Posted in May 2016
A strong Curriculum Vitae is like a business card; it introduces you to your prospective employer. Always strive for a CV that establishes a favorable image of your professionalism in the mind of the reader. It should emphasize your strengths and get you a personal interview, make your CV work for you!
1. Compile all potentially useful information and organize those items under appropriate categories. Be sure the information you choose clearly communicates a sense of professionalism, competence, and enthusiasm.
2. Create your CV by selecting only the most pertinent information. Keep the level of information concise yet comprehensive. Bear in mind that your CV is your “advertisement” that will get you an interview!
3. Review and revise your CV. Double-check it for proper grammar, correct spelling, and appropriate punctuation. Be consistent with your style. Since most communication is electronic, use a clean font in a size 11 or 12. The following is a sample format of a CV.
The information and advice given here are no guarantee that your CV will open all doors for you. It offers a start in preparing an effective document – one that shows clarity, consistency, and organization. Your CV should be easy to read, leaving no confusion in the reader’s mind as to what is presented. Here are some points that will help you produce a document with impact.
Your CV will be read by people responsible for developing a list of recommended candidates, probably in a limited amount of time, so your document must be precise and specific at the first reading.
Accurate presentation of your qualifications is imperative.
Be specific – for instance, under:
Educational Background – include your major, year degree was received, name of degree, complete name of institution (no abbreviations) and its location.
Employment History – leave NO gaps in the total number of years worked (account for every year), distinguish between part-time and full-time work, use separate headings for entries (such as military service, volunteer activities, or leave of absence).
Professional Activities – cite current memberships and clearly date all former activities and memberships.
Publications – clarify your role in group efforts, use separate headings for different types of publications (journal articles, books, chapters in books, abstracts, etc.).
Consistency is crucial. It reflects good organization and appearance and is vital to fast readers. Be consistent under all categories of your CV. Do not provide information in one entry and fail to do so in other entries within the same category.
Do not make double entries. This does not strengthen your CV, and may be unfavorably viewed as “padding” by the reader.
Stay chronologically consistent when presenting information. Present the most current information first, and use this order throughout all sections. This makes your document easier to read, and avoids confusion on the part of the reader.
There is no magic number of pages considered ideal for an effective CV. However, it is generally accepted that a two to four page CV should communicate the essential background details for a young professional.
It is helpful to have the final version of your document proofread by a professional friend who knows you (able to spot significant information left out), a professional who does not know you (able to read your CV critically as a person learning about you for the first time), and a personnel officer, dean, or department head (experienced in reviewing CVs).
Individuals are faced with many choices when writing a CV. The methods used to develop this document are varied, but the goal is the same – a curriculum vitae that will impress and convince the reader that you are the person they seek.