When it comes to job hunting, your CV is paramount. Get it right, and you’ll have an interview in no time, but get it wrong, and you may face rejection after rejection. Every CV is different as you want to show why your set of skills makes you suitable for the position you’re applying for at that moment, but all follow a similar structure.
What is a CV?
Your CV, short for curriculum vitae, is a personal marketing document used to sell yourself to prospective employers. It should tell them about you, your professional history and your skills, abilities and achievements. Ultimately, it should highlight why you’re the best person for the job.
This guide will show you how to write a great CV that’s ready for 2019 and beyond.
- Personal details and contact information. Most CVs start with contact information and personal data but take care to avoid superfluous details, such as religious affiliation,children's names, and so on.
- Education and qualifications. Be sure to include the names of institutions and dates attended in reverse order: Ph.D., Masters, Under graduate.
- Work experience/employment history. The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological curriculum vitae. Your career history is presented in reverse date order starting with the most recent appointment. More emphasis/information should be placed on your most recent jobs.
- Skills. Include computer skills, foreign language skills, and any other recent training that is relevant to the role applied for.
> Training / Graduate Fieldwork / Study Abroad
> Dissertations / Thesis
> Research experience
> Teaching experience
> Presentations, lectures, and exhibitions
> Grants, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships
> Awards and honors
> Technical, computer, and language skills
> Professional licenses, certifications, and memberships
What Not to Include?
There is no need to include your family info, your salary history, religion/caste info, or references detail in a CV submitted for jobs with us.
References: Like including an address on your CV, adding your referees to the end of your CV is no longer standardized. You can include a line that reads ‘references available on request’, but if you don’t have room, it’s acceptable to remove it altogether.
Note, however, that the requirements for International CVs differ, and depend upon the country to which you are applying. In other countries, private information like your date of birth, nationality, marital status, how many children you have, and a photograph may be required.
How Long Should a CV Be?
A good, entry-level curriculum vitae should ideally cover two to three pages (CVs for mid-level professionals, especially in academia and medical research roles, may run longer). Aim to ensure the content is clear, structured, concise, and relevant. Using bullet points rather than full sentences can help minimize word usage.
Formatting and spacing guidelines
If you’re unsure of how to format your CV, it’s worth downloading a few CV templates to familiarize yourself. After all, formatting and spacing your CV is equally as important as the content.
Here are some formatting and spacing tips to bear in mind:
# Length: The standard length of a CV in India is two pages. However, one size doesn’t fit all, and so for some professionals, one or three pages may be more appropriate.
# Headings: Each section must be introduced by a big, bold heading to ensure an easy read.
# Font type: Most employers will receive your CV in a digital format, so choose a clear font like Calibri or Arial. You can use a different font type for your headings, but keep it professional and easy-to-read too.
# Font size and page margins: The body of your CV should be between 10 and 12 point font, and your headings between 14 and 18 points. Keep your page margins around 2.5cm, but never reduce them to less than 1.27cm or your CV will appear cluttered and hard to read. White space ensures clarity and professionalism.
# Proofreading and consistency: Your formatting must be consistent throughout your CV to keep it looking slick. Don’t spoil your polished look by including typos and inaccuracies; proof read like a pro to capture every mistake or invest in intelligent spellcheckers like Grammar.
# Tailoring, keywords and ATSs: It’s perfectly acceptable to keep a generic copy of your CV for your own records, but if you’re applying for a job, it must be tailored to the role. Not only will this show employers why you’re a match, but it will help your application beat the ATS robots too.
Saving the file: It’s likely you will send your CV via email or through a job board like CV-Library. Save your CV as a PDF file to ensure recruiters can open it on any device. A PDF will also maintain formatting, so you can be sure that employers will see your CV as you intended.
Click here to download a sample CV format. Contact us if you need any help.