A CV – Curriculum Vitae, is a one to two-page document summarising your career objectives, professional experiences, achievements, and educational background.
Your CV presents you to potential employers and is the gateway, (apart from your Cover Letter) to securing an interview.
The Job Market is very competitive and your CV is one of the tools to use to attract attention to your skills and education and can help you stand out from other candidates.
Your CV is your sales pitch, you need to sell yourself to potential employers, in the best possible way. It is good to invest time and research into developing your CV, so that it is adapted for the industry you are in. You must also ensure that your CV is error free. Double check your grammar and spelling, make sure that all company and school names and locations are spelled properly. A CV containing errors, no matter how minimal, will give your potential employer an impression that you do not have attention to detail, you don’t take time to double check your work, and that you have poor communication skills.
Make sure that your CV is formatted correctly, always stick to basic fonts, keep the font size and colours standard. Don’t go overboard with bold, italicized, or large-cap text. Keep your format consistent and make sure that the CV looks great when viewed online as well as when printed out.
Keep your CV to one or two pages – any additional pages give an impression that you either don’t know how to concisely summarize your education and experience, or that you are listing unnecessary information for the sake of taking up space.
If you are unsure how to write a CV, search internet resources or for a start, ask a friend or family member to double check what you have already created. Alternatively, hire a professional writer or CV writing service to check and amend it, such as WriteHouse.
Your CV can just make the difference to landing that dream job or remaining where you are.
A CV heading should contain your name, address and contact information.
The body of the CV should be broken into sections, such as: career objective, profile/summary, professional experience, achievements, education, and sometimes references.
The Career Objective
Your career objective should be brief, up to two sentences; it should give your potential employers an idea of how you wish to move forward in your professional life. A concise profile or a summary should discuss who you are and how your skills and experience best apply to the job you are interested in.
Do not include personal information that discloses your ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, living situations, or any other personal information that is not directly related to your career. This section should only contain a few well-written sentences that convey your talent relating to the specific job. Always stay professional in your writing and use this section to attract the employer’s attention. Although many professions are seeking creative talent, this is not always appreciated in a CV, as employers might have hundreds, if not thousands of applications to look through, so keep it concise.
Your experience listing should include information on one to five jobs you have had, starting with your current or last job, and listing the previous positions in chronological order.
This section should include the date range of your employment, name of the companies or person you have worked for and the location, although the full address is not necessary. List your job title and your main responsibilities, with emphasis on the duties and responsibilities, that are most applicable to the type of work you are seeking.
Your education should include, if obtained, college, graduate and post-graduate work, as well as any courses or professional certifications that are related to your career development. General achievements, volunteer positions, publications and other interests should only be listed if they apply to your professional work experience and are again, relevant to the type of work you are seeking.
It is always presumed that references are available, however if it is clearly requested by the potential employer, best to include a short list with basic details