Friday, January 18, 2008

Writing Your Best Resume - The Functional Approach

FUNCTIONAL APPROACH

Your key skills, knowledge and related accomplishments are the primary organizing principles of this approach by citing relevant examples of effectiveness as proof of your ability to contribute.

PROs:

This approach provides an opportunity to establish the transferability of skills and accomplishments for candidates who are starting or changing a career. Grouping these items in self-contained categories builds a case for your ability to function in a new situation. The conventional resume format dilutes or contradicts this talent.

Not limited to paid employment, you can give status to qualifying experience from every area of life. This format widens the scope of informal experiences supportive of your career objective, including special projects, internships, community service and relevant leisure pursuits. It eliminates distinctions that discount their importance.

CONs:

For qualified candidates with a linear career path, this format challenges the standard presentation of personal strengths. Executive recruiters and other employment professionals prefer a job-by-job description to trace with clarity exactly what has been done, for whom, where and when.

Some employers may suspect that this format hides background information of importance.

In a purely functional resume, key time/space anchors that employers expect are not given. This information can be essential to credibility.

When to use:

The functional approach is particularly effective and highly recommended for people without direct experience in the area of their career objective. Since it accents skills and achievements, it is effective and often desired by people who are well established in a career.

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