When to use a skills-based CV
A skills-based CV is ideal if you have gaps in your employment history, because they are not as prominent as they would be in a chronological CV.
However, employers are still likely to ask you about your career progression, so be prepared to explain any gaps at interview.
If you have varied work experience, this type of CV provides the opportunity to show employers how skills gained in other types of employment might be relevant for the post.
You should include
- your contact details (name, address, telephone number, mobile - and email address if you check it regularly)
- your education and qualifications, degree subject, class (attained or expected), modules studied, A levels - always with dates and grades, summarised GCSE/O levels or CSEs
- a description of your key or transferable skills - identify the key skills required for the job and use these headings in your CV
- a summary of your work experience
- your referees (can be named or 'on request') - if named ensure you ask their permission first
You don’t need to include
- nationality, unless you will need a UK work permit
- marital status
- details and ages of children
- your health status
- school and university address
- examining boards
- minor qualifications unrelated to the post applied for.
Skills-based CV examples
These two examples demonstrate the important points to bear in mind when designing a skills-based CV.
Skills-based CV Example 1: Elizabeth Page
Vacancy: Youth Support Worker
Example: Skills-based CV - Elizabeth
Page (PDF, 21KB)
- Provides evidence of working with children in varied situations: at a hospital, in a children’s home and with the Everett Project. It demonstrates a commitment to children over a period of time.
- Now that the applicant has successfully completed her degree she is ready to take on a more responsible post, and is using the skills she gained while studying to emphasise her suitability for the job. By using a skills-based CV she is able to put more emphasis on her full range of skills.
- By identifying her skills and their relevance to her application she has improved her chances of an interview.
Skills-based CV Example 2: Sandra Edwards
Vacancy: Food Scientist
Example: Skills-based CV - Sandra Edwards
- Analysis of achievements provides a comprehensive picture of her experience
- Responsibilities next to each job role illustrate increases in responsibility
- Has provided brief details of OU study - not all readers would know that OU study involves contact with other students and provides the opportunity to develop team skills
- Sandra mentions that she took time out to have a family. This sort of information is optional, but you will probably be asked to account for any gaps at interview.