What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (2023)

What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (1)

So what are functional skills?

Put plainly, functional skills are taking the foundational concepts you learned in school – math, English, computer science – and applying them to real-life problems and work scenarios.

In the work context, they’re also called competencies. In everyday life, people might use life skills or social skills instead of functional skills.

Functional skills tend to be relevant across various work settings and are crucial for any job seeker to develop, especially when applying for a new role or entering a new industry.

The functional skills in this article are the most commonly sought-after skills that employers and hiring managers desire their workers to have. Increasing your skill level over time will often decide your career path.

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

Table of Contents

17 Examples Of Functional Skills That Managers Love

Managing Information Functional Skills

What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (2)

One of the essential functional skills categories is managing information. This means working 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

Basic maths skills are considered a core functional skill in entry-level administrative, data entry, and management roles in finance and business.

Addition, subtraction, percentages, multiplication, and other mathematical skills are the most basic and common skills expected of most job-seekers.

When applying for analytical roles, be sure to express your proficiency level in mathematics to show that you have this functional skill. Often listing within your higher education degree will do.

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2. Monitor and Manage Systems

In an increasingly digital world, having a capability in information management – experience monitoring and overseeing different basic systems – is ideal 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 list your functional skill qualifications, 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 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

What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (3)

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

5. Facilitate Discussion

Managing groups of people through productive conversations – such as in meetings within a team or between organizations – is an advantageous skill area for a prospective employee.

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

If you have experience in this form of communication, be sure to add it to your resume with real-life context.

6. Public Speaking

Public speaking can be a great functional skill whether to deliver presentations, speak to teams, organizations, or in networking environments.

When a worker has experience in public speaking and a level of confidence, this is highly advantageous since most 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.

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7. Write, Edit and Summarize

Written communication is a necessary critical thinking skill for almost all industries and roles – whether simply in being clear in emails, or working 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 require creating and managing documents, 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.

Information and Technology Functional Skills

What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (4)

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.

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.

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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

What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (5)

Finally, for higher-level roles, examples of functional skills for leadership will be required for any supervisor or managerial role. Even still, any role level would still benefit from expressing that you have critical thinking and problem-solving 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.

14. Facilitate Meetings

This one also utilizes the communication skill of facilitating discussion and leading the flow of ideas, asking questions, and having 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.

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 you have developed, what problems they solve, and your overall sense of how they benefited your past role.

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16. Manage Team Compliance

What are Functional Skills? And 17 Examples Managers Love (6)

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; if the team isn’t kept in check by someone, it can be ineffective.

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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 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, developing rapport and a strong team is 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 what we have here in this article; for example, having Information technology as a header and then multiple IT skills 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 not to 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.

Do Functional Skills Mean Something Else In The UK?

Yes. Functional skills are GCSE alternative qualifications, with a Level 2 Functional Skills course equating to a GCSE grade 4. So while similar in what they represent, they carry a specific distinction in England.

According to LearnDirect, the designation was “introduced in 2007 to boost the UK’s literacy and numeracy, Functional Skills qualifications were developed to upskill the nation’s workforce. Since then, NCFE Functional Skills qualifications have offered thousands of people the key skills they need for life.”

Core subjects include English, Maths and Functional SkillsICT (Information & Computer Technology). As a credential, these skills assessments can replace the GSCEs for learners who didn’t complete their school previously but want to demonstrate proficiency in these essential life skills.


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What are functional skills examples? ›

  • COMMUNICATION. Exchange, convey, and express knowledge and ideas. ...
  • ORGANIZATION MANAGEMENT. Direct and guide a group in completing tasks and attaining goals. ...
  • RESEARCH & EXPLORATION. Search for specific knowledge. ...
  • PHYSICAL. ...

What is a functional skill? ›

Functional skills are the skills that were previously called Skills for Life. They are the skills we all need in our lives. Unions have been active for over 20 years in helping members and others to improve these skills, and will continue to do this, using Functional Skills.

What are functional learning skills? ›

Functional skills in special education are the skills a child needs to develop and live independently, regardless of emotional, intellectual, or physical disabilities. They cater to the unique needs of the individual, and these skills focus on the more nonacademic, routine activities of everyday life.

What are functional strengths in the workplace? ›

A functional strength is a skill, ability, resource, talent, or support that can be used to directly meet a need or solve a problem, Saying someone is strong or looks nice may be true but these descriptions do not help build toward goal achievement.

How many functional skills are there? ›

Functional Skills - 4748

Functional Skills qualifications are available across five levels (Entry 1 to Level 2), and are completed in a wide range of college, community and work-based settings.

What are daily functional skills? ›

Functional skills are the skills that are necessary for daily living and for establishing quality of life. These are the skills that if not done by an individual him or herself, others will have to do. They are skills that are useful and can be immediately applied to the individual's environment.

