Searching for a job isn’t easy, but getting the right tools can make things a lot simpler. The CV, which is your best marketing tool, can help you make a good first impression on employers. But to be really effective, you will need to choose the best CV format, and come up with an eye-catching design that stands out.
The following samples have been collected from a range of reliable career resources to give you an idea of what a strong CV should look like in different formats.
1. Traditional CV
You can never go wrong with the traditional CV since it’s the one that most employers expect to see. The challenge with it is to make it as unique as possible. Because employers are used to it, they are looking for something that makes it different to others. To do this, try to make it as relevant to the job at hand with the right keywords and information taken from the job description. This example is straightforward, it keeps everything simple and avoids fancy designs.
2. Modern CV
Modern CVs work perfectly for creative roles. The best thing is that they don’t need to look avant-garde. This example, manages to stay true to the traditional type featuring some modern touches with the structure it follows. Unlike the traditional one, it isn’t confined to the standard black and white format, which is what employers are used to. So, if you want something different from the ordinary, try Kukook.
3. Entry-Level CV
The entry-level CV is the ideal type to use if you are a new graduate and applying for your first job. Just like most graduates you won't have much work experience to begin with so you should focus on your skills and education. You can talk about your modules, thesis/dissertation, hobbies or voluntary experience you had as a student, as long as they can be relevant to the job.
4. Experienced Professional CV
CVs for higher positions and for experienced professionals may go over two pages or more, especially if you have a lot to talk about. If you are well-established in your career, you can use this format, and give emphasis on key areas of expertise and experience in the job. This should show employers what they need to know right away. Use keywords but avoid flooding it with unnecessary ones.
5. Space-Saving CV
If you want to fit everything on one page, the space-saver CV is the most appropriate format to choose, particularly for students. This example makes use of bullet points and lists only the basics of what employers need to know. Here, you can briefly refer to your relevant knowledge in your career objective, then talk about your skills, experience, education and any other additional information, such as your key achievements. This is a great example of a CV that includes only information that’s relevant to the job, leaving out all the unnecessary waffle.
6. Management CV
Applying for a management role is highly competitive and you will need a strong CV to beat the competition. While there are management positions in different fields, employers will be looking for those skills and qualities found in managers such as coaching skills, leadership, people skills, cooperation and negotiation - so make sure they are clearly visible. Backing up these skills is as important as listing them, and this example manages to do it well.
7. Chronological CV
The chronological CV is the most commonly used amongst jobseekers and it’s the preferred choice of recruiters, too. Its strongest section is the career summary that talks about your key professional experience and skills. Following a reverse-chronological order, it lists the most recent experience first. This example uses a slick, modern design to give you an idea of what you can do with yours.
8. Functional CV
The functional (also known as the skills-based) CV, works quite well if you have employment gaps in your work history or you are new to the industry. This type focuses on the skills and experiences and may start off with key accomplishments and skills. It’s perfect to use when you don’t have much work experience and work history isn’t your strongest section.
9. Combination CV
The combination CV is essentially a combination of a functional and chronological CV that’s used when applying for a position that requires a lot of technical skills and expertise. This type of format makes it easy to showcase both your skills and experience but make sure these are tailored to the job.
10. Classic CV
This is an excellent example of a classic CV that can work for whatever position you are applying for. Most employers like simple, conservative and smart CVs that include the necessary information they need; the only difference with the chronological CV is that, after the career summary, you might list some of your main skills and then focus on work experience. On the whole, though, this should depend on what’s more relevant to the job at hand.
11. Career Change CV
If you are writing a CV for a career change, it’s important to show employers that you know enough about the field you are getting into. A career summary or personal statement is ideal here because it briefly talks about your key skills and expertise in the field, immediately showing employers that you understand what’s required of you. If you don’t have much experience though, it’s perhaps better to start off with your skills and education.
12. Volunteer CV
When applying for a volunteering role, you need to show employers that you are passionate about what you are doing. While your goal isn’t money here, you can include paid work experience on your CV if you think it can help you prove your expertise in the field. Refer to volunteering activities that you were involved with and mention your interests and hobbies. Were you an active member of a society at your school? Did you contribute meaningfully to your community? If so, don’t forget to mention it.
13. Mini CV
Mini CVs are the must-have tool for networking. Just like their name suggests, they are shorter than standard CVs and can even be used as business cards. When written effectively, they can give an overview of your credentials to prospective employers. The focus should be on your contact details, your job title and career accomplishments and need to be presented in a bulleted-list format.
14. International CV
If you are applying for a job abroad or a position in a company that works on a global level, you need to show that you have what it takes to keep up with their fast-paced work environment. Fortune 500 companies or other big organisations will be looking for certain skills on your CV that are essential in business. For example, showing that you are familiar with corporate culture, adaptable to different work settings, and culturally aware can improve your chances of getting the job.
15. Targeted CV
Your skills are important to employers and when they are scanning your CV they are looking out for these in order to define your worth and suitability as a candidate. With a targeted CV, you are tailoring yourself to the position and making it easier for them to locate the keywords they need to determine whether you are fit for the job or not.
Using templates is a good idea to help you get started with your CV; browsing different ideas can be useful as long as you can make yours appropriate to the job. Alternatively, if you think that you might need a little more guidance, you can always enlist the services of a professional CV writer to take you through the process.
Which template do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below…
This article was originally published in March 2016.