Home > 
Blog > 
Skill-Based CV: Template & How-To Writing Guide (Samples Included)

Skill-Based CV: Template & How-To Writing Guide (Samples Included)

With the job market constantly changing, sometimes it feels like there’s always a new skill to learn and develop.

If you’ve got a strong set of skills that are in demand in your industry, then a skill-based CV might be right for you.

A skill-based CV highlights your skills as the focal point of your CV, unlike a traditional format that focuses on your experience and work history.

This is an effective strategy for many candidates, including career changers, recent graduates, and professionals with diverse skill sets.

A skill-based CV format emphasises your competencies and increases your chances of securing an interview.

Read below to learn more about how to showcase your abilities and stand out in the job market. Then head over to our CV builder and start making your skill-based CV.

Upload & Check Your CV

Drop your CV here or choose a file. PDF & DOCX only. Max 2MB file size.

Privacy guaranteed

Skill-based CV template to copy-paste and use

Use this template to showcase your best skills and qualities to potential employers.

Not sure if this format is right for you? Keep reading for more guidance on the format and structure of a great skill-based CV.

Skill-based CV format and structure

It’s important to get the format right for your skill-based CV. It should naturally draw attention to your skills and highlight your strengths.

Choosing a functional or combination CV format

There are a variety of CV formats to choose from. Functional or combination formats are the best for skill-based CVs as they bring attention to the area you want to showcase the most.

You want your CV to focus on your skills and qualifications rather than your chronological work history.

In a functional CV, your work history is just a list and your skills are grouped together by competency. You expand on your skills by using bullet points under each entry that explain situations where you gained and used them.

In a combination CV, you still have a skills competency section, but you also expand on your work history with additional bullet points.

Organising your CV into clear sections

Your CV must be organised with distinct sections that present your skills, experiences, and other relevant information. Every section needs to be structured in a professional manner.

Having amazing skills is great, but if your CV is a mess you won’t get very far. The layout should be clean, clear, and easy to read.

Don’t overwhelm hiring managers with distracting fonts or waste their time with irrelevant information. Keep it simple and concise.

Highlighting your skills

Be sure to highlight your best skills. This is a skill-based CV, after all!

Identifying your key skills

The first step in the process is to identify what key skills you want to highlight. This could require some self-assessment and research.

Find out what skills are in demand in your industry by watching market trends and reading through job descriptions. Then assess your own skills and find where the overlap is.

Your skills that are most valuable and relevant to the job you’re applying for should be the ones you focus on. Show companies that you’re the right candidate for the role.

Grouping similar skills together on your CV

Organising your skills into logical groups or categories makes it easier for potential employers to understand them.

Potential employers will likely only spend a few seconds looking at your CV. You don’t want them to have to read through dozens of disorganized skills and try to make sense of them.

Putting them into categories makes it easy for readers to find and understand your skill set quickly. The specific categories will vary depending on your industry and role.

For example, if you work in the tech sector you might want to group your skills into programming languages and software. If you work in the corporate sector your skill groups might be communication tools, leadership, and IT skills.

Take a look at this example of a CV skills section with groups.

Programming Languages
Web Development
Responsive Design
Content Management Systems (CMS)

This candidate separated their skills into relevant groups to make them easier to locate and understand.

Providing evidence of your skills so that companies will notice

You must provide evidence of your skills, especially if they are the main highlight of your CV.

Anyone can list a set of skills on their CV. This isn’t enough to prove expertise or proficiency.

Use measurable results and achievements to show how you have exercised your skills in the past. This will help potential employers understand what you will achieve at their company.

Let’s look at an example of how this can look in your CV.

Time Management
Completed 8 projects in the first quarter, increasing annual revenue by 48%
Customer Service
Implemented customer service training program for all employees, improved customer satisfaction rating by 25%
Expanded reach to new markets, resulting in an additional £2.1M in annual sales

This candidate chose their three greatest skills to highlight as strengths. Each skill is backed up with a specific example to show potential employers how they will impact success.

Emphasising relevant experience for your desired job

You might have work experience that isn’t necessarily relevant to your target job.

This is likely the case if you’re changing industries or have had a long career. Always tailor your CV to fit your target job.

Showcasing relevant work experiences

Highlight your most relevant work experiences with specific skills and achievements. If the role wasn’t in the same industry, focus on transferable skills.

Showcase skills that demonstrate your abilities and potential for the desired role.

Let’s look at an example of the experience section of a candidate who is transitioning from customer service to sales.

Customer Service Representative
Grandma's Clothing Shop
London, UK
  • Trained 12 new customer service representatives on Salesforce software
  • Received a 5-star rating from customer satisfaction surveys 3 years in a row
  • Increased annual revenue by 18% through direct customer sales

This candidate focused on skills that are relevant in their target industry to show their transferable skills.

Including volunteer work and personal projects to highlight skills

Not all relevant skills have to come from work experience. You can develop skills from volunteer work, personal projects, and even hobbies.

Consider adding additional sections to your CV that highlight relevant skills. Maybe you have volunteer experience that shows communication skills. Or you might have worked on a personal programming project where you used coding languages.

Highlight relevant skills and provide evidence of where and how you used them.

Education and training to show continuous learning

Another great way to show evidence of skills is with education and training. Showcase your expertise with the time and effort you put into a training program.

Listing relevant qualifications and certifications

Adding a section for education and training is an effective way to showcase your skills. If you’re breaking into a new industry and lacking in the right skills, consider enhancing your CV with a certification.

An online training or certification program shows commitment to your career and continual skills development.

This can also be a way to show evidence of proficiency. For example, sharing your final score for a language proficiency exam shows evidence of fluency.

Emphasising the importance of continuous learning

Pursuing additional education and training to further develop your skills improves employability.

Companies want employees who are dedicated to the industry and will grow in their roles.

Continually develop your skills and pay attention to market trends to learn what will be in demand in the future.

Here is a list of 10 online platforms where you can develop your skills and continue your learning.

  • Coursera
  • Udemy
  • Skillshare
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • MasterClass
  • Udacity
  • Codecademy
  • FutureLearn
  • edX
  • Pluralsight

Tailoring your CV for each application

Always tailor your CV to your target job!

This may seem like a lot of work up front, but a tailored CV will be more effective than a boring, generic CV.

Adapting your skill-based CV for different job roles

Customise your skill-based CV for each job application. Emphasise the skills most relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Like the example above, showcase transferable skills when applying for a role in a new industry. Highlight your greatest skills to show potential employers that you’re the right candidate for the job

Researching the target company and industry

It’s important to thoroughly research your target company before submitting your CV. What skills are they looking for? What problems do they have? How can you provide solutions?

Understanding their specific needs and expectations will help you write your CV. Highlight skills that are in demand and valuable in the industry.

Use industry-specific terms and phrases, but don’t simply copy and paste them from the job description. This is lazy work and potential employers will spot it immediately.

Your writing should be honest and natural. Highlight your greatest strengths and never lie on your CV!

Key takeaways for creating a stand-out skill-based CV

A well-crafted skill-based CV helps you stand out in the job market and improves your chances of securing an interview.

Choose a functional or combination CV format that highlights your skills. For career changers or recent graduates, focus on transferable skills.

Make sure your CV is clear, concise, and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Always tailor your CV to fit your target job.

Research your target company and industry to help you understand what skills are in demand. Follow market trends and new skills in the industry.

Continuously update and refine your CV to ensure it remains relevant. Show commitment to your career by continually developing skills and continuing your education.

Make your move!
Your CV is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
Author image
Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a CV expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
CV Guides