What is a good functional skills level? ›

A Level 1 qualification in maths shows employers that you have the basics covered for many jobs. A Level 2 qualification in maths (usually either Functional Skills Level 2, GCSE grade 4/C or above or National 4/5) shows a good standard of maths and is required for many jobs.

What is a skill example? ›

Problem-solving skills: creativity, critical thinking, and analytical skills. Customer-service skills: active listening, time management, and prioritization. Interpersonal skills: communication, teamwork, and empathy. Leadership skills: decision making, stress management, and organization.

What are the main elements of functional skills? ›

Being functional means:
  • Being able to apply knowledge and skills and respond appropriately to all sorts of real-life contexts.
  • Having the mental agility to take on challenges in a range of new and often unforeseen settings.
  • Being able to work out independently what to do.

How do you get functional skills? ›

Functional Skills Level 2 Exams

You can book the Ofqual regulated exams through Pass Functional Skills and take the entire qualification from home. The exams are conducted with online invigilation and can be taken through 2 major exam boards, City & Guilds and Open Awards.

Why do I need functional skills? ›

Functional skills provide an individual with essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work. They are learning tools that enable learners to: Apply their knowledge and understanding to everyday life.

What support I need from my manager? ›

Employees expect their managers to be honest, trustworthy and transparent about business activities. To have a positive working environment, good managers are direct with their employees about company challenges and expectations.

What is an example of a functional work team? ›

Functional teams are composed of individuals with similar skills and professional expertise. This type of team is typically organized within a single department inside an organization. The example would be a marketing team, an accounting team, a developers' team, etc.

What are three ways to improve work performance? ›

— take a look at these tactics, and decide which ones apply best to you and your job.
  • Limit distractions. ...
  • Set milestones. ...
  • Set clear and achievable goals. ...
  • Avoid multitasking. ...
  • Improve your time management. ...
  • Do important tasks first. ...
  • Delegate tasks whenever possible. ...
  • Clear your workspace.
May 26, 2022

What is the highest functional skills? ›

Functional skills form part of all apprenticeship frameworks and all new apprenticeship standards – although learners who already have obtained the level required by the apprenticeship will be exempt from undertaking them. The new GCSEs have a 9 to 1 grading scale to replace A* to G, with 9 being the highest grade.

What are functional skills for adults? ›

Functional Skills Digital
  • Handling and organising information, and solving simple technical issues.
  • Creating and editing written documents, posters and more.
  • Communicating online and using different types of device.
  • Buying and selling online.
  • Using technology safely and securely.

What are level 1 functional skills? ›

The purpose of the Functional Skills English Level 1 qualification is to prepare the learner for work, study and life. Learners who achieve this qualification will demonstrate the ability to read, write, speak, listen and communicate in English.

How many points are functional skills? ›

There are UCAS points for all six Functional Skills, as follows: Level2 - 10 points. Level3 - 20 points. Level4 - 30 points.

What is the pass mark for functional skills? ›

Functional Skills English

Writing Level 1 assessments are designed to have a pass mark range of 21-23 marks. Reading Level 2 assessments are designed to have a pass mark in the range of 13-15 marks. Writing Level 2 assessments are designed to have a pass mark in the range of 21-23 marks.

What is entry level 3 functional skills? ›

During the induction to their course, learners should understand that there are three components to Functional Skills English Entry Level 3: Reading, Writing, and Speaking, listening and communicating.

What are your top 3 skills and why? ›

Top skills employers look for
  1. Communication skills. Communication skills are needed in virtually any job. ...
  2. Leadership skills. ...
  3. Teamwork skills. ...
  4. Interpersonal skills. ...
  5. Learning/adaptability skills. ...
  6. Self-management skills. ...
  7. Organizational skills. ...
  8. Computer skills.
Feb 3, 2023

How do I identify my skills? ›

To identify your skills and decide what skills to develop, you could:
  1. think about what you do in your current job.
  2. reflect on your past education and work experiences.
  3. think about the skills you've gained in daily life.
  4. talk to people who know you well outside of work, for a different perspective.

What are the 3 types of skills? ›

There are three types of skills: functional, self-management and special knowledge.

What are the three functional skills? ›

There are three assessments that learners will have to pass in order to complete their English Functional Skills: Reading. Writing. Speaking and Listening.

What is a Functional Skills assessment? ›

Functional Skills are applied qualifications which enable students to demonstrate real-life skills in English, mathematics and ICT. Students demonstrate the skills through real-life assessments set in every day contexts.

Who takes Functional Skills? ›

Pearson Functional Skills are qualifications in English, Mathematics and ICT that are available in England only from Entry 1 to Level 2. Suitable for learners of all ages, they're also an accepted part of all Apprenticeship standards in England.

How quick can you do Functional Skills? ›

On average the course takes learners between 8 and 12 weeks however we have had learners complete the course very quickly and similarly if you need longer we allow up to a year for all of our Functional Skills courses. Do universities accept Functional Skills?

