What Add job title, key skills
Where Add location, town, city
Scroll for more!

Skills-Based CV Or Traditional CV: Which Is Right For You? 

Published: Monday 24th February 2020

The job of your CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is to act as a selling tool, highlighting what makes you the best person for the job. In the past, this meant laying out your experience and previous job history chronologically. But, as job seeking and recruitment has changed so has the traditional CV. Today, depending on circumstances, a skills-based CV might be a better option for some candidates.

Vintage typewriter on wooden table,, room on background, writing, papers, CV,

Create a CV for the job you want

However, that will depend on the role you’re applying for, and how your CV is processed at its destination. Many recruiter will receive hundreds of CVs for a particular job and these may be pre-screened by an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) before making it to a hiring manager. Fortunately, there are ways to tailor your CV in order to improve your chances of getting past the ATS on your job search.
If you’ve just graduated, or are changing career, and don’t have any real relevant job experience to include, then a skills-based CV might be the only way to market yourself. On the other hand, if your work history makes you look like the ideal candidate for the role, then a traditional CV might be the way to go.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you mixing the two – if you feel that might give you the best chance of getting an interview. Again, a lot comes down to the role and, to an extent, the culture at the company.

For a great curriculum vitae, you need great CV skills

CV - Curriculum Vitae, Job seeker, Job hunting, job search, Job interview concept with business CV

When it comes to your job search, to maximise your chances of securing the job, you’ll need to adapt your CV for each role that you apply to. Focus on a skills-based CV is you have gaps in your work history or if you’re trying to turn a hobby or part-time endeavour into a full time role. Look at the skills required for the role and demonstrate how your top or four skillsets meet the criteria for the job. If you can identify key accomplishments that reinforce this, do so.

Complete your skills-based CV with details of education, qualifications, relevant accreditations and professional affiliations, along with any plans for further training/skills development. The latter can be particularly useful in that it demonstrates that you are actively pursuing a career related to the role to which you are applying.

man working on his CV in office

Customise your Curriculum Vitae for job success

If you choose to go down the traditional CV route, this can be much easier as your experience should do much of the work for you. It’s a good idea to start with a brief career overview that sums up what you can bring to the role, before detailing your job history and achievements within those roles. Again, try to tie in your expertise and accomplishments with key duties in the role. If you can add statistical evidence of successful achievements or milestones, better still!

One final thing to look out for before hitting that send button is typos. Your CV won’t get you far on any job search if it contain spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, so always proofread your CV thoroughly and, if at all possible, get a second opinion from someone else. For more tips for your job search, check out some of our other blogs on crafting the best CV for the job.

Interested in finding out more about the subjects raised on this page?
Simply click on the tags below to read related blog posts...