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The Four Main Types of Résumés
Whether you want to promote your skills, your experiences, a combination of the two, or you simply want to make an effect – there's a résumé for every occasion.
1. Chronological CV
This is the most common type of CV, particularly if you’ve already worked a couple of jobs in the past. That’s what this format is primarily best at – hyping work experience and the lessons you’ve learned on-the-job.
The commonality of this format, however is both its strength and its weakness. While recruiters may know what to look for in a single glance, content will be key if you want to stand out among a sea of similar-looking CVs.
How to use it: List as many education and work experiences as possible, starting with the most recent entry.
2. Skills-based CV
Arrange your key skills under various headers and expand on them. This is useful if you’re applying for a highly-specialised job that requires a specific skill set. It’s also a good format to use if you’re seeking an internship but have very little prior experience.
A bad pitch will be particularly noticeable in this format, so don’t use it unless you’re confident in your personal branding skills and are good at selling you strengths.
How to use it: Tie together your personal strengths and work experiences to prove the quality of your skill sets
3. Combination CV
This type of CV is a combination of the chronological and skills-based formats. It’s becoming increasingly popular due to how it emphasises your work experiences and places it against the context of your skill sets – giving you a two-pronged approach to attract employers.
It will take a lot of planning, however, to make this CV read concisely because of all the information you need to cram in. Be prepared to make multiple revisions.
How to use it: Namedrop your best work experiences, and focus only on the most essential skills you want to pitch.
4. Alternative CV
Try this radical format if you want a fresh approach. It can be especially effective if you are applying for a job that requires creative know-how, or if you feel you desperately need that “wow-factor” for a highly competitive position.
Be warned, this is the most risky type of CV to use – it’s ether a hit or miss, and may not be appropriate for most “conventional” career sectors.
How to use it: Present your skills and experience in a layout that is striking and highly-memorable, yet easy-to-digest.