How to Write a Good CV?

WHAT IS A CV?

A CV -Curriculum Vitae- or resume, is an indispensable document that is used when applying for jobs or internships. A CV is probably the single most important thing when applying for a position, so make sure yours is as good as it can be.

Think of the CV as a tool you use to market yourself. Besides easily and clearly displaying your personal information, it is supposed to showcase your skills, education and work experience.

Spend some time polishing and fine tuning it to catch the employer's attention from the beginning!

CONTENTS OF A CV

A CV usually contains most of these chapters:

Personal Details

Contains your personal information, such as full name, date of birth, nationality, and contact details. Usually in the first part of the resume.

Education

Lists post-secondary degrees; details include name of the university, dates studied, name of the degree or major subjects. Also shorter courses can be listed here. If you have some certificates (e.g from language schools or computer courses) this is a good place to show off.

Work History

A chronological list of your work history. Only related jobs should be posted – do not list all the different short temporary and summer jobs you have had in the past. You can mention related internships, placements and voluntary jobs you have had.

Skills

This part should shows all of your skills that could be useful in the desired position– display your language skills, computer skills and programs you can use, interpersonal skills and skills related to the position you´re applying for.

The following chapters aren´t absolutely necessary, but you should consider if they would be beneficial for your CV.

References

References from reliable, recognised sources can greatly increase your CV´s authority. Use references from fields related to the position you´re applying for, e.g. If it's a technical job, use references from your former workplace´s technically qualified manager or expert, who knows and can answer questions about your line of work. For recently graduated students, you can use references from your former lecturers.

Remember, that the more well known the person or company giving the references is, the better it is for you.

Objective

You can state your career–related objective here. Not absolutely necessary though.

Interests

Depending on the type of job you´re after, you can consider writing a couple of lines about your interests, hobbies, etc. Remember not to go overboard with the details here – this part should be like a side dish, not a main course

Less is More – be RELEVANT!

Think about who you are sending your application to, who is going to read it, and what information would they consider relevant. Having several pages of unrelated work history or unnecessary personal details is not going to do you any good. The most common advice here is to limit the length of your CV to two A4 pages.

KEEP IT SIMPLE – Aim for a Simple, Easy to Navigate Layout

Although beauty is in the eye of beholder, you should aim to keep your CV as simple and functional as possible. Many companies and recruiters are loaded with work, and have tons of CVs and applications to go through. If the necessary information isn´t easily found, your CV is in danger of being completely skipped. Additionally, even if your actual experience was lacking something, a clear layout and logical structure give a good first impression.

Use at most two different fonts. Avoid mixing in all the highlighting methods; do not use bolds, italics, underlining and background highlighting all at once. If you are unsure about grammar –especially if the CV is in a foreign language- let someone who is proficient in the language double check it. Do not just rely on internet translators. These are consistently unreliable.

On the other hand, if you are applying for a graphical design related job, a CV can and should be an example of your artistic capabilities.

If you´re wondering which file format you should use, .doc and .pdf are sure fire choices.

You can always pick up some ideas from existing model CV´s and templates - or you can just use some common format, such as Europass;

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/home?loc=en_GB.

 


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