Tips for your CV

When it comes to applying for a job your CV should stand out from the crowd. The following tips should help you create a successful CV and secure your first job.

1.The Basics

There is no right or wrong way to write a CV, but there are some common sections you need to cover. You must include your personal and contact information. Specify your education, qualification, work history and other experiences in an organized manner. Also, provide an overview of relevant skills, own interests, achievements or hobbies; and some references.

2. Presentation

A successful CV is always carefully and clearly presented. The guideline for a well written CV is no more than two pages. However, for some industries like banking and consultancy, a one page CV is required. A good CV is concise and illustrates every section or detail with no room for ambiguity. A CV serves as a checklist for a potential employer.

Make sure you do not use a standardised CV. Use your CV to stand out from the crowd. You do this by providing the information the company is looking for. Have a close look at the requirements in the vacancy and try to meet these in your CV.

3. Personal Information

There are a few optional things to put in your CV (marital status, religion) and some you really should avoid mentioning (disability and health information and current and/or previous salary details). You are not expected to attach a picture to your CV in the UK and the US. In other Western countries (like the Netherlands), it is more common to add a picture, although it must be a professional picture. Information regarding date of birth, gender and nationality are also optional but recommended in the Netherlands. When applying in the US, you are not allowed to put it on your CV.

4. Adjust CV to job application

Every CV must be tailored to the job you are applying for, so create a CV specifically for that role. Make sure that you write a CV that matches the job requirements. It is not necessary to write a whole new CV for every job application, but highlight the details that are relevant for the job you are applying for.

4. Skills

A CV ought to demonstrate your skills.It is important that you show how valuable skills and experiences which you have gained from past work experience contribute to your fit for the future job. These could include: communication skills; computer skills; team working; problem solving etc.

5. Experience

You can create different subsections for work experience (including internships), extracurricular experience, study projects and volunteering experience. Describe the experience of a certain job or event by briefly outlining the activities that you were involved with as well as the results you accomplished. It is important that you show how valuable skills and experiences which you have gained from past work experience contribute to your fit for the future job.

6. Additional/other information

In many cases including an accomplishment that was gained from outside the work history can support and reinforce your qualifications. For example, you may want to include your fluency in another language, a special community project, or technology skills. Make sure the information is related to the career.

6. Including References

You are not obliged to include references on your CV. However, it is a good idea to ask already your current employer if he/she would be willing to be a possible reference, in case you need it in the future. You only give the contact details when asked by a future employer. If you've never worked before, it is OK to use a teacher or tutor as a referee.

7. Keep your CV updated

It is important to regularly update your CV with relevant accomplishments, new job duties, recently achieved certifications, and other similar achievements. There's nothing worst than scrambling to come up with an accurate and interesting resume when you have two days to make the submission deadline for a job opening.

Please have a look at the following CV examples, and remember there is no such thing as a perfect or generic CV. Example 1 and Example 2.

Have you adjusted your CV according to these guidelines and are you still in doubt? You can schedule an appointment with one of our Career Advisors to discuss your CV,