Your curriculum vitae (CV) is the key that unlocks the door to an interview. It should contain the information required to achieve that goal, and no more! It is not an autobiography. Employers will make snap judgements as to whether to interview you or not, based on the appearance of the CV as well as the content.
Whilst in rare circumstances it may be appropriate to express your amazing personality by producing a very different-looking CV (to 'stand out from the crowd'), the vast majority of employers are looking for a succinct, clear record of your skills and experience.
- Always type the CV - use a word processor (MS Office or Word Perfect) and good quality paper.
- Never use more than two pages: employers are easily bored!
- Don't write the words Curriculum Vitae at the top: it's perfectly obvious what it is.
- Don't preface the CV with a descriptive statement ('A well-educated enthusiast who will undoubtedly make his mark in international commerce'). Let the facts speak for themselves, and the employer be the judge of your capabilities.
- Use this Format:
- Name (bold type)
- Personal details including date of birth, address and telephone number, marital status, nationality
- Career history (in reverse order, most recent position first)
- Leisure interests/Hobby/Additional Information
- Name (bold type)
- Write employer's name and location in bold type.
- Write no more than a few lines about the job content and responsibilities. If appropriate, show how you progressed from one position to the next. Mention specific numbers if possible ('In charge of 3 staff, 'sold 30 machines, worth 1 lack each'). Highlight one or two achievements after every job.
- Under leisure interests, demonstrate breadth of character by mentioning varied interests, energy with sporting interests. Don't fabricate interests as you may well be quizzed on them, particularly if the interviewer shares those interests. Keep the list short: one artistic, one sporting and one unusual interest.
- Only list referees if they have said they would speak for you. With their permission, give their telephone numbers so that employers feel encouraged to make contact with them.
- Ensure all spelling is correct. Don't trust computer spell-checkers.
- You may add a good cover letter with the CV, providing summary information about you, about the applied post and why you are suitable for the post.
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