How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) in 2023
You’ve been asked to submit a CV to a company you’d like to work for, and you’re thinking, “Wait…what?” Don’t be concerned! Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Latin for “course of life,” and that is exactly what it is. A CV is a brief document that summarizes your previous and current professional skills, proficiency, and experiences. The goal of this document is to show that you have the necessary skills (as well as some complementary ones) to do the job for which you are applying. You are literally selling your talents, skills, and abilities. Follow these steps to create a great CV and, hopefully, get the job you want.
Tips to Make Your CV Stand Out in 2023
Understand what information is typically included on a CV. Most CVs include personal information, education and qualifications, work experience, interests and accomplishments, skills, and references. In addition, experienced professionals will tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Make use of a modern, yet professional, format. There is no standard format for a CV, so what you include is entirely up to you.
Consider the position you’re applying for. Research the company. A good CV is tailored to the job and company for which you are applying. What exactly does the company do? What is the company’s mission statement? What qualities do you believe they are looking for in a candidate? What qualifications does the job you’re applying for require? All of this should be considered when writing your CV.
For more information on the CV, visit the company’s website. Check to see if there is anything specific they want you to include in your CV. Specific instructions may be listed on the application page. Always check this twice.
Make a list of all the jobs you’ve held. These can be jobs you currently hold as well as jobs you have held in the past. Include the dates you started and finished your term at each job.
Make a list of your hobbies and interests. You will stand out if you have unusual interests or hobbies. Be mindful of the conclusions that may be drawn from your hobbies. Try to list hobbies that show you as a team player rather than a solitary, passive individual. Companies want someone who can work well with others and take charge when necessary.
- Positively portraying hobbies and interests: Being captain of your soccer (or football) team, organizing a charity event for an orphanage, or serving as secretary of your school’s student government are all examples of leadership roles.
- Hobbies that suggest a solitary, passive personality: watching TV, doing puzzles, reading If you’re going to include any of these items, explain why. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a publishing house, you could say something like: I enjoy reading the great American writers such as Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway because I believe their writing provides a unique perspective on American culture at the time they were writing.
Make a list of your applicable skills. Computing skills (are you a whiz at WordPress? Excel? inDesign? etc.), languages you speak, or specific things the company is looking for, such as targeted skills, are common examples of these skills.
Make a format for your CV. Are you going to use a line to separate each section? Will you put each section in its own box? Are you going to include all of your contact information? Experiment with different formats to see which one looks the most professional. Aim for no more than a standard sheet of paper’s front and back.
At the top of the page, include your name, address, phone number, and email address. It is critical to make your name larger than the rest of the text so that your reviewer knows who he or she is reading about. It is entirely up to you how you format this information.
- The standard format is to put your name in the center of the page. On the left side of the paper, write your address in a block format. Put your phone number and email address beneath your home address. If you have another address (for example, your home address while at school), write it on the right side of the paper.
Make a personal profile for yourself. This is an optional section of your CV that will provide your reviewer with a more in-depth look at you as a person. This is where you sell your abilities, experiences, and personal characteristics. It must be unique and well-written. Use words like “adaptable,” “confident,” and “determined.”
- An example of a personal statement for a CV for a publishing company is as follows: An enthusiastic recent graduate seeking an entry-level editorial position that will allow her to put her organizational and communication skills gained as a summer intern at City Lights to use.
Make a section for your education and credentials. This section can be listed at the beginning of your CV or after other sections. The order of the sections is entirely up to you. In reverse chronological order, list your education. Begin with the university, if you have attended or are currently enrolled, and work your way backward. List your university’s name, the dates you attended, your major and minor, and your grade point average or A levels.
- As an example, Santa Clara University’s English and History departments from 2009 to 2013. Medieval Literature, Victorian Literature, Poetry Criticism, and British History are among the topics covered. I received a 75 percent on my second-year exams. (If in the United States, maintain a 3.7 GPA.)
Make a section for your professional experience. This is where you should list all of your relevant work experience. Include the name of the company, its location, the years you worked there, and what you did. Begin with your most recent job and work your way backward. If you have a long list of work experiences, only include those that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
- Diablo Magazine, Walnut Creek, California, March 2012-January 2013. Fact-checked information, wrote articles for Diablo’s blog and assisted in article research.
Make a section for your skills and accomplishments. This section is where you list your previous job accomplishments as well as the skills you’ve gained through your experiences. This is also where you list any published work, lectures you’ve given, classes you’ve taught, and so on.
- Examples of accomplishments: successfully shepherded a national best-seller from manuscript to publication; received copy-editing certification from UC Berkeley.
Make a section for your hobbies. You should include any relevant interests that portray you in the best light. Select a few interests from the list you made while brainstorming for your CV.
Make a section for additional information. If there is a noticeable gap in your CV or if you have any additional information to share, include it in this section. This type of information can include leaving work to care for children, joining the Peace Corps, and so on.
- For instance, I took a two-year break from my intended career path in publishing to teach English in Brazil through the TEFL program. Teaching English as a second language has helped me better understand the language’s nuances.
Make a separate section for references. These are people you have previously worked with, such as professors, previous employers, and so on, who have seen your work and can credibly back up the praises they give you. The company to which you are applying may contact your references to learn more about your previous work. You should speak with the person you want to list as a reference before listing them—it is best to double-check that they still have the same phone number, are okay with giving you a reference, or remember who you are. Make a note of their full names and contact information (including their phone numbers and emails).
Examine your spelling and grammar. Poor spelling is the most common reason for rejection. Potential employers will be unimpressed if your CV is sloppy or riddled with errors. Check (and double-check) that you have spelled the company’s name correctly, as well as the names of any previous employers you have worked for.
Check for any sentences that could be written more succinctly. CVs that are concise and well-written outperform long-winded CVs that contain repetitive information. Make sure you don’t repeat yourself; it’s better to list a variety of traits than the same few traits over and over.
Examine your CV as if you were the company to which you are applying. What are your thoughts on the layout and the information provided? Do you present yourself as a professional?
Request that someone else read your CV. What do they think should be added or removed? Would they hire you if they owned a business?
Examine the application page of the company. Check to see if they require any additional materials in addition to your CV. Companies may request a cover letter or work samples (such as articles you may have written).