Curriculum Vitae plays a crucial role in the job application process, it provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of your professional history. The information in your CV serves as a starting point for an interview.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you craft a standout CV:
Choose a format and style
Writing a compelling CV can be the key to landing your dream job, so it’s important to get it right.
- Chronological: Ideal for showcasing a strong work history with steady progression.
- Functional: Emphasizes skills and achievements over specific jobs, suitable for career changers or those with gaps in employment.
- Hybrid: Combines elements of both chronological and functional formats.
Structure your CV
- Header: Include your name, contact information (phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile URL if applicable), and a professional headshot (optional).
- Personal profile: A summary of your skills, experience, and career goals. Tailor this to the specific job you’re applying for.
- Work experience: List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job. Include the job title, company name, dates of employment, and a bulleted list of your key responsibilities and achievements. Quantify your achievements whenever possible using numbers and data.
- Education: List your educational qualifications, including the name of the institution, degree earned, and date of graduation. Include relevant coursework or projects if applicable.
- Skills: Highlight your relevant hard skills (technical skills) and soft skills (interpersonal skills) using keywords from the job description.
- Additional sections: You can include optional sections such as volunteer work, awards and honours, publications, or professional affiliations.
Use strong action verbs
Start each bullet point in your work experience and skills sections with a strong action verb to make your CV more impactful.
Examples include “managed,” “increased,” “developed,” “spearheaded,” and “improved.”
Keep it concise and clear
Aim for a CV that is one or two pages long, depending on your level of experience. Use clear and concise language, and avoid jargon.
Typos and grammatical errors can make a bad impression, so proofread your CV carefully before submitting it.
Here are some additional tips for writing a great CV
- Tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for. Use keywords from the job description throughout your CV.
- Quantify your achievements whenever possible. Use numbers and data to show the impact of your work.
- Use a professional font and layout. Make sure your CV is easy to read and visually appealing.
- Save your CV in a PDF format. This will ensure that it looks the same on any computer.
- Use a white or cream background with black or dark grey text for optimal readability.
- Choose a professional font, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.
- Use section headings and bullet points to make your CV easy to scan.
- Get feedback on your CV from friends, family, or a career counsellor.
Following these tips, you can write a CV to help you stand out from the competition and land your dream job.
- RECOMMENDATION: Applying through CAO – Register on the CAO System.