Best CV Format [in Word]: Download. Customize. How to Format a CV.

Download the latest CV format in Word. Learn how to format a CV in Word & choose the best CV format for your needs. BONUS: 10 Expert Formatting Tips for Your CV.

Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Best CV Format [in Word]: Download. Customize. How to Format a CV.

The Most Popular CV Formats

 

There are three most popular professional CV formats:

  • The reverse-chronological CV format
  • The functional CV format
  • The combination CV format

 

How to Choose the Best CV Format?

 

Choosing the best CV format depends on your professional situation. Start with asking yourself these three questions:

  • How much experience do you have?
  • Are you planning to pursue your current career path?
  • Do you want to change your career?
  • Have you had any gaps in employment?

 

Decide which format of CV best suits your needs:

 

 

Inexperienced

Experienced

Career changer

Employment Gaps

Reverse-chronological

  

Functional

 

 

Combination

 

 

Reverse-Chronological CV Format—Overview

 

 

The reverse chronological CV format is the most popular and universal. It’s suitable for those who’d like to highlight their relevant work experience and education on a resume. Your latest job is the first one to be listed.

 

Yet, this format for CV exposes all career gaps. So, it might not be suitable for you if you’ve had some, and would rather the recruiter didn’t pay attention to them. It’s also not the best for career changers as its primary focus is on the relevant job experience.

 

Sample Reverse-Chronological CV Format Template

 

 

Functional CV Format—Overview

 

  • Focuses on your transferable resume skills
  • Helps you hide employment gaps
  • Good for creatives, career changers, and military transitioners

 

The functional CV format is the go-to format of CV for those who’d like to bring their skills to the fore. Also, it detracts the recruiter’s attention from your work history, which is especially useful if you want to blur out gaps in employment.

 

That being said, the recruiters know that a candidate chooses the functional resume to hide something. So, use this curriculum vitae format only if you have a good reason not to choose any other. Plus, making the functional CV format is quite laborious and time-consuming as you need to come up with a perfect skill set for a particular job. And it’s the only CV format that the ATS may have a hard time parsing.

 

Sample Functional CV Format Template

 

  • Personal information / contact details
  • Professional title
  • Objective statement
  • Skills summary
  • Additional skills section
  • Professional experience
  • Education

 

Combination CV Format—Overview

 

  • Focuses on your relevant skills
  • Presents your work history in the reverse-chronological order
  • Great for career changers and seasoned pros alike

 

The combination CV format is ideal for career changers and experienced professionals. It brings together the best elements of the functional CV format (i.e. focus on transferable skills), and the reverse-chronological CV format (i.e. focus on experience and achievements).

 

On the downside, this curriculum vitae format isn’t suitable for everybody. To make the most of it, you have to be either a highly experienced specialist in your field or a career changer with a strong skill set. Plus, just like the least advisable functional CV format, this one takes a lot of time to prepare as you need to think of how to best link your skills to your professional experience.

 

Sample Combination CV Format Template

 

  • Personal information / contact details
  • Skills summary
  • Additional skills section
  • Professional experience
  • Education

 

Simple CV Format—Example

 

free-cv-template-from-resumelab

 

A CV format for a job may consist of the following sections:

 

Contact Details

 

  • Name
  • Mobile number
  • Email address

 

Objective or Summary

 

A short introductory paragraph that says:

  • Who you are.
  • How much experience you have.
  • What you can offer.
  • Your biggest achievement(s).

 

Experience

 

  • Your latest employer
  • Start and finish dates
  • List of responsibilities and key achievements

 

Education

 

  • Your latest school
  • Graduation date
  • Degree
  • Relevant coursework

 

Key Skills

 

  • List of relevant soft and hard skills

 

Additional Sections

 

A standard CV format doesn’t have to be very complex. However, an employer or the nature of the job you’re applying for may require you to include more details (i.e. add extra resume sections) in your CV. Consider the following sections when preparing an academic CV format, CV format for freshers, or internship CV format:

 

Contact Details and Personal Information

 

  • Postal address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Gender
  • Marital Status

 

Experience

 

  • Academic positions
  • Research
  • Training

 

Education

 

  • Academic positions
  • Post-doctoral training
  • Research
  • Majors
  • Minors
  • High school

 

Technical Skills

 

  • List of your technical skills.

 

Honors and Awards

 

  • List of your honors and awards in the reverse-chronological order.

 

Publications

 

  • List of your publications in the reverse-chronological order.

 

Membership in Professional Associations

 

  • List of your membership in professional organizations.

 

Hobbies and Interests

 

  • List of your interests and hobbies to show you’re a cultural fit.

 

CV Format Download

 

Our professional CV format example in Word has been created with the reverse-chronological CV format in mind.

 

It works great as a CV format for the experienced and freshers alike. You can add, remove, rename, or rearrange its sections to your liking. Download our CV format and use it to prepare your:

  • Professional CV format
  • Academic CV format
  • European CV format
  • American CV format

 

Plus, turn it into a functional or combination CV format with a simple change of headings. You can also export your CV format to PDF using the standard MS Word save as function.

 

CV Format—Download

 

free-cv-template-from-resumelab

 

CV Writing—Format and Tips

 

How to Format a CV—10 Expert Formatting Tips for Your CV

 

  • Choose simple and readable CV fonts. It’s not just a matter of aesthetics but readability—both for the ATS and the recruiter.
  • Make sure your fonts aren’t microscopic or gargantuan. The safe margin is between 10 and 14pt. Make them larger for headings.
  • Use the same font in your entire resume, and keep the CV formatting uniform throughout. If you choose to make a heading bold, keep all your headings bold. If you italicize a company name in the experience section, italicize all of them. And so on, and so forth.
  • Set page margins to around 1 inch. This way you can be sure everything stays within most printers’ margins.
  • Double-check if the spell check is on. Run your resume through apps such as Grammarly to be 200% sure it’s free from typos and bad grammar.
  • List your responsibilities and achievements as bullet points, don’t write full paragraphs. Bullets are much easier to read. And write.
  • Embrace white space. Cramming too much information not only looks bad but shows you aren’t selective and lack critical thinking skills.
  • Stick to a single page unless you have lots of experience. The rule of thumb for a perfect CV length is 10 years of experience for a single page.
  • Use this five-step formula to nail your CV objective or summary:
    • An adjective describing your strong trait
    • Job title
    • Years of experience
    • What you can offer and how it will help
    • Your biggest achievement
  • If you don’t know how to come up with achievements in your CV experience section, use this formula:
    • Responsibility + Number = Achievement
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Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Resume Expert at ResumeLab
Maciej Duszynski is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. With over 8 years of experience in recruitment, hiring, and training, Maciej shares insider HR knowledge to equip every job seeker with professional advice to nail the job hunt. His insights have been featured by Toggl and Sparkpeople, among others. Maciej has helped job candidates at all stages of their career paths, from interns to directors to C-suite members, to thrive in their job. His mission is to help you find the right opportunity and create a job application that gets you the career you deserve. Maciej holds a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in communication and education management.

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