professional work experience

Even though you have gaps in your employment history, your experience section is still a valuable section to include in your functional resume. And when they are relevant to the job you are applying, it can help boost the employer’s trust in you.

So far you are writing a functional resume, your work history section will be shorter when compared to the work history section in a chronological resume. You can list the name of the company and the job title you held. The date of your employment is not mandatory; you can leave it blank or only include the year only. If you have any key accomplishment in the role, you can also include it.

5. Include education section

Your education section is an optional section when writing a functional resume. You are to include education section if it is relevant to the job you are applying.

Once there is a relation between your education and the job you are applying, you can include the name of your university or organization, the degree received or diplomas, and GPA (anything above 3.5)

6. Spice it with an accomplishment section

Do you have any accomplishment or award that is related to the job? It will be best for you to include it. A quality work history section is one of the strongest information in a resume that can quickly land you a job. Since your functional resume will be lacking these quality work history, you are to make use of other qualities of yours to earn you the job; an accomplishment section is an effective section that can help boost your chances of landing the job.

Functional Resume Example

Can’t figure out how the functional resume looks like? Below is a powerful functional resume example that you can go through to get an insight on how the functional resume looks like.

Frank Martins




Marketing and communications leader with extensive experience in sales, marketing and communications with national and international businesses including Lecumba, marlocustmetica and Tastify. Strong track record in new product introductions and product rebranding, increasing market share for established products and delivering strategic marketing initiatives while managing a range of key stakeholders.



  • Following an M&A, managed a large-scale internal change program at Tastifyr to align culture and better position the business against competitors.
  • Spearheaded a national brand refresh including developing a new distinctive capability, visual identity and a timetable of operational changes.
  • Directed and managed creative development team for the successful introduction of luxury cosmetics brand Marlocustmetica, making it the #1 consumer brand name for its classification.


  • Identified a new market for an existing Tastify yoghurt product, adding #15 million to revenue over three years.
  • Recruited for, trained and managed a national Marlocustmetica sales campaign that produced #50 million in revenue in 18 months for a new line of lipstick.
  • Created product name, package design advertising, trade show booth and new corporate identify for a line of specialty skin creams for Marlocustmetica.


  • Managed the rollout of new Smithsons corporate identity across all internal and external communications including redesign of all merchandise, corporate stationery, brochures and advertising.
  • Managed communications to all Tastify stakeholders through a protracted M&A process.
  • Designed, wrote and implemented targeted marketing campaigns for Marlocustmetica.

Public relations

  • Manage Lecumba’s public relations activities including regular updates and press releases to media and industry associations.
  • Oversee Lecumba’s public relations strategy, including fostering relationships with media, issuing media releases and providing key messages on relevant issues.

Employment History

2016 to 2019                       Managing Director

Lecumba International

Consumer goods marketing consulting firm

2010 to 2014                       General Manager, Sales and Marketing


Major breakfast food manufacturer

2002 to 2007                       Marketing Manager


International cosmetics corporation

Education and Qualifications

Master of Business in Marketing, University of Ibadan, 2004

Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing, University of Ibadan, 2000


No matter what, skills-based resume will continue to be widely used as one of the tip choice resume to go with, especially when you have not so strong work history, big gap in employment history, and even when starting your career.

From the above functional resume example you can see that even without a chronological listing of work history, you can still customize an outstanding resume that will land you a job.

That’s it on my guide on functional resume example and writing tips

I’d love to hear from you

Hope you found the guide helpful?

What is your take away from this guide?

What is your current profession situation? Do you think the functional resume format is going to be effective for you?

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