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Job Search 101: When a CV? When a Resume?

Job Search 101: When a CV? When a Resume?
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Did you read the title and think: “But, aren’t a CV and resume the same thing?”

No.

There are some key differences between a CV and resume, which include:

  • How long they are
  • The information they include
  • What you’re applying for

Feel like you might have been using the wrong one?

Don’t worry.

This article will give you all the information you need to create a winning CV, and will tell you exactly when you should be using one.

Use a resume when you should be using a CV, and you could miss out on your dream job.

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Don’t let that happen.

What Is a CV, Exactly?

A CV, or curriculum vitae, provides a summary of your skills and experiences. It will usually be 2-3 pages long, and includes much more details than a resume.

Tailored Content for a Killer CV

Your CV should be tailored to be as relevant as possible to the position you’re applying for, but all CVs should include these basic things:

  • Your name, address and contact details
  • Education and qualifications
  • Your work history and experience
  • Information on your academic background. This can include research projects, teaching or lecturing experience, publications, presentations and awards.

A resume will include the first three points, but will be more tailored to the job you’re applying for, less thorough, and less focused on academic background.

When a CV, When a Resume?

When applying for a job outside of the US, a CV will usually be expected. Some jobs in the US, like those in medicine or academia, will ask for a CV.

For most jobs in the US, however, a resume is acceptable.

You wouldn’t write a three page CV to apply for a weekend waitressing job, but a CV would be perfect if you were applying for an academic research position [1]

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.If in doubt, get in touch with the recruiter for the organisation you’re applying to and ask for their preference.

The Essence of a Perfect CV

Worried your CV will go straight into the bin?

Follow the tips below to craft a CV that’s readable, relevant and persuasive.

  • Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. If you’re going for a teaching job, make sure to emphasise your experience in education.
  • Make sure it’s well-formatted. Make your CV as clear and easy to read as possible. Don’t waste time on fancy formatting, and don’t add pictures.
  • Use bullet points. Using lists to display your key achievements, skills and experience is a great way to quickly convey them to the person reading.
  • Don’t include irrelevant information. You don’t need to list every detail of everything you’ve ever done. Stick to what’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.

    What does a good CV look like?

    Checking out examples of winning CVs is a great way to shed some light on what yours should look like. We’ve curated some examples of excellent CVs below.

    Basic CV format

    Does education come before work experience? Where should my address be?

    Check out this example of a correctly formatted curriculum vitae to see exactly how your CV should be laid out.

    CVs for young people

    Don’t have any work experience? Feel like there’s nothing to write on your CV?

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    These sample CV templates will help if you’re still in school or have recently left.

    CVs for graduates

    Ready to enter the big wide world of employment? Make your first job search a successful one with these sample graduate CVs.

    CVs for academia

    Applying for a research position or PhD? These academic CV templates will show you everything you need to include.

    CVs for medical jobs

    Writing a medical CV can feel daunting, even if you know you’re fully qualified.

    Check out this page for advice on how to prepare and structure your medical CV.

    CVs for business

    What should you focus on in a business CV? How detailed should it be?

    These example business CVs will help you to write a winner.

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    CVs for a change of career

    Want to move industry or change your career, but worried it’ll never happen?

    With the right CV, you can find your dream job. Check out these sample career change CVs for inspiration.

    Don’t let your dream job pass you by because you didn’t write a good CV – or worse, you submitted a resume!

    Spend some time getting it right and your future self will thank you.

    Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Eloise Best

    Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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