How to write a CV
Knowing how to write your CV is crucial in order to create a great CV, and ultimately, a successful job application. The CV structure is of crucial importance to presenting your skills and experience clearly to a potential employer. You must have distinct sections to highlight the most important information.
The curriculum vitae, meaning courses of life, is a brief account of your skill-set, education and previous occupations. To convey these various ‘courses’ of your life briefly is difficult. Therefore one must use a good structure to include all the necessary information in the adequate space available.
You can structure your CV differently. It is necessary to be aware of the various CV templates that you can use, because this will have an affect on how you structure the document.
No matter how you decide to include the information, you must have the five key CV sections, which are as follows:
Basic Structure of a CV
Personal information includes essential information such as your name, date of birth, home address, nationality, marital status, and contact details.
In the education section of your CV you should write down each academic institution that you have attended and detail next to it any notable grades that you achieved whilst there. For example, you may write your secondary school and beside it list all your GCSE and A-Level results, or your SAT scores.
Work experience is the most important section on your CV. You must write the full name of the company you worked for, the dates in which you worked there, and a very brief description of your responsibilities during the period of work experience. It is also advisable to write ‘references available upon request‘ at the bottom of the work experience section so potential employers can see that your information is trustworthy.
Other Skills and Interests
This section of the CV is where you write about your skills and interests outside of your professional and educational career. One can discuss, for example, their personal blog or their local football team.
If you have any language skills then employers want to see them on your CV. Speaking different languages is very important and therefore you should dedicate a whole section to state which languages you can speak, and how proficient you are – i.e. basic, advanced, fluent, native.
If you have any significant achievements or qualifications that are non-academic, then include them in this section of your CV. For example, you may write about a musical instrument examination that you have passed, or a marathon that you have run.
The Significance of Each CV Section to Employers
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Length of the CV
The length of your CV must also be taken into account when thinking about structure. The general rule is that you should write no more than one page. With global unemployment at a record high, companies are receiving multiple CV’s every day! Therefore, when sending a CV to a company, you need to keep things concise, clear, and simple.
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