Any seasoned professional will tell you one of the most important elements to get a job is to perfect your CV layout. Why? Because before the recruiter has even had the chance to glance over your credentials, he will be looking at your CV from a purely visual perspective. Making sure the CV structure is clear and concise is a fundamental aspect of any winning CV, even if you’re experiences are not as great as other candidates.
3 Types of CV Layouts
- Skills-based layout: The most commonly used CV structure amongst graduates and school leavers as this type of CV focuses on transferable and general skills you will have gained from past experiences, most notably at university. As with any candidate application, the skills that you put at the top of your CV should be tailored for the job role. A generic CV that is sent to many job roles will quickly end up in the bin as employers can very quickly detect when little effort has been made. Furthermore, make sure to highlight your hobbies and interests. Most often neglected by many candidates, employers continuously seek people who stand out and this can very easily come from your interests outside work.
- Chronological layout: The reverse chronological layout is the most commonly used layout amongst professionals. Instead of putting your key skills at the top of your CV, you list your past experiences going from the initial small job in the local supermarket to your latest experience working in the industry you have chosen. By listing your experiences in reverse order, the employer can quickly see how fast you have progressed and what type of skills you are currently learning and harnessing. A personal statement is also an added benefit when using this type of layout.
- Academic layout: Mainly reserved for Academics or those having just finished their Ph.D, this type of CV is by far the longest. Whilst the other types should not exceed 2 A4 pages, this type can go up to 10 A4 pages. An academic layout should cover your professional education, any related work experience and all honours and publications that you have had to date. In order to facilitate the recruiter’s job, it is often advised to include an executive summary to summarize all the key points that you would like to make from your CV.