What is the best CV format?

What is the best CV format?

When starting your CV, think about how best to arrange your experiences so the employer can easily understand and follow what you have to say. The two most popular formats are reverse chronological and skills-based.

Both have their advantages, and the choice is yours.

Skills-based CVs are usually best when applying for roles you don't have a lot of previous work experience with – they allow you to emphasise how the skills you've gained are transferable to this role.

chronological CV is best if you've got a lot of work experience and/or education in the field that you want to show off.

Whichever you choose, make sure it all fits on to two A4 pages.

  • Reverse chronological CV

This is the most common type of CV. Here are the best ways to write a reverse chronological CV:

  • List your previous work experience/qualifications in chronological order, with the most recent at the top
  • Explain what you learned and achieved in those roles. Be as specific as possible and focus on results
  • Highlight skills as you go along or summarise them at the end (though if you find yourself repeating the same skills, you might be better off with a skills-based layout).

The format is quick and easy to put together, but please note that it can look generic and draw attention to any gaps that you have taken out of work.

  • Skills-based CV

These tips will help you write the perfect skills-based CV:

  • Emphasise your skills first
  • Pick the top five skills for the job you'll be applying for, then choose two or three examples for each skill from a range of situations including education, work and other activities
  • Then, list your work experience and qualifications, with years and a brief summary of key duties or achievements.

This type of CV can help you target the job description directly, but try and keep your examples as specific as possible so it doesn't become vague.

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