A CV or Resume Outline

Select the one that will promote you most effectively

There are a number of cv and resume styles that you can use and it is important that you stop and think carefully about which one is going to be best for you.

The different cv styles all have their own strengths and weaknesses and some will work better for you than others, depending on your situation.

Career changers in particular should think careful about which style will present them in the best light to future employers.

What are the different cv and resume styles?

Chronological resume or cv

As the title suggests, the chronological cv lists your education and experience in date order.

Usually you will begin with the most recent first and track backwards. This is because your most recent experience is usually at a higher level and is more relevant to where you want to go next.

This works well if your career has followed a steady path and your next career move fits in with this.

Skills based resume or cv

This style focuses on the key skills you have to offer. (To review your skills, click here). This makes it easier for you to show the employer that you have just the skills and experience that they need. It can be a great way of really capturing the reader’s attention in the first 15 seconds. If you are changing direction n your career, this style of resume can focus the reader on what you can do rather than on your occupational ‘label’.

Functional resume or cv

This kind of resume has much in common with a skills based model, but in this case you highlight the professional functions that you have experience of. This could include broad functions such as project management, budget control or marketing. So if you are looking to move up within your current field of work or move sideways to a different organisation but want to continue to use the functional expertise you have developed, it will help showcase the abilities that you can apply in any job.

Combination resume or cv

You won’t be surprised to hear that this style of resume pulls together aspects of the other three. You can use a combination cv to highlight relevant skills and experience, but at the same time, a chronological listing of your employment history shows you have a consistent and credible record. This style will establish you as an expert in your field.

How do I choose?

As I have suggested before, it is essential that you think about what will capture the interest and attention of your reader – your future employer. Remember that your cv is your marketing tool and the way you present it will play a big part in the impact you have.

Most recruiters have very little time to spend looking at your cv, so your job is to make sure that the most relevant information hits them on page one. Your resume must always be carefully targeted at the employer you are sending it to.

When selecting between cv and resume styles, always ask yourself:

  • What are they looking for?
  • What have I got that matches their needs?
  • Which style will allow me to present what I have to offer most effectively?

If you are changing career, it is likely that skills based or functional resume styles will be the most appropriate as they allow you to promote your skills and talents most effectively.

About the author

Amy Thomas

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