Simple and Proper Resume Format for Job Interview

At last, it’s time to take the information you’ve collected and work out which
order to put it in. To do that you’ll need a format to work with, and there are
two main ones you can use: reverse-chronological and skills-based.

‘I would always start a CV with some form of personal statement.’

Reverse-chronological: Most jobseekers use this format, which means listing
your jobs from most recent to most distant, followed by your skills,
achievements, education, and hobbies. Luckily, my research found that 88
per cent of recruiters prefer this format because it doesn’t give candidates
anywhere to hide. They can see exactly what you’ve done and when, and
whether or not there are any gaps. For this reason it’s great if you’re applying
for a job that’s a natural progression from what you’ve done before, and if
you haven’t got any spaces in your employment history. It’s less helpful if
you’re seeking a change in direction or if your job history is shot full of
holes. Let’s look at an alternative
format below that will help.

‘I received a CV where they had copied a CV template from
online and simply left the template as well as filled it in! The
template writing was also bold red and very noticeable. I’m not
sure how they managed that one.’

Skills-based: Sometimes called ‘function-based’ because it starts with your
skills and particular aspects of your experience, and includes your work
history only at the end of the document. It’s helpful if you haven’t had much
time in the industry or type of job you’re applying for, especially if you’re
trying to change career or turn a hobby or passion into a job. It can also work
well if you’ve had several short-term positions, have gaps in your work
history, or your previous jobs are so similar to each other that describing each
one individually seems redundant. It places emphasis on your transferable
skills, rather than on your previous jobs. However, for recruiters it’s not
ideal. Having your experience in chronological order makes it easy for them
to see what you’ve done without having to piece it together themselves; some
also worry they’ll not spot gaps in your employment.

‘It’s better to do your CV in a reverse-chronological format for the
simple reason that people will usually only read the first page.’

You can find templates for reverse-chronological and skills-based CVs ready to download and work
with them straight away, by visiting

The downloads are great for helping you to stop procrastinating – they will
make sure you don’t find yourself fiddling with the margin sizes of your
Word document for hours. After all, a load of white space on a screen can be
daunting, especially if you haven’t written a good CV in the past. If you’re
worried about using a template because you think it will make you look the
same as everyone else, bear in mind that they’re just a starting point. There
are many different options to suit your skills and level of experience, so
whether you’ve recently finished school, are looking for a graduate CV
template, or need to explain a difficult career break, our templates will have
you covered. And, as they’re written by Reed’s dedicated career-advice
experts, you can be confident that they’re logically formatted in a clear and
concise way.

You can tell a good CV straight away. It’s clearly formatted with
paragraphs. If I see one that’s a big block of text, I’m not going to
take the time to read through it all, and nor is a hiring manager.