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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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6.3 Chronological CV

Image of multiple calendar cards mixed up.
Figure 8 Chronological CV

This is the most commonly used form of CV and gives information about your work in date order. It shows where you worked, for how long, the kind of work you did and your main achievements. If you are writing your CV for the first time, this is the most useful type to create.

Have a look at the example of Derek’s CV in the Resource pack [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Note that any periods of unemployment are included.

Derek’s example shows some of the advantages this kind of CV offers. For example:

  • it shows potential recruiters or employers the story of Derek’s employment so far
  • it allows him to highlight key skills and to show progress made
  • it is easy to produce.

However, it works less effectively where there are gaps in employment. Derek chose to be clear about his unemployment and to show how he is acquiring new skills.

It can be problematic too, if you have changed jobs very frequently, or had long periods of time out of the workplace. This might need some explanation. It does not need to be done on the CV, but you might send an accompanying letter which gives more information. For instance, had Derek’s period of unemployment been because he had served a short prison sentence, he might have left a gap in his CV, but explained the gap in a covering letter.

The other problem you might have noticed is that it is not easy to pick out key achievements or skills, because they are listed by individual jobs. You will learn later on how to create a strong personal profile statement, which summarises your achievements and skills to help to counter this risk. There are limitations to this type of CV, as it may not convey a sense of you as a person very clearly.

The second type of CV handles this aspect better, as you will see in the next section.