To do full justice to your CV, make sure your accomplishments are presented. Clearly worded, quantified achievements are the way forward, but remember to also include supporting job descriptions to provide a frame of reference for recruiters.

Remember that recruiters will initially glance at your CV for no longer than 15 – 20 seconds so your profile and key strengths must jump out of the page at them and impress them enough to keep them reading.

You must ensure that your key achievements are highlighted and will draw in someone who is quickly glancing over your CV. Recruiters are likely to be viewing a lot of CVs around the same time that they look at yours, so it is vital to stand out from the crowd.

Chronological -v- Functional CV

There are 2 main types of CV – a chronological CV and a functional CV

Chronological CV

The most accepted, uncomplicated and easy to prepare CV format. It provides a job/career history in a logical, sequential order.


  • Where your last employer is important e.g. a well known company with a great reputation
  • Where your next career move is in the same field as your previous jobs
  • Where your career history shows a sustained upward path and career development
  • Where your former/existing job titles are in demand in the jobs market


  • Where you work history has gaps
  • When you are looking for a career change or move to a new business sector
  • Where your job changes might be seen as too frequent
  • Where you wish to avoid emphasising your age or where you have been doing the same job for a long time

Functional CV

This format requires careful thought because you must group your skills into categories according to functional areas.


  • Where you wish to highlight specific skills which match the job you are applying for
  • Where your are changing career direction or where your work has been freelance or consulting
  • Where you had held several jobs and want to describe all you skills
  • Where your job record has been irregular through unemployment, redundancy etc


  • Tends to take longer to think about and put together
  • Where you have performed a limited number of functions in your jobs i.e. you don’t have a wide range of skills to describe
  • Your career path/job history is not immediately clear to recruiters
  • The style is not to eveyone’s taste – HR managers tend to prefer chronological CVs as they provide a frame of reference for them.

Posted on 26th March 2013

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