More Vets Resume Tips — The Functional

Major Information -- Our Resident Expert
Major Information — Our Resident Expert

Okay you sons-of-guns. I’ve been watching this blog from my chopper and thought I’d speed-rope in as fast as I could. There’s some good stuff being bandied about, but we’re now coming to two of my favorite things – after road marches, hand-to-hand training, and rifle marksmanship. And I love those.

Know what they are: The Functional Resume and the Combination Resume.

Man I love them more than mess hall chow! And who doesn’t like a good dish of lukewarm grits and scrambled eggs so hard they can rip the tartar from your teeth? That’s living!


stopsignBefore you do anything else, open that master resume you made. This is the key step that saves you time and ensure quality. From this point, for the rest of your life, you will always open the master resume before you do anything else.

Now it is time to dust off your Ultimate Job Search booklet again. If you don’t have it handy, just click on the hyper link in the last sentence. I’ll wait a second (pause) – ready? Let’s go!

functional page 1The functional resume is all about skills, not work history. That’s a good thing for us, because we have so many darned skills – from conducting maintenance on high tech equipment, to leading groups of people to achieve an objective, to completing complex problems in harsh and austere environments; we’ve done it all.

But here is the thing, there are some drawbacks. Go page 45 of your booklet and you’ll see this page. Look at the pros and cons. There is a lot to recommend this format, but there is one huge drawback. Employers may think you have something to hide.  There is no work history! Yikes.

That’s not necessarily bad.

One time when I was doing a recon of employers at a job fair, I came upon a friendly who was manning (or should I say womanning) a table. She had her clipboard at the ready, and a pile of resumes growing like a parapet around a foxhole. Her eyes were rolled way in the back of her head like she had just been exposed to some kind nerve agent.

I pulled out my atropine injector, ready to jump into action, but before I could don my protective mask and earn my soldier’s medal, she let out the biggest heartfelt sigh.

“You okay?” I asked, administering psychological first aid.

“No, not really,” she said. “It’s these resumes; they’re killing me. I know some of these people are qualified, but if they’d just list the skills I need, instead of every job they ever had; it would be so much easier.”

functional page 1changeShe was right. All those resumes listed history and not skills. Think about it.

You have to make it easy for the HR folks. List your skills, list your skills, and list your skills.

Now, let’s take a look at page 46 of your battle book.

This resume has good contact information that is easy to understand in a single glance.

You could even take that the objective and turn it into a targeted resume.

It’s clean and well organized.

The other good thing is it lists skills and accomplishments that are complementary.

Take a look at the budgeting entry. It lists specific skills and accomplishments. Remember, you already have these  listed in your Master Resume so it is just a matter of copying and pasting.

If I were to make two changes to the sample above, the first would be to “BOLD” the headings and the second would be to use

  • Bullet Formatting.

You need to really work this resume.

I guess that’s it for now. Next up is the Combination resume and that’s the one I really love!

Vets resume tips previous post


Tip #2

Tips #3

Tips #4


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