Skills-Based Resume: See a Functional Resume Template + Examples (2023)

So do you think a functional resume is the right choice?

You literally offer the recruiter your best skills on a silver platter. And skills are what every employer is looking for, right?

Well not exactly.

The truth is, by incorrectly submitting a skills-based resume, you could be shooting yourself instead of getting your foot in the door.

Fortunately, we are here to help.

In this guide:

  • You'll learn what a functional resume is and see some great templates.
  • We'll show you why using the skills-based curriculum may not be the safest option.
  • You will discover section by section how to write a winning functional resume.

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What is a functional resume?

A competency-based resume, also known as a functional resume, is oneresume stylewhich focuses on showcasing your skills rather than your past employment history. Functional resumes can help youmask vacanciesand they are useful when your experience is not directly relevant to the position.

Find out how the functional resume format differs from the other two most popular ones:

  • functional resume- highlight your skills
  • chronological resume- highlight your work experience
  • Combined CV- highlight your skills and link them to your experience

If you are looking for more information about any of them, read ourDetailed comparison of the three most popular resume formats.

2. Functional Resume Template: Is it a good idea to use this resume format?

This is what a typical functional resume template consists of:

  • Personal information
  • goal of the curriculum
  • Skill Summary
  • Work experience
  • Education

And here are two examples of functional resumes:

Skills-Based Resume: Sample

Personal information

Mary J Elliot

public relations specialist



Results-focused UCLA English Literature graduate looking to leverage over two years of professional experience as a freelance writer and brand ambassador. Experience developing different types of online and offline marketing content (my portfolio here). I look forward to joining Pivot Media as a PR Specialist to help develop digital PR solutions.

Skill Summary

  • write

Experience writing various types of marketing and public relations content, including press releases, editorials, blog posts, reviews, brochures, and emails. There can be a maximum of 16 full length articles of approximately 3000 words per month.

  • Look for

Skilled in conducting effective and efficient in-depth research on brands, market trends, etc. Able to collaborate with clients from a variety of industries.

  • social media

Familiar with major social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Google+. In each of them, advertising campaigns are managed and optimized.

  • Creativity

Able to find innovative solutions for different types of challenges. I collaborated with creative directors and graphic designers in the production and execution of various ATL and BTL campaigns.

  • Time management

Excellent for coordinating multiple responsibilities simultaneously. Able to plan and prioritize tasks effectively to achieve results within tight deadlines.


brand ambassador

Nike Inc., Los Angeles, CA


freelance writer

Independent, Los Angeles, CA



UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Master of English Literature

Functional resume example

Personal information

Shelby Delacruz



Communicative and collaborative digital artist and illustrator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. Experience creating a wide variety of creative projects online and offline, including visual presentations, publications, and communications (see my portfolio). I would like to join the team at the University of California in the role of Art Director to execute and oversee the design and creation of digital and print materials.

Skill Summary

  • Design and software concepts.

Competent in the development of effective and attractive visual communication campaigns. I have delivered over 10 end-to-end projects that required planning, design (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat), and vendor contacts.

  • Communication and orientation.

Advanced interpersonal communication skills, including active listening and teamwork skills, as well as the ability to effectively provide advanced design advice and consultancy to clients on all aspects of visual communication.

  • Presentation and organization

Great for generating broad design ideas, presenting them to clients and stakeholders, and delivering results on time and on budget.

  • Creativity and practical design skills.

Able to provide creative and efficient solutions to a variety of design challenges. Exceptionally knowledgeable of production processes for different types of media and supplier requirements for different products. Expert knowledge of design principles and practices, including typography, color palettes, layout, and materials.

  • Adaptability

Quick learner, able to quickly obtain comprehensive information about the company, including vision, mission, goals and objectives. You thrive in a fast-paced, challenge-oriented environment.


digital artist

Uitleg Inc., Santa Cruz, CA

freelance illustrator




University of California, Berkeley, California

Bachelor of Fine Arts

At first glance, each of the above examples has everything a recruiter needs: a good objective resume, a comprehensive summary of key skills, as well as sections on experience and education.

There is a big problem.

There is no evidence of these abilities in the entire document.

In fact, the description of each ability is so vague that, with a few tweaks, it could be used by almost anyone.


Recruiters don't like the functional resume template.


First of all, they find it difficult to read.

According to the most recentstudy forthe stairs, recruiters only spend about 7 seconds scanning a resume and searching for a job.

