Use different CV formats for different job roles

This article is more than 12 months old

One of the most common mistakes made by job applicants is that of thinking they can use one curriculum vitae or CV format to apply for different job roles.

This is wrong. Candidates should customise their CVs to match the job qualifications required by the company.

Here are the three most popular CV formats for different job roles:


This format is suitable for people who already have strong working experiences and seek new opportunities. It is effective for the employer to immediately identify potential candidates by matching their qualifications with the requirements for certain job roles.

The main structure of this CV is reverse chronological order, with the most recent working experience and qualifications at the top of the page.

Points you should include are:

  • Career objectives - state what you want to achieve from the job, for both the short and long term.
  • Dates - state month and year of your employment. Do not leave any gaps within the dates, as this could leave questions for the employer.
  • Working experience. Make sure you write only relevant qualifications to meet your job requirements.
  • Additional skills. As an added value to complement the qualification and experience, list additional skills and knowledge that can be used to contribute to the job role.


This format is suitable for fresh graduates with limited working experiences or for those who frequently switch careers.

Functional CVs are also helpful for people who are re-entering the workforce after a sabbatical or significant gaps in their careers.

In a functional CV, you are required to write the skills and knowledge at the top of the first page. Specify the details of your work experiences such as company names, job titles or positions held, dates of employment, as well as the address.


Here,you need to emphasise your strongest skills and support the idea by enlisting related job history. Employers would immediately know that you have great potential for a particular job role.

This CV is most suited for people who tend to switch career frequently, and are also experienced professionals.

Points you should include in this format are summary, job description and accomplishments, as well as basic information such as educational background and personal data.

Article contributed by TBC HR Consulting (S) Pte Ltd (