How to Write a Functional Resume | Definition and Examples

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What is a functional resume?

A functional resume focuses on an applicant’s skills and abilities instead of the chronological order of previous work experiences. This resume format is a good choice for people with significant gaps in their work history or those with previous work experience that is irrelevant to the position they’re applying for.

Using a functional resume can be an effective way of showing an employer that you have the hard and soft skills required for a particular job, even if your work history doesn’t show it. It can also help people who have worked many different jobs in a relatively short time and might otherwise be seen as unstable employees. This article includes some tips on writing a functional resume, along with a template and an example.

How to write a functional resume

When creating your functional resume, always keep in mind that the goal is to highlight the skills that are relevant to a particular job. 

These are the steps that are typically required for writing a functional resume:

1. Firstly, list your contact information 

The top part of the page should contain your full name, address and email.

2. Secondly, summarize your work experience and acquired skills 

This provides the employer with context and positions your best skills and achievements where they will be read first.

3. Next, create a skills section 

This is the most important part of the resume, and it is formatted similarly to a classic professional experience section. Add at least three skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for and provide bullet points for each. The bullet points should describe achievements that highlight each particular skill.

4. Then, make a professional experience section

The whole point of the functional resume is to highlight relevant skills instead of work experience, so this section should be brief and without specific dates. A good way of listing work experiences without revealing employment gaps is by listing only the years instead of the full dates.

5. Next, mention your education

Unless your education is directly related to the job you are applying for, this section should include only the name, city and state of the last school or college you graduated from, the years attended and your degree or specialization.

6. Finally, list awards and honors when applicable

If you earned an honor or award during your career that would be relevant to the position you are applying for, this is where to add it. If not, you can skip this section altogether.

The key to writing a good functional resume is matching your skills to the ones the hiring manager is looking for. Writing a cover letter also helps, as it adds more context and helps the employer get a better understanding of your professional history.

Functional resume template

[Full Name]
[Email Address]


[A short description of your current professional status, including relevant experience and interests that are related to the desired position.]


[Skill 1]

  • [First example of skill 1]
  • [Second example of skill 1] 

[Skill 2]

  • [First example of skill 2]
  • [Second example of skill 2]

[Skill 3]

  • [First example of skill 3]
  • [Second example of skill 3]

Professional Experience

[Professional Experience 1, Year]

  • [Most recent relevant professional experience, job responsibilities and achievements]

[Professional Experience 2, Year]

  • [Other relevant professional experience, job responsibilities and achievements]


[Name of university/college/high school, years attended]

[Degree or specialization]

Awards and Honors

[Any that are relevant to the position]

Functional resume example

Johanna Wong
123 Sunset Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77001


Sales professional with a proven track record in multiple fields during a five-year career. I am customer-oriented and passionate about building strong long-term relationships, constantly improving the sales process and increasing brand loyalty.



  • Created and implemented new company policies that made communication with customers easier on all channels. 
  • Created a new sales employee manual, including all the relevant procedures that every member of the sales team must follow to constantly improve the selling process and increase market share.


  • Averaged more than 10 follow-up calls per day, with a 20% success rate on customers who have previously declined to use our services. 
  • 83% of the customers acquired through follow-up calls reported a positive experience after working with the company and recommended our services to their acquaintances.

Process Streamlining

  • Worked to improve the sales process by using statistics to make every step faster and more efficient. 
  • Developed procedures and templates that sales employees can use to save time and increase customer satisfaction, resulting in a 30% shorter sales flow.

Strategic Prospecting

  • Exposed the company to new potential customers by researching and targeting new markets. 
  • Expanded the potential customer base by 45% over a three-year period, increasing the interest shown in our services by 30% and sales by 17%.

Professional Experience

Regional Sales Manager, Cyberdine Electronics, 2017

  • My job responsibilities were to coordinate, train and support the sales team in my region. In the space of 15 months, sales increased by 20%, the company became one of the top three in the region by market share, and the team I managed was the company’s second-best sales team in the Houston area.

Sales Representative, Johnson Real Estate, 2012

  • My job responsibilities were to identify properties that were available for rent in my allocated region, promote them and present them to interested customers. By using my communication and persuasion skills, I became the company’s top sales representative in the residential rental division after 10 months.


Rice University, Houston, Texas, 2007-2011

Bachelor of Science in Commerce

Awards and Honors

Presented with the Golden Falcon Award for excellent achievements in real estate, 2014.