America Employed News Release

  • Resume Writing: You’re Doing It Wrong!

    January 14, 2015

    Resume Writing: You're Doing It Wrong!

    Ditch Chronological Style - Craft a Modern
    "Functional Resume"

    Focus on Transferable Skills, Not on Past Employers  

    ***See the Two Examples Below***

    -Average Recruiter Will Spend as Little as 11 Seconds Reading a Resume-

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 14, 2015 - For some people, a new year means a chance to look for a new job. But if the job seeker doesn't know how to write a resume that immediately draws attention to their skills, they may miss the chance to make their dream job come true.  

    Express Employment Professionals, the nation's largest franchised staffing firm, today released a guide to writing a functional resume. Conventional wisdom tells applicants to write resumes based on chronology and job titles. But writing a functional resume-one that focuses on skills-is more likely to attract a recruiter's attention who will give an applicant a second look.

    What Is A Functional Resume?

    A functional resume could also be called a skills-based resume. Traditional resumes list job titles in reverse chronological order with a brief description of responsibilities. A functional resume focuses on transferable skills that an applicant possesses. It draws on that individual's work experiences to give examples of how those skills have been put to use. 

    Why Use A Functional Resume?

    A functional resume allows the reader, usually a recruiter, to more quickly decide whether an applicant is a good "fit" for a particular work environment. This style of resume is also more easily adapted for specific job applications; the applicant can tailor it to focus on the most relevant skills.

    Express estimates that the average recruiter, when reviewing multiple resumes for a job, will spend as little as 11 to 13 seconds on a single resume. An applicant has a very short time to stand out, so it's in their best interest to display relevant skills prominently, rather than forcing a reader to deduce those skills from a list of job titles.

    Who Can Benefit From a Functional Resume

    A functional resume can benefit almost any job seeker, but it is especially useful for certain people

    1. Young people without significant work history.
    2. Discouraged workers looking to re-enter the job market.
    3. Older workers who don't want to be "aged out" of a job.
    4. Workers looking to transition to a new field.
    5. Military personnel returning to the civilian workforce.


    Five Tips for Resume Writing:

    1. Focus on three to five demonstrable skill sets
    2. Lead with managerial experience and/or examples of being a self-starter
    3. Describe measurable ways you've improved business for your previous employers
    4. Demonstrate your ability to adapt to any work environment
    5. Use language that is accessible to a recruiter in any field.


    What Does A Functional Resume Look Like

    Take a look at the following resumes. The first is the traditional chronological resume , with its shortcomings and opportunities for improvement noted. The second is a resume for the same person rewritten as a functional resume . The reader has an easier time recognizing the applicant's strengths and suitability for a particular job.

    "It's hard for us to realize the many transferable skills that we have, so imagine how hard it is for a recruiter to figure out those skills in a few seconds or minutes," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.  

    "It's absolutely crucial to communicate skills in a resume, especially when moving between industries. Recruiters aren't looking for someone with just a laundry list of past employers. They want someone who's the right fit for a specific set of demands and particular work environment," Funk said.  "A well-crafted functional resume that focuses on the specific opening will make you more likely to get a second look from a recruiter, a few more hits on LinkedIn, and a better shot at an interview. In addition, it makes you less likely to get 'aged out' of contention or to be pigeon-holed. That's what our experience at Express has taught us."


    If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.

    About Robert A. Funk

    Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 700 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

    About Express Employment Professional

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $2.85 billion in sales and employed more than 456,000 people in 2014. Express ranks as the largest franchised staffing company and second largest privately held staffing company in the United States. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.