Don’t Waste Recruiters’ Time–or Yours–with a Functional Résumé

By Doug Ehrenkranz | Small Business

Whether you are involved in an active or passive job search, the first thing any interested company will ask for is a résumé. Nothing really happens without it. It begins the whole process, no matter how formal or informal. Given this, I thought I’d answer a question I get frequently.

What Do You Think of the “Functional Résumé”?

Don’t Waste Recruiters’ Time–or Yours–with a Functional Résumé image No to Functional ResumesDon’t Waste Recruiters’ Time–or Yours–with a Functional Résumé

No to Functional Résumés

This one is easy. I don’t like them, and I’ve never met a recruiter (internal or external) who does like a functional résumé.

For clarification, a functional résumé focuses on your skills and experience rather than on your chronological work history. Fair or not, I think the general reaction from most recruiters to this type of résumé is that the candidate is trying to hide something such as age, a gap between jobs, numerous job transitions, etc. Instead, my suggestion is to hit those potential obstacles head-on. You’ll have to address them later in the process anyway.

A “Workaround” to the Functional Résumé

If you prefer the functional résumé because you want to provide more detail about your job(s), then don’t get me wrong as there could be valuable information contained within the structure of a functional résumé. However, I suggest using it as a supplement to information contained in a traditional chronological résumé. Even then, I prefer seeing this information incorporated into the appropriate subheadings of a chronological résumé. Or attach it as a functional supplement.

Word search and phrase search are increasingly used to screen or “mine” résumés. So although you will want to include this type of information, but just do it without sacrificing the chronological résumé. And, if adding this information takes you over two pages, don’t sweat it. As I’ve previously written, a résumé should be as long as it needs to be for you to communicate your career and work experience in a meaningful way. If this takes you into page three or four, I would not worry about it. For most recruiters, details and specifics are important.

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