How to write a good CV

By on January 23, 2013
How to write a good CV

A curriculum vitae(CV) (also called a résumé) is a document that contains a professional career history. It also covers a person’s educational history.  A CV is in a actual sense a marketing document in which a person markets his/her skills, abilities, qualifications, experiences to a employer. Also a CV can contain personal information like marital status and other details. The basic format for a CV includes:

  • Personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and possibly any professional social media presence. You no longer need to include your date of birth, owing to age discrimination rules
  • Career history, starting with your most recent job first. Include dates and temporary or voluntary jobs if appropriate
  • A personal profile which sells yourself and your qualities, tailored towards the job you are applying for
  • Achievements from previous jobs that are relevant
  • Qualifications and training from previous jobs, with the most recent first
  • Interests, if they are relevant and especially if the skills or teamwork concerned are relevant for the job
  • Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history, such as caring duties
  • References, ideally two or more and including a recent employer

What makes a good CV?

There is no single “correct” way to write and present a CV but the following general rules apply:

  • It is targeted on the specific job or career area for which you are applying and brings out the relevant skills you have to offer
  • It is carefully and clearly laid out: logically ordered, easy to read and not cramped
  • It is informative but concise
  • It is accurate in content, spelling and grammar. If you mention attention to detail as a skill, make sure your spelling and grammar is perfect!

NB: A  new graduate’s CV should cover no more than two sides of A4 paper.

Advice : Your CV should be carefully and clearly laid out – not too cramped but not with large empty spaces either. Use bold and italic typefaces for headings and important information, make sure each page is on a seperate sheet of paper, be concise, be positive, don’t fold your CV and please above all, be honest. Good luck.

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