Home Student & Career Tips The New CV Format In 2021

The New CV Format In 2021 [Updated]

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This article contains the updated steps and guidelines in creating the New CV Format In 2021.

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The very first time I ever drafted a Curriculum Vitae (CV) was as an O’ level (High School Level) computer trainee. Somehow, drafting CVs was part of the course outline.

Years after I graduated from the University, I recalled the book containing the course to make use of has the same format in drafting my CV, but while doing that, many questions ran through my mind. To play safe, I decided to get my CV done at the Cyber cafe since they are likely to know the trending formats.

Surprisingly, what I got eventually was still the same format I had in my book years back. Reluctantly, I used the CV in searching for jobs but every single time I didn’t get a call, a part of me blames it on the CV because somehow, I felt the format used was outdated.

Like me, there are a lot of job seekers out there who find CV preparation to be the daunting part of job seeking. This might be because when looking for a job, getting your CV right can create an awesome first impression and possibly land you an interview.

Every now and then different CV formats trend and as one in search of jobs, it becomes pertinent to keep up with the trend. Your CV is a document that gives you the opportunity to sell yourself to prospective employers. It summarizes the skills and experience that makes you stand out from other candidates.

Before now, we had that impression that a perfect CV is one that is bulky. As a result of this, many job seekers included irrelevant information just to have one.

So, due to the confusion in the minds of many applicants with respect to the CV formats to use, we will be putting together the current CV Formats in 2021 as well as the dos and don’ts. Therefore, sit back and enjoy the read.

THE BASIC STRUCTURES OF A CURRICULUM VITAE

There are basically three structures of a CV;

1. CHRONOLOGICAL CV

This is the most traditional and the oldest resume format but has remained the most common format in use. It usually includes the following information in this particular order:

  • Contact information
  • Objective
  • Relevant skills
  • Professional experience
  • Educational background.

It begins with your contact information but to get the hiring managers to quickly evaluate your work experience which of course is their main interest. Thus, featuring your experience near the top helps them evaluate your application quickly.

In this format, your work experience usually appears reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent position at the top down to your oldest experience. This is also applicable in your educational background. The importance of professional experience for most jobs is why the chronological resume format is used by so many people

This type of CV is a good option for anyone whose employment history shows a consistent, advancing career path. For Instance, it is used by people who have worked in a particular organization over a long period of time with constant advancement in position but if you have numerous gaps in your employment history or you’re considering changing careers, this type of CV is not advisable.

2. FUNCTIONAL CV

This can also be referred to as a skill-based resume. It focuses more on relevant skills rather than work history. Unlike the chronological format that focuses more on work experience with detailed achievements in each position, the functional format focuses on the applicant’s skill set relevant to the role being applied for.

The functional format usually includes the following information in this order:

  • Contact information
  • Objective or summary statement
  • Summary of relevant skills
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Additional information like volunteer work and special interests

This format is used by:

  • individuals one long gap or multiple employment gaps in the past five years,
  • first-time worker
  • Individuals who are constantly changing career paths.

By highlighting skills that cut across different industries alongside your most relevant accomplishments, you can emphasize the right qualifications for the position you’re applying for.

In some cases, a functional resume might be too limiting. 

3. COMBINATION CV

A combination resume is a mix of the chronological and functional formats respectively. This resume format gives you the opportunity to emphasize both your work experience and relevant skills.

A combination CV format usually includes the following information:

  • Contact information
  • Objective
  • Work experience
  • Summary of most relevant skills

This CV format is more flexible because it allows you to list either your skills or work experience first depending on which is more relevant for the role.

A combination resume may be best format to use in the following situations;

  • If you’re making a slight career change
  • If you have a wide range of employment history where the relevance of the role is not clearly stated.
  • If you have some experience or no gaps in your employment history, etc.

Having known the types of CV’S in existence and the differences between the modern day CV, the long existing formats lies in the do’s and don’ts. 

THE DO’S AND DON’TS IN CREATING THE NEW CURRICULUM VITAE IN 2021

Below are important dos and don’ts to get you on the right track while creating a CV in 2021.

