Focusing on your experience, your background and your accomplishments is what’s known as a functional resume. Chronological resumes list all of your employers in the order of the date that you worked for them, typically with the oldest employer at the bottom of the resume. Functional resumes are great for people who are looking to make a career change, people with multiple positions with different industries, people with gaps in their employment and those just starting out on their career. However, as always, I have to warn you that recruiter and hiring people really don’t like functional style resumes. They feel you may be “hiding” something.

You can combine both resume types to give yourself a well-rounded appearance to potential employers, plus hiring managers love to see a list of previous experience, especially when it’s for a  position of authority.  Providing work history is an excellent way to showcase how your accomplishments have translated to actual success in the work place.

Start by writing a list of the skills that you used at your previous jobs. List them one by one so that you cover a wide range of tasks on your resume. Depending on the position you’re applying for, modify your skills to directly reflect those of the position that you’re applying for. Don’t embellish, instead focus on what you’ve accomplished and how it will allow you to succeed at your new position.

Use bullet points to provide a concise and accurate depiction of your responsibilities and where you used your skills. List our your accomplishments and try to use numbers to demonstrate an actual value. You can say something like, you promoted better paper management and turned your office into a green office, reducing the waste and lowering cost for trash maintenance by a third. Or that you increased sales in your office by 15% over a 5 year period.

Show your employer in the bullet section of your accomplishments. You want to be able to match your accomplishments with a tangible company, so make sure to list the companies where you worked. Your  accomplishments only mean so much if they can be backed up. Listing your companies, or contacts you may have done a project for, will help highlight your accomplishments.

Use action verbs at the beginning of your accomplishments. Saying things like, “demonstrated” a strong desire to train new employees, is better than saying “trained staff.” Elaborate on your accomplishments, it’s all right to use descriptive words here. In fact, the HR manager may appreciate your ability to be descriptive.

Complete a short job history below the accomplishment section of your resume. This will help employers get a good idea of your work history. Make sure to include the name of the employer, your job title, the dates you worked for the employer and the location of the job. Write this list in reverse chronological order.

It’s time to get those accomplishments out there and find the job that you’ve always wanted!

Related posts:

  1. Resume Tips that Set You Apart from Your Peers
  2. Writing Your Resume – Are You Up to the Challenge?
  3. How to Write a Quality Resume with Just a Little Bit of Effort
  4. Optimizing Your Resume
  5. Who Can You Trust to Proof Your Resume?

3 Responses

12.26.11

Thanks for the feeback Aaron – I couldn’t agree more!

~ Ava

[...] would work in the position. Encourage your friend to follow the proper channels and submit their resume in the same way as every other applicant, even those without a personal connection to the company. [...]

[...] What do you want to do in your career? What do you want the reader to know about you, your strengths and what you can contribute? You should remain very clear and focused in this area. Think of your [...]

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