How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for a Job Application

What is a CV? In standard English, the curriculum vitae concept could be best translated as “the course of one’s professional education and career.” In short, institutions that demand these documents are particularly interested in a person’s well-rounded qualifications for the position. This is in contrast to typical resumes, which place a greater emphasis on competencies. 

What is the difference between a CV and a resume? Both a CV and a resume are documents that describe your professional experience, education, skills, and achievements. But where they mainly differ are:

  • Length:

CV – two or three pages, based on your achievements

Resume – one or two pages

  • Type of information:

CV – includes all the academic qualifications, experiences, and skills.

Resume – Only a summary of the most relevant skills and experiences for the role.

  • Type of document:

CV – Comprehensive

Resume – Concise

  • Education:

CV – at the top

Resume – written after education

Pick the Best CV Format 

When you write a resume in the right style, you’ll instantly catch the hiring manager’s attention and highlight what makes you the ideal candidate for the job, while minimizing areas of your career you’d like to keep more private. The three most common resume forms are chronological, functional, and combination.

To assist you in making your decision, we’ll explain the benefits of each style and provide detailed resume layout examples.

  • Chronological Format:

It is the most widely used format. It lists your work history in reverse chronological order, with the most recent work record on top. You can also provide a summary or objective, as well as your education and credentials.

The benefit of this form of resume is that it highlights a logical sequence in your career. In other words, if you’ve been focused on one type of profession and want to showcase how far you’ve come on that road, a chronological resume is the way to go. It’s also required for several professions, like teaching or government work.

  • Functional Format:

Functional resumes highlight skills. Rather than the past employment written sequentially, they are categorized by distinct types of abilities or experiences. Functional resumes are ideal for persons who have gaps in their career history or whose work history is unrelated to the position.

Your skills are mentioned on this kind of resume. List the skill first, and then go into greater depth about it. Enhance your skills with your education and professional experience.

  • Combination format:

Combination resumes combine chronological and functional resume types. They include a chronological summary of one’s employment history, but they also feature a part focusing on other types of skills. This style demonstrates to employers your skills as well as your experience. It’s a good option if you’re changing careers or have a varied but consistent employment history.

This style of resume would begin with a section highlighting your skills. The following section would include your work experience, followed by your schooling. 

You might also include an aim or summary at the start.

Add Your Contact Information the Right Way 

When drafting a resume, make sure to put all of your contact information near the top so that employers and recruiters can quickly find it. Make your contact information prominently visible at the top of your resume.

  1. Full name – include your first and last name.
  2. Initials – If you hold an advanced degree or certification that is required or desired in your field, insert the initials of the degree or certification after your name.
  3. Email Address – Using a recent source like Gmail, create a new, skilled email account for all of your job-search activities.
  4. Phone Number – Include your personal cell phone number as well. You’ll have control over the voicemail message, who answers the phone, and when it’s answered. When you set up your voicemail, add your name in the message, so employers know they’ve reached the right person.

Key points to format a CV

  1. Apply appropriate margins – it ensures information fits in a readable space.
  2. Select a readable font with an appropriate size – the two most often used fonts are serif and sans serif. It is usually recommended to stay between 10 and 12 points.
  3. Use bolding, underlining, or highlighting features for important information so that the recruiters find them quickly.
  4. Use bullet points in different sections to increase the readability.

Conclusion

If you’re used to writing resumes, you might be motivated to limit your CV to about one page. CVs, on the other hand, are typically numerous pages long due to the amount of information required. In other words, don’t scrimp on critical information to conserve space.

Before submitting your job application, double-check your CV for any errors. Consider having it evaluated by a trusted colleague or professional mentor, especially if they have experience in your field. A second opinion can be helpful in developing a well-polished CV.

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