Your employment history is the first area a potential employer will examine before he weighs up whether he thinks you have what it takes to do the job in question. Previous employment history can be checked and everything you have written on your CV can be verified or denied by a previous employer. Therefore it is essential to take great care and time at getting this part of your CV correct and a true reflection of you.
There are three main different types of CV’s that can be used and the one you choose will largely depend on what stage you are currently at in your career.
1. A Chronological CV
This CV is most suitable for an applicant who is applying for a job that is similar to the one they already have. You can use the structure of this CV to show the experience you have gained since beginning work in your chosen field and show how you have advanced in your position over a period of time.
When completing this type of CV start with your most recent employer and then work backwards listing the dates you worked in each position, the company’s name and address, your official job title and what your duties, responsibilities and achievements were during the time you spent in that position.
A potential employer should be able to gauge quickly from looking at a Chronological CV where a person is now at in their career and why they are a good candidate for this new job.
2. A Functional CV
This type of CV is most suitable for someone who may be returning to the workforce after a break in their career or for someone who wants to take a new direction in their existing one. With this type of CV you concentrate more on the skills and life experience that you can bring to the job instead of a list of where you have worked.
You will need to replace the traditional list of company, job title and date’s with the name of your most important skill that you have gained through paid employment, life experience or voluntary work.
This method takes the attention away from the fact that you may have had a career break and still allows your skills and experience to appear in a recent context. You will need to list previous employment also but you don’t have to elaborate too much on the details.
3. A Combination CV
In today’s uncertain climate brief periods of employment and frequency of different employers has become much more common however this can still signal uncertainty in a potential employers mind so to combat this you should use a Combination CV.
Basically, this involves dividing and combining your employment history. Go through your previous work experience and categorize the various roles you have had and what skills you developed as a result that would be most relevant to you in your new position.
When this is completed put the company name and dates at the top of your heading and underneath this list your achievements and skills obtained during your time in the job.
Also wherever appropriate always try to include specific samples of the positive results you brought to the job such as ‘I increased sales of that new product by 50% during 2007.’ Make sure also that you link this achievement back to a skill the potential employer is looking for in his job description to make it more specifically relevant.