When contemplating which CV structure to use, your answer should be influenced by this question. “Which structure gives the most valuable information on the front page?”
The reason is simple and obvious; recruiters seldom read beyond the first page of a CV.
Therefore, it makes sense to reach out to a professional CV maker and use a structure that enables you to get essential information on the front page.
Read on and find out more about different kinds of CV structures, and which structure is best suited for you.
The Reverse Chronological CV
This is the most popular CV structure. It has a focus on your most recent roles and achievements.
In the reverse chronological CV, you begin with a brief professional profile followed by your career history beginning with the latest role to the earliest.
Since there’s a focus on more recent jobs, you’ll give a summary of these roles as well as your achievements. As you get to the earlier roles, you can give shorter descriptions or even just mention.
This type of CV structure is ideal for you if you are looking to progress your career in a similar field as your current employment. It is also good if you are not planning a return from a career break.
The Skills or Competencies CV Structure
If you are looking to leap from one career to another, or you’ve been out on a career break for a considerably long time, the skill-based or competencies CV structure is a smart choice.
After the professional profile, you should highlight four to six key competencies as sub-headings. Ensure that they are aligned with the target role. Each competency should be supported by concrete examples that show when, where, how you utilized the skill and the impact on the organization. The examples don’t always have to come from the workplace. You can pick instances from different, but relevant, experiences as long as you can demonstrate the key skill.
This part will be the focus of your CV and is followed by a brief career history.
The Hybrid CV Structure
There’s a middle ground if neither reverse chronological or skills-based CVs fit your needs.
You can work with a professional CV writer and come up with a hybrid structure that combines the good aspects of both reverse chronological and skills-based CV.
In the hybrid structure, you will start with a brief professional profile, then spell out a short key skills section just before the career history. The key skills section should be aligned with the role and described using familiar jargon.
This structure has two advantages:
- It helps you to beat the bots that analyze CVs against job descriptions.
- It highlights areas of expertise that may not be clear in the career history section.
Choosing the Right CV Structure
Choosing which is the appropriate CV structure relies primarily on your career objectives and circumstances.
It all boils down to what information you want to appear on the front page of the CV.
Do you want it to be more about your recent job roles or about key skills that are essential for the job?
Are you looking to continue in the same career line from your current employer or are you shifting careers? Is it a comeback after a long time away?
Whatever your objective is, remember to work with a professional CV writer to get the most essential information on the front page.