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. A CV is not a list of your whole work history, but a list of your relevant skills and experiences for the applied position. Be clear and focus on key areas of knowledge and experience required for the position you are applying for.
Basic elements of a CV:
- Contact Information
- Summary/ Profile/ Core Competencies and Strengths/ Key Achievements
- Work experience/Experience
- (Academic) Education
- IT skills
- Language skills
- Courses/ Training / Certificates
- Experience complementing 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 you were in school, rather your work experiences are relevant to mention first. The more recent and relevant something is, the more space and attention it should take of your CV.
Your CV does not have to contain all the sections – only the ones that are related to your competence and are relevant for the applied position.
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. There is no point in making a one-page CV if there is not enough space to express your experiences.
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 qualified in your field. Therefore, make sure these persons receive enough information from your CV. Don’t use too much professional jargon, or vague or general descriptions of skills. Highlight your experiences and competencies by providing examples.
Use a readable font and make sure there are no long heavy paragraphs. The necessary information should be found easily by just browsing the CV. Pay extra attention to the language. Check for formatting, grammatical and spelling mistakes.
The newest trend in job search is making a visual CV. It is a good way to stand out and give a good fresh and UpToDate 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 move from a university career to a company?
Check out our tips for how to explain academic research work in a way that any corporate culture understands it.