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Writing a functional CV

When you are writing a Functional CV you have to try and list all your experience under various functional headings.

You should have a look at the headings below and decide which of them may be useful to you. You can of course use other headings.

Once you have chosen the headings you will have to decide which is the most appropriate order to put them in, e.g. if you are looking for a management position put this functional heading first.

You should have between 2 and 5 bullet points under each of your headings. If you have more than 6 bullet points under a heading consider whether you could list any of the bullet points under another heading. You should probably end up with between 3 to 6 functional headings.

As a CV writing service, we don't normally recommend functional CVs, as employers typically don't tend to like them, as people have previously used them to cover up a poor work history. You should be cautious about using a functional CV and it might be better to try a more conventional CV first.

When you are writing the bullet points under each functional heading you must stress the responsibilities and achievements which are relevant to your next job. In a Functional CV you should include voluntary/non paid work experience which is relevant to your next position under the functional headings.

In general you should normally include a brief summary of the employer you have worked for, the job titles and dates, after the functional part of the CV. If you feel that this will stop you getting to the interview stage you may want to leave out any reference to your actual employment history. In this case it may be best to keep your CV to one page.

When you are constructing a functional CV, please see our functional CV example. This example will help you understand how your CV should look and what sort of content you should be including.

Example Functional Headings

Below, you'll find a list of potential functional section headings, feel free to add to this list yourself, as it's not exhaustive:

  • Administration.
  • Advertising.
  • Communications.
  • Construction.
  • Consulting.
  • Counselling.
  • Designing.
  • Editing.
  • Education.
  • Electronics.
  • Engineering.
  • Human Resources.
  • Insurance.
  • Journalism.
  • Law.
  • Management.
  • Marketing.
  • Medicine.
  • Music.
  • Nutrition.
  • Organisation.
  • Planning.
  • Production.
  • Promotion.
  • Public Relations.
  • Publishing.
  • Research.
  • Sales.
  • Secretarial.
  • Strategic Planning.
  • Training.
  • Transport.
  • Travel.
  • Writing.

Training

Only include the most important training courses when you are writing a CV. You may not want to bother with a section on training or you may combine it with Education/Qualifications depending on how much space you have on your CV.

Education / Qualifications

Only list the most important qualifications. If you are a graduate you do not really need to list your 'O' Levels/GCSEs, just indicate the number of 'O' levels gained. You may want to put this section before the Training Section. Unless you have just completed a degree or MBA, this section should go after work experience.

In the case of recently completed education, if your work experience is more likely to be of interest to an employer, you should still put work experience first.

As a professional CV writing company, we frequently mention recent qualifications in your profile and cover letter, you might want to consider this too.

Additional Information

Include any additional information, such as whether you have a driving licence - if you have a clean driving licence, say so. Date of birth, marital status and nationality can usually be left off your CV.

Interests

Keep this part fairly short, but make sure you list any current positions of responsibility. If you do not currently have any management responsibility and you are applying for a management position you may want to include positions of responsibility that you have held over the last few years, e.g. Play football for a local team - Captain, 1993 - 1996.

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