Differences Between a Functional and Chronological CV

Chronological CV:

This is the format most people are familiar with. It's a progressive account of your career that's easy to write, popular with employers and a good way of showcasing your experience from today, backwards. Advantages of a chronological CV include:

  • Emphasises employment continuity
  • Emphasises your career growth
  • Easy to follow and read
  • Extremely common and is therefore typically preferred

This CV design is ideal for an individual with continual employment with no gaps / irregularities.

Functional CV:

Not as popular with some recruiters as it can suggest to be hiding gaps in employment but is ideal if you are aiming on placing emphasis on your skills/strengths relevant to a specific job / industry. Reasons for using a functional CV include:

  • If you are aiming to sell your skills to target specific competencies
  • If you do not have a consistent employment history
  • You are/have recently changed careers
  • You have employment experience but it is not related to the position you are interested in

Please take time to weigh up the pros and cons of a functional CV - many recruiters prefer chronological CVs purely because they are more common and easy to follow. However, there are certain circumstances when a functional CV is useful (see above).

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