How to write a good CV
A curriculum vitae is a written overview of a person’s experience and other qualifications for a job opportunity, that is allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience, selling yourself to employers. It is your first opportunity to tell an employer what you can do, your CV is a vital part of your job hunt. In the USA and Canada it’s known as a résumé, and tends to be a more concise document.
How long should a CV be?
A standard CV in the UK which we apply in Nigeria should be no longer than two sides of A4.
Only include the main facts; if your CV is just one page, that’s fine, as employers only want to read relevant information. Some medical or academic CVs may be longer depending on your experience.
What to include in a CV
Contact details – Include your full name, home address, mobile number and email address. You do not need to include your date of birth or a photograph unless you’re applying for an acting or modelling job.
Profile – Placed at the beginning of the CV, a profile is a concise statement that highlights your key attributes or reasons for deciding to work in a particular field. Pick out a few relevant achievements and skills, while clearly articulating your career aims. It must focus on the sector you’re applying to, as your cover letter will be job-specific. You should keep it short and snappy – 100 words is the perfect length.
Education – List and date all previous education, including professional qualifications, placing the most recent first.
Work experience – List your experience in reverse chronological order, making sure that anything you mention is relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you have plenty of relevant work experience, this section should come before education.
Skills and achievements – This is where you talk about the foreign languages you speak and the IT packages you can competently use. Whatever you list should be relevant to the job and not exaggerated, as you’ll need to back up your claims at interview. If you have lots of relevant experience you should do a skills-based CV.
Interests – Simply writing ‘socialising, going to the cinema and reading’ isn’t going to catch the attention of the recruiter. However, when relevant to the job, your interests can provide a more rounded picture of you and give you something to talk about at interview. Examples include writing your own blog if you want to be a journalist, or being part of a drama group if you’re looking to get into sales.
References – You don’t need to provide the names of references at this stage. You also don’t need to say ‘references available upon request’ as most employers would assume this to be the case.
How to write a good CV
Writing the job-getting CV is often considered a difficult task (nothing good comes easy), but with the right guidelines, you can easily write a good CV that will boldly boast of your accomplishments in your absence. One rule you should note, however, is that there is no ‘one best way’ to write a CV.
You can be creative about yours (it’s a free world), but there are certain things that MUST be included. We have put together some suggestions that will help place your CV in the spotlight.
Generally, CVs are of two kinds – Education-based and Experience-based. The first is used when you have got no work experience (fresh graduate) or you are applying for a research role in an educational institution. The rule is that your educational/professional qualifications come first before other information. The other, experience-based, centres more on the skills you have garnered while working.
Your experience should be listed from the most recent to the oldest, not forgetting to showcase your exploits. For both, put to mind that one CV may not work for all the industries, thus, you will have to adapt each CV for each industry.
It is the contained quality that stands out a CV, not the volume of its size
You should concern yourself on to write a good CV; because a a good CV gives one an edge over others in employment consideration.
Now try to understand this: in a world where originality seems to be on its way to extinction, admiration cannot be detached from that which still has what it takes to be deemed original. And you should know that where admiration is present, attention cannot be found wanting.
Is attention not one of the goal that is intended by a Curriculum Vitae? Or is it not an advantage over others if your CV compels admiration?
A writer once wrote that: “imitation is limitation.” And if this is true as it is known to every clear thinking person, then a CV born out of the norm carries limitation within its page.
So how is it possible for one to create a CV void of limitations when it seems like everybody is copying everybody? Is it possible for one to create a stunning CV that stands him out from the crowd? Yes is my answer to you; but first, you need to ask yourself this:
How to write a good CV?
1. Be creative: Creativity is a beautiful thing, and that which is beautiful cannot be disdained. You are creating a CV not photocopying. Conformity should be relegated from your mind. it is a CV and I know that, but your style should be yours alone. You know what a CV should contain right? Now when next you’re creating one, make it look interesting by being creative.
2. Use Internet tools for creating CV: the commercial world is spinning fast, and for you, lagging behind is not a good thing. One must be sure footed if he or she wishes to scale through. Making good use of already made platforms is an infallible guide to the achieving that. It is like standing on the shoulders of giants. Browse the Internet and check out these tools, your gratefulness would be boundless hen you do.
What are the tools for Creating a good CV?
- CV maker
- My perfect resume
- Online Cv Generator
3. Use design principle in creating a stunning CV: Not everybody can do this personally, but if you can learn it, or get help to do it, then that would be wonderful. Use design principle by giving your CV the needed attention. But while you do, remember to always make your CV clean and simple. For the greatest sophistication lies in simplicity.
4. Precision: It is a CV you are creating, not a contract document. You should come to understand that it is not the volume of your CV that makes it stand out, but the quality of its content. Be detailed and exact. Do not try to impress by inputting that which is not necessary, because it is not of you to determine the impressiveness of your CV. Remember, detailed and exact!
5. Be expressive and honest in your CV: Employers are readers and readers admire expressive people. Your CV should not be mechanical in any way whatsoever. Yes, it should be detailed and exact but then, let yourself be expressed in it. And while you do, let honesty be your own shield. Resist the temptation of making rich your CV with qualifications and experiences that are not yet yours, you never can tell how inquisitive your employer can be.
What are the common curriculum vitae mistakes?
1. One survey of employers found the following mistakes were most common
2. Spelling and grammar 56% of employers found this
3. Not tailored to the job 21%
4. Length not right & poor work history 16%
5. Poor format and no use of bullets 11%
6. No accomplishments 9%
7. Contact & email problems 8%
8. Objective/profile was too vague 5%
9. Lying 2%
10.Having a photo 1%
11. Listing personal hobbies and using abbreviations 3%
Remember to choose a sensible email address.
One survey found that 76% of CVs with unprofessional email addresses are ignored.
Here are some funny email addresses that you should NOT use:
In conclusion, I would advise you to make good use of these tips when next you are creating a CV; that is if you intend creating for yourself a good CV. And when you are done creating, try see if there’s room for comparison with the previous ones you’ve done before now.Kindly follow us on Twitter @TRIOTINAIJA