How to write a good CV

WHAT IS A CV?

CV – curriculum vitae- or resume, is probably the most important document that is used when applying for jobs or internships. 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 working experience.

Spend time polishing and fine tuning it to meet the requirements of your next application.

CONTENTS OF A CV

A CV usually has at least these chapters:

PERSONAL DETAILS

Contains your personal information, such as full name, date of birth, nationality, and contact details. Usually in the first parts 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 them 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 shows all your skills that can 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, recognized sources can greatly increase your CV´s authority. Use references from fields related to the position you´re applying for, eg. If that´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 having 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 you application to, who is going to read it, and what information would they consider relevant. Having several pages long lists 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 a 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 will give a good first impression.

Use at most two different fonts. Avoid mixing in all the highlighting methods; do 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.

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 surefire 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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