Choosing the right format for your CV can be a crucial element that grabs the hiring manager’s attention immediately and makes it clear to them that you’re the right person for the job. If you’re writing your CV, you should be familiar with these 3 types of CV formats.
Each one of these formats is a template that you can easily customise and tailor to your job search needs.
Choosing a CV format
With so many different templates to choose from, you will find that some formats will work better for your job search than others. For instance, if you have a gap in your career, a functional resume may be the best choice because it emphasises skills over linear experience. On the other hand, if your career shows a clear progression, you may find that a chronological or combination resume might be the best option for your CV format. Ultimately, your choice will depend on the level of your career, work experience and job history. Often you will find the job description for the job you wish to apply for, which will also have a significant effect on the format you choose.
Top tip #1: Create several versions of your CV including the different formats so that you have the flexibility to market your different credentials simply and quickly.
Top tip #2: When it comes to writing your CV, always keep in mind the page length as you format it. No more than 2 sides of A4 is the usual rule of thumb when it comes to the ideal CV length.
Headlines and profiles
It’s common knowledge that most recruiters will only spend a few seconds reviewing a resume before placing it in a yes or no pile and swiftly moving on. Due to this, many people choose to add a section that highlights their most relevant skills at the top of their CV. This can be done via:
Headline: A CV headline that summarises why you are the best candidate for the role. This usually appears at the top of your CV and can be used by a variety of candidates and industries.
Headline and profile: If you choose to include a brief headline and personal profile, you’re providing the hiring manager with much more information about you.
Summary statement: A brief paragraph or two that works alongside a short list of your strongest qualifications for the job.
Branding statement: A brief and catchy statement that showcases all you have to offer in around 15 words or less.
Objective: A CV objective is a one to two sentence description of who you are and what you’re looking for in a job. A lot of employers may prefer a CV profile or summary over a CV objective but your choice will depend on the suitability of this feature. A profile or summary statement does in fact serve the same purpose as an objective, so this may help you decide when it comes to choosing.
Formatting your CV
Once you’ve decided on the type of CV you’ll be using, you will need to select the right font and font size. You should aim to pick a font that is easy to ready such as Calibri, Times New Roman or Arial. Aim to keep the font size large enough to read easily, usually 10-12 point. Additionally, you should be consistent in your style choices, so, if you choose to bullet point one section of your CV, you should continue this format throughout.
Make your CV your own
Once you’ve chosen a template for your CV, you should then revise the information so that it fits the format you have chosen. You may find yourself creating quite a few drafts to get it right and you may find it helpful to have someone on hand to review your CV for any typos etc. It’s important to remember that you can include information not mentioned in CV templates as these are only for guidance. Making your CV stand out is paramount to a successful job application.