CV tips and instructions
The purpose of a CV is to provide a descriptive overview of your most important (professional) experiences, skills, abilities, and achievements. It is important to note that a CV is not a list of your work history, but a list of your most relevant skills and experiences for the job you are applying for. It is important to be clear and focus on the key areas of knowledge and experience needed for the position you are applying for.
The basic elements of a CV:
- Contact Information
- Summary / Profile / Core Competencies and Strengths / Key Achievements
- Work experience / General experience
- (Academic) Education
- IT skills
- Language skills
- Courses / Trainings / Certificates
- Activities which complement your work experience
- Other relevant information
Order of content
The order of the sections in the CV may vary depending on the situation. If you are a recent graduate, it is relevant to mention the education section first. However, if it has been some time since your studies, your work experience is more relevant and should be mentioned first. The more recent and relevant the experience is, the more space and attention it should take in your CV.
The length of the CV
The CV should preferably be no longer than two pages. A person with a long career, of course, has a longer CV than a newly graduated person. A good measure is one page per every 10 years of employment history. What is most important, not necessarily the length, but rather that you have included the most relevant information. On the other hand, there is no point in making a one-page CV if there is not enough space to describe your experience.
Insert the basic CV details in the footer so that they are found on every page. For example CV First name Family name Date Page number.
A general rule is, that the CV should be written in the same language as the language of the job ad for the position you are applying for.
Your CV is often read by somebody that is not an expert in your field. Therefore, make sure these persons receive enough information from your CV. Do not use too much professional jargon, or vague or general descriptions of skills. Highlight your experiences and competencies by giving clear and concise examples.
Use a readable font and do not write long paragraphs. The relevant information should be found easily by just browsing the CV. Pay extra attention to the language. Make sure there are no formatting, grammatical and spelling mistakes.
The current trend in job search is making a visual CV. It is a good way to stand out and give a good fresh and up-to-date impression of you as a job seeker.
You can easily ensure that your CV shows your competence and experience efficiently. Go through your CV one section at a time with the help of our checklist.
Tailored CV-tips for different positions
Are you a project or product manager, or an IT expert? We have spot-on CV instructions to bring out your experience.
Are you making a career move from a university to a company?
Check out our tips for how to explain academic research work in a way that any corporate culture understands it.