Curriculum Vitae

When applying for positions, you will be required to submit a curriculum vitae or CV.  A curriculum vitae or CV includes details of your education and academic achievements, research, publications, awards, affiliations, and more. 

Having a powerful CV is a must if you want to get to the next stage of the job application process.  Your CV is your first impression therefore your skills and experiences need to shine if you want to knock your competition out of the game.

Most people miss out on a great opportunity because their CV layout has let them down.  There are number of templates, format and advice around how you should layout your CV and it is easy to get confused with what is and isn’t important.  Avoid applying for jobs with a basic CV and increase your chances of getting the job you want. 

I have been in the recruitment industry for a long time and I have seen and read thousands of CVs.  My simple but powerful tips on how to create a CV that will get you noticed!

Curriculum Vitae Writing Tips

  • Your curriculum vitae or CV should be clear, concise, complete, and up to date with current employment and educational information.
  • Keep your CV short and include summaries of your employment and education, rather than lots of details.
  • Read the job advertisement and see what skills and experiences are required for this job.  Highlight these skills and experiences in your CV.
  • Use formal (no slang or abbreviations) and well-written language – write simply and clearly.  Remember your CV needs to make a massive first impression if you want to make it to the next stage.Tell the truth and do not get tempted to over-polish your CV to make your educational qualifications or work history sound better than they are.  Stretching the truth about your work history can come back to haunt you. 
  • Most employers conduct reference and background checks.  If your curriculum vitae doesn't match your actual work history or education, you will most likely get caught at some point and not get the job.  Do keep in mind that if you have been offered the job prior to reference checks, the employer can withdraw the offer if you get caught lying on your CV.
  • Do not just have one version of your CV and use it for every position.  Have targeted and focused versions of your CV and use them accordingly.  Your CV is a powerful documentation representing you in front of your future employer therefore it needs stand out!
  • Look at the format of your curriculum vitae, and ask someone else to look at it and ask for suggestions:
    • Is there plenty of white space? Is it cluttered?
    • Is your formatting consistent (bold, italic, spacing, etc.) and is the overall picture that your CV provides a professional and polished one?
    • Are your details correct on the CV (address, phone number) – this is very important.  A lot of the people forget to update their CV when they are applying for a job
  • Proofread your curriculum vitae and double-check for typing and grammatical errors.  Also ask someone else to review it for you - it's often hard to catch your own mistakes.

Expect to get a call from the recruiter or the employer if you have a powerful CV.

An important point to keep in mind when you are applying for jobs, is to read the job advertisement properly and find out what skills and experiences are required for the role.   Do not apply for the job if your skill sets and experiences don't match.  Many people make the mistake of applying for jobs without reading the job advertisement and get disappointed when they receive a rejection email.  Save yourself the disappointment and time and only apply for jobs that matches with your skill set and experiences.