You want to apply for a position in a company but you have been asked to send your CV and you think, "wait … what?" Do not worry! Curriculum Vitae (CV) means "life career" in Latin, and that's exactly what it is. The CV is a concise document that summarizes all professional experiences and skills. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills (and some complementary skills) to do the job for which you apply. Follow this guide to create a great CV.
Part 1 of 3: Brainstorming Your CV
Step 1. Know what information a CV usually contains
Most CVs include personal information, education and qualifications, work experience, achievements and interests, skills, and references. However, there is no exact format to create a CV, what you decide to include is up to you.
Step 2. Consider the job for which you are applying
Research the company. A good CV points to the specific job and company to which you apply. What does the company do? What is your mission? What do you think they are looking for in an employee? What are the skills necessary to perform the job for which you apply? You need to take all of those things into account when writing your CV.
Step 3. Check the company's website for extra information about the CV
See if they ask you to include certain specific information on your CV. There may be specific instructions listed on the application page. Always double check this.
Step 4. Make a list of your previous jobs
You can include the job (s) you currently do and also the jobs you did in the past. Include the dates on which your employment contract began and ended in each of the jobs.
Step 5. Look for your hobbies and interests
Unique interests and hobbies make you stand out. Take into account the conclusions that can be drawn from looking at your hobbies. Try to list hobbies that show you as a team-oriented individual rather than those that might show you as a lonely and passive person. Companies want someone who works well with other people and who is able to take charge if needed.
- Interests and hobbies that show a positive image: Being the captain of your soccer team, organizing a charity event for an orphanage, being the secretary of the student government of your school.
- Interests and hobbies that show a lonely and passive personality: Watching television, solving puzzles, reading. If you are going to post any of these things, give a reason why you include them. For example, if you apply for a job at a publishing house, put something like: "I enjoy reading great American writers like Twain and Hemingway, as I think their writing gives a unique perspective to the American culture of the time they were living in.".
Step 6. Create a list of your best skills for the job
These skills often include computer skills (Are you good at Wordpress, Excel, inDesing? Etc.), the languages you speak, or specific things the company is looking for, such as skills needed for specific industries.
Example of specific skills: If you apply to be a newspaper writer, list that you are good with the AP style. If you are applying for a coding job, mention that you have worked with Java script
Part 2 of 3: Write your CV
Step 1. Create the format of your CV
Are you going to divide each section with a line? Are you going to put each section in its own box? Are you going to list all your information? Play around with the different formats to see which one looks more professional. Your goal should be to include no more information than will fit on a sheet of paper on both sides.
Step 2. Write your name, address, phone number, and email at the top of the page
It is important that you write your name in a larger font than the rest of the text, since it is important for the reviewer to know the name of the person to whom the information belongs. The format you want to give the information is up to you.
The normal format would be with the name in the center of the page. Your address should be written as a block on the left side of the page. Put your phone number and email below your address. If you have a different address (such as your address while you are at school), write it on the right side of the sheet
Step 3. Write a personal profile
This is an optional part of the CV that is good for giving the reviewer a deeper look at you as a person. This is where you sell your skills, experience, and personal qualities. It should be something well written and original. Use positive words like "adaptable", "confident", and "determined".
Example of a personal profile for a CV in a publishing company: "An enthusiastic recent graduate seeking an entry-level position in a publishing company using my organizational and communication skills developed as a summer intern at City Lights publishing house."
Step 4. Create a section for your education and degrees
This section can be at the beginning of your CV or you can write it after other sections. The order of the sections is up to you. Write your education in reverse chronological order. Start with college (if you were or are currently going) and work your way back. Write the name of the university, the date you completed your studies, your grade point average, etc.
Example: Santa Clara University, History and English 2009-2013 My studies include: Medieval literature, Victorian literature, criticism of poetry, and British history. I got a 75% grade on my sophomore exams. (If it's in the US, I kept a GPA of 3.7)
Step 5. Create a section for your work experience
In this section you should include all relevant work experience. Write the name of the company, its location, and the years you worked there, and what job you did. Start with your most recent job and work backwards. If you have an extensive list of work experience, list only the experiences relevant to the job you are applying for.
Example: Diablo Magazine, Walnut Creek, CA, March 2012 - January 2013. I wrote articles for the Diablo blog, helped in finding the material for the articles, etc
Step 6. Create a section for your skills and achievements
This section lists all the things you accomplished in your previous jobs, and the skills you developed through your experiences. This is also the section where you list any published work, readings you did, or classes you have given, etc.
Example of Accomplishments: I successfully took a national bestseller from manuscript to publication, received a certification in publishing from the University of Berkeley
Step 7. Create a section for your interests
You should list any relevant interests that show your positive side. Pick several interests from the list you brainstormed for your CV (in part one).
Step 8. Create a section to add additional information
If there is a noticeable empty space on your CV or if there is other information you want to share, put it in this section. This type of information may include leaving your job to take care of the children, joining a charity, etc.
Example: I suspended my career in advertising for two years to teach English in Brazil through the TEFL program. Teaching English as a second language has helped me better understand the subtle nuances of that language
Step 9. Create a section with your references
References are the people you have worked with (such as teachers, previous employers etc.), who have seen your work and can attest to your achievements and good performance. The company you apply to could contact these references to find out more about your previous work. You should talk to the person you would like to list as a reference before including them, it is best to check if they have the same phone number, if it is okay for you to list them as a reference, or if they remember who you are. Write your name and full contact information (including your phone number and email).
Part 3 of 3: Finalize your CV
Step 1. Check your spelling and grammar
Bad spelling is the fastest way to get rejected. If your CV is very sloppy and riddled with errors, potential employers will be disappointed. Check twice (and up to three) that you have spelled the name of the company correctly, as well as the names of the companies you worked for.
Step 2. Check to see if there are sentences you can write more concisely
Well-written and concise resumes tend to look better than long resumes with repetitive information. Make sure you don't repeat the information, it is better to list many of your qualities rather than the same qualities over and over again.
Step 3. Read your CV as if you were a member of the company to which you apply
What do you think about the appearance and the written information? Does your CV make you look like a professional?
Step 4. Ask someone else to read your CV
What things do you think you should add or remove? Why would they hire you if they were members of the company?
Step 5. Review the company's application page
Check to see if there is any other material that they would like you to send along with the CV. Businesses might require a cover letter or a sample of your work (like articles you've written).
- The content of a CV should reflect the position for which you apply. For example, if you apply for a job as an IT technician, it is not relevant to the employer that you worked in multiple bars early in your career. If you're applying for a call center job, your employer would love to hear about your customer service skills that you learned when working with the public.
- Be honest. If you have the ability to get the job done, then you shouldn't lie to get it.
- Write clearly and concisely. Employers don't want to have to read through entire sheets of clutter to see what your best qualities are.
- Show passion about your job and your hobbies.
- If you're using bullets instead of single lines, bullets with a single line are more pleasing to the eye than messy posts with multiple lines.
- Don't waste all your work sending a well-done CV on low-quality paper. Make sure to print your CV on good quality paper, and preferably in black ink.