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Creating A Curriculum Vitae (CV) – Things You Should Know

Curriculum Vitae (CV) means “course of life” in Latin, and that is just what it is. A CV is a concise document which summarizes your past, existing professional skills, proficiency and experiences.Writing the job-getting CV is often considered a difficult task (nothing good comes easy), but with the right guidelines, you can easily create a great resume that will boldly boast off your accomplishments in your absence. One rule you should note, however, is that there is no ‘one best way’ to write a CV. You can be creative about yours (it’s a free world), but there are certain things that MUST be included. We have put together some suggestions that will help place your CV in the spotlight.

Follow these steps to create a great CV and hopefully achieve the role you are hoping for.

Brainstorming for Your CV.

  • Know what information a CV generally contains. Most CVs include your personal information, your education and qualifications, your work experience, your interests and achievements, your skills, and references. Also experienced people tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Use a modern but professional format. However, there is no set format for a CV, what you include is up to you.
  • Consider the job you are applying for. Research the company. A good CV is tailored to the specific job and company you are applying for. What does the company do? What is their mission statement? What do you think they are looking for in an employee? What skills does the specific job you are applying for require? These are all things to keep in mind when writing your CV.
  • Check the company’s website for extra information about the CV. See if there is any specific information they want you to list in your CV. There might be specific directions listed on the application page. Always double check this.
  • Make a list of jobs you have held. These can be both jobs you hold currently and jobs you have held in the past. Include the dates that you began and ended your term at each particular job.
  • Brainstorm your hobbies and interests. Unique interests or hobbies will make you stand out. Be aware of the conclusions that might be drawn from your hobbies. Try to list hobbies that portray you as a team-oriented individual rather than as a solitary, passive person. Companies want someone who works well with others and can take charge if need be.
  • Hobbies and interests that paint a positive image: Being the captain of your soccer (or football) team, organizing a charity event for an orphanage, secretary of your school’s student-run government.
    Hobbies that imply a passive, solitary personality: watching TV, doing puzzles, reading. If you are going to put any of these things, give a reason why. For instance, if you are applying for a job at a publishing house, put something like: I enjoy reading the great American writers such as Twain and Hemingway because I think their writing gives a unique perspective into American culture at the time they were writing.
  • Make a list of your relevant skills. These skills often include computing skills (are you a wiz at WordPress? Excel? inDesign? etc.), languages you speak, or specific things the company is looking for, such as targeted skills.
    Example of targeted skills: If you are applying to be a writer for a newspaper, list that you are fluent in AP style. If you are applying for a coding job, mention that you have worked with JavaScript.

Writing Your CV

  • Create the format for your CV. Are you going to break each section up with a line? Are you going to put each section in its own box? Are you going to list all of your information? Play around with different formats to see which looks most professional. Aim for no more than the front and back of a standard sheet of paper.
  • Create a section for your skills and achievements. This section is where you list the things you accomplished at your previous jobs, and the skills you have developed through your experiences. This is also the section where you list any of your published work, lectures you’ve given, classes you’ve taught, etc
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Poor spelling is the quickest way to get rejected. If your CV is sloppy or riddled with errors, potential employers will be unimpressed. Double (and triple) check that you have spelled the name of the company correctly, as well as any companies you have worked for in the past.
  • Proofread for any sentences that could be written more concisely. CVs that are concise and well-written tend to do better than long-winded CVs that have repetitive information. Make sure you don’t repeat yourself–it’s better to list many of your traits than the same few traits over and over again
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