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A functional resume is generally written for a very specific purpose, placing more emphasis on capabilities and prior accomplishments over typical chronological formats. Resumes like this functional resume template for Word can be useful in making a career change or transitioning into a different role. Regardless of the purpose, they still need to visibly stand out with a clear summary statement, work history, education section and skills section. Take a look at our example and these guidelines for an idea of how to make a functional resume work as a vital tool in your career search.
Writing Your Summary Statement
For a functional resume, the summary statement is key to getting your message out there front and center. You should tailor your summary statement to support your goals and bring forth skills that might not be readily apparent in your recent experience. In our functional resume template for Word, we show how to write a summary statement that creates an outstanding impact and discusses your value in no uncertain terms. You should also try to
• Keep your summary statement to no more than three sentences or bullet points
• Lead in with a clear statement of your title and years of experience
• Present your value to your target industry
Here are a few ways to write your summary statement in both paragraph and list style:
Staff accountant with 13 years of experience managing business accounting, including accounts receivable and accounts payable. Able to maintain accurate, timely record of vendor invoicing. Consistently prevented overcharges and lost funds by ensuring detailed record of all billing.
Dedicated customer service representative with 6 years of experience in a call center environment. Capable of seamlessly handling call volume of hundreds daily to provide swift resolution for customer inquiries. Committed to rapidly resolving problems and ensuring customer satisfaction.
• Administrative assistant with 9 years of experience working with top executive teams
• Possess strong expertise in filing, office systems, scheduling and project support
• Excel in a team environment requiring cross-functional collaboration
Writing Your Skills Section
With a strong skills section, you can be sure employers focus on the areas of expertise important to your current career path. This section lets you build a list of searchable keywords and phrases that can ferry your resume past automated text scanners, while also giving employers an at-a-glance look at the breadth and depth of your skills. While we show an example of this in our functional resume template for Word, be sure to also
• Vary your keywords depending on the target job by selecting phrases from the job description
• Use descriptive phrases that are easily scannable and searchable
• Mix phrases from the job description with common industry keywords describing your top skills
You can review this sample of skills for a financial analyst to give you some ideas for how to build your skills section:
• Financial statements
• General ledger
• Variance analysis
• Cost-benefit analysis
• Financial reporting
• Executive communication
Writing Your Work History Section
While functional resumes don’t rely as heavily on your work experience, that’s no excuse not to write a stunning history that supports your target goals. You’ll want to carefully allocate how much space you spend on specific jobs; focus on those that best qualify you for your current target and minimize others to one or two bullets. Take a look at our functional resume template for Word for the best way to do this, as well as the following pointers:
• Always lead with a strong action verb at the start of each sentence
• Mix daily functions with accomplishments that use numbers to show value creation
• Integrate additional keywords suiting target jobs to show how you use these skills in context
• Cut older, irrelevant experience
Here are a few ways to write out your work experience in a clear, concise way:
• Directed the full project lifecycle for construction design and build projects in the civil sector.
• Worked with agencies and partners on permitting and requirements.
• Cut 2 weeks from the projected schedule by sourcing a materials supplier with faster delivery.
• Conducted in-depth analyses of business processes and systems.
• Identified gaps and communicated information to development teams.
• Facilitated completion of over 50 systems enhancement projects.
• Nurtured relationships with Fortune 100 clients in the oil and gas sector
• Sold full product ranges into accounts to gain a position as a trusted partner
• Generated over $42 million in product sales through skillful product placement in 1 year
Writing Your Education Section
Use your education section to show employers that you have the qualifications needed for the job you want and that you’re adaptable and consistently seeking to learn. Depending on your career, you may have more certifications than degrees or vice versa. No matter your education history, you should refer to our functional resume template for Word for examples, and stick to these guidelines:
• Trim any irrelevant education or early academic certifications, such as high school diplomas
• Be sure that your listed education is relevant to the jobs you’re targeting
• If you haven’t completed a degree, list all relevant trainings and coursework to substitute
Here’s how you would write a succinct education section for a maintenance technician:
Master Specialist Level in HVAC Excellence Certification – 2016
EPA 608 Certification – 2015
Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering – 2014
South Seattle Community College
Using Action Verbs in Your Functional Word Resume Template
Action verbs make the difference between being responsible for your job and taking ownership of it. Avoid using dull, passive terms such as “was responsible for” and instead focus on verbs that use active language to convey involvement. Refer to our functional resume template for Word to see how to start phrases with verbs, and gain great insights on how to breathe new life into your resume with a fresh writing approach.
Here’s a great example of how action verbs can strengthen your writing:
• Directed global IT project management for 12 sites in 6 countries
• Partnered with top executives to determine the future of IT project roadmaps
• Motivated, trained and mentored 32 local and remote technical personnel
• Shaved $41 million off annual development costs by outsourcing to key partners
• Optimized business technology performance through a number of improvement projects
• Introduced a new data repository to facilitate project collaboration via SharePoint
Adding Metrics to Your Functional Resume
Using metrics is a great way to impress employers by demonstrating exactly the results you generated in prior roles. Include values covering the outcomes of your achievements by writing achievements with numbers. Be sure to verify the accuracy of the metrics reported in your accomplishments so that you don’t accidentally represent $500,000 in budget management as $5,000,000 in budget management, but overall don’t be afraid to brag. You can take a look at our functional resume template for Word for several examples of how numerical accomplishments look in context.
Compare the difference to accomplishments without metrics versus accomplishments with metrics:
WITHOUT METRIC: Eliminated service costs through vendor renegotiation
WITH METRIC: Eliminated $400,000 in service costs through vendor renegotiation
WITHOUT METRIC: Expanded hospital capacity to serve more patients daily
WITH METRIC: Expanded hospital capacity to serve 150 more patients daily
WITHOUT METRIC: Improved email open and click-through rates
WITH METRIC: Improved email open and click-through rates by 12% and 19% respectively