What is a CV? Your CV, short for curriculum vitae, is a personal marketing document used to sell yourself to prospective employers/universities. It should tell them about you, your professional history and your skills, abilities and achievements. Ultimately, it should highlight why you’re the best person.
Here are the sections you must include in your CV:
Name, professional title and contact details
The first part of your CV, positioned at the top of the page, should contain your name, professional title and contact details. Under no circumstances should you title your CV with ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’ as it’s a waste of valuable space. Treat your name as the title instead.
When it comes to your contact details, your email address and phone number(s) are essential. If you like, you can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile in this section – but only if it’s up to date!
A personal profile, also known as a personal statement, career objective and professional profile, is one of the most important aspects of your CV. It’s a short paragraph that sits just underneath your name and contact details giving prospective employers an overview of who you are and what you’re all about.
Experience and Employment History
Your employment history section gives you a chance to outline your previous jobs, internships and work experience. List your experience in reverse chronological order, as your recent role is the most relevant to the employer.
When listing each position of employment, state your job title, the employer, the dates you worked and a line that summarizes the role. Then bullets point your key responsibilities, skills and achievements, and bolster each point with powerful verbs and figures to support each claim and showcase impact.
Education and Qualifications
Like your experience section, your education should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions and the dates you were there, followed by the qualifications and grades you achieved.
There are various things you can add in this section that may strengthen your CV and highlight your skills. Here are just a few you can include if you have room:
Key skills: If you’re writing a functional CV, or have some abilities you want to show off to the employer immediately, insert a key skills section underneath your personal profile. You should aim to detail four to five abilities at most.
Hobbies and interests: If you feel that your CV is lacking, you can boost your document by inserting a hobbies and interests section at the end.
Here are some formatting and spacing tips to bear in mind:
Length: The standard length of a CV in the UK is two pages. However, one size doesn’t fit all, and so for some professionals, one or three pages may be more appropriate.
Headings: Each section must be introduced by a big, bold heading to ensure an easy read.
Font type: Most employers will receive your CV in a digital format, so choose a clear font like Calibri or Arial. You can use a different font type for your headings, but keep it professional and easy-to-read too.
What not to include: Headshot, Marital Status, Age
For further help you can always get in touch with us at 3RDiConuslting, Kavitta Mehtta.