What is a CV?

A CV, which stands for Curriculum Vitae, is the most important document which you need when applying for a job. This document allows you to summarize your education, skills and experience, to enable to you sell your abilities to prospective employers. Normally, a lot of organizations ask for a “cover letter” alongside your CV.

It does not matter how qualified you are for a position or if you have experience – if your CV is poorly presented or written badly, you are going to have problems getting the job or even an interview.

How Long Should Your CV Be?

In the UK, the standard for a CV is two sides of a A4. That said, one size does not fit all the needs.

A recent graduate with minimal to no experience may only need one side of a A4. However, there are some who might need a three-page CV, especially for high-level roles or for people who have gained a lot of experience over the last five to ten years.

To save spaces, only include the most important points; such as your education and experience. Always stick to putting relevant information and not repeating stuffs that you have written in your cover letter.

If you are having trouble editing your CV, ask yourself if the information you read intrigues you. If not, then remove it. Also, if the information is not related to the position you are applying for, remove it and if you have stuffs that are more than five years old, summarize it.

CV building

Why Do We Need A CV/ Resume?

Your CV/Resume is a marketing tool. It introduces yourself to potential employers, lets them know about your qualifications and will help you in securing an interview.

Your resume is a marketing tool. It introduces yourself to employers, presents your qualifications, and helps to secure an interview. Your resume provides a summary of your experiences, abilities, skills, as well as your accomplishments.

[Also Read: What Recruiters Want To See In Your CV]

What Should You Include In Your CV?

  • Contact Information – You should include your full name, email address and mobile number and the state you are living in.
  • Profile – This is a statement which highlights your key qualities and helps you stand out. Normally, this is placed at the beginning of a CV and relevant achievements and skills along with your career aims are presented.
    A good CV profile focuses on the sector you are applying to, while your cover letter will be job-specific.
  • Work Experience – List all of your work experience, in the reverse order. Make sure you only mention those that are related to the job you are applying for. You should include your job title, name of the company, time you were employed and key responsibilities. If you have a lot of experience, make sure you put this section before your education.
  • Education – Always list an date all of your previous educations (including the grade and major). Place your most recent one first.
  • Soft Skills – These are the interpersonal skills which characterizes a person and their ability to maintain relationships with others (like colleagues, friends, etc.) For examples skills like : Leadership, Teamwork, Communication Skills, Work Ethic, etc.

What You Should Not Put In Your CV/Resume

Now that you have read what you should have while building your CV, its time to read what stuffs you should never put in your CV. This stuffs will make recruiters/potential employers feel like you are not too serious.

  1. A Photo: Having a photo of you opens you up to various lines of discrimination, whether it is intentional or not. Your appearance will not hamper your ability to do the job, so your photo should not be on your CV.
  2. Your Address: When you list your address, it gives the hiring manager another reason to not consider you – your location. You do not want anyone to know where you live “exactly”. So just keep the state you are living in instead of your full address.
  3. “References Available Upon Request”: Unless specifically requested, mentioning this statement is unnecessary. When an employers wants your references, they will ask for it; which will not happen until after the interview has taken place.
  4. Unrelated Previous Jobs: You should always show your potential employer that you are interested in focusing on what is relevant to them by removing extra information from your CV.
  5. DATES: Unless you are mentioning your work experience, it is better not mentioning any other dates, especially your DOB. This is because there is a chance you might be discriminated based on your age.
  6. Typos or factual errors. You should spellcheck your resume before you send it, double-check everything that you have included in your resume.
  7. Fancy formatting. Stick to easy-to-read fonts and formats. This makes it easier for recruiters to review your resume as having too much graphics in the CV can get distracting.

Reviewing your resume

Having someone else review your resume is extremely important. Make sure you use someone who will actually tell you if they think something isn’t right. People you could ask include:

  • Co-workers
  • Former employers
  • Teachers
  • Career guidance counselors
  • Your parents, family or guardians

Also read: How to excel in an interview

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