Conventionally, CVs are supposed to follow a similar basic format. However, issues like personal circumstances, types of job openings and prospective employers’ preferences call for a drift from this norm and hence the different types of formats to suit these demands. Although, there are no stringent rules on the structure of a CV, most hirers and employers appreciate it when you don’t color too far outside the lines of the acceptable formats.
Below are some of the commonly used CV formats and when to use them.
To start with, we have
A chronological resume starts with a list of work history or experience listed in a chronological order. Your jobs are listed in reverse order starting with your most recent. This is then followed by descriptions of skills used, responsibilities and achievements. Typically employers prefer this type of resume because of its ease to see the jobs you have held and the duration you worked on, an aspect that in one way or the other reflects on your competence.
This type of CV is used when you have had a steady employment history and you want to reflect a career progression. It is also the most preferable type of CV in traditional careers like medicine and teaching. In cases where you have career or employment gaps Or you lack experience in the field you are applying for, avoid this type of CV.
Highlight: Chronological Resume; job seekers with a string solid work history.
Secondly we have the
This type of CV is Skill-Oriented. It takes a totally different focus; where emphasis is laid on the skills and experience. In this type of CV, the highlight should be on your professional attributes, skill sets and relevant experience rather than your most recent experiences.
This type of CV is used by job seekers with an intention of changing careers or has gaps in their career history. It’s also appropriate where you don’t have prior experience in the field you are applying for and the skills are more important than the positions. If you don’t have an exceptionally strong skills or professional attributes that are eminent in the job description, then this type of CV is not good for you.
Highlight: Functional Resume; job seekers with a strong skills and professional attributes.
Third is the Hybrid CV
This type of CV combines your skills and experience first. In this type of CV previous work experiences are listed chronologically under functional headings. This means you can highlight the skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for and additionally provide the chronological work history that employers prefer.
You can use this type of CV in those situations that you haven’t worked recently in that field and if your career has involved multiple industries or disciplines or rather you have frequently worked on contractual basis.
Highlight: Hybrid CV is a combination of skills and experience. Appropriate for job seekers working on contractual basis.
We have the Diminutive (mini)-CVs
These are basically networking cards, a recent trend in Resume creation. This involves listing your contact information and the most important qualifications and achievements on a business card that can be distributed in situations when you are conducting career networking. These are generally used for networking purposes or shared upon requests from prospective employers or a reference writer who may want a glimpse of your accomplishments. By no chance should diminutive CVs be substituted for formal CV request.
Highlight: The Mini CV; the recent CV creation trend appropriate for networking purposes.
This type of CV is customized so that it specifically highlights the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. It’s quite demanding as it takes more time to prepare. However, it is well worth the effort, especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.
Highlight: Target CV; the customized CV.
This CV is a web based version of your CV that may include your photos, graphics and other visuals. This is usually common with job seekers who are in the fields of fashion, design, IT, graphics, advertisement and so forth; where they may be required to showcase their sample works.
Finally, a good CV is more than a list of qualifications and dates, but a marketing tool which if done right, can land you that dream job. It’s a key to open and close career doors. So get organized and prepare a CV that will grab the attention of your prospective employers to want to take a keener look at your qualifications and consequently invite you for an interview.