Why Learning Different CV Formats Matters

By Teboho Polanka

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

You know what, a lot of emphasis hasn’t been made on the issue of CV formats which explains why most never receive recognition. All job seekers know something about CV preparations, but how to present them little is known to them. The truth is we all know what to include in our CVs and cover letters.

There’re such things as CV turn-offs. Did you know about their existence? Did you know what leads to them?

Well in this piece we’ll look at a few thing and prepare you for future successes in your job hunt. CV format deals with the design of your CV which will flatter different hiring managers.

The following three are known formats

  • Reverse chronological: a very well-known format that encapsulates the information of employment and education beginning with the most recent.
  • Functional: not very common, in this case you’re to showcase what you can do versus outlining your previous achievements.
  • Hybrid: also not very common and it brings together the above two formats.


Owing to the above many other formats began to come to life namely the following:

  • Accomplishments: in this regard only specific achievements are brought to light.
  • Targeted: everything included ties in with the particulars of the application.
  • Linear: what you’ve got should be aligned with what employers need in series of short lines.
  • Professional: emphasis is more detailed regarding professional qualification.
  • Keyword: words used can be easily search through computer searches.
  • Academic curriculum vitae: maybe up to 10 pages.it is a very long biographical statement.
  • International curriculum vitae: very much like the professional curriculum vitae, the only difference is that it is targeted to suit specific requirements of a country in view.

A lot of job seekers don’t even realize that different job openings demand different CV formats. So as a way of fishing your CV out of drowning masses below are some suggestions regarding CV formats for specific openings. Failure to distinguishing the suitable CV formats for your application will inevitably result in CV turnoff.

Your Situation Suggested Formats

Perfect career pattern Reverse chronological, targeted
Rookie or ex-military Functional, hybrid, accomplishment, targeted, linear
Seasoned ace Functional, hybrid, accomplishment, keyword
Tech-savvy Keyword



Reverse chronological, accomplishment, targeted
Technical Keyword, targeted, accomplishment, reverse chronological




Professional, academic curriculum vitae, portfolio
Multitrack job history Functional, hybrid, targeted, keyword
Job history gaps Functional, hybrid linear, targeted
Arts/ Teaching Professional, portfolio, academic curriculum vitae
government Reverse chronological, professional
Career change


Functional, keyword, targeted
International job seeker International curriculum vitae
Special issues Functional, hybrid, targeted



Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.