If you’ve ever had difficulty writing a CV (Curriculum Vitae) you’re not alone, people find it hard especially when they are making a CV for the first time. A CV normally follows a reverse chronological order going from your most recent career venture to your oldest.
When you're looking for a new job, it's important to make sure your CV is up-to-date and includes all the information a potential employer would want to know. Let’s discuss the things you should include in your CV when you're applying for a new position. We'll also provide some tips on how to make your CV stand out from the competition!
This blog post will also give you an idea of the key things to include in a CV if you are creating one for the first time. So, make sure to stick till the end to find out what's the best approach for you
The key things to include in a CV?
How to write one is the question that comes first. So, let us start with the crucial things to include
When it comes to writing a CV, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are certain key things to include in a CV. Here are the essential points you should include in your CV:
Your contact information:
Include your full name, email address, and phone number. If you have a personal website or blog, you can include links to them too. It is to make it easy for the interviewer to reach out to you if you are shortlisted for the role.
If your employer has selected you but does not have a way to get in touch with you, your opportunity will be wasted. So, you need to make sure your CV includes up to date information about yourself and how you can be contacted.
A professional summary:
A well-written professional summary will give potential employers an overview of your skills and experience. It should be brief (no more than three sentences), and it should highlight your most relevant qualifications. For example, if you're applying for a position as a marketing assistant, your professional summary might include:
"A recent graduate with a degree in marketing and two years of experience working in the customer service industry. I am looking for a challenging role in marketing where I can use my skills and knowledge to make a difference."
Your work experience:
As a guide that touches upon how to write a CV, we can say with certainty that this is one of the most important sections of your CV - it gives potential employers an insight into your work ethic and ability to perform in a professional environment. Start with your most recent job and then work backwards.
Include the following information for each role:
- The name and location of the company:
- Your job title
- The dates you worked there
- A brief description of your responsibilities
- Any relevant achievements
If you don't have any work experience, you can include other types of experiences such as:
- Work shadowing
You can also highlight any skills or achievements that are relevant to the job you're applying for.
For example, if you're applying for a customer service role, you might include:
"I have experience dealing with difficult customers and handling complaints in a professional manner. I am able to stay calm under pressure and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction."
Your education and qualifications
This is where you can list any relevant degrees or diplomas you have. If you're still studying, you can include information about your course, such as the name of the qualification, the institution you're studying at, and when you expect to graduate. You can also include any relevant modules or projects. For example:
- Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
- University of XYZ (2009-2012)
- Awards & certifications
We can’t stress this enough, if you’re learning how to write a CV, you need to understand that you’re selling your services. Awards and Certifications tell a prospective employer how valuable your services are. It’s the garnishing on the cake.
If you have any awards or certifications, this is the section to include them. Your CV is where you get to show off all your achievements that can help you in your professional career.
Additional things you can include in your CV
These are the 5 additional points your CV must have!
If you’re a part of any professional organisations or associations, this is where you would want to list them. It shows that you are actively involved in your field and willing to stay updated with the latest trends. Not only does it make you look good, but it might also give you an edge over other candidates.
At the end of your CV, include a section with the contact information of at least two references who can vouch for your skills and experience; this is one of the semi-critical key things to include in your CV. These can be previous employers, teachers, or mentors. Make sure to ask their permission before including their details on your CV.
Your hobbies and interests:
This is an optional section for when you’re learning how to write a CV, but it's a good way to give potential employers an insight into your personality and interests. For example, if you're applying for a job in event planning, you might include:
"I'm passionate about organising events and have experience coordinating all aspects of successful functions. I'm also a proficient photographer, which comes in handy for documenting events."
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can include in your CV to make it stand out. Just remember to keep it relevant, concise, and error-free, and you'll be sure to impress potential employers. Now you know how to write a CV!
Here are some more tips that can help make your CV stand out
Strategically use bold, caps & italics
Your CV is not a novel, so don’t go overboard with fancy formatting. However, you can use bold, caps and italics to make certain words and phrases stand out. For example, using a customer service job as an example we can write in italics so it stands out from the rest of the CV like this:
"I have experience dealing with all types of customers and professionally handling complaints. I can stay calm under pressure and maintain composure in the most difficult of situations."
Choose a readable font
While you may be tempted to use a fancy font to make your CV stand out, resist the urge. The point of a CV is to show off your qualifications and experience, not your design skills. Stick to a basic font like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri. And keep the font size between 11 and 12 points so it’s easy to read.
For answers to some queries related to CV writing please check out the FAQs section below.
Frequently asked questions related to cv writing
How long should my CV be?
Ideally, your CV should be one page. However, if you have a lot of relevant experience or qualifications, you can make it up to two - three pages.
Should I include my date of birth on my CV?
It is not necessary to include your date of birth on your CV. You can leave it out.
Should I include my nationality on my CV?
Although not one of the key things to include in a CV, depending on the job you’re applying for it might be a good idea to include it.
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