In this article, you will find out how to make a Curriculum Vitae (CV) of high quality step by step. Many people start working on their CVs without reflecting on their professional experience. Since a CV is a key to attract the attention of an employer, it is required to correctly present information about skills, professional background, accomplishments as well as goals in the job you are looking for.
Below are the key highlights and tips to help you craft a CV that will make a good impression on a potential employer.
First of all, do not confuse a CV with a resume. A CV is much more detailed than a resume that gives a brief overview of the applicant’s work history. A CV, by contrast, is usually 2 or 3 pages long, or even longer if necessary. If you look at the full form of this Latin abbreviation, Curriculum Vitae, you will understand its meaning - «Course of Life». So, after reading your document, your potential employer will know almost everything about you. Namely, your education, professional experience, and accomplishments.
The main parts to include in your CV
Let’s look at the sections that should be incorporated in your document.
1. Contact Information
All you need to indicate here is your name and your contact information (email address and your phone number). Sometimes you have to include links to your profiles on social networks, such as Linkedln. Before you enter your email address, make sure it sounds neutral and is suitable for business contacts. Weird email addresses immediately form the employer's careless impression of the candidate.
2. Professional experience
If you are not a young specialist, then the experience is the main part of your CV. Complete this section with extra care. Pay attention to the last three years of work, since this is what concerns employers first and foremost. Nevertheless, the beginning of a career can be described very briefly. If you managed to try yourself both in marketing and in copywriting, then indicate only those acquired skills that are relevant for the new position. In addition to your job responsibilities, be sure to point out your specific accomplishments. Arrange this information in reverse chronological order, as shown in the following example:
3. Education and training
If you are a less experienced job seeker or if your degree is rather essential for the post, then keep this section at the top. Indicate only the educational courses that are related to the desired professional activity. It is better to miss something than to add a dubious certificate of a massage course, if this knowledge is not needed in your future workplace. Keep in mind that listing all of your diplomas and certificates tells your potential employer that you cannot decide what is close to you, and not about your versatility. Arrange your degrees in reverse chronological order: Doctoral, Master’s, and Graduate.
4. Skills (software, languages mastered…)
Many job seekers completely ignore this section, although they should not, since it is as important as the sections with the experience and education of the candidate. First, analyze the job description to find out which skills the employer values most. The key skills are specific competences that relate directly to work activities. For a lawyer, these can be “Arbitration Courts” or “Corporate Law”, for the logistics manager - “Working with Customs” and “Incoterms”, for a financier - “Statistical Analysis” and “Budgeting”, and so on. Such skills are also known as hard skills. You may also include your soft (or social) skills, such as proficiency in communications or customer service.
5. Purpose of work
A well-written objective increases the chances of obtaining the desired position. By setting specific goals, you show your employer your interest in the opening, and also purposefulness in finding a job. The following are the examples of well-written objectives:
Seeking an entry-level position to begin my career in a high-level professional environment.
To make use of my interpersonal skills to achieve goals of a company that focuses on customer satisfaction and customer experience.
To secure a challenging position in a reputable organization to expand my learnings, knowledge, and skills.
Note that the structure of your CV is determined by what you are applying to. That is why you have to mention only relevant information to support your candidacy. After composing the base part of your document, in extra sections, you may list other facts that are appropriate for your professional area, for example, the following:
- Industry awards
- Professional certifications
- Professional affiliations
- Conferences attended
- Additional training
Choose the most suitable format for your CV
When you choose a suitable format for your CV, you have to highlight your professional potential and also follow the rules of the HR etiquette. Let’s have a look at two basic format samples to help you.
1.Professional CV Format
This type is rather one-size-fits-all: it is suitable both for applicants in conservative companies and in more flexible ones.
2.Academic CV Format
If you are a student or an experienced teacher, then this uncluttered format will fit.
Let’s bullet point some additional useful tips.
- The text in your CV should not contain any grammatical errors.
- You should pick standard fonts and font sizes.
- Your CV should be detailed but concise.
- The summary should not contain unnecessary information about your personal life.
- Sometimes you should add a photo. In this case, add a neutral photo and remember that personal and professional photos serve different purposes.
- Your CV must be honest, because the truth always come out.