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Old 07-02-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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For those of you in HR or have hired employees in the past, do you pass by functional resumes?

I'm going back to work after 4 years as a stay at home mother. I'm also switching career fields (although I got the degree/practicum experience before I had the kids).

Is it inappropriate to use a functional resume? I have a great job history but it's in another field (a completely different one).
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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functional resumes definitely make a lot of hiring managers suspicious that you are hiding something.

i'd do a chronological (or combination chronological/functional) format and use your cover letter to explain the gap in employment and how your skills from your previous career translate to this new job.

but employers want to know where you worked and when. don't leave that off.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:07 AM
 
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I have a resume that I submit for jobs that only has my field on it. I'm in the health care field and when I am applying for that particular position, I submit a resume with only that information because the other field I worked in had absolutely nothing to do with field whatsoever. My resume is something like this...

LATEST JOB IN FIELD (2011-2013)
PREVIOUS JOB IN FIELD (2010-2011)
INTERNSHIP IN FIELD (2007)

To be fair, I was also working on my M.S. right after my B.S. and usually employers will ask me what I was doing between 2007-2010. Then I tell them about my other job and the degree I was working on and they are okay with that. I also will mention it in a cover letter if I am submitting one. (After completing XYZ, I went back to yada field.) If I am submitting an online application, I will list all of my jobs in the last X amount of years, as requested by them.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,936 posts, read 8,400,927 times
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Yes, I view functional resumes very suspiciously.

I doubt that I have ever actually hired anybody based upon a functional résumé.

The problem with a functional is that I have to pull it apart and try to recreate the applicant's job history, but the résumé is designed to make that difficult. If I do have the time to tease the chronological info out, then I will at least consider the applicant. If I don't have the time I simply reject them out of hand.

I would much prefer a standard chronological résumé. Include your SAHM time in the sequence as a job and address it in your cover letter.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 9,234,637 times
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I tried a functional resume and didn't receive a single call back. Exact same info on chronological got me interviews. My friend is a hiring manager and she's the one who told me to ditch the functional. She doesn't even bother reading them.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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Employers want that purple squirrel and anything that deviates from the norm (such as a functional resume) will make them suspicious of you.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,936 posts, read 8,400,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_the_facts View Post
Employers want that purple squirrel and anything that deviates from the norm (such as a functional resume) will make them suspicious of you.
This is not true.

Yes, some employers are overly picky, but that really is the minority rather than the majority.

What employers really want is easy. It is easy to compare chronological resumes. It is difficult to compare chronological and functional. If I have enough chronological resumes to give me a sufficient applicant pool, why should I make life difficult for myself by having to interpret a functional résumé?

Whenever I see a functional résumé, I cannot help but think that the applicant has something to hide. If hey do, why should I waste time considering them?
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,797 posts, read 13,284,781 times
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Functional resumes are used to detract emphasis from employment gaps or limited relevant experience or relevant experience that is nonrecent. They are always viewed with suspicion because every resume book tells you to hide these flaws by using that format.

Your resume needs to be concise and simple so that a computer or cerebrally challenged HR person can extract data from it quickly. I have a small top cliff notes section at the top called summary of qualifications that basically says I have this level of education and this many years of experience doing this... followed by the ususal work history, then I put more details about my education, honors, professional societies on the second page because it will only get read if the first page grabs their attention as potentially qualified.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,936 posts, read 8,400,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
...
cerebrally challenged HR person can extract data from it quickly.
Yes. This.

But let me clarify the reasons why.

I have people working for me with credentials and technical skills that I do not possess. I freely confess that they are more qualified in their specialties than I am. That does not mean that I am not competent, it simply means that I oversee a wide variety of jobs.

When I review resumes to hire, I will naturally gravitate to hose that give me the info in an easily accessible manner. If I am hiring an accountant, I want to see a CPA certification and a previous job title showing work experience. If I hire a plumber, I similarly want to see a license and experience.

When mschemist sends in a résumé with job titles like research chemist, that would be interesting to me. If I see a functional résumé with the skill of using a mass spectrometer, that is not as compelling because I do not really know how integral to the job that particular skill might be. What I really want is somebody who knows how to use that machine, when to use it, and how the results fit into the bigger picture.

All because I am not a chemist, but might supervise one (hypothetically).

So if it makes you feel better to think of me as cerebrally challenged, I am ok with that.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:09 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,712,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_the_facts View Post
Employers want that purple squirrel and anything that deviates from the norm (such as a functional resume) will make them suspicious of you.
this isn't universally true, but some things are not the norm for a reason.
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