Putting together a Curriculum Vitae

Your C.V is of prime importance - it determines whether you will get interviews and is your chance to really sell yourself to employers. Its therefore important to get it right, so that recruiters and employers can see your strengths and experience, and you have the opportunity to meet you to learn more about you.

Your C.V is a stepping stone to getting the interview and it should only contain relevant information. Any additional detail might divert the recruiter's attention away from your ultimate goal.

Normally a C.V. should be no more than two sheets of A4. For more specialised jobs, candidates sometimes have longer C.V.s.

Which information do you have or should not you include?

A typical C.V has four basic sections:

1) your name and contact details

2) your qualifications and education history

3) your work experience

4) details of your strengths and the additional experience, skills, foreign languages or the trade associations to which you belong etc. If you have gaps in your work history you can fill them by giving details of any voluntary activities, which you undertook during this period, or any additional skills you leant.

Your C.V must be factual and you should avoid promoting yourself in a manner like "I am the greatest at..." etc. Whoever will be reading your C.V will be looking for evidence of your strengths and will most likely be ticking boxes based on what they see. So give details of your qualifications, your responsibilities and your achievements (what you achieved and the date of this achievement). Try not to waffle on - you can go into more detail at the interview stage.

Your personal interests do not have to appear on your C.V, but many candidates give them a brief mention. If you are going to list personal interests, make sure at least one is a sociable activity e.g. a team sport to indicate that you can get along as part of a team. If any of your interests are related to the job certainly mention this. But be careful not to list anything that could give a bad impression of you.

To summarise, keep to the facts and determine what is and is not relevant for the job.

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