Top 10 CV Writing Tips
What Does Curriculum Vitae Mean?
Before we get to the tips on how to write a professional CV, we need to get the terms right first. In other words, we have to answer the question “What does C.V. mean?” before moving on to the issues of how to write a good one. Curriculum Vitae (CV) which is a Latin expression meaning the course of life denotes a document listing one’s work experience, education, qualifications, and skills and is used mostly for job search purposes.
The Importance of a CV in Getting a Needed Job?
It is very unlikely that one can overestimate the importance of a professional CV. The truth of the matter is that CV is usually the first thing employers look at in order to understand whether the applicant should be invited for the interview. Many job seekers don’t think about that as they are focused on accomplishing their own goals – finding a job. As a result, they send their CVs to as many companies as they possibly can in hopes one or two employers will contact them. However, such an approach proved to be highly ineffective as a professional CV today is a document that is tailored to meet the needs of each and every employer specifically.
How to write a good CV then becomes one of the most commonly asked questions when people are trying to get hired by reputable companies. This makes sense because a good CV actually gives a great head start distinguishing you from other candidates. The problem with the job search efforts of most people who are trying to find a job is that they don’t really care much about the quality of their CVs. They just jot down information about themselves in a way that seems fitting to them (not to employers) and send out the document to many companies. This is where hiring authorities can see whether an applicant simply knows the answer to the question “What does C.V. mean?” or one actually knows how to write a good CV (which probably means the candidate really wants the job).
The Best Tips to Write a Good CV: TOP 10 CV Writing Tips
- Understand the requirements. Search through the job opening and write down the things the company’s looking in a candidate.
- Write down all of your experiences and skills. It is important to have everything written down before putting it together into one document.
- Analyze and seek relevant experiences/qualifications. Choose the things that appear to be the most relevant for the potential employer (based on the requirements) to include in your CV.
- Develop a summary section. Instead of having an objective statement, prepare the summary section which outlines your relevant key strengths.
- List your work experience in reverse chronological order. In other words, the most recent jobs should appear first.
- Focus on accomplishments. Emphasize what you achieved rather than what your daily responsibilities were.
- Polish-up the education section. Make sure it doesn’t include unnecessary details employers have no interest in (i.e. high school diploma, courses are taken, etc.)
- Add training, certifications, licenses, etc. Don’t forget to include your training experience if it is relevant.
- Think of other relevant experiences you had. Including relevant volunteering, experiences can be a good idea even though you were not paid for this work.
- Edit and proofread. Do it several times to ensure the document contains no errors.
CV vs Resume: Main Differences
Many wonder whether there is any difference between a CV or a resume. The reason for that is there are job openings that require a CV submitted while other companies request a resume to be sent. Be it a CV or resume mentioned in the job ad, employers need a document that will help them understand whether you are a good match for the opening. Therefore, the terms are often used interchangeably and mean pretty much the same thing – a document with information about one’s work experience, skills, and qualifications.
In some cases, though a CV can be different from a resume (that is why you can find articles online with headings like “C.V. vs Resume”). In this context, a CV is defined as a longer and more fixed document that is not tailored to the needs of every employer listing information about one’s experiences and skills. Sometimes, when people talk about C.V. vs Resume, they mean the difference between the job application documents in the USA and Europe, which have slight differences too (length and structure). If you are confused as to which kind of document you should submit, you shouldn’t worry. Job ads usually contain necessary information about what documents they expect candidates to submit.