Do You Know How to Write a Curriculum Vitae?
It’s a thing of joy to finally nail that dream job of yours – nothing compares to that feeling. While such feelings of elation and accomplishment instill confidence, it’s important to note that getting your dream job hinges on how good your CV or resume is.
Learning How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for a Job Application takes time, details, and expertise.
- Make sure you know when to use a CV
- Pick the best CV format
- Add your contact information the right way
- Start with a CV personal profile (CV summary or CV objective)
- List your relevant work experience & key achievements
- Build your CV education section correctly
- Put relevant skills that fit the job opening
- Include additional CV sections to impress the recruiter
- Organize this all on a professional CV template
- Complement your CV with a cover letter
1. Make Sure that You Know When to Use a CV
What is a CV?
In its full form, CV stands for curriculum vitae, A CV is a document you use for academic purposes. The CV outlines every detail of your scholarly career. In other countries, CV is an equivalent of an American resume. You use it when you apply for jobs.
What is the difference between a CV and a resume?
Let’s get this straight, once and for all:
In the hiring industry, nowadays there’s almost no formal difference between a CV and a resume. It’s the same thing that Brits call a CV and Americans—a resume.
So, if you’re applying to a European company, you should create a CV. But if you’re applying to a US-based employer, you should make a resume.
A CV is not a cover letter. A curriculum vitae is a detailed list of specifications, while a cover letter is a full-blown marketing campaign.
2. PICK THE BEST CV FORMAT
Here’s how to format a CV the right way.
Start with creating a CV outline divided into the following sections:
CV: Proper Order of Sections
- CV Header with Contact Information
- Personal Profile: CV Objective or CV Summary
- Work Experience
- Additional Sections
When filling in the sections, always keep in mind the gold CV formatting rules:
· Use clear, legible fonts
Go for one of the standard CV typefaces: Arial, Tahoma, or Helvetica if you prefer sans-serif fonts, and Times New Roman or Bookman Old Style if serif fonts are your usual pick. Use 11 to 12 pt font size and single spacing. For your name and section titles, pick 14 to 16 pt font size.
· Consistent CV layout
Set one-inch margins for all four sides. Make sure your CV headings are uniform—make them larger and in bold but go easy on italics and underlining. Stick to a single dates format on your CV: for example 11-2017, or November 2017.
· Don’t cram your CV with Funny graphics
a. Less is more.
b. White space is your friend—recruiters need some breathing room
c. Plus, most of the time, after you send out your CV, it’s going to be printed in black ink on white paper.
d. Too many graphics might make it illegible.
Get photos off of your CV
Unless you’re explicitly asked to include your photograph in the job ad. If so—make sure to use a professional-looking picture, but not as stiff as an ID photo.
- Make your CV brief and relevant
Keep it simple silly (KISS)
3. ADD YOUR CONTACT INFO THE RIGHT WAY
In the contact information section, enter your:
- Full name
- Professional title
- Email address
- Telephone number
- LinkedIn profile
- Home address
4. START WITH A CV PERSONAL PROFILE (CV SUMMARY OR CV OBJECTIVE)
All it takes is a CV personal profile statement—a short, snappy paragraph of 100 words tops that tells the recruiters why you are just the candidate they’ve been looking for.
Your personal profile will either be a CV objective or a CV summary.
What’s the difference?
A CV objective shows what skills you’ve mastered and how you’d fit in. It’s a good choice if you’ve got little work experience relevant to the job you’re trying to land, for example, if you’re writing a student CV.
A CV summary, in turn, highlights your career progress and achievements. Use it if you’re a
seasoned professional and have a lot of experience in your field.
5. List Your Relevant Work Experience & Key Achievements
Here’s how to make your work experience section illustrate that:
- Focus on your measurable, relevant achievements, not just your
- Use action verbs: “created,” “analyzed,” “implemented,” not “responsible for creating, analysis and implementation.”
- Tailor your CV to the job posting—read the job description carefully and check what tasks will be expected of you. If you’ve done them before—put them on your CV, even if those weren’t your primary
6. Build Your CV Education Section Correctly
If you’ve got any post-secondary education, include only it on your CV. Don’t mention your high school, unless it’s your highest degree of education. List:
- Graduation year (if you’re still studying, enter your expected graduation date)
- Your degree
- Institution name
- Honors (if applicable)
Elaborate a bit more on your academic experience. Include, for instance:
- Your dissertation title
- Favorite fields of study
- Relevant coursework
- Your best achievements
- Extracurricular academic activities.
7. PUT RELEVANT SKILLS THAT FIT THE JOB OPENING
When it comes to skills for a CV, one issue is more important than any other: relevance. The skills you decide to include on your CV have to be relevant to the job you’re trying to land.
How to do it?
Start with a spreadsheet. In it, list all your professional skills (that’s right, it means “eyebrow dancing” doesn’t count). Then check the job description for the skills desired by your prospective employer.
Do they match some of the skills from your spreadsheet? Presto! These are the ones to put in your CV skills section. Include an appropriate mix of hard skills, soft skills, and anything in between.
8. INCLUDE ADDITIONAL CV SECTIONS TO IMPRESS THE RECRUITER
On your CV, include an additional section in which you show off your unquestionable triumphs: things that prove your value as a candidate.
Sample CV Additional Sections
- Industry awards
- Professional certifications
- Professional affiliations
- Conferences attended
- Additional training
Now that you know How to Write a Curriculum Vitae, what’s next?
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