The Functional CV is usually two pages in length and covers your entire career history. Unlike the most common chronological CV it focuses, not on your career history, but on your skills, abilities and expertise. It may not even refer to a specific industry, as the skills detailed are deemed transferable.
It is important that the skills you detail are relevant to the position you are applying for. It is no use highlighting your great accounting experience if the position is in sales. You should highlight your achievements in a sales environment and focus on relevant aspects of that field of work.
A functional CV format is useful if:
- You lack experience or have gaps in your work history; these can be de-emphasized in a functional CV while your skills and potential are highlighted.
- You have changed jobs frequently and have had a variety of unrelated work experiences.
- You want to promote skills and experience obtained through college or volunteer experience.
- You are changing careers or re-entering the job market, perhaps after taking a career break to be a full time parent.
- Your most recent work experience is not relevant to the job, but past experience is.
- You have been working freelance or in temporary employment.
- You do not want to advertise your age.
A functional CV format is less useful if:
- You have little work experience and thus not much to highlight.
- You have a progressive career history, which reflects promotions, and growth and you want to emphasize that.
What is the layout of a functional CV?
- The Functional CV starts with a Profile that highlights specific skills, achievements and relevant personal qualities.
- Grouped beneath subheadings, you should then present your range of skills and abilities beginning with the most important. Present the functions as bullet points. Rather than focusing on experience in a particular job, detail your abilities as demonstrated in that job in such a way as to show that they are transferable to the job applied for. As previous employers are not mentioned by name you can include voluntary and unpaid work.
- Following this section is a list of employers and employment dates.
- Qualifications are covered next including professional and academic qualifications.
- The Functional CV may conclude with a brief outline of your personal details, hobbies and interests.