When it comes to creating a CV, there are two primary formats to choose from: chronological and functional. While both serve the same purpose of presenting your skills and experience to potential employers, there are significant differences between the two. Below, we will explore the difference between chronological CV and functional CV.
A chronological CV is the most common type of CV. As the name suggests, a chronological CV presents your employment history in chronological order, starting with your most recent job first. This format works best for individuals who have a clear and linear career path with relevant experience that follows a logical progression.
Chronological CVs begin with your personal information (name, address, contact information), followed by a professional summary or objective statement to introduce yourself to potential employers. The professional summary is a short statement that sums up your career goals, your relevant experience, and your unique selling proposition.
The next section of a chronological CV is your employment history. This section should list your job history in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent job comes first, followed by the rest in descending order. You should include the name of the company you worked for, your job title, and the dates you worked there. You should also include a brief description of your job responsibilities.
After your employment history, you should list your educational qualifications and professional certifications. This section should be concise and relevant to your field.
At the end of a chronological CV, you can include details about any additional skills or relevant volunteer work you have done. You can also include references if they are applicable.
A functional CV is a less conventional format that focuses on your skills and qualifications rather than chronological work history. This format is best suited for individuals who have career gaps, frequent job changes, or significant changes in their career focus.
Functional CVs begin with a summary of your skills and qualifications. This section should highlight your key achievements and strengths, focusing on the most relevant skills related to the job you are applying for.
The next section of a functional CV is your work experience. Rather than listing your work history in chronological order, you should highlight specific achievements and skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. This section should be focused on giving potential employers an idea of how you have used your skills in previous jobs and how they can relate to the job you are applying for.
After your work experience, you should include any educational qualifications and professional certifications that are relevant to the job. This section should be shorter than in a chronological CV, focusing only on the most relevant qualifications.
In a functional CV, you can also include a section for additional skills and accomplishments that don't fit into the other categories. This section can include things such as languages spoken, computer skills, personal accomplishments, and any volunteer work or community involvement.
Finally, you can include references at the end of your functional CV if they are applicable.
Which format is best for you?
The type of CV format that is best for you will depend on your unique circumstances. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between a chronological or functional CV.
Career History: If your career history is linear without any significant gaps or changes in focus, a chronological CV may be the best format for you.
Career Gaps: If you have gaps in your employment history or if you have taken time off for personal reasons, a functional CV may be a better choice.
Frequent Job Changes: If you have had many jobs in a short period of time or have switched career paths, a functional CV may be a better fit.
Skills and Achievements: If you have a diverse set of skills and many achievements that are relevant to the job, a functional CV may be best as it allows you to highlight your strengths.
Job Application: The type of job you are applying for can also affect the type of CV you should use. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires a specific set of skills, a functional CV may be the best option.
Ultimately, the type of CV you should use will depend on your specific circumstances. A career advisor or professional resume writer can help you determine which format is best for you.
In conclusion, both chronological and functional CVs serve the same purpose of presenting your skills and experience to potential employers. However, the difference lies in the format and structure. A chronological CV focuses on your career history in chronological order, while a functional CV focuses on your skills and achievements. The type of CV you should use will depend on your unique circumstances, career history, and job application.