Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

What’s the difference? Permanent vs. Contract CVs

By . December 20, 2018
The ‘curriculum vitae’: the most important tool for anyone looking for their next career move. It chronicles all the previous roles that you have worked and details the skills and achievements that you have gained throughout you working career. It’s the first thing that employers see and is the key element that can get you closer to your dream job, enticing the employer that they should pick you over the other possible candidates.

Depending on whether you are going for a permanent role or a contract role, CV’s will tend to differ.


Permanent CV

The general rules of thumb for permanent candidate CVs are that they should be no longer than 2 pages in length. Any more and it is unlikely that your CV will be read. This will be difficult if you have had multiple jobs roles in your working career and will be a problem for Millennials and Generation Z who have the trait of ‘job hopping’ within 2 to 4 years. If you are struggling for space, focus on detailing the most relevant jobs. Unrelated posts should be as short as possible. For Example:

Shop assistant                   Clothes Shop                    Jan 2000 – Dec 2003


The format of a permanent candidate CV should be:

•    Name and contact details

•    Personal statement

•    Employment history and Achievements

•    Education/Qualifications/Courses

•    Key Skills

•    Hobbies and Interests

•    Brief Summary


Contract CV

Contract CVs are a completely different ball game. Due to the nature of contract work where employment is based on short-term employment for a particular project, the length on a contract CV could be up to 4 pages.

Contract CVs are specialised and targeted to the role that the contractor is applying for. The first page will be dedicated to grabbing the attention of the employer. For a contract CV, the skills that the contractor possesses would be front and centre after their personal details.

Sections for your GCSE results and your hobbies are generally not included in a contract CV and a summary will usually take the place of the aforementioned sections.

A contractor may have multiple CV’s, each focusing on different skills and tailored towards different vacancies depending on what role they are applying for. The format for a contract CV should be:


•    Name and contact details

•    Brief summary

•    Key Skills

•    Education/Qualifications/Courses

•    Employment History and Achievements

•    Personal details


What’s the same?

Permanent and contract CVs are not all that different, both CV’s need to be laid out in a way that keywords can be found by the employer and employment history should be displayed with most recent first, going a descending order. You want to catch the eye of the employer, but refrain from using garish fonts and colours. Keep the format consistent throughout but be professional.

Grammar and spelling are highly important and a must for both permanent and contract CVs. Get familiar with you spell checker to make sure all your spellings are correct.



Although the layout of the contract and permanent CV’s are different, the basic information in the CV is the same. Contract CVs will generally have more information about previous roles due to the nature of contract employment but CVs will have the most important details right from the start.



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