The Functional CV
A functional CV, unlike a chronological CV, emphasises your abilities and competence rather than the chronology of your previous career.
Although most recruiters prefer chronological CVs, some senior executive positions require a functional CV to accompany a chronological CV to identify key skills and achievements.
How to structure a functional CV
A functional CV typically starts with a personal profile that highlights achievements, skills and personal qualities. Then followed by a succession of sections, each relating to a different skill or ability. The section should be arranged in decreasing order. Instead of focusing on any particular job, you should describe your experience in its entirety. Since you are not detailing any specific role, this means you can include any skills or experience gained in voluntary or unpaid work.
- If you have changed jobs frequently, or your experience is a combination of seemingly unrelated posts or if you have several career gaps, a functional CV will help emphasize what you have to offer as a whole rather than your career progression.
- If you are changing the industry, a functional CV will help the recruiter focus on transferable skills.
- A functional CV will take the spotlight away from your age if you are a more mature applicant.
- If you do not have much work experience, you may struggle to highlight achievements in a separate section.
- Most employers do not like this type of CV as they prefer to see what the candidate has done, and it also raises questions around whether the candidate is trying to hide something.
- A functional CV will not enable you to highlight consistent career progression. If you wish to convey career progression, you should adopt a chronological format.
To conclude the CV, you should list your employers with the employment dates and a section on your qualifications. The final section should focus on any other relevant information and hobbies/interests.