Top 3 CV Templates

Top 3 CV Templates to Succeed at Any Job Application

Table of Contents

Choosing the correct CV template before applying for any job is the first step towards your professional success. At CvKnights.com, we want to show you how to choose the best CV template based on your professional experience and the job you are applying for. This article will show you the advantages and weaknesses of the top 3 CV templates, the Chronological CV, the Functional CV, and the Targeted CV templates, and why you should continue using one of these Top 3 CV templates every time you apply for a job. Just remember, you must use the right CV template in every application!

1. What makes a CV template great?

Every time you submit your CV to apply for a job, you should focus on one thing. The only goal of your CV is to encourage a recruiter to contact you.

It may sound tricky, but as long as you follow some simple rules, you can boost your chances of success. Always remember that you are writing your CV for someone who will spend some time reviewing it. Whether that’s 30 seconds or 15 minutes, you need to catch your reviewer’s attention from the first moment.

Using a CV template that results familiar to reviewers is a great way to keep them interested. It is preferable to use a well-known CV template than have your own with a format designed by yourself.

Finding a CV template online is easy, but choosing the right one for every job application might take you a little longer and; we are sorry to tell you, but you will have to do a little bit of research to understand what your future employer is looking for.

At CvKnights.com, we recommend using the Europass CV template for the basic CV layout; however, the layout is not everything. Knowing what to input and where to input every piece of your professional information is the key to success.

2. Is it worth using CV templates?

The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. It will not only be easier for you to collect your personal information, but it will also make your reviewer’s task less tedious.

Using a CV template to compile your professional background can make your life easier, and the reason behind it is simple. With a CV template, you should only need to follow its layout to fill in the blank gaps putting the relevant in the right place in the correct order.

Recruiters will also thank you because they will manage to find the information they want more quickly and will be able to make fast comparisons between you and other candidates.

Therefore, the CV layout is crucial if you want your reviewer to look at it for more than a couple of seconds.

3. What are the Top 3 CV templates?

At CvKnights.com, we advise our customers to use one of the following Top 3 CV templates:

  • The Chronological CV template
  • The Functional CV template
  • or The Targeted CV template

You will use a different CV template depending on what you have already done in your professional life and, equally important, what you intend to do in the future.

Each one has its strengths and some potential weaknesses if you misuse them.

Let us explore them.

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4. How to choose the right CV template?

CvKnights.com has created a comprehensive guide to illustrate when it is best to use a certain CV template and when you should be avoiding some templates. These are the Top 3 CV templates.

4.1 The Chronological CV template

This CV template will present your career history chronologically, starting with the most recent job first. It will show your professional growth and how fast or slow this happened.

When should you be using the Chronological CV?

Our CvKnights recommend using this CV template when:

  • The candidate’s career history shows natural progression and growth.
  • The candidate is staying in the same field of work.
  • The candidate has worked for well-known companies with good reputations.

And if: 

  • The candidate’s previous job titles are impressive and might mean something to the future employer.
  • The candidate is aiming to work in a field where the previous jobs or studies are essential.

When should you NOT be using the Chronological CV?

Our CvKnights do NOT recommend using this CV template when:

  • The candidate wants to change careers.
  • The candidate’s previous jobs are unrelated.
  • Especially if the candidate’s primary experience was not achieved in the immediately previous job.
And if: 
 
  • The candidate is entering the market after a long break.
  • The candidate’s previous job titles are NOT impressive and might be irrelevant to the future employer.

4.2 The Functional CV template

This CV template will highlight your main skills and strengths and does not emphasise whom you worked for and what the job title was.

The functional CV template offers greater flexibility on how you present yourself than a chronological CV template.

When should you be using the Functional CV?

Our CvKnights recommend using this CV template when:

  • The candidate wants to emphasise skills and strengths not necessarily acquired through paid employment.
  • The candidate’s career to date consists of many jobs, most of which are unconnected.
  • Also if the candidate wants to change careers, and therefore the present position may be of no relevance to future ambitions.

And if:

  • The candidate wants to emphasise skills and achievements from previous work experience which were not required in the most recent position.
  • The candidate is entering the market after a break or for the first time.
  • Including when the candidate has performed most of the work as freelance or has worked on several temporary assignments.

Or if:

  • The candidate is self-employed and wants to present to clients the range of areas in which he/she has experience.
  • The candidate has had many job titles, but the work has been the same. (Using this style avoids endless repetition of the same information.)

When should you NOT be using the Functional CV?

Our CvKnights do NOT recommend using this CV template when:

  • The candidate’s profile lies within the is staying in the same field of work.
  • The candidate’s previous job titles are impressive and might mean something to future employers within the same job sector.
  • Including if the candidate is aiming to work in a field where the previous jobs or studies are essential.

4.3 The Targeted CV template

This CV template will be helpful when you are applying for one rather specific type of job.  In this instance, your CV template will need to be written with that job in mind. A targeted CV template can be a combination of functional and chronological CVs

When should you be using the Targeted CV?

Our CvKnights recommend using this CV template when:

  • The candidate has a specific job to go for or is responding to a particular job advert that requires a bespoke template.
  • The candidate wants to highlight skills and achievements not necessarily acquired in your most recent work or obtained outside paid employment.

When should you NOT be using the Targeted CV?

Our CvKnights do NOT recommend using this CV template when:

  • The candidate is applying to a job that does not require requires explicitly a targeted CV template
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5. Learn how to write the perfect CV using a CV template

We have just seen how to choose the right CV template from our Top 3 CV Templates based on your career background and the type of job you intend to apply for, so now it’s time to discuss which things you should be putting on each section of the template to give you a real winning advantage.

The tips you are about to read are only the basics, and we will explore each one in more depth in separate articles

Getting the Length right

It is a general belief that there is no need for a CV to be any longer than three pages and that generally, two pages is enough. To a certain extent, this will depend on how you spread out your information.