DO’S

  1. Write a Cover Letter: Modern CVs are usually accompanied by a cover letter which is an avenue to elaborate more on the skills and experience outlined in the CV for their relevance to the role.
  2. Include Social Media/ Portfolio Links: In times where technology and social media has taken over world activities,  social media profile has become the next reference point when applying for a job and as such, while sharing your contact details, you may also knees to include links to your social accounts and work portfolio , LinkedIn profile link preferably.
  3. Remove Personal Information: This may be shocking to you because it has always been what is in vogue right?  Well, it was shocking to me too when I remembered the appearance of my first CV. Well, the interesting thing is that modern CVs do not give room for such unnecessary details such as date of birth, age, nationality, gender, marital, etc. Also, your hobbies are not necessary except it is relevant for  the role applied. Instead, list your name, phone number, state and city of residence and email address. That’s all the recruiter needs to see.
  4. Simplify Your CV’s Appearance: In the past, there were no such things and graphics being attached to CVS. Recently, specialized formats have been adopted. Some people have taken to having headshots attached by the corner of the CV, use of fancy fonts, etc. All these tend to give CVS a more appealing outlook. While this is a beautiful and welcomed idea, it is also important to maintain a simple look so as not to overwhelm the recruiter.
  5. Do Include Power Words: The other day, I was on a phone conversation with a friend who complained bitterly about the pressure he’s encountering at work. From the conversation, he made similar complaints to his superiors who confronted him with “hope you haven’t forgotten the part in your CV that stated you could work under pressure with little or no assistance”. Funny enough, my friend who was certain he didn’t include such a popular line debunked the claims. What does this tell you? Recruiters are taking note of every word. While it is good to use power words, avoid overused and vague words like ability to work under pressure, motivate, creative, etc. Instead, use clear, practical and realistic terms such as solved, supervised, perseverance, etc, to show how you achieve or accomplish tasks.
  6. Do Support Claims With Evidence of Your Skills: No recruiter would want to employ based on an applicant’s assumptions. They love to see proof for every achievement stated. They want to know the skills used in achieving those. So back your claims up and use figures where necessary.
  7. Remove Old Education Dates: Realizing and admitting the fact that recruiters are humans and are liable to discrimination is the major reason modern CVS don’t carry age, year of graduation, gender, etc. Rather, instead of including year of graduation, having the name of Institution and obtained qualification is not enough. Any other discovery can be made when invited for an interview.
  8. Ignore the Objective and Replace With a Professional Summary: Going through CVS written 19 years back, the sight of objectives which were boldly placed at the top of CVS back then gets me giggling.  Recently, nobody does that any more, except it’s based on choice. Gone are the days of writing a career objective at the top of your CV. Instead, it is replaced by a professional summary which should be at most three to four sentences. The aim of this is to show your most relevant skills and capabilities in line with the role. For example, if you have a background in sales and a background in IT, you may want to use sub-headings to split your experience into the two areas: one section for sales skills, and another for IT. The easier you can make it for the recruiter to see your relevant experience, the higher chance you have of receiving that coveted first interview.

DON’TS

  1. The modern CV doesn’t carry every single job you’ve ever done. Although it might be tempting, jam-packing your CV with every single role you’ve had, including all your student and part-time jobs, clutters your CV. Instead, select the roles which are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Further questions during the interview may warrant you to speak about the excluded experiences.
  2. While modern CVS are taking a totally different appearance, resist the temptation to go over the top with designing.
  3. A captivating design is awesome but too much of it is like to distract the recruiter from the important contents of the CV. Therefore, stick to fonts recognized fonts.
  4. Avoid having a bulky CV. As a matter of fact, a standard CV shouldn’t go beyond three pages. Keep it simple and concise and elaborate more during the interview.

HOW TO FORMAT YOUR CURRICULUM VITAE IN 2021

Bearing in mind that employers do not have all day to spend on one CV, it is important to format your CV to have an easy to read but yet professional look.

Regardless of whether it is an already existing or totally new CV that is being formatted, be sure to pay attention to how the information appears and adjust where necessary.

Here are important tips for formatting a CV.

1. Apply Appropriate Margins.

Setting proper margins for your document ensures the information fits within the readable space on the page. Standard margins for resumes and other professional documents like cover letters or resignation letters are one inch on all sides.

If you have a fairly short resume with a lot of blank space, one-inch margins will likely be the best option to create a well-spaced document with text that fills up the page. If you require more space to describe other relevant details, then you might reduce your margins to 0.75 inches. A pro tip to consider is left-aligning all the text for easier review.

