The vast majority of applicants indeed choose to arrange their CV chronologically. This makes it much easier for recruiters to compare applicants. However, it can also mean that the task of sifting through hundreds of seemingly identical CVs might eventually become crushingly boring.
A functional CV can sometimes have a powerful effect, with its less typical layout, and contents that explain directly what the applicant is bringing to the table. While it may not appeal to a recruiter working in a conservative environment, it does show an engaged and flexible mindset
An engaged and flexible mindset is very appealing to companies. This is especially true for companies where they are focused on results while taking a creative approach.
A functional CV is most appropriate when you’re applying directly by email, or even delivering it yourself. A functional CV’s atypical formatting may result in AMS (applicant management systems) not recognising it or locating keywords and rejecting the application as a result.
However, there are a few ways you can help to prevent this.
Before starting to write your CV, take a couple of steps to prepare.
Once you’ve prepared the groundwork, it’s time to create your CV. Most functional CVs follow a similar layout:
Including a photo with a CV is becoming less usual these days. In certain countries, such as the U.S., the UK, and Ireland, your CV could even be discarded to avoid contravening anti-discrimination legislation.
This is your opportunity to brand yourself. It’s like the famous ‘elevator pitch.’ You have to tell your potential employer everything they need to know about you in 3 or 4 sentences.
The objective is to clarify to the reader that you can bring all the skills and experience that the position needs.
By this point, the recruiter should be sufficiently impressed. Now is the time to share your brief details of employment history.
Describe your most recent employment first, with dates, and work backward. Give only the basic information: position title, company name, dates from and to. Make sure you include relevant periods out of the workplace, with dates. e.g. gap years, career breaks, further education.
Because of the emphasis you’ve placed on your skills and abilities, the ‘Other Information’ section is optional. Only include information relevant to the posting.
Sitting down to write a functional CV can be daunting at first. However, as long as it relates clearly to a specific posting, it can be a great tool to help you stand out from a myriad of almost identical chronological CVs. By letting the recruiter see exactly how you can add value to their organisation, you‘ll take a significant step closer to that all-important interview.