Warning: A "(dys)functional" resume could kill your job search
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You may have heard that there are several resume styles from which to choose. Although technically this is true, there is one style that you should avoid at all costs, unless you want your military resume to end up in the circular file. I am referring to the functional resume.
Functional resumes begin with a professional summary that lists primary functional skills, such as project management, maintenance, reorganization, etc. This is followed by skills and significant achievements for each of the primary functional skill sets. Next is a tabular summary of employment (depending on the military resume), followed by education and certifications. Hrdlica Burke's issues with functional resumes are outlined in the following excerpt:
"Why am I frustrated with functional resumes and professionals who recommend them?
1. They do not provide hiring managers with enough information. As a hiring authority, how am I to know if you have three months or three years of "project management" experience?
In summary, readers want your military resume in a certain format. List your work experiences in reverse chronological order rather than by the function performed. If collateral duties and multiple, simultaneous jobs make your reverse chronological timeline somewhat difficult to follow, add a "collateral duties" or "additional experience" section, and keep the focus on experience most relevant to your target. While a functional resume may make you feel better about representing your skills, it will not please the reader and you could miss opportunities because your resume ended up in the trash.
Jessie Richardson, CPRW, is a candidate recruiter for Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI), the largest military-focused placement firm in the U.S., and former director of resume services at MilitaryResumes.com. She is a Naval Academy graduate and regular commentator on job search best practices for military at the MilitarytoCivilian.com blog.
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