How to Write a CV! A Successful CV Format to Land a Job
by Rawzaba AlhalabiPublished on March 20, 2018
Your CV is your passport to employment. You should learn how to write a cv because your CV will be the first thing a prospective employer will see from you. It must have a tone and personality that is reflective of you and where you want to go in your career.
We will provide you with this article with practical tips on how to write a CV that could be used as you launch or grow your career.
This might be obvious, but some people looking for jobs still don’t have a CV. If you are convinced you need a CV simply move on to the next section of the article.
CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. This is a Latin word that means ‘the story of your life’. In America, a CV is normally called a resume. A CV is an application that contains information such as personal details, work experiences, qualifications and personal interests of the specified job seeker. Basically, it is the first chance you can have to make a good impression on your recruiter. The main purpose of a CV is to help you obtain a face-to-face interview for the job you desire.
Here are the 7 reasons why you need a CV when looking for a job and why you should learn how to write a CV:
A CV helps you market yourself. It is a great way to attract the attention of your recruiter. It sells your skills and qualifications, thus helping recruiters choose you over other candidates.
A CV can be applied multiple times to jobs in a specific career area.
A CV always reminds you of what you have done in your career.
A CV helps you identify the weaknesses in your skills.
A CV refreshes your mind before your interview.
A CV helps you see if you have achieved the targets that you have set previously.
A CV sets a plan for your future job potentials.
Everyone looking for a job needs to prepare a CV, so learning how to write a CV is an important skill.
Through it, you can make a great first impression with recruiters!
How to Write a CV – Essential Qualities
Qualities of Exceptional High-Standard CV Writing
You are advised to take your time and effort when writing a CV. We will show 8 qualities of exceptional high-standard CV writing as part of your learning on how to write a CV. Most school and colleges are recommended to teach students about CV writing because today, it is the most appropriate type of application when looking for a job.
So here are the 8 qualities that we suggest you apply when writing your CV:
Be clear and accurate with your CV writing. Content is very important. Only include factual information related to the job you’re applying for.
If you are printing the CV do it on good quality paper since most people would send it electronically. The presentation is very important. It is a key element of whether your CV will be read or not.
Highlight headings and don’t use paragraphs. Use bullet points to focus on your key points, thus making it faster for the recruiter to get all your useful qualities into his mind.
Be neat and precise. Make your CV clear to read. Font ’12-Times New Roman’ is advised. As explained, the presentation is extremely important. Why would a recruiter spend his time reading your CV if you did not spend your time preparing a neat CV.
Don’t make your CV long. One page is sufficient. Not more than two pages. If it is too long, the recruiter gets bored reading it and will not continue.
Check spelling and grammar mistakes.
Be confident while writing your CV and use positive language. Also, use your possible future potentials to attract the attention of your recruiter.
Always keep your CV up to date. Keep amending it according to changes in your jobs and skills.
As explained, good CV writing is essential for job seekers to WOW their way to a face-to-face interview for the job they desire! Learning how to write a CV is essential!
How to Write a CV – Various CV Formats
There are 3 types of CV formats used today.
So, here they are:
Chronological CV: This format is the most used today as it is easy to read and clearly defines the job seeker’s work progression over the years. In other words, it does not hide anything. Most recruiters are happy when they receive such kind of CVs.
Functional CV: This format is used when job seekers have gaps in their work career and to hide that, they prefer to focus on their skills and achievements. This happens when job seekers are frequently shifting to different careers. Recruiters actually are skeptical when they receive such a format. Thus, the CV must be well written to grab the attention of the recruiter from the beginning.
Combined CV: This CV is usually longer than the other two because it combines both Chronological and Functional CV formats. Thus, the CV must clearly highlight the factual information about the job seeker including both work progression and strengths. Recruiters should be able to quickly learn what they need about the person looking for the job, just by skimming through the Combined CV prepared.
CV writing needs both time and effort to work for hand by hand to prepare a clear format with decent content. Whatever kind of format you choose, we suggest you clearly and precisely define yourself and ensure that your CV is a reflection of who you are!
