Types of CV

There are mainly three types of CVs:

  1. Chronological CV
  2. Functional or Skills-Based CV
  3. Combination  CV

Chronological CV

A chronological style CV is the most common format and is preferred by employers. With a chronological style CV your work history and education entries are sorted by date in order of most recent first. A chronological CV contains detail of education and qualifications, together with interests. Some chronological CVs also contain a brief personal statement at the front which sets out the key skills and strengths of the candidate.

Use the Chronological CV Format:

  • If you are applying within the same industry as it will demonstrate your career progression.
  • If you want to demonstrate growth and maturity throughout an organization.
  • If you have a stable, solid career progression through one or, at most, two fields.
  • If you do not have many achievements across your career, taking a job by job approach.
  • If you want to make it easier for potential employers. It is the favorite format for most employers, who simply want to get a feel for your career to date.

Functional or Skills-Based CV

A functional CV places the emphasis on your skills and expertise rather than the chronology of your employment to date. It is used in situations where specific skills and accomplishments gained through experience or academic qualifications will demonstrate your competencies. Your skills should be listed in order of their importance.  This CV format is especially suitable, for entry level candidates, students entering the job market for the first time or recent graduates with little work experience, who want to emphasize their transferable skills. The functional resume is ideal for those who are looking for a career change.

Use the Functional CV Format

  • If you have changed jobs frequently, if your experience comes through unrelated jobs or if you have several career gaps.
  • If you are changing industry.
  • If you are a more mature applicant, a functional CV will take the spotlight away from your age.

Combination CV

A combination CV follows both the chronological and functional format, which makes the CV slightly longer than normal. Examples of people that can benefit from this would be someone wanting to change careers and has some relevant skills for the new field. It can also be useful when someone wants to demonstrate more skills than the work experience section allows for or would not bring out adequately.

Use a combination CV format:

  • If you have a strong career progression with many achievements.
  • If you want to showcase your strengths as well as your experience.
  • If you are a senior level applicant and have a lot of working experience and achievements to demonstrate

Academic CV

This type of CV is most commonly used in postgraduate applications, placing more emphasis on the subjects studied, projects undertaken, and details of research expertise and a list of all publications. When writing a CV for academia it should include research and teaching experience, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the position you are applying for. It’s important to take it a step further and tailor your CV so that the content reflects your audience - the organization that you want to work for.