By Joan Igamba
When it comes to planning your CV the format may seem simple enough, however, the way you present your skills, achievements and experiences in a CV are key.
It’s important to choose the right format for the job that you’re applying for.
When putting together your CV it is important to know that there are a few different types of CV formats that you can use.
The Different CV Formats You Can Use
There are 2 different formats that you can use to write your CV depending on what kind of jobs you are applying to.
There is the chronological (traditional) CV format and the skills-based (functional) CV format.
Chronological CV Format
A chronological CV format focuses on presenting your experience or your employment history from the most recent to the least recent. This the most common type of CV.
This format of CV can suit best if you…
- Have experience and skills that closely relate to the job you’re applying for.
- Want to emphasise how your career has progressed from entry level positions to middle level or senior level positions.
- Have had mainly continuous employment with no employment gaps.
How to structure a chronological CV Format
The order that you follow while structuring your CV format will be as follows:
- Personal Details: That is your name and contact details.
- Personal Profile or Career Objective.
- Skills Section
- Career History in reverse order (Unless you are a graduate or you have very little work experience, in which case, it may be best to start with your Education and Qualifications)
- Education and Qualifications
Skills-based or functional CV format
This type of CV format emphasises your skills and personal qualities rather than displaying your work history.
This format can suit best if you…
- Are changing careers and you want to show employers how transferable skills gained in other types of employment will be relevant for the job you are applying for.
- Have extensive gaps in your employment history which would be obvious from a chronological CV format.
How to structure a functional CV format
A functional CV format will start with a personal profile which highlights the achievements, skills and personal qualities that you possess.
This is then followed by different sub sections with different skills as your section title.
You could have a section with one skill for example, customer service. Under this skill, you explain how you have used that skill in the past with examples.
Instead of focusing on any particular job, you describe your experience in its entirety.
Since you are not detailing any specific role, this means you can include any skills or experience gained in voluntary or unpaid work.
Unlike a chronological CV format, a functional CV format places the emphasis on your skills rather than the order of your employment to date.
Although not generally the preferred choice by most recruiters, some senior executive positions would require that a functional CV format be used.
If you feel that you need to give your CV the polishing up it needs, Corporate Staffing offers a professional CV writing service. You can access it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, who will advise on how best to format your CV to suit the Kenyan job market.