“What Are Functional Skills?” And 17 Examples That Managers Love

Managing Information Functional Skills
what are functional skills

Functional skills transfer into a variety of work settings and are crucial for any job seeker to develop, especially when applying for a new role, or entering a new industry.

Skills that are learned from one job can be used for another, and expressing these skills on your resume will give you the best chance of success when applying for your next job.

The functional skills in this article are the most commonly sought-after skills that employers and hiring managers will desire their workers to have, so read carefully and see which skills apply to you.

For a quick summary, here are 17 examples of what a functional skill is:

  • 1. Math Skills
  • 2. Monitor and Manage Systems
  • 3. Arrange and Retrieve Data
  • 4. Categorize and Summarize Data
  • 5. Facilitate Discussion
  • 6. Public Speaking
  • 7. Write, Edit and Summarize
  • 8. Languages
  • 9. Research
  • 10. Use of Writing/Office Programs
  • 11. Create Visual Presentations
  • 12. Online Scheduling
  • 13. Scheduling Staff
  • 14. Facilitate Meetings
  • 15. Develop Policies
  • 16. Manage Team Compliance
  • 17. Create Feedback Systems

17 Examples Of Functional Skills That Managers Love

Managing Information Functional Skills

Managing Information Functional Skills

One of the essential functional skills categories is managing information. This means being able to work with data points, whether numerical or written text, in systems and through set procedures, to effectively manage key information related to your role.

1. Math Skills

When it comes to administrative, data entry, and management roles in the realm of finance and business, basic maths skills are considered a core functional skill.

Addition, subtraction, percentages, multiplication, and other mathematical skills are the most basic and common skills that are expected for most job-seekers to have.

When applying for roles, be sure to express your proficiency level in mathematics to show that you have this functional skill.

Recommended Course: Foundations of Mathematics (Brilliant)

2. Monitor and Manage Systems

In information management, having experience in monitoring and overseeing different operating systems is an ideal skill for supervisor and management roles.

An example of this would be the skill of overseeing the internal systems of holding and sending inventory, which may be used in a warehouse back-end environment.

Systems management is varied, so when you state that this is a functional skill that you have, it is always best to give specific examples.

3. Arrange and Retrieve Data

Since many administrative roles require the ability to work with different data, whether client information, numerical data points, or sales data. Being able to track, interpret, and organize data, is a vital functional skill. 

State that this is a skill that you have on your CV, and then elaborate with examples of how you used it in your previous role/s.

 Recommended Course: Learning Data Analytics (LinkedIn Learning) 

4. Categorize and Summarize Data

Similar to the point above, this is another common information management skill. 

This functional skill is a little deeper into the organization of data, in taking the creative initiative to be able to categorize data points and to summarize key information to share with other divisions, and levels of management.

When applying for your next job, express your proficiency level in categorizing and summarising data to show that you are adept at this functional skill.

Communication and Interpersonal Functional Skills

Communication and Interpersonal Functional Skills

Communication and interpersonal skills are some of the most important functional skills for any employee to have since business happens among people – whether that is verbal or written communication. The following skills are examples that may be relevant to put on your resume.

5. Facilitate Discussion 

The ability to manage people in one space or area of conversation – such as in meetings within a team, or between organizations – is an advantageous skill for a prospective employee.

Facilitating discussion involves taking authority in a social work situation to ask questions, lead talking points, and display leadership skills.

If you have experience in this form of communication, be sure to add it to your resume with an example or two.

6. Public Speaking

Whether delivering presentations, speaking to teams, organizations, or in networking environments, public speaking can be a great functional skill.

When a worker has experience in public speaking, and with a level of confidence, this is highly advantageous since the majority of people find public speaking difficult.

It’s important to state on your CV that you have this experience and interest, as it is highly desirable for many industries and roles.

Recommended Course: Public Speaking Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)  

7. Write, Edit and Summarize

Written communication is a necessary skill for almost all industries and roles – whether simply in being clear in emails, or to work on internal and external written content.

The ability to also edit documents, with high proficiency in grammar and punctuation, as well as summarising key points, is beneficial.

If you’re applying for an admin role or one that requires creating and managing documents, then write this as a functional skill on your resume.

 Recommended Course: Business Writing Fundamentals (LinkedIn Learning)   

8. Languages

When a prospective employee has the ability to speak, read, and/or write in multiple languages, this can be extremely helpful.

State which languages you can speak, read, and write in to be sure that the potential employer understands that you have this functional skill.

Recommended Course: Foundations Of Spanish For Global Communication (FutureLearn)    

Information and Technology Functional Skills

Information and Technology Functional Skills

Since so much of our work is now done using various devices and online portals, information, and technology functional skills are some of the most desirable for almost all roles now more than ever. 

