During my school career, I had a lot of teachers teaching me how to write a CV. Yet they all told me something different. For example, some told me to add hobbies, some told me to absolutely not to.

Is there a universal format to write a CV? Should I adjust my CV every time I apply for a new job and leave out everything not of interest to my potential new employer?

  • Personally I would only add a hobby if it directly related to the job you were applying for. As a hiring offical I don't care if you surf or play video games, but I might care if you build video games for fun for a programming position. If you put in only thing sthat someone doing hiring might want to know about you and your ability to do the job I have, then you will be fine.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 16:33
  • And things like fitness? Showing you maintain your body in good shape and thus being sick less often.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 16:35
  • Not unless you are applying for a job in the fitness industry.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 16:45
  • Very related question
    – enderland
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


The short answer is NO.

There are at least two main types of CV the chronological and the functional. The chronological type is one where you list in inverse order your employment's with your education at the end.

The functional one is designed to highlight on the first pages your skills/competencies and how they apply to the job you are applying for - followed by a short listing of employers in chronological order.

This is before you get into the different country/culture preferences. And ideally yes you should do a CV tailored to to Job - for example I just applied to a small motorsports company near Milton Keynes and I made sure my cv mentioned the fact that my first job was in fluid dynamics and the world leading RnD organization :-)


At least for the european union there is indeed a universal format. Afaik it is not yet used widely, but regardless it gives a guideline how a CV could look like.


Your second question: Yes you should/could adjust your CV for every employer, but i would not leave out things which you think are out of interest (except they damage your reputation). Just highlight and give more details about the things which could be of interest to the employer.


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