2. Select a Professional, Readable Font

When deciding what font to use for your resume, keep in. Many employers use an ATS which doesn’t always access complicated fonts. Sans Serif is a great font option for CVS. There are other wonderful fonts too.

3. Make Use Of Size 10 To 12 Points Fonts

Where the CV will exceed one page, make use of a size 10 font but for a shorter CV, a size 12 font is just perfect.

4. Feature Section Headers

Bolding, underlining or increasing the font size by one or two points for section headers can help employers quickly find the information they are looking for. You can stylize and also increase the font size of your headers to differentiate them from other details.

5. Use Bullet Points Where Necessary

This is important especially in your skills, experience and education sections. Using bullet points in these areas helps employers to easily read the most relevant information.

6. Ask For Feedback

After writing, editing and formatting your CV, ask trusted friends or colleagues to review it and criticize constructively.

EXAMPLES OF CV FORMATS

CHRONOLOGICAL CV FORMAT EXAMPLE

OPARAH ADAUGO CHIOMA

PLOT 56  ELIZABETH WAY, FESTAC, LAGOS STATE.

[email protected]

SUMMARY

Passionate and dedicated content writer with 4 years of experience seeking a position with a media house where I can apply my public relations and creative skills.

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
  • Content writing
  • Public relations management in Corporate communications
  • Graphic skills
  • Team leadership in interpersonal communications
EXPERIENCE

Content writer

Aura Magazine, 2019

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Sees to the daily publishing of contents on all social media platforms of the company

Graphics Designer

EAfinders

Created captivating designs which were used to Increase brand visibility during social media campaigns.

EDUCATION

Lagos State University, Bachelor of Arts in Fine arts.

VOLUNTEER WORK

Content creator, Oxygen pen

2. FUNCTIONAL CV FORMAT

OPARAH ADAUGO CHIOMA

PLOT 56  ELIZABETH WAY, FESTAC, LAGOS STATE.

[email protected]

SUMMARY

Hardworking and diligent Agricultural professional with more than 8 years of experience seeking a Supervisory position in the Agricultural industry.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Beekeeping

I have a wealth of experience in bee farming and honey production. I’ve worked as a field staff and trainer in various private and public Agricultural Institutions.

RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

I am skilled in developing  relationships with fellow staff and team members. In previous roles, this skill got me to the position of a trainer. On taking up the role, over 200 new trainees were recorded.

WORK EXPERIENCE

Field Staff

NRCRI, Abia state, 2014–2017

Worked with a team of 20 senior staff.

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Processed and packaged bee products for sale.

Oversaw managed 30 langstroth hives successfully without recording losses.

CERTIFICATION

Certified National Apiculture Consultant

3. COMBINATION CV FORMAT

OPARAH ADAUGO CHIOMA

PLOT 56  ELIZABETH WAY, FESTAC, LAGOS STATE.

[email protected]

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Creative Director

OMAdesigns 2013–2015

  • *Manage a team of 10 creatives, including designers and content writers.
  • *Oversee all in-house creative projects and ensure all deliverables meet brand guidelines.

Senior Graphic Designer

OMAdesigns 2013–2015

  • *Designed  for all digital properties.
  • *Developed in-house brand style guide currently used by the entire creative department.
RELATED SKILLS

Team Management

  • Coordinated a team of creative resources, led team meetings.

Branding

  • Create logos, design brand marks, offer brand color recommendations
EDUCATION

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Bachelor of Art in Advertising, Certificate in Graphic Design.

CONCLUSION

The things that impressed recruiters some years back most likely do not have the same effect as modern day HR. Like a phone’s operating systems, your CV equally needs constant updating especially if you have been unemployed for a very long time. This is because formats are changing.

With high response rates and applicant tracking systems behind every ‘Apply Now’ button, it’s very important to take advantage of keywords. Well, to shock you, keywords are not just terms relevant to SEO contents; it is obvious that in modern CVS keywords are important.

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Applicant Tracking System (ATS), a technological advancement in the hiring process has made it very easy for recruiters to filter applications with having to view them first.

ATS is software that searches for specific keywords in CVs and instantly rejects candidates perceived to be unfit 

A great CV can capture the attention of a recruiter and help you stand out from other applicants. Inorder to create an impression in the minds of employers, you must keep up with modern trends. Your CV is be updated regularly.

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