Candidates, CV Help & tips, CVs & Cover Letters

What is a CV?

A CV is an integral part of any person’s career and job search. It’s a means by which you put your skills, education qualifications and working experience in one place. At a glance, a CV can offer you a chance in a job interview or dismiss you for the role.

With that in mind, below are a few things you should know about this thing known as the CV:

What is a CV?

The word CV is an abbreviation for Curriculum Vitae, also known as resume. It is simply an overview, written in plain language, about your skills, education, and work experience.

A CV may have various roles; however, the major one is to be used as a tool for new job search.

What should a CV include?

Some people claim that a CV must conform to a certain structure. Even although there’s no official structure for the same, the claims could be viable to some extent. However, there is certain key information that should not miss in your CV.

A few of the key things to include in your CV are listed below:

  • Your personal and contact Information – e. full name, address, email, phone number
  • Personal summary – a brief statement of who you are and your life expectations as far as job is concerned
  • Key skills – enumerate your key skills relevant to your target job
  • Work experience – a list of all your working experiences, with the most recent coming first
  • Education and qualifications – listed with the most recent first
  • Hobbies and interests – not mandatory but key if they’ll give you an edge to get the target job
  • References – not mandatory but it’s wise to specify that they’re available on request 

How should a CV be formatted?

As much as we’ve stressed on the content, the layout of your CV is as equally important. The general formatting says a lot about you as a candidate. To a recruiter, your CV is a simple test to your organizational skills and attention to detail.

In order to go around this test, keep it clear, concise, succinct, and easy to read with the help of the following key guidelines:

  • Be logical
  • Keep it brief and relevant
  • Check typos and grammar mistakes
  • Use a professional font
  • Make better use of headings and bullet points
  • If possible, use a template

How many types of CVs are there?

There are different ways you can peach your skills to prospective employers. A CV doesn’t always have to be written; video CVs are also in use. Whether you want to draw attention to your education, prove your creative abilities, or place an emphasis on your relevant skills, always be keen to tailor your CV according to your skills, strengths, and the industry of your target job.

Below are a few CV types most people use:

  • Graduate CV – for those freshly graduated persons
  • Creative CV – for showing your skills e.g. marketing, and other creative fields
  • Technical CV – mostly used in seeking for IT-related positions
  • Teaching CV – for seeking teaching roles
  • Academic CV – for seeking research/lecturing based positions or PhDs
  • Skills-based CV – for showcasing skills for those with little or no work experience 

How long should a CV be?

Does size matter really? Yes it does, more than you could imagine!

Note that, 91% of recruiters see a Word Document of 2 to 3 pages as the perfect length of a CV – so always aim to keep it short and sweet.

You can achieve this by having only what’ll make you a good fit for the role you are targeting, and ensure that you don’t overdo your CV with unnecessary detail. Make use of the cover letter to detail any other relevant skills and experience that you would’ve loved to add if you had room in your CV.

Are CVs actually read by anyone?

Long gone are the days of ATS (Applicant Tracking System) tricksters, when jobseekers used to fill their CVs with keywords and meaningless phrases.

Even with the rise of online and social media recruiting methods, real recruiters still consider CVs as an integral part of the hiring process. Therefore, make your CV readable and tailored to the role you are selling yourself for.

Also, make your CV as realistic as possible i.e. back up your skills with real and practical examples. The aim here is to catch the attention of your prospective employer in a unique and the best way possible.

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