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Different Types of CVs

Choosing the right CV style

There is a wide variety of different CV styles to choose from and while most people choose a chronological CV layout, there may be occasions when an alternative type of CV is called for. Alternative CV styles such as functional, summary or non-traditional CVs are outlined below showing the benefits and key points for using these CV styles.

Chronological CV

  • This is the most commonly used CV style and it will usually cover two pages.
  • Information is listed job to job and laid out in chronological order from present to past.
  • It is best used if you have a steady career progression in one chosen field and are applying for a job in a similar industry.
  • The emphasis is put on your employment history, education and skills.
  • This CV is generally well received by employers as they can easily compare candidates.

Functional CV

  • This CV style places emphasis on your overall transferable skills gained rather than work history.
  • Use two or three key headings with transferable skills/achievements listed underneath.
  • Best used if you have gaps in your employment history or you are changing career direction.
  • Useful for those with little experience or starting out to show your match to a job spec.
  • Focuses on your whole working career and can also incorporate personal achievements.
  • Employers are often wary of this style of CV and may consider the candidate to be hiding something.

Summary CV

  • One page CV giving a brief overview of skills and abilities.
  • This CV style can be used as part of speculative approach to entice the reader.
  • Often contains a simple list of things you can do for the employer.
  • More detailed American styled versions will include a brief synopsis of your education, skills and work experience.

Non-traditional CV

  • Many options and formats can be used – combinations of the above styles, digital CVs, video CVs, infographic CVs, animated CVs etc.
  • These CVs are mostly used for creative or digital jobs.
  • Not always well received by employers outside of creative industries – seen as unprofessional.

Other Tips

For more helpful information to support your job search, see our Job Seeking Tips.