If you are looking for a job, then it is very important that you understand how to offer yourself in the best way to an employer. This is done by writing a 'CV' (curriculum vitae - is the Latin phrase meaning one's 'life story'), it is called a 'resumé' (summary) in some countries.
Different countries may have different requirements and styles for CV resumés. So you must follow the correct practice for your culture and country. However, we will try to give you important principles and advice.
What is a CV resumé for?
A CV resumé is an 'advert' to help you sell yourself to an employer. You should send a CV to an employer when they ask for one in a job advert, or when you are enquiring if any jobs are available. So the purpose of your CV is to make you attractive, interesting, worth considering to the company and so receive a job interview.
An employer may have several hundred enquiries about a single job, he or she will only choose a few people who appear suitable for interview. Therefore, your CV must be as good as you can make it.
If you are a student, there is probably a career advice office in your place of study. They are there to help. They may have factsheets of advice on how to prepare a CV. Make full use of them. However, employers do not want to see CVs which are all written in exactly the same way. Therefore, do not just copy standard CV samples! Your CV should be your own, personal, and a little bit different.
A CV should be constructed on a word-processor (or at least typed), well laid out and printed on a good quality printer. Do use bold and/or underline print for headings. Do not use lots of different font types and sizes. You are not designing a magazine cover! Do use plenty of white space, and a good border round the page. Do use the spell-check on your computer! (Or check that the spelling is correct in some way) Consider using 'bullets' to start sub-sections or lists.
As you are using a computer or word-processor, you can easily 'customise' your CV if necessary, and change the layout and the way you write your CV for different employers.
Picture yourself in the place of a busy manager in the employer's office. He (or she) may have to read through 100 CVs in half an hour, and will have two piles: 'possibles' and 'rubbish'. Your own must be easy to read, short and attractive.
Two communication principles
- Keep it simple!
- Get someone else to read it!
So, when you have written a first attempt at your CV, get someone else to look at it, and tell you how to make it better.
Ask your friends, your tutors or teachers, your career office, family friends in business. What you have written may seem simple and obvious to you, but not to an employer! Go through it again and again with a red pen, making it shorter, more readable, more understandable!