Which CV format will work best for you?

Written by Samantha Pearce, Managing Director, Words Worth Reading

Format your CV and get a job working from homeWhether you plan to work from home, have a home based job or are considering the leap into a job working from home, no matter which - you need a good CV! Remote Employment explains which CV format will work best for you.

Maximise Your Strengths
There are a variety of acceptable ways to write and structure a CV. Occasionally a potential employer will request that you structure your CV in a specific way when applying for a job, but this is very rare and so nine times out of ten you will have the opportunity to dictate the structure and content of your CV. This is a fantastic opportunity to have, because it gives you the freedom to structure your CV in such a way that you can maximise your strengths, and minimise your weaknesses.

CV Formats
Lots of people will make small tweaks and alterations to a standard CV format to ensure the style works for them. However, you should choose an appropriate standard CV format in the first instance, to ensure that all the necessary information is contained in your CV. There are four main standard CV formats for you to choose from;

- The Chronological CV
- The Functional CV
- The Hybrid CV
- The Structured Interview CV

Choosing the best CV format for you can help ensure you get that all important interview! Let’s start by looking at each format in turn:

The Chronological CV
The Chronological CV is the most commonly used CV format. It contains the following components, in the order stated;

    * Personal Details
    * Qualifications
    * Professional development / training courses
    * Employment history including employer, dates of employment, positions held and achievements

The Functional CV
The Functional CV focuses on skills and achievements as oppose to employment history and qualifications. It contains the following components, in the order stated;

    * Personal Details
    * Qualifications (in brief bullet points)
    * Skills, Knowledge, attributes and abilities (approximately 5 skills are identified, with a paragraph on how the skills have been demonstrated in the past)
    * Summary of employment history; a very basic list of positions held, employment dates and employer

The Hybrid CV
A combination of the Chronological and Functional CV formats; this is often the recommended format to use. It contains the following components, in the order stated;

    * Personal Details
    * Qualifications (in brief bullet points)
    * Skills, Knowledge, attributes and abilities (1-2 paragraphs on key skills
    * Employment history including employer, dates of employment, positions held and achievements

The Structured Interview CV
In a Structured Interview CV a set of questions are set out, with full answers written in response to these questions. The answers reflect your skills, achievements and abilities. The Structured Interview CV contains the following components, in the order stated;

    * Personal Details
    * Qualifications (in brief bullet points)
    * Training (just listed)
    * Skills, Knowledge, attributes and abilities (approximately 5 questions are posed, with a paragraphed response against each; i.e. How does your experience in marketing match our role requirements?)
    * Summary of employment history; a very basic list of positions held, employment dates and employer

Which CV format best suits your needs?
First of all you need to take a look at the company that you’re sending your CV to, and decide what type of CV format they are most likely to prefer. Creative companies tend to prefer a skills-based CV format; so the Hybrid CV or the Functional CV formats are likely to be well received. Alternatively, the public sector prefers a traditional, familiar layout, so the Chronological CV is generally preferred. By choosing a CV format that is instantly recognisable and preferred is a good way to score additional points with your potential future employer!

Minimise Your Weaknesses
Secondly, you need to think about which CV format type highlights your strengths and minimises your weaknesses. If you are a solid candidate, with a strong academic background, up to date qualifications and a consistent career history, then the Chronological CV or the Hybrid CV will work well for you. If your weakness lies in your academic history or if you have had gaps / inconsistencies in your career history the Functional CV format or the Structured CV format will suit you best as it will minimise these weak areas.  

And remember, no matter what CV format you choose, examples of your abilities and emphasised achievements is always a must!

Summarise Your Skills
CV’s are ultimately a summary of your skills and achievements in the workplace. They need to remain short (2-3 pages for most candidates is normal), but the content needs to be correct. Don’t include too many stories in the personal profile element of your CV; this will use up valuable space. But do look at the key skill set Format your CV for Work at Home Sucessrequired for the job you are applying for, and then choose one or two stories that demonstrate your ability to fulfil this skill set, using the PREP formula above.

About the author
Samantha Pearce is the owner of Words Worth Reading – an editorial service for Job Seekers, Students, Writers and Businesses. Words Worth Reading offer individually-tailored, comprehensive CV and application form writing and editing services at fantastic prices, with quick turnaround times. 10% of all submission fees are donated to Oxfam.

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Skype 'remoteemployment'

 

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