The Best Cv Format?

by Mike Kelley - Date: 2008-11-15 - Word Count: 391 Share This!

Which is best CV Format or Layout? In short, the format preferred by the vast majority of employers and decision makers is one that is

1. Targeted, 2. Has reverse chronology and 3. Achievement Based (if appropriate). 

A CV layout that covers these prerequisites is what we can call the "Universal CV format". This format can also include career functions and more skills.  Here is a outline list of the suggested layout with CV formats online. The Layout can change according to the writer's career history and education.

1. Contact details - name, address, telephone number (a mobile or cell number is OK).

2. Personal profile and / or Career Statement i.e. a Personal Profile with and Objective Statement, (keep it factual, no hype)

3. Key Skills Index.

4. Educational details.

5. Career History (Professional Experience), reverse chronological. This should include your level of responsibility and bullet pointed achievements.

6. Achievements - bullet point under the companies they relate to.

7. Personal Details - hobbies, interests, marital status, year of birth, driving license.

This Universal CV Format has the added advantage of focusing attention at an early stage on your most recent experience which, in the vast majority of cases, will also be the most relevant.

The Hybrid CV format has the added advantage of also communicating career functions or more skills and abilities for targeting purposes.

Other CV formats include; Straight Chronological? Reversed Chronological? Functional?  Targeted?  Basic? Performance?  Comprehensive?  International?

Here's a brief outline of their advantages and disadvantages.

Most readers will initially only give your CV only a quick glance. A straight chronological CV format dispels 'most recent and relevant experience first' argument - you need to grab their attention straight away. With both chronological formats (straight or reverse) has the inherent disadvantage of highlighting gaps between jobs, frequent changes of employer (although this can be a good thing) and changes in career direction. With a functional CV. Experience and achievements can be categorized under functional headings such 'Management', ‘Technical' 'Sales', Training' etc., rather than being listed under employer. Career history is then summarized in reverse chronology, towards the later part of the CV.  Unfortunately, whichever way you make your CV, you will always find someone who likes it written differently including CV Consultants, and recruiters and employers.

The Universal CV is a format that pleases as many people as possible as much of the time as possible. 

Mike Kelley

Related Tags: cv, cv format, make a cv

Mike Kelley has written many articles on various topics including CV Writing and this time writing article on The Best CV format. For more details about CV format please visit:

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