In some cases, having a one-page CV template is the best option, and some say that including all the relevant information on one page gives an extra point for condensing all your working life in such a short length without missing the point. If the reader is inundated with CVs and only has to glance through one page of yours, this may be advantageous.

However, at CvKnights.com, we have seen little evidence to support this claim and that someone is more likely to succeed with a job application if they have a one-page CV as opposed to a two- or three-page CV template. After all, the more you tell about yourself, the more attractive you will be to the reader.

The Professional Background Summary

Your professional background summary is possibly the most critical part of your CV. It will tell your reader who you are in 30 seconds, and that is all he or she might need to know before moving on to the next candidate.

A practical summary should consist of between 100-150 words. It must be relevant to the chosen job, adapted accordingly, and contain positive statements to sell the candidate’s strongest attributes.

All CV templates should include a profile summary which should touch all of the following attributes from the candidate:

Qualifications + Professional Experience + Hard and Soft Skills + Achievements + Career Goals

The Work Experience Section

Summarising your work experience is not an easy task, but focusing on what matters is the key to success.

Potential employers are going to be looking for items that are most relevant to them. Remember to be concise when describing roles that are not related to the organisation you are applying for, and make sure that you emphasise and elaborate on those highly relevant.

If you are unsure of what is relevant to your future employer, then do some research because, believe us, it will be worth it.

Every position in your work experience section should clearly state the following:

  • The name of your Position / Role / Project you worked on (if relevant)
  • Relevant information about the position, job title, dates, organisation name, type of business and location.
  • Adequately highlighted projects / clients / tasks / scopes carried out at this position.
  • Adequately highlighted skills you used and the impact they had while you worked on this organisation.
  • Adequately highlighted significant achievements in this organisation while you worked on this organisation.

The Education Section

The education section is the foundation of all the work experiences that you have had. It would help if you gave most prominence to the part of your education that is most relevant to the job you are applying for.

Usually, this is the most recent education but do not be afraid to emphasise an earlier qualification if it is more relevant to your reader. It may also include specific modules or projects.

The education section is particularly important for less experienced candidates who lack professional working experience, and you should put your effort into this section for such cases.

Other Skills and Languages

Your Skills section is a summary of the primary skills and abilities you are offering to a future employer, and they can be the perfect companions to your work experience if you combine them properly.

A good strategy to list your skills is to list them with different headings such as:

  • Communication Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Administrative Skills
  • Organisational Skills
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Presentation Skills

This list is just a broad selection, and you should come up with your own list, but something to be kept in mind is that skills and achievement are not the same things.

Avoid the typical personality treats and generalisations (e.g. hard-working or excellent management skills)

Personal Interests

These are important because they give an idea of who you are and your personality. Your interests are unique and give your reader insights into your character that are difficult to demonstrate in other parts of your CV.

Avoid mentioning the typical things that most people do (e.g. reading or travelling), and instead, be specific with your preferences.

Keep it simple and original to give an excellent impression, and you will be seen as a unique individual.

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6. Download our FREE CV Templates HERE ***

Where can I find FREE CV Templates?

At CvKnights.com, we want to help you progress professionally, and we have prepared free CV templates that you can use to create your own modern and professional CV.

Download our free CV templates and use them 100 times!

These are our Top 3 CV templates.

6.1. Download our FREE Chronological CV template

6.2. Download our FREE Functional CV template

6.3. Create your CV from a Europass CV template

Not sure how to write your CV?

We are here to help!

Visit our Review Services page and learn how we can make your CV look perfect.

Or visit our Rewriting Services page if you prefer us to write it for you.

We can help you achieve your professional goals

Our Basic package includes CV Review and Rewriting services, but we can do much more than that!

7. FAQ - Dos and Don'ts about CV Templates

CvKnights.com has prepared a practical FAQ about CV templates to assist you with everything you should be aware of when writing a CV using one of our Top 3 CV templates.

Q: Should I be using a CV template?

A: Yes, absolutely. As we have seen in this article, the advantages are enormous if you aim to give the best first impression.

Q: Isn’t the information contained in my CV more important than the layout?

A: No, not initially. Your CV can be quickly disregarded if t recruiters can’t find critical information because it’s hidden somewhere in your CV, for example.

Q: I want to be different. Should I create my own layout and style?

A: No, that is not a great idea, probably. The chances are that a dozen people are also applying to the same job, so unless the job is about being original, you should be sticking to one of the most common CV templates to ease your recruiter’s task.

Q: Should I use colours?

A: Our recommendation is only to use one colour to highlight headings or particular achievements.

Q: What about the logos of the institutes and companies I have worked for?

A: Also, a bad idea. Keep the format as simple as possible.

Q: What are the best fonts to use? And what size?

A: Arial, Calibri, Verdana with a size of 10pt or 11pt. Spaced 6pt between sections and 2pt within sections.

Q: I have decided to use a template. What can I customize?

A: You can change the Section titles, the order of sections to a certain extent, the order of the information within a section, add one colour to the headings or add a new section if it is indispensable. Generally, there is no more room for editing a CV template than for these items.

8. Takeaways from this article

Throughout this article, we have learnt what are the Top 3 CV templates most used across all industries and that:

  • CV templates are worth using. To convince yourself, compare one that uses a CV template and another one that does not follow a standard template.
  • The top 3 CV templates are the Chronological CV, the Functional CV, and the targeted CV templates.
  • CV templates make your life easier when it comes to filling in a blank piece of paper.
  • CV templates also make your recruiter’s life easier as candidates’ information can be compared more easily.
  • All CV templates can be modified to suit employers’ specific requirements, but generally, you should keep your chosen template to two pages to make it as concise as possible.
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