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Functional Resume Writing

The Functional Resume

A functional resume is designed to more effectively highlight your most career-related skills. Skill Clusters are used to group skills and experiences by category or quality. Job seekers can create a functional resume to serve either one of two purposes.

  1. This can be used for a job seeker with much experience in the same type of work or career field who has held a number of positions either at the same company or at a variety of companies. The functional resume for this candidate consolidates like experiences and skills into skill clusters based on common responsibilities and skills.
  2. This can be used for a job seeker looking to make a career change. This person’s skills and abilities may be similar to those required of the desired position in terms of transferability. However, the job seeker needs to clearly make the connection between past job skills and experiences and desired job skills and experiences for a potential employer. The functional resume for this candidate consolidates like experiences and skills into skill clusters based on those responsibilities and skills required for the desired position.


This is the marketing component of your resume which promotes you. This type of resume divides your experiences into specific skill or functional areas. Some common skill areas may include communication, writing, computer, research, etc. As with any resume, be sure to include skills gained from work experience, volunteer experience (internships, community service, student teaching) and campus leadership. Use a variety of action words which describe situations and achievements.

Resume Breakdown


  • Name as you want to be referred to professionally. example: Grace Evelyn Goodwin, Grace E. Goodwin, Gracie Goodwin
  • Current address and phone number with area code where you can be reached.
  • Email address. Example:


  • Statement of your special skills/characteristics that are relevant to the job.
  • Statement/areas of skills gained, accomplishments, scope of experience or quantifiable result.


  • Job Title, Organization Name, Location, Dates


For each degree-conferring institution

  • Degree/Certification example: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, May 2012, Clarke University; Dubuque, Iowa
  • Minors
  • Teaching Certificate (if applicable)
  • Specialized Instruction (if applicable)


Include name of organization and dates of membership or activity.


Once you have all of your information collected, decide which experiences are directly related to your objective, which are not and which are questionable. The questionable information can be used only if there is room, otherwise stick with the directly related experiences.