The Death of the Functional Resume

The Death of the Functional Resume

If you have been living under a rock or in a cave for the last three to five years you may not know that there are more than 14 million people out of work. Right here in the city of Charlotte, NC, there are more than 90,000 people unemployed, not to mention the thousands that consider themselves underemployed or misemployed. So what does this have to do with the functional resume? Everything.

The functional resume had its place.

Back in the early 2000’s, when the unemployment rate hovered between 4.5 and 6%, fewer people were out of work and jobs were a little more plentiful. Job seekers with sketchy work histories, i.e., those with gaps in employment, moms returning to work after caring for children, and job seekers looking to change careers, were using functional resumes to highlight their functional skills and take attention away from their less than stellar employment history.

But then what happened?

This strategy worked for a while, but then the late 2000’s hit and the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 10%. More people were out of work and it was a buyer’s market. Employers have always known that the functional resume attempts to hide flaws in a person’s work history and they just stopped paying attention to these formats. There were plenty of job seekers with consistent work histories and employers were more than willing to give these resumes a second look.

I would like to make that a combo, please.

So what is the answer to the ill-fated functional resume? That would be the combination resume, which uses strengths from both the functional resume and the more preferred chronological resume. There isn’t enough room to go into all the finer details of this format in this post, but the take away is that to use a functional resume means that you are undermining your job search. Consider utilizing a combination resume to increase your chances of winning the interview.

For more information on resume writing and the job search, please contact me at

Comments are closed.