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Types Of Curriculum Vitae (CV) – Why And When To Apply Them

The term Curriculum Vitae (CV) simply means “Course of Life” in Latin. In essence, a Curriculum Vitae is a brief summary of the basic information of a potential job applicant which includes contact information, education, work history and achievement. CVs play vital roles for both employees and employers.It would not be surprising that most people do not know the different types of Curriculum Vitae and when to use the different types.

That is what we are here to do for you. We will explain the different types of curriculum vitae and when you can use each of them. Basically, CVs include information on your academic background, including teaching experience, degrees, research, awards, publications, presentations, and other achievements. CVs are thus much longer than resumes, and include more information, particularly details related to one’s academic background.

Types Of Curriculum Vitae (CV) – Why And When To Apply Them

How many types of CVs do we have? When can they be used? Let’s see that below.

There are basically 3 types of curriculum Vitae. They include

  1. Chronological CV
  2. Functional or Skills-Based CV
  3. Combination  CV

Let’s treat each of them.

Also See: Major Differences Between A CV & A Resume & When To Use Them

1. Chronological CV

A Chronological CV is the most commonly known and used type of CV. In this type of CV, your work experience and qualifications are arranged in order of most recent first. That is, the most recent employment/skills/qualification is placed on top. so, the oldest employment/skill is written last, while the most recent appears on the top.

A chronological CV contains detail of education and qualifications, together with interests. Some chronological CVs also contain a brief personal statement at the front which sets out the key skills and strengths of the candidate.

Structure of a Chronological CV

A chronological CV should be arranged in the following way.

  1. Personal Details (i.e. name and contact details)
  2. Personal Profile
  3. Career History in reverse chronological order unless you are a graduate or you have very little work experience, in which case, it may be best to start with your Education and Qualifications
  4. Education and Qualifications
  5. Professional Memberships
  6. Other Information
  7. Interests

When To Use Chronological CV

  • If you are applying within the same industry as it will demonstrate your career progression.
  • If you want to demonstrate growth and maturity throughout an organization.
  • Also, if you have a stable, solid career progression through one or, at most, two fields.
  • If you do not have many achievements across your career, taking a job by job approach.
  • If you want to make it easier for potential employers. It is the favorite format for most employers, who simply want to get a feel for your career to date.

Advantages

  • Particularly useful for those applying within the same industry as it will demonstrate your career progression
  • It is the favourite format for most employers, who simply want to easily identify the roles and responsibilities in each job
  • If you do not have many achievements or significant highlights across your career, taking a job-by-job approach can detail your main responsibilities and take the emphasis away from key achievements which is more expected in a functional CV

Disadvantages

  • If you have gaps in your employment which you would rather not highlight, a chronological CV will make them more obvious
  • If you are changing career direction, a chronological CV may not be so relevant to a recruiter who will be more concerned about the transferable skills that you are bringing rather than the detail of your experience in an unrelated sector.

Also See: Top 6 Tips For Writing A Great Resume – Resume Writing Tips

Functional CV Or Skills Based CV

The second Types Of Curriculum Vitae is the functional CV. In this type of CV, emphasis is placed on your skills and or expertise rather than the chronology of your job employment. It is used in situations where specific skills and accomplishments gained through experience or academic qualifications will demonstrate your competencies. Your skills should be listed in order of their importance. Also, it  is ideal for those who are looking for a career change.

Structure of a Functional CV

  1. A functional CV typically starts with a personal profile which highlights the achievements, skills and personal qualities that you possess.
  2. This is then followed by a succession of sections, each relating to a different skill or ability. These should be ordered in decreasing order of importance.
  3. Instead of focusing on any particular job, you should describe your experience in its entirety. Since you are not detailing any specific role, this means you can include any skills or experience gained in voluntary or unpaid work.

When To Use A Functional CV

  1. If you have changed jobs frequently, if your experience comes through unrelated jobs or if you have several career gaps.
  2. If you are changing industry.
  3. Also, if you are a more mature applicant, a functional CV will take the spotlight away from your age.

Advantages

  1. If you have changed jobs frequently, or your experience is a combination of seemingly unrelated posts or if you have several career gaps, a functional CV will help place the emphasis on what you have to offer as a whole rather than your career progression
  2. Next, if you are changing industry, a functional CV will help the recruiter focus on your transferable skills
  3. If you are a more mature applicant, a functional CV will take the spotlight away from your age

Disadvantages

  1. If you do not have much work experience, you may struggle to highlight achievements in a separate section
  2. Most employers do not like this type of CV as they prefer to clearly see what the candidate has done and it also raise questions around whether the candidate is trying to hide something
  3. A functional CV will not enable you to highlight consistent career progression. If you wish to convey career progression, you should adopt a chronological format.

Also See: How To Write A Job Seeking Application Letter With Samples

Combined CV

This type is also called the chrono-functional CV. It is the combination of the functional and chronological CV. This automatically makes it a bit longer than the two above. It has obvious benefits and is becoming much more popular and in vogue.

When To Use A Combined CV

  1. If you have a strong career progression with many achievements.
  2. If you want to showcase your strengths as well as your experience.
  3. Next, if you are a senior level applicant and have a lot of working experience and achievements to demonstrate
  4. If you would have used a chronological CV but want to highlight your skills too
  5. Applying for managerial or executive positions
  6. If you have plenty of experience in the chosen field

Advantages

  • Perfect format if you have a strong career progression with many achievements
  • Enables you to sell your strengths as well as your experience

Disadvantages

  • Lengthier than a functional or chronological CV so may put off some employers
  • Not suitable for those with little experience or achievements
  • Not suitable for those with employment gaps.

Also See: Major Mistakes Job Seekers Make & How To Avoid Them

The different Types Of Curriculum Vitae (CV) have their different functions and uses. The usage depends on what you need per time. So, use this guide. Bookmark this page and refer to it from time to time while applying for jobs.

If there is nay question or comments, they are welcomed.

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