When To Use A Skills Based CV

September 13, 2012  |   Career Coaching Blog   |     |   0 Comment

There are certain times when it is better to use a skills based CV to get you the job that you want rather than the normal traditional type of CV.


 What Is A Skills Based CV


In a traditional or chronological CV you lay out your career history starting with your most recent position first and then work backwards in time. In this kind of CV you put your responsibilities and achievements under each job.


In a skills based CV you put your achievements and responsibilities under key skills headings such as leadership, strategic management or building sales. You can find an example of a Skills Based CV on the link.  You would choose the skills headings to present the skills and achievements that you have that are most relevant to the job description of the job that you want.


Why Use A Skills Based CV


Because a skills based CV presents your skills and achievements rather than your career history it shows the recruiter why you are right for the job. This is particularly important where you want to change industry sector, or you may want to change the type and function of the job that you do.


So for example if you were an Operations Manager who wanted to become an HR Manager a skills based CV would enable you to show your HR related skills much better than a traditional CV. You could put skills headings such as; leadership, employee relations, recruitment and training. In this way the recruiter sees how you have the skills to swap job function.


A skills based CV is also valuable where you have spent a long time in one company or industry and you want to move into a different one. In the example CV on the link above the individual had worked in one company for most of their career. This can lead to you becoming stereotyped as only being able to work in one industry or having become stuck in one organisational culture. A skills based CV presents the skills you have to offer an employer rather than your career history.


But Beware


Recruitment agencies do not like skills based CVs because it is not apparent in which job the achievements you list were made. So for instance you may have had experience of leading change 10 years ago but this is not obvious from a skills based CV. Of course that’s why you are using one! However employers are more likely to take a relaxed attitude to a well constructed skills based CV.



Tony Goddard


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