When to Choose a Skills-Based CV

To complete this month’s series of articles on CV writing, we will look at one of the three types of CV’s, the Skills-Based or Functional CV.

The Skills-Based CV or Resume is quite often the choice of candidates who want to place the importance on their transferable skills and not on their work history. 
This can be for several reasons, such as changing career or turning a passion into a career or business as well as a short employment history or long career gaps.

Several Tips on Writing a Skills-Based CV
  • Professional Summary: Begin with your Professional Summary (for information on this, please refer to the previous blog article). Where possible use key words found in the Job Description. 
  • Skills: List your transferable skills using a heading for each. Bullet point concrete examples to show your acquisition of each skill. Transferable skills are skills acquired in a specific situation which can be transferred to other situations. Example: Organisation Skills
  • Work History: Instead of the traditional style work history section, you can be creative and adapt by giving a title to your experience such as “My Project Management History”. For each year, list relevant experiences which can be transferable to the position. Example: 2017 - Planned and Executed School Sporting Event
  • Cover Letter: Use the Cover Letter to explain the pertinence of your transferable skills and experience for the role.


A Skills-Based CV can be a good option for Accompanying Partners who have taken a long career break and who now wish to reintegrate the workplace and change careers. It can be used as a self-branding career story where the emphasis is placed on acquired life experiences such as Intercultural Communication and Adaptability as well as skills acquired through voluntary work.

However, remember that the Skills-Based is not the preferred CV type of Recruiters or HR, due to the absence in many cases of a clear Employment History such as that found in a Chronological CV type.

When writing a Skills-Based Resume, keep in mind the requirements of the role and highlight transferable skills which could be of interest and valuable to the position. The CV should be clear and not difficult for the reader to find information on why they should consider you for the role.

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