So… what’s a CV format, anyway?
What’s a CV format? Since we’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you understand CV formats, we’re kinda glad you asked! A CV format is a layout that has been designed to help you present your professional background to potential employers. Yup, that’s it! The best CV format for you depends on a few things: mainly the job role you’re applying for and your career experience.
We’ll dive deeper into each individual CV format, but each CV format is optimised for different career backgrounds and job roles. The right CV format for you is the format that can best convey your career strengths and the professional value you can offer to employers.
We’ll go over the three main CV formats. These are:
- Reverse Chronological CVs
- Functional CVs
- Combination CVs
Since each CV format offers different advantages, we’ll help you understand each format so you can choose which is best for you: For example, while reverse chronological formats focus on your work history, a function CV format can zoom in on your skills and achievements instead. We’ll help you choose the CV format that best presents your professional profile and enhances your chances of landing your next job role. Let’s get started!
Reverse Chronological Format:
Ahhhh, the reverse chronological format. A fan favourite, this CV format is the most commonly used format and easily recognised by both employers and applicants alike. Reverse chronological formats focus on presenting your work experience, education and skills in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent employment experiences and achievements and working backwards. It’s a great way to highlight your career trajectory and allows potential employers to effectively map your career progression. It’s also an easy way for employers to assess if you’re a good fit for the job role.
It’s important that the career experiences you include on your CV are not just in order of most recent to least recent, but that your past professional experiences are arranged in a way that emphasises the value you can offer to the job role. Keep in mind that employers are interested in seeing how your expertise and experience directly relates to the role in question. That means that if you’re applying for a chef position and have already had multiple jobs in the hospitality industry, it’s best to leave your job role in retail from eight years ago. Employers are looking for relevant experience and expertise – so if you have more relevant career experiences, prioritise highlighting those first.
Functional CV Format:
Functional CV formats emphasise your skills and achievements instead of focusing solely on your previous job positions. Usually, you can opt for a functional CV format when you want to draw away from gaps in employment history, if you have limited job experience, or when you’re changing career paths or industries and want to focus more on skills and achievements you’ve accrued over the years. In a functional CV format, you’ll typically include a skills summary at the top of the CV, followed by specific skill sets and accomplishments. You can use your cover letter to elaborate on your career and explain any gaps in your work history, but your CV should highlight your skills and achievements as convincingly as possible. Remember: the goal of a CV is to showcase the value you can offer employers, even if you gained these skills in different industries or through less traditional means.
Combination CV Format:
Combination CV formats, as the name suggests, offer individuals the opportunity to present a comprehensive overview of both their skills and career experiences. This format is particularly beneficial for freelancers, IT professionals, and those in marketing roles, allowing applicants to highlight their work history and any relevant skills or achievements that make them a well-rounded candidate. In a combination CV, there are generally two key sections that you can use to your advantage. The first is the skills summary section, which allows you to showcase your core competencies and areas of expertise. Here, you can list the specific skills, tools, software, or methodologies that you have mastered in your career. This section can provide a snapshot of your abilities, making it easier for potential employers to quickly grasp your skill set.
The second important section in a combination CV is the employment history section. This is where you can outline your professional journey and highlight relevant experiences and achievements. This section allows employers to see the practical application of your skills and the impact you’ve achieved in previous positions. Combination CVs are effective at capturing an applicant’s job experience and skillset and help highlight your professional value to employers.
Choosing the right CV format can be daunting, but here at cvapp.nz, we make landing your next job easy! With professional design layouts and expert-approved examples, we'll get you hired faster.