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How to Pick the Right CV Format for You

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You know the importance of having a professionally written CV when applying for a position, but did you realise that the CV format you use is equally as important? It makes sense depending on the job you are seeking or your level of experience, that the way you present and position information will change. For instance, if you are a new graduate or have limited work experience you might position your education near the top of the CV.  While for a managerial job, your relevant experience would be more important than your degree.


Then there comes the decision about which CV format you will use. Let’s look at the three main types of CV formats: reverse chronological, functional and combination.

 

Three Main CV Formats 

 

When it comes to writing your CV, there are three options: chronological, functional and a combination of both. Let’s look at the reasons why you would choose one format over another.


• Chronological CV – also called the reverse chorological CV, this is the most common format. It can be used from entry or graduate level, through to executive level. The key feature of this type of CV is that you list your work experience from most recent to oldest. This shows your career progression and promotions. However, a chronological CV might not be for you if you have a lot of gaps in your employment history, change jobs often or are applying to work in a different industry.


• Functional CV – this CV focuses on the skills, abilities and achievements which you feel are most important to the job you are applying for rather than on your work experience. You list (and give examples of) the key transferable skills you have from most to least relevant for the position. A functional CV is for you if you have large gaps in your employment history, want to highlight your specific skills or experience from older jobs to employers quickly or are changing career. It can also be good if you have done a lot of short-term contracts. Avoid using a functional CV if you want to demonstrate your career progression so far.


• Combination CV – a mixture of both the chronological and functional, this CV format is best suited for those with uninterrupted experience. It usually starts with a professional profile to introduce the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the job, followed by an additional skills section and then your relevant work experience.


One of the best ways to ensure that your CV is top notch is to use the services of a professional CV writer. At Career Insights, we have both the knowledge and the experience to create professional CVs which get results. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with writing your curriculum vitae!

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