As soon as changes of direction and gaps show up in your employment record you may consider a functional resume. The time worn chronological format is a bit like a police record of where you’ve been as well as how long you stayed at each stop on the employment circuit. It gives out spurious data that can be used against you.

The first move leading to functional layout is when you list your job assignments in reverse chronological order. Certainly no employer is too concerned about how you kicked off in your employment career as many students take part-time jobs unrelated to their studies.

So from a recruiter’s point of view your last assignment is the most relevant because what you are doing right now gives many pointers as to how employable you are to them.

But why not go further? If your purpose is to fit the details spelt out in the job specification and you have to compete with hordes of invisible other folks for that one position why not give it your utmost? You’ve got it – your last assignment may not be the most appropriate for the position you’re going after. Who said you must list your background in reverse chronological order? So what are the complications? For a start you can no longer list your starting and end dates. What about posting the length of each role you had instead? Does the employer mind if you started the last job in May or April? Who cares!

How will you then reorder your job experience in a functional resume? It will be the best match for that one position you’re applying for. Here lies the major trump card of the functional resume: it is specifically written for that one position in order to improve the likelihood of being called for an interview.

This is a stark contrast from the reverse chronological cv that applicants would mindlessly blast on blogs or resume farms in the hope that the prince charming employer in shining armour will find you. Wake up and be real! It does not work that way. What you have to do in a crowded employment scene is identify the jobs that will both give you the most satisfaction and give you the chance to unleash your skills. Then target each one of those job posts with a tailor-made functional resume.

Sound like a headache? Don’t worry some smart operators are already using Resume Digest

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