9. Research

Whether researching for internal operation development, or market research, for example, the ability to search for relevant information is desirable.

Knowing how to research effectively means a good sense of keyword searching, knowing the right databases, and understanding how best to use the time to look for the information needed.

If you have specific research experience, share examples of how you have undertaken different research in the past.

 Recommended Course: Research Methods & Statistics: an Introduction (Skillshare)     

10. Use of Writing/Office Programs

It’s almost a given that every person applying for a job can use basic writing programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. 

More advanced skills in an office suite, such as proficiency in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, will give you a leg up over the competition. 

It may seem commonplace for everyone to be able to use these common office software applications, though not everyone has this skill. Don’t forget to list it on your resume.

Recommended Course: Microsoft Word Bootcamp (Skillshare)    

11. Create Visual Presentations

For companies that have a workflow where presentations are common, the ability to create visual graphics, and layouts for presentations is beneficial. There are typically done in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Consider joining a company where they hold presentation meetings on a weekly basis, and you have the skill to create these for your work or your team’s presentations. 

If you can create and design presentations, definitely list this as a functional skill on your CV.

 Recommended Course: PowerPoint For Beginners (Skillshare)     

12. Online Scheduling 

This is also a management skill, as scheduling calls, appointments, and tasks are necessary for any supervisor or managerial role.

Additionally, administrative roles would prefer that you have the skill of using scheduling apps, like Calendly or Google Calendar, to keep track of clients and tasks.

List which apps you have proficiency in, and how they were utilized in your past role/s when you create your resume.

Leadership Functional Skills

Leadership Functional Skills

Finally, for higher-level roles, leadership functional skills will be most preferred for any supervisor or managerial role. Even still, any role level would still benefit from expressing that you have functional leadership skills since it bodes well for future career advancement.

13. Scheduling Staff

Rather than just having a good idea of how to use scheduling apps and software, scheduling staff is a deeper management skill as it involves stepping up in leadership to make decisions. 

This skill requires the person to understand labor costs, demand, time management, and more, so when you have scheduling staff as a functional skill, you’ll be seen as a desirable potential employee.

How long did you have this task, and how many team members were you responsible to schedule? Be sure to put this detail on your CV.

  Recommended Course: Time Management Tips: Scheduling (LinkedIn Learning)      

14. Facilitate Meetings

This one also utilizes the communication skill of facilitating discussion, as well as being able to lead the flow of ideas, ask questions, and have a higher-level view of the overall goals and outcome. 

If you have experience facilitating meetings, this will give you an advantage as it is a key leadership skill.

Don’t forget to add this functional skill to your resume with examples.

Recommended Course: You Can Lead Effective Meetings (Udemy)       

15. Develop Policies

It’s one thing to follow policies and procedures, and it’s another thing to develop them. The leadership functional skill of developing policies shows that you have had experience being entrusted with responsibility.

This reveals that you held a role that had a considerable need to problem solve and organize systems in a way that will support a company’s efficiency and growth.

On your CV, list what kind of policies and procedures that you have developed, what problems they solve, and your overall sense of how it benefited your past role.

 Recommended Course: Establishing Work From Home Policies (LinkedIn Learning)        

16. Manage Team Compliance

Functional Skill Team Compliance

When leading a team, it’s important to ensure that you have a strong ability to monitor whether the team is compliant with policies and procedures.

Every business has its own set of standards and rules to abide by, and if the team isn’t kept in check by someone, it can be ineffective. 

If you were the one to manage the team’s compliance in the past, share this on your resume. 

17. Create Feedback Systems

Finally, leading a team also requires the ability to check in with how they are faring, and to empower them to add their own two cents to the role in the form of feedback.

Whether a feedback system is through regular email surveys, a feedback box, or through meetings, if you can create these systems, this is advantageous for you when applying for future roles.

As the driving force behind the company is the employees, being able to develop rapport and a strong team is very desirable for employers, so be sure to state that you have this skill on your CV if you have the experience.

Recommended Course: Grow Yourself & Your Team With Skilled Feedback (Skillshare)       

Where Should I add Functional Skills on my Resume?

There are different ways to add functional skills to your resume. A common method is to create a separate section that lists your functional skills above your work experience list. You can categorize the skills similar to how we have here in this article; for example, having Information technology as a header and then multiple IT skills that you have and examples from your past roles. 

Another way is to add each of your functional skills as bullet points at the bottom of each section of your past roles. So after you explain the company you last worked for and what the role entailed, you could then add a functional skills list below of what key skills were practiced in that role. You would do this for each role respectively. 

Whichever way you choose to add your functional skills, be sure to not forget this on your resume, as it may very well be the difference between you being hired over someone else in your next job application. 


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