7 Step Layout of a Chronological CV
In this section, you will learn how to write the most common CV called ‘Chronological CV’. However, job seekers are suggested to know when to use this type of application. Chronological CV is good for job seekers always looking for jobs in the same specific career area. It shows your work career progression making it the easiest to read and thus, the most used type of CV writing today.
So, here is a 7 step layout of how to write a ‘Chronological CV’:
Personal Details: This is written on the top of the CV. It includes information such as your name, email address and further contact details.
Career Objective: Here you are recommended to write about your job motivations, enthusiasm and to mention why you should be chosen for the job.
Work Experiences: Here all your work experiences should be mentioned in order, going backward by date. All kinds of work related to the job offer are advised here. This includes volunteer jobs, part-time jobs and of course full-time jobs. Mention job titles, responsibilities, and all achievements. Don’t leave gaps.
Qualifications: Here mention all your schools and colleges. Also, your grades and the courses and units that you have covered are advisable. But, remember to keep all information in reverse chronological order.
Skills: These should be different than your qualifications above. Mention the professional skills you have related to the job. For example, computer skills, problem-solving skills etc.
Personal Interests: This is optional but is very beneficial if your interests or hobbies match the job you are applying for.
Referees: These are the contact details of people that can recommend you maybe from a previous job for example. Make sure you have taken their permission before mentioning them on your CV.
So we suggest you follow the above layout in writing your ‘Chronological CV’. But always remember if you have gaps in your work career, this type of CV is not advisable since it emphasizes and shows these weaknesses!
7 key elements of a Functional CV
In this section, you will learn about the second type of CVs used which is the ‘Functional CV’. When gaps are available in your work experiences then go for ‘Functional CV’. This does not stress on your work progression but alternatively, emphasizes on your skills, achievements and what you are best at.
So here are the 7 steps of how to write a ‘Functional CV’:
Personal Details: Same as ‘Chronological CV’. This is written on the top of the CV. It includes information such as your name, email address and further contact details.
Objectives: Same as ‘Chronological CV’. Here you are recommended to write about your job motivations, enthusiasm and to mention why you should be chosen for the job.
Personal Profile: Here highlight the skills, achievements and work experience you possess. This section is like a summary of what the next sections will focus on.
Skills: Here is the main part of the ‘Functional CV’. Mention under bullet points the key skills you acquire. Usually, for this kind of CV’s, transferable skills are what recruiters are looking for. Skills that you can use in more than one kind of job.
Accomplishments/Capabilities: This section too, is the second important part of ‘Functional CV’. Also, use bullet points. Instead of focusing on a particular job, explain your accomplishments in details. Steps 4 and 5 should be written with clarity and in decreasing order of importance.
Education: Same as ‘Chronological CV’. Here mention all your schools and colleges. Also, your grades and the courses and units that you have covered are advisable. But, remember to keep all information in reverse chronological order.
References: Same as ‘Chronological CV’. These are the contact details of people that can recommend you maybe from a previous job for example. Make sure you have taken their permission before mentioning them on your CV.
Remember in Functional CV; focus on the skills and accomplishments. You can always mention your job experiences but this will not be a main part in this kind of CV. Functional CVs are advisable when you have multiple job careers but this kind of CV is not preferable in industry. So, make sure you only use it when you have to!
3 Reasons Why a Combined CV is Most Appropriate
In this section, we will suggest when it is most appropriate to use a ‘Combined CV’. First, what is a ‘Combined CV’? As its name suggests, it is a CV that combines both Chronological and Functional CVs. This type of CV is used when:
You have strong work experiences and many accomplishments.
You don’t have gaps in your work progression.
You don’t have weak skills and little achievements.
So, a ‘Combined CV’ is when you want to sell both your work experiences and your strengths. This format is lengthier than the other 2 kinds of CVs. Therefore, it is very important that you try your best not to lose the interest of your recruiter reading this kind of CV!
In conclusion, learning how to write a CV is a skill, job seekers are suggested to master in order to shape their path to a bright successful future!