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How to write a good CV

We offer you some tips and advice how to write a good CV. It is the first document your prospective employer sees.

 The purpose of the CV is to present yourself, your education, career and experience so far. If your CV does not appeal to a prospective employer or even worse - if it even makes him/her decide not to hire you after reading your CV, you will not get a second chance. For this reason it should be carefully thought out and written. Here is a guideline to what sections you should include in your CV:  

 Personal information

If your personal details are written properly, a recruiter will remember you and contact you after reading it for the first time.

 -  Do not include unnecessary details such as marital status, nationality, political affiliation or personal data of your relatives. A recruiter is neither interested in them, nor has he/she a right to ask about them.

-  Do not be afraid of age discrimination and give the date of your birth. If the given position is for 'older' job seekers or seniors, your age might be even an advantage. On the other hand, there are companies that look for fresh graduates without any work habits.

 Contact

Make sure that you include correct contact details, mainly your mobile phone number and your email address.

- Do not use an email that includes a nickname, such as: lienka85@xxxx.xx. Do not communicate with your prospective employer from your current work email address. It is more professional to useyour private alias that includes your first name and surname.

 

Photograph

Do not be afraid to put your photograph on your CV - it might look more personal. However, choose a profile picture that is appropriate for a formal document and it shows clearly yourself in it.

-  Do not include photographs from your private life or group pictures. Use a passport format and if you cannot choose on your own, hire a professional.

 

Education

Start with the highest level of education completed. Write the full name of the institution, do not use abbreviations. Include academic major, degree and date of graduation.

-  You should also write information about the distance studies and studies you have not completed. If you are still a student, state an expected graduation date.

-  Graduates can also include the title of their thesis, mainly if it regards the job position they are interested in. Be ready for the eventuality that the employer might ask you about its content and output.

 

Additional education and training

Courses, qualifications and trainings relevant to the position you are applying for, will increase your chances to get it.

-  Include the institution that provided the education, course or a training, durance of the course and what certificate or license you completed the course with.

-  However, list only courses relevant to the given position; other ones can be mentioned at the job interview.

 

Work experience

List your work history in reverse chronology - that means most recent first. To each work experience add the name of the company and the job title you held, the year when you started it and when you left it.

-  If the company is a little or not well-known, it is advisable to add a brief description of the company's field of business (e.g.: IT company, furniture manufacturer, etc.).

-  If you are looking for a job abroad, your previous or current employer might not be known. Therefore, pay more attention to provide more details about them.

-  Mention your job description briefly and clearly so a reader can understand all your responsibilities; do not copy word to word the job  description defined by your employer; do not use internal abbreviations – they might not be recognised; if you want to get some more ideas on how to  write a good job description, go on www.pozicie.sk.

-  If your work history is long, focus on your last three job positions. You can mention all the others at the job interview.

 

Language skills

Include the language skills and levels. If you are not sure about the level, have your English tested.

-  Choose one of the levels: beginner/pre-intermediate/intermediate/fluent in written and spoken discourse/advanced/expert.

-  You can have your English tested online on www.tracktest.eu.

-  If you are attending a language school, write it on your CV. Employers appreciate any additional activity you do.

 

Skills and competencies

List any specific skills and competencies related to the job position you are applying for. Choose those that might look beneficial and extraordinary to the prospective employer (skills in project management, various licenses or qualifications for manipulating a certain device, etc.). Include the major projects and career accomplishments.

 

Computer skills

-  Think about which programmes are relevant for the given position. Choose one of the levels: beginner / intermediate / advanced / expert.

-  Touch typing is also important information on your CV.

           

Driving licence

If you hold a driving licence, specify its type and state how many kilometres you have driven in your life. If you do not have a driving licence, do not mention it in your CV.

 

Personal qualities and characteristics

Work your personal qualities and characteristics into your CV. Describe your personality and be original. Do not state short and general words, like 'communicative', 'independent' or 'creative'.

-   Include only your positive traits, never mention any negative ones.

-   If you attach your cover letter as well, you can describe your personal qualities and characteristics in more detail there.

   

Hobbies and interests

Hobbies and leisure time activities give the interviewer a more rounded picture of your qualities and a talent. Think of something that you enjoy doing and you have been doing for a long time.

 

References

This section is often a required element of the CV. Ask your reference for their permission beforehand and inform them about the position you are applying for.

-  State the full name, position and how this person would prefer to be contacted.

-  Relevant reference is your superior, in case of commerce positions you can write the name of your business partner.

-  In any case do not ask for references any people to who you have a family.

-      If you want to provide the references only to the final prospective employer, write: 'References available upon request'.

Provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, personal website or professional portfolio with various projects you want to present yourself with.

 

   

Cover letter and Job application letter

Companies usually require a motivation letter. If your prospective employer does not explicitly ask for it, text a job application letter. It is a text that you include in your email in which you state why you are interested in the given position. This text is important even if you send your cover letter. If the company requires the cover letter, demonstrate your motivation for applying for the position in the application letter (email) – the recruiter will remember you. Here are some ideas about how to write an application letter/email:

-  Include the position you are applying for in the subject line.

-  Be concise and write short paragraphs.

-  If there is something that is not appropriate to mention in the CV or a cover letter, mention it here.

-  Highlight the connection between yourself and the given position and state why you are a suitable candidate for it.

-  Write how you would benefit the company and mention reasons why you want to work there.

-  Follow all advice and tips that we listed for the cover letter.

 

Final tips and advice

-  Before sending your CV, cover letter or job application email, always proofread your documents first – to avoid typos, grammar and factual mistakes.

-  Pay attention to the formal and graphical organisation of your documents - use maximally two neutral fonts of an appropriate size.

-  Update the date and the place.

-  Sign the printed CV, while you can send out the electronic version without any or with an electronic signature.

-  Do not mislead, do not overestimate or underestimate yourself. Accept advice from professionals and trust yourself.

 

-  If the given position is creative, pay more attention to the graphical design of your documents. Your CV does not have to follow the structure given above. You can include a picture, a graph, icons – anything that will present you graphically, so that it will be neat and at the same visually appealing for the recruiter.

 

Source: profesia.sk