How to write a CV
Weekend part-time jobs are in full swing. If you’re still looking for work, you’ll certainly appreciate a few tips on writing a flawless CV. Do you argue that writing a CV is nothing difficult? Well, you’d be surprised how many mistakes your resume probably contains. Let’s have a look at what you shouldn’t forget to include and how to catch attention of HR managers.
A resume can be written in a narrative form, as a letter or using bullet points which is then called a structured CV. The most prominent form nowadays is a structured CV so let’s focus just on that. Even though creating a structured CV can be easily done online using standardised systems like Europass CV, we recommend devoting a little bit more time and care.
Be concise, clear and accurate. If you don’t have that much work experience yet, your CV should be just one A4 page long. Even if you do have more experience to talk about, it still shouldn’t be longer than two pages.
Keep the same formatting everywhere in the document, pay attention to orderly paragraphs and check that the font of the whole text stays consistent. Be aware that you present yourself through the CV to your potential employer. You shouldn’t use fonts that are too creative and therefore hard to read and it’s also better to avoid using too many colours.
Look before you leap—carefully re-read your text. Having typos in your name or address won’t make a good first impression. Give your CV to somebody else for checking like your friends or family to spot mistakes and give you feedback for improvement.
Tell nothing but the truth—never fabricate education, work experience and other skills. If you lie, it’ll come out eventually during the interview anyway and lying leads to an automatic disqualification.
Be specific—don’t invent any abstract fancy terms. Describe exactly what you did/learnt/managed to accomplish in your previous employment. Using cliché expressions is considered to be a bad style.
Start with the means how your future employer may contact you. State your full name, a phone number, an email and an address. You can also add your picture, meaning a civil photo like the one from your passport, definitely not a holiday snapshot.
You don’t have to state the date of your birth, your marital status and nationality. There’s no need to start the page writing the obvious like titling the first line of the document “My CV” because it just takes away precious space and the HR department can see that anyway.
It’s ideal to state the last two types of education you reached. If you graduated from a university, state the university and your secondary school, omit the primary. Don’t forget to include full names of those schools, when you were studying there and the level of education you managed to obtain. In case you’re still studying, write the date when you expect to finish your studies.
Every work experience record should contain the official title of your previous work position, the date you were doing it (months and years) and a brief description. It’s this part which tells your new employer what you can actually do, your experience and expertise. If you have no “real” job experience because you’ve just graduated, write about your part-time jobs and academic achievements.
Put your education as well as work experience in a reverse chronological order meaning the newest record going first.
Additional knowledge and skills
The last part of your CV is focused on additional knowledge and skills that aren’t obvious from your education or previous jobs. This section should contain information about foreign languages proficiency, computer skills and your driving licence. You can proudly list all relevant certificates you obtained, extra educational courses completed and other things you’d like to share. It’s also possible to briefly mention your personal traits and hobbies.
Language proficiency levels are always stated according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which uses letters A, B, C and numbers 1, 2, 3. A1 is the lowest level of language beginners; C2 denotes the highest level comparable to native speakers.
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If you want, you can also introduce work references and even contact information of your previous employers. It’s not compulsory, though. Should your future employer need it, they’ll ask for them during the job interview.
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