A curriculum vitae, or CV, is a document used when applying for jobs. It enables you to summarize your education, talents, and experience, allowing you to effectively sell your abilities to potential employers. Employers typically need a cover letter in addition to your CV.
How long should a CV be?
A conventional CV should be no more than two sides of A4. For ideas, look at our example of a chronological CV.
That being said, one size does not fit all. A school leaver or recent graduate, for example, might only need to use one side of A4.
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Although it is not commonly utilized, a three-page CV may be required for individuals in high-level positions or for those who have earned a lot of experience or worked in many companies in the last five to ten years.
Some medical or academic CVs, for example, may be longer depending on your experience. While keeping your CV brief and clearly expressed is vital, you should also avoid selling your experience short.
To conserve space, please provide the most important aspects of your education and experience. Stick to important material and avoid repeating yourself in your cover letter.
When you experience trouble editing your CV, consider whether certain material sells you. If it doesn’t, remove it. If it’s irrelevant to the position you’re applying for, remove it; if it’s an outdated detail from ten years ago, summarize it.
Your CV should include the following
Include your full name, home address, phone number, and email address. Your date of birth is unimportant, and unless you’re asking for an acting or modelling job, you don’t need to include a photograph.
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A CV profile is a brief description that highlights your essential characteristics and assists you in standing out from the crowd.
It is usually placed at the top of a CV and highlights key achievements and abilities while expressing your career goals.
Because your cover letter will be job-specific, an excellent CV profile focuses on the industry you’re applying to.
Keep CV personal statements brief and succinct – 100 words is an appropriate amount.
All previous education, including professional certifications, should be listed and dated. Put the most current at the top. Include the qualification type/grades as well as the dates. Only mention specific modules when it’s relevant.
List your professional experience in reverse chronological order, making sure that everything you discuss is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
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Include your work title, firm name, length of service, and major duties. If you have a lot of relevant work experience, this part should appear before education.
Skills and achievements
This is where you talk about the languages you know and the IT programs you know how to use. The primary abilities you list should be applicable to the job.
Exaggerate your abilities, as you will need to back up your statements during the interview. If you have a lot of job-specific skills, create a skills-based CV.
‘Socialising,’ ‘going to the movies,’ and ‘reading’ will not pique a recruiter’s interest.
Relevant interests, on the other hand, can present a more complete picture of who you are, while also giving you something to talk about during an interview.
Examples include producing your own blog or community bulletins if you want to be a journalist, joining a theatre club if you want to work in sales, and participating in climate change action if you want to work in the environment.
If you have no relevant hobbies or interests, skip this area.
At this point, you are not required to supply the names of the referees. You can say, ‘References available upon request.’ However, most companies will assume this, so if you’re short on space, leave this out.
CV Writing Format
Section titles are an effective approach to organising your CV. Make them more noticeable by making them bold and larger (font size 14 or 16).
Avoid fonts like Comic Sans. Choose a professional, clear, and easy-to-read font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. To ensure potential employers can read your CV, use a font size of 10 to 12. Make certain that all typefaces and font sizes are consistent throughout.
Everything should be listed in reverse chronological order. The recruiter will then look at your work history and most recent accomplishments first.
Use precise space and bullet points to keep it brief and clear. This CV structure enables potential employers to rapidly scan your CV and highlight crucial information.
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When saving, give the document a name rather than simply saving it as ‘Document 1’. Make sure the document’s title is professional and identifies you, such as ‘Kevin-Smash-CV’.
Unless otherwise specified in the job posting (for example, it may request that you submit your CV and cover letter as a Word document), save it as a pdf file to ensure that it can be opened and read on any machine. If you’re sending your CV via courier services, print it on white A4 paper- Only print on one side and do not fold your CV if you do not want it to come crumpled.
A good CV must observe the following
Unless the employer specifies differently, always add a cover letter. It will allow you to customize your application. You can highlight a specific section of your CV, identify a handicap, or explain gaps in your job history.
When possible, use active verbs. Include terms like ‘made,’ ‘analyzed,’ and ‘devised,’ for example, to promote yourself as someone who takes the initiative.
A decent CV is free of spelling and punctuation errors. Use a spell checker and have a second set of eyes go through the document.
Avoid trite, overused terms like “team player,” “hard worker,” and “multitasker.” Instead, give real-world instances that exhibit all of these abilities.
Personalize your CV. Examine the company’s website and social media accounts, see if they’ve been covered in the local paper recently, and use the job advertisement to ensure your CV is tailored to the role and employer.
Create the appropriate CV for your situation. Determine whether a chronological, skills-based, or academic CV is appropriate for you.
Make sure that your email address is professional. Create a new account for professional usage if your personal address is unacceptable.
Don’t overstate or lie on your CV or job application. You will not only demonstrate your dishonesty to a possible employer but there may also be serious consequences.
If you submit your CV online, do not disclose your home address as fraudsters may target you.