Post graduates, return to workers and specialist career changers
Have you recently completed a course to update your skills or learn a new role? Or maybe you’ve just graduated from university? If so, you'll need a qualifications-based CV.
This CV type suits postgraduates, jobseekers that want to return to work after a long period of unemployment (12 months or more), and some of those who which to change careers.
A qualifications-based CV is only suitable for career changers who require specific qualifications to be able to work in their new field. Examples might include programmers, software developers, project managers or network support engineers.
Likewise, for career changers where the need is more pronounced for skills or market knowledge, a skills-based CV will probably be the better option.
Career changers, return to workers, return to permanent work and 'new' job opportunities
You'll need a skills-based CV if you want to:
- Change careers
- Return to work in the same industry after a short break (under 12 months)
- Return to work after working as a contractor
- Work in a new industry
- Work on a specific project (i.e. a new software product launch)
This CV is perfect for showing off those skills you can transfer to your next job. So, unlike the qualifications-based CV, there's no requirement for 'specific' qualifications. A perfect example of this might be new media.
Fifteen years ago, few people had any clue about the skill sets required to work in this industry. Candidates with print or other traditional media backgrounds moved across, transferring their 'traditional' skills. Of course, any qualifications you hold are always worth a mention.
If you're a contractor looking to return to permanent work, ensure your last employment is listed under the name of your limited company rather than the individual contracts.
Many permanent employers tend to suspect that contractors will return to contract positions once the market picks up. Presenting a solid CV under a single company name means you're more likely to get a foot in the door and it makes you look a lot more reliable.
Career ladder climbers
If you want to remain in the same industry but are looking for new opportunities (e.g. you know for a fact you could do a better job than your boss with your eyes shut and using only the power of open source applications) you'll need a chronological CV. This CV type is all about work history, charting your meteoric rise to IT stardom by continually gaining knowledge, skills and possibly qualifications in the same industry.
IT Contractor CV
If you're a contractor looking for your next contract role, a variation of the skills-based CV is the way forward.
Take care to limit the number of concurrent roles you list, it might make you look superhuman but can also send worrying signals about a lack of attention. Always ensure you clearly specify the contract term – as well as any extensions to the contract and the reason for the extension.
A contractor CV doesn't need to include any personal information such as hobbies or personality type – you're not looking for a permanent role within the company, so your personality fit has very little to add to your suitability for the contract.