A skills-based curriculum, as the name suggests, focuses not on job titles, but…on skills. That's allIt's notexactly what recruiters want to focus on in the first place.

More than that-

For62% of recruitersJobvite's Recruiter Nation Report shows that a candidate's previous work experience is the most important hiring factor.

Well, the functional resume template does the best it canto hideprofessional history and draw the recruiter's attention to the candidate's skills.

Again, this is not what recruiters appreciate.


More than 98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS softwareto initially scan candidates' resumes.

The sad truth is that the functional resume format will most likely not pass the first check, so ultimately no human reader will have a chance to see your resume.

Why is it happening?

The ATS software assesses your eligibility by looking for information about your work experience in very specific places on your resume.

Just go back to one of the functional resume examples above and check out the work experience section.

Well… that's exactly what ATS sees:


So remember:

Avoid using the functional resume format when applying for corporate jobs. A traditional chronological resume will work much better in these cases.

If you decide to write a functional resume, use it as a "networking resume" or send it directly to the recruiter's inbox.

The question is:

Who benefits from using a functional CV?

A functional resume template can work for:

  • Creatives who consider the CV as a complement to their portfolio
  • Candidates apply for small businesses where ATS is not implemented
  • Military promoters who want to demonstrate how their skills are useful in a civilian context.
  • Career changers whose work history may not be entirely relevant to the job.
  • People who don't want to appear overqualified for whatever reason.

So, don't use a functional resume template unless it falls into one of the four categories above.

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Skills-Based Resume: See a Functional Resume Template + Examples (2)

3. How to write a skills-based resume


Here's how to write each section of your functional resume to get the most out of it:

Personal information

This section of your functional resume allows the recruiter to communicate with you.


Include your name, phone number, and email address.

If you have a personal website or online portfolio, you can also put the URL here. It's also a good place to add a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Expert tip:Before you link to your LinkedIn profile, learn thishow to use LinkedIn like a pro.

If you don't know how to write this section, follow the structure you see in the previous examples.

goal of the curriculum

Agoal of the curriculumIt's a short paragraph that appears at the top and tells the recruiter what skills you can bring to the table and how they will benefit the company.

See the examples above to see what it should look like.

Your resume objective is also a good place to link to your portfolio if you didn't include it in the personal information section.

Expert tip:don't write acurriculum summaryfor your functional resume. Resume summaries focus on your past experiences, not your skills.

Skill Summary

Obviously the most important part of any skills-based resume.

The key to getting it right is to focus on the skills relevant to the open position. If you don't know how to identify such skills, read our guide on how to make your skills for your resume. The functional resume examples above show you how to describe your skills.

Expert tip:It is not enough to simply list your skills. Tell the recruiter how skilled you are and under what circumstances you used a particular skill. Also try to express them in numbers.


The experience section on a skills-based resume is very short. All you want to put here are company names, job titles, and hire dates.

He said that-

You are not required to enter data here.

This is one of the reasons why unemployed people often use the functional resume format. And frankly, recruiters are aware of this, so this resume format can become an instant red flag for some of them.

Previous skills-based resume templates show what the employment history section looks like, with and without dates.

Expert tip:remember the timelineResume Experience Sectionis the central part of it. The functional resume puts your skills in the spotlight.


Like the work experience section, this is not the most important part of a functional resume.

Simply provide the name and location of the college and the degree earned. Entering dates is recommended, but optional.

Again, the skills-based resume examples show what the education section would look like with and without dates.

Expert tip:oheducational curriculum sectionYou can improve your chronological resume. especially if you have onestudent resumeo oneentry level resume.

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Skills-Based Resume: See a Functional Resume Template + Examples (3)

most important points

When creating a functional resume, keep the following in mind:

  • A skills-based resume focuses on your skills, not your employment history.
  • It typically consists of the following sections: personal information, purpose, skills summary, work experience, and education.
  • Functional resumes are suitable for creatives, military transitions, career changers, and those who don't want to appear overqualified.
  • The safest way to send a functional resume is to send it directly to the recruiter.
  • Get up and running by downloading one of theseFree Resume Templates in MS WordofGoogle Docs Resume Templates. if you have no ideawhat to put on your resume, watch thisExamples of resumes for all professions..

Do you have questions about how to create a functional CV? Or maybe you want to share your tips on when to write a functional resume? Leave us a message in the comments below. We like to help you!


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