When a job opening comes up, employers expect to receive a ton of applications. To make yours stand out from the crowd, you need to follow a proper CV format so that it has all the information an employer is looking for and is easy to follow. If your work history jumps around haphazardly out of chronological order or if it does not adequately convey your qualifications, you may get passed over even if you are perfectly qualified for the job. There are three formats that are generally used and that employers like to see because they are simple to follow. Therefore, if you are uncertain how your CV should look, follow some of these guidelines.
1. Functional CV Format
A functional CV is one that places an emphasis on your skillset rather than your work history. Over the course of your education and career, you may have developed many transferable skills that apply directly to the position you are hoping to get, even if you want to go into a completely different industry. Ordinarily, most people would put work history toward the top of their CVs, but with a functional format, marketable skills will be presented first.
The functional CV format is great for people who have gaps in their employment history because it shows you have the talents to succeed even though you had to take some time off from the workforce for whatever reason. The functional format is also ideal for younger people who may not have a lot of work experience. For someone who has just graduated college, he or she may have worked at jobs in the past that are not related to the desired field, but he or she has developed knowledge and skills through school and volunteer experience.
2. Reverse Chronological CV
This is a more traditional CV format where you begin the document with your work history. You want to start with your most recent position first because that is going to provide the employer with the clearest picture of where you are in your career right now. You then work your way backwards chronologically to previous positions. Ideally, the reader will see a progression of you starting at a low-level position and working your way up to where you are today.
A few sections need to be included with this type of approach. Start off with your career objective, stating why you want this specific job and where you want your career to proceed in the years to come. Next, discuss your experiences and achievements. Accomplishments can include any awards you have won or any publications you have had works in. After that, you can get into your education, and finally, you can go into your relevant skillset.
3. Combination CV
As the name suggests, this CV format is a cross between a functional and reverse chronological CV. This is when you directly link the skills you have acquired with previous jobs where you implemented them. It is highly useful for job applicants who have worked at different companies performing the same basic tasks. It can get repetitive to state the same duties over and over again. However, by stating that you learned key skills at each workplace separates them and still shows a progression. You want to ensure the skills you are bringing up are relevant to the position you are applying for.
The Best CV for You
Different CV formats work better for some applicants than others. It is helpful to play with each variation to see which one works better for your employment history. You may think a reverse chronological CV would be ideal for you only to discover that you can convey more information with a functional CV or vice versa. You cannot hope to get your dream job with a subpar CV, so take the time to ensure your formatting works to your benefit.