The most common CVs used today and certainly strongly recommended are the Reverse Chronological CV sometimes referred to as the Full CV and the Functional CV.
This CV might have a grand title, but it is a straight forward document and as the name suggests it captures an individual’s employment history starting with the current role and then working back in time. Depending on how long a person has been employed will impact on how far back to go in time, as caution needs to be exercised in not going back too many years and as a rule of thumb, the last 10 to 12 years should be covered. Major achievements going back longer can easily be captured under a specific heading e.g. Earlier Career History.
For those starting out on the career ladder, full time employment history will not exist, so consideration should be given in highlighting any work experience or part time employment gained during the time of studying. Failing that, achievements need to be sought from any out of school/college /university activities.
Another area to pay particular attention to, is not to overload the CV with just a mass of dates, so again if a number of roles have been undertaken in succession, we will cover that aspect too.
This type of CV is becoming more popular, especially where an individual has carried out numerous roles which are similar over a short period or is looking to change industrial sectors. It also presents the reader with career achievements over a period of time which are not date sensitive as is the case with the Reverse Chronological CV. It will retain other key aspects of an individuals skills and abilities. It is important that it remains a selling document in the true sense of the word.
Due to the layout of this CV, you should aim to capture the information of 2 pages only.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using both versions of this CV Reverse Chronological CV
• Will show career progression and highlight additional responsibilities over a period of time .
• It is easy to read and organise
• Potential employers often ask for this version, so it’s really a must have document
• The current or last position held, may not be the most important role you have undertaken, so achievements may appear later on within the document
• Breaks in employment history are quickly identified, but are perhaps becoming an accepted fact in today’s climate
• If there have been numerous similar roles within a relative short period of time, the CV will contain a great number of dates and achievements which may make the document rather tedious to read
• Can, unlike the Reverse Chronological CV, show earlier career achievements if they are considered more important
• Reduces the length of the document, by grouping achievements all together making these readily available for the reader to pick up on
• Breaks in employment for whatever reason are not brought to the readers attention
• If a prospective employer is looking for a full CV, this may not be considered the desired document .
• Career paths & positions are not readily recognized
• Gaps in employment are more evident, but as already said are becoming more acceptance