Writing a CV can often be one of the main obstacles to actually starting a job search. A CV is a document that summarizes who you are, what you have done, and what skills you have, and that tells the person why you are the right candidate for a particular job or position. The CV is also the first - and probably the only - impression one will have before deciding whether or not to interview you.
Although there is no single solution to the perfect CV, it should always be clearly designed and concisely formatted - and most importantly - tailored to the position or job you are applying for.
Using a resume structure can help you get started writing this very important document. Here are some basic rules for writing a CV:
What should I include in my CV?
CVs do not have to be completely formulated according to a standard, but there are some criteria that should always contain:
Personal details: It may seem simple, but you would be surprised how many people forget to include their name, email, contact phone number, and address in their CV. To avoid this, make sure that personal details are always clearly presented at the beginning of the document.
The first thing on your CV should be your name and contact information. This always includes the phone number and email address. Remember, entering multiple phone numbers or email addresses will simply confuse the people who want to contact you.
You can also include your LinkedIn profile link and / or personal page or portfolio online. Incorporating the website makes more sense if you are applying for work in creative fields like art or design, or when evidence and works of art will help the application.
Personal statement: The first paragraph included in your CV is a personal statement. It explains who you are, what you offer, and what you are looking for.
Use this section to tell employers why you are the right candidate for the organization. Many recruiters say this part should be no more than five long sentences and should cover who you are, what you can bring to the company, and career goals.
Be sure to tailor your CV to each individual job you are applying for.
Work experience: The CV should always have a section of work experience, as the document will be used primarily to communicate how the experience fits into the position you are applying for. And usually, professional experience takes up most of the resume.
Include job title, name of organization or company, period in this post and key responsibilities you have exercised. Put work dates in parentheses.
Below that, write a list of key points that summarize the job tasks and key accomplishments while working there. Like personal statements, you will adjust it depending on the position for which you are applying.
Think about the position you are applying for and include any keywords that may resonate with your prospective employer.
Achievements: This is your chance to show how your previous experience has given you the skills needed to be a suitable candidate. List all relevant skills and accomplishments (supporting them with examples), and make clear how to apply them to your new position or job.
Education: Here you should list educational achievements, dates, type of qualification - although the specific parts of education in your CV depend on the individual situation.
List the levels and areas for each school and certification you have attended, including online schools and programs. If you have recently graduated, you should also list the year you graduated. If you have a college degree (bachelor) it is not necessary to list high school unless it is particularly relevant to the specific job you are applying for. However, if you have a master's degree or higher, you should also list your university degree.
Skills you list on your resume may vary depending on the types of jobs. So for the structure of the resume list everything you think might be relevant to the application.
If you need help figuring out which skills might matter, compile some job descriptions for the positions you might be interested in and look at the requirements they list.
It may be helpful to divide your skills into categories such as "technical skills", "language skills", or even more specific categories such as "accounting software" or "design skills". Make sure you are as honest as possible. Don’t just list the skills you think you should have or think will impress employers.
Hobbies and interests: You do not always have to include hobbies and interests in your CV, but by mentioning the relevant ones you can support your skills to give you something to talk in the interview.
Just do not say that you like to hang out with friends just for the sake of including something.
The words I should include in my CV?
Understanding which words used in a CV can be difficult - especially when trying to fit a lot of skills and experience into a short document.
Appropriate CV keywords may include:
- Hard worker
In addition to using the right key-words, you should also support attributes with real achievements. Not only will you stand out from others with identical skills, you will also be able to test your adaptability more efficiently.
After all, anyone can claim to be a hard worker - but not everyone can prove it.
What should I leave out of my CV?
When it comes to CVs, there are some words and phrases you should try to avoid - and they mostly consist of clichés.
- Excellent communication skills
- Detail oriented
Of course, exceptions can be made if any of the above are included in the job description as an essential skill - but using examples to support them is important.
How do I present my CV?
Your resume is the first thing an employer will see and how it looks at first glance will be the reason they decide to read it in more detail.
Did you know that, on average, an employer spends only 60 seconds reading your CV? That means you have a little over a minute to sell your strengths.
Even if your skills perfectly match the position, a messy and confusing CV will not have a second reading. Three-quarters of CVs are usually rejected due to spelling or poor visual presentation.
- In Kastori you can find examples of CVs that can be downloaded for free.
To ensure that you have described yourself (and your skills) in the best way, you should always provide your CV with:
- Keep it short and compact - two pages of A4 paper will almost always suffice;
- Pick a clear, professional font to ensure that your CV is easy to read;
- Put it in a logical way, with enough division and clear section titles (e.g. Work Experience, Education);
- List your experience and education in reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent experience and achievement;
- Check the grammar and spelling as a whole.
Example of a CV
NAME AND SURNAME
Email Address | Phone
In no more than 4-5 sentences, describe your interest for the position, your professional goals, and why the organization should hire you. Label yourself appropriately for the role you are applying for. Remember, employers want to hire people who will contribute and add value to their organization. Use this space to explain: who you are, what you can bring, and your career goals. You need to adjust your CV to match the job you are applying for.
Position title, company name, (dates of employment in parentheses eg April 2018 - August 2019)
- Under the job title, describe the main responsibilities you held;
- Start with the skills listed in the job vacancy;
- Think about the job you are applying for and keep the details relevant to the prospective employer;
- Recruiters recommend including between 3 - 5 main points for work
- Include some factual information on how you positively impacted the workplace. For example, have you increased the company's revenue? If so, for how much?
- Remember to give examples to support the claims you write about your skills and abilities
Position title, company name, (dates of employment eg February 2016 - March 2017)
- Sort your employment history in reverse chronological order, with your most recent job
As a general rule, put the most relevant qualification first. If you are a graduate applying for your first job after graduation, consider including education in your personal statement.
- Bachelor, Computer Science, name of the university (dates eg September 2007 - July 2010)
Add further information if the context of your education is relevant to the position you are applying for.
- This is an opportunity to list any skills, qualifications or other information that makes you stand out well in front of your employer. For example, volunteer work.
- List all training, relevant awards and membership in professional associations that will strengthen your application, including the dates when these awards were received.
Do not forget: you only have 2 pages to include all of the above, so be as relevant, concise and clear as possible.