Functional CVs are bad

Functional resume

The résumé is the most important part of the application and there is no space to tell superfluous stories. Rather, facts, data, knowledge and arguments advertise yourself. Ideally, these will jump straight into the eye of the HR manager and match the requirements profile formulated for the respective position.

In addition to the classic tabular résumé, the functional résumé is also enjoying increasing popularity in Germany. Its structure combines functions, knowledge and skills as well as successes of the applicant with the aim of providing the HR manager with a complete profile. The recruiter or employer has quick access to school or professional information that is important for the job being offered. In comparison with the tabular curriculum vitae, years play a subordinate role. The focus is on the applicant's knowledge and skills.

How do you write a functional resume?

The chronological curriculum vitae focuses on the applicant's professional development. All professional positions are in chronological order, starting with the current position. The applicant's knowledge and skills result from previous professional positions. These stations are in turn provided with the associated time information and a precise description of the respective position. In addition, there are bullet points for each position, which provide information about the relevant tasks and activity areas. Ideally, this type of CV does not contain any (time) gaps.

Just like the tabular curriculum vitae, a functional curriculum vitae is also clearly structured. However, a functional curriculum vitae is structured according to knowledge and skills. For each skill / qualification there is then a descriptive description of the professional experience, which provides information about where these skills and qualifications of an applicant come from. The various previous stages of an applicant's professional career are therefore summarized depending on the ability / qualification and not listed individually, as is usual with the classic tabular curriculum vitae. In addition, successes can be cited, which can underline the respective skills and qualifications. The chronological sequence is irrelevant in the functional curriculum vitae. Rather, building the functional resume is about drawing the reader's attention directly to the applicant's knowledge and skills.

In the case of a functional curriculum vitae, the applicant also has the option of combining information from different structure levels that can be combined in a new structure level. In this way, he can emphasize that certain experiences can be transferred to a new job, even if they have not played a central role in previous professional positions. The applicant can keep the tabular arrangement or not. If he does not use the tabular arrangement, he can summarize his experience and knowledge in key words and, if necessary, use it as headings.

Benefits of the functional resume

If the applicant has changed jobs frequently within a short period of time, the functional structure of the résumé allows knowledge and experience to be highlighted. In this way he distracts from the many job changes. The consequence: job changes can be shown positively if necessary. Furthermore, the functional résumé has a beneficial effect if there is no relationship between the last and the desired position. Because the applicant can focus on previous experience. Further advantages of the functional résumé at a glance:

  • Competencies (project management, marketing, sales and others) can be optimally emphasized in different headings
  • Shows the strengths and capacities of the applicant
  • Gaps in the résumé are less noticeable
  • The functional structure offers advantages with many years of diverse experience

Disadvantages of the functional resume

Those to whom a résumé is addressed are usually used to a chronological résumé structure. Applicants who deviate from this form of resume when applying may arouse suspicion and confusion among the reader. The functional résumé has the effect of many HR managers and employers as if the applicant had something to hide. Further disadvantages of the functional résumé at a glance:

  • Resistance from HR staff because of a career path that is not exactly traceable
  • HR managers can suspect an attempt to hide gaps
  • Neglects the companies in which the applicant worked
  • Limitations in describing the person and their competencies
  • Neglecting the duration of a particular position
  • The exact chronological course of the professional career is in many cases the subject of the interview

Who is a functional resume for?

The functional résumé is recommended, for example, to applicants who have been looking for work for a long time or who believe that their age is a handicap when looking for a job. A functional résumé can also be suitable for career changers or applicants who have frequently changed jobs or who are applying for a position that would mean a major career leap - especially if an applicant has relatively little work experience. The same applies to freelancers, self-employed people and people who have just completed their studies.