Functional Resumes?

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter speaks about functional resumes.



let’s talk about functional resumes. I am not a fan of functional resumes. It is the problem with functional resumes – – they suggest that you’re hiding something. They suggest that the relevant experience that’s causing you to apply for this role is old. They’re suggesting that you are hiding large gaps in your employment history. Thus, even if you have the relevant experience, I’m not going to call you. At best, I’m going to send you an email that says, “Please send me a chronological resume.”

Why is that? Time is precious and you are obviously trying to hide something. You are obviously trying to hide gaps or that the information was old. Why else would you send a functional resume? Because you did this work last week? Of course, not. The fact remains that people use functional resumes regardless.

The only time a functional resume makes sense is if you are changing careers and your resume leads off with training that you have had that is relevant to your new role. Then, I can see functional resumes working.

Beyond that, all you doing is obscuring certain information that we need to know anyway and, if you think employers are any different, you’re kidding yourself. They aren’t. If anything, they won’t even stop and ask. They’re just going to hit the delete key.

I was involved with the CFO search not too long ago and received a lot of functional resumes for the search. I respond back with an email to those that demonstrate vaguely relevant experience and ask for chronological resume. Every single time, the relevant experience has been years old and the relevant to my client because what you been doing most recently is most pertinent to what matters to them. If you been away from the CFO function for a number of years because you can running a business and now it’s going out of business and now you have to go back to a CFO role, they aren’t interested in interviewing you or bring you on board.

Let me simply say “Ditch the functional resume!” You are not kidding anyone. All that you’re doing is wasting your time and other people’s time. Just don’t bother.



Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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