The media states that a well-built CV is a must have if you look for a job. However, for some people, it is not even clear what a CV is and why writing it is so important. CV is an abbreviation from Latin curriculum vitae which means an overview of one’s life. Its goal is to present a person’s life experience, achievements, and qualification for the headhunter when applying for a job or a certain educational program.
A CV is significant because it might become a chance to grab recruiters’ attention and get a job. Despite its sophisticated name, this document is not that scary as it seems when you know how to write it.
Although a CV is an overview of the life, it does not have to contain the entire story. Only key details important for your career should be mentioned. One or two pages are enough to cover the most significant moments. Typically, a CV includes the following information:
In this section, it is recommended to indicate your name, address, phone number, and email. If your social media profiles look professional and have relevant content, you may also add links to them.
Objective or Personal Statement
This paragraph should contain a few sentences about your goals and work expectations. It needs to be short, specific and evoking the interest.
It is necessary to write a list of certifications, qualifications, degrees, and additional courses. Make sure to start from the recent ones and continue chronologically.
This section should include the list of your jobs. Do not forget to mention the position you had, the dates, the company and your main responsibilities.
Skills and Interests
After writing about your professional skills (communication, teamwork, flexibility etc.), it is essential to include extracurricular activities to make your CV more personal and attractive. It may be the knowledge of foreign languages, sports or charity. Keep in mind, that being interesting is not enough. Once you land an interview, make sure to ask your potential recruiter the right questions.
It is good to support all the written information with solid recommendations from a supervisor or your former boss. Remember to let these people know that they might be contacted in order to avoid awkward situations.
The basic structure of a CV is the same for all the countries. However, there are some differences in details that might be crucial. Each country has its own requirements and it is better to pay attention to them if you do not want your CV to be written in vain.
In Europe, there is a standard template that needs to be completed. It is common for all the European Union countries and it definitely makes the process easier as cultural differences will not be an issue. You may use the same CV no matter where you apply in Italy, Spain or Belgium. The only peculiarity is putting a photo on your CV – that may occur in France or Germany but never happens in the UK.
Australia, USA, and Asia
If you look for a job in the USA, Australia or Asia the requirements might be slightly different. The personal information like gender, age, nationality is appropriate in Asian CVs and Europe, but it is absolutely unnecessary in the US and Australia where privacy laws are quite strict.
Resume Or CV?
Another important fact is that around the world the notions CV and resume are synonyms, except for the USA. An American CV is not a resume. This document is longer and more detailed, usually written by scientists, researchers, teachers or medical workers. Be sure to take this difference into consideration, if you are a job-seeker on the American job market!
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