What comes after functional skills? ›

Once you have completed Functional Skills levels, you can move up to the next. If you want to gain a recognised qualification, it would be better to study Functional Skills courses at a higher level, such as Functional Skills Level 2 English or Functional Skills Level 2 Maths.

How hard is functional skills? ›

Functional Skills aren't necessarily easier. You'll still need to put in the hard work and revision. But, they can be better suited to students who have failed maths and English. The trouble with GCSE is that oftentimes, exam questions are not put into any context.

What are the 3 things that your manager does well and should keep doing? ›

Building trust, building a team, building a network.

What can my manager improve on? ›

15 Ways Managers Can Improve Their Leadership Skills
  • Listen To Understand. ...
  • Focus On Continuous Improvement. ...
  • Aim To Understand Others' Perspectives. ...
  • Hold Quarterly Individual Meetings. ...
  • Practice Empathy. ...
  • Build Emotional Intelligence. ...
  • Seek Out Professional Development. ...
  • Be With The Team.
Feb 23, 2023

What changes would you like your manager to make? ›

10 areas of improvement for managers
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Motivational strategies. ...
  • Setting and achieving goals. ...
  • Employee appreciation. ...
  • Individual support. ...
  • Personal growth. ...
  • Strategic delegation. ...
  • Proactive problem-solving.
Sep 30, 2022

Which employee is the best example of a functional manager? ›

A functional manager is in charge of a specific business unit or section, such as Finance or Sales. Here are some examples of functional managers: Customer service manager. Sales manager.

What are the 5 examples of teamwork? ›

Examples of teamwork skills
  • Communication. The ability to communicate in a clear, efficient way is a critical teamwork skill. ...
  • Responsibility. ...
  • Honesty. ...
  • Active listening. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Awareness.
Mar 16, 2023

What is a real life example of functional organizational? ›

Examples of organizations with a functional structure include: Amazon, Starbucks. A functional structure groups employees into different departments by work specialization. Each department has a designated leader highly experienced in the job functions of each employee supervised by them.

What are your top 3 priorities at work? ›

The top 3 priorities in a new job are learning the ropes, building relationships, and delivering results should be your top priorities. By following these tips, you'll be on your way to a successful career. Related: 11 Quick Tips to Succeed in a New Role.

How do you evaluate yourself at work examples? ›

Self-evaluation sample answers
  • Collaboration and teamwork. Positive option: "I believe that my skills and my ability to work in a team have been valuable during this period. ...
  • Motivation. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Decision-making skills. ...
  • Working under pressure. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Adaptability.

What are the six steps to improving employee performance? ›

There are six key steps to improving performance:
  • Clarify expectations of good performance. ...
  • Explain consequences of poor performance. ...
  • Monitor performance and provide specific feedback. ...
  • Provide advice for improvement. ...
  • Give them time to improve. ...
  • Follow through on your consequences.
Sep 23, 2015

What are functional skills and soft skills? ›

Soft skills help project managers to manage people effectively, while functional skills help project managers to manage projects effectively. By developing both sets of skills, project managers can ensure the success of their projects and achieve their project goals.

Why are functional skills important? ›

Functional skills provide an individual with essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work. They are learning tools that enable learners to: Apply their knowledge and understanding to everyday life.

What is functional skills level 2 for adults? ›

Level 2 Functional Skills English is an alternative qualification to a GCSE English pass grade. Our online course uses real-life examples to improve your reading, writing and speaking skills. If you find learning English easier with practical examples, this is the course for you.

What are the three Functional Skills? ›

There are three assessments that learners will have to pass in order to complete their English Functional Skills: Reading. Writing. Speaking and Listening.

What is entry 3 Functional Skills? ›

The purpose of Functional Skills English Entry Level qualifications are to demonstrate the ability at an appropriate level to read, write, speak, listen and communicate in English, and to apply this knowledge and these skills in familiar situations.

How many points are Functional Skills? ›

There are UCAS points for all six Functional Skills, as follows: Level2 - 10 points. Level3 - 20 points. Level4 - 30 points.

Is key skills the same as functional skills? ›

Are key skills the same as functional skills? Key skills and functional skills refer to the same set of qualifications. While they are often used interchangeably, today “key skills” are officially known as “functional skills”. Functional skills were first introduced in 2010 and formerly replaced key skills in 2012.

How much do you need to pass functional skills? ›

Our examinations are Ofqual regulated so are universally accepted as level 2 qualifications that are equivalent to GCSE grade C. The pass mark can vary from exam to exam. The functional skills maths level 2 pass mark is usually around 50% to 55%.

Is problem-solving a functional skill? ›

Problem-solving is also one of the most important functional skills to develop because it can be applied to a variety of jobs and/or situations.

What are functional and technical skills? ›

What are Functional Skills? Functional skills, sometimes called “hard” or “technical” skills, are concrete abilities that you build mastery in throughout your career.


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