How to Write A CV in 2019
The meaning of CV is (Curriculum Vitæ), which means course of life in Latin. It is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honours etc.
A CV document tends to be organized chronologically and should make it easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions, the difference would be in the cover letter.
Starting off the writing of a CV can be somewhat difficult. The reason is that there is really no one specific format for a CV and you will have to determine exactly the right CV for the position you are applying to.
You will always need to tailor your CV content to the individual jobs you are applying for, because one type of job might need you to emphasize a specific area whereas another might ask you to elaborate on a totally different area and knowing which is which is critical to making sure your CV is perfect for your discipline.
One of the best ways to know what CV is right for your industry is to look at examples of what others have done. You can do this by either researching them online or by reaching out and talking to either your mentor or peers who are already employed where you are applying.
Always remember though that these examples are only examples and you should make sure your CV is specific to you and not just a copy of what someone else has done. You’re an individual and your CV should reflect that.
With that being said, however, there are some common CV features you should keep in mind when writing yours.
Common Features of a CV
Start by first listing everything you can about your background information and then building out from there.
To help you get started, here are a few of the most often seen sections of CVs that you might expect to include when writing your own.
1) Who are you?
A CV should always include your basic information starting with your name, address, telephone number and email.
Include a brief bio of yourself. Depending on the industry you are going into, a short blurb about who you are might be all you need to catch an employer’s eye and get called in for an interview. If you do decide to include a brief bio, make sure it’s well written and original.
3) What have you done?
As a CV is a thorough detailing of your history, that includes your educational history as well as your work experience and any training you might have received.
When detailing your educational history, you want to do it in reverse chronological order. Be sure to include the full list of your degrees, including those you’ve already earned and any you might be currently pursuing as well as where you received your education.
Be sure to list the years of your graduation. If you are the author of a dissertation or thesis, you would include that information here as well as the name of your advisor.
For your work history, you want to include not only where you’ve worked, but also any applicable experiences related to that work.
If you’re an educator and you’re not only teaching, but also working in a research lab or facility, you would want to include that here. Field experience, leadership experience, related volunteer work and any and all other experience that relates to your employment goes in this section.
4) What do you like?
Unlike a resume, a CV often includes a section that covers your areas of interest. While this might seem unusual, it can actually provide a potential employer with a lot of insight into who you are, which is why it’s so important to make sure you handle this section carefully.
While it might be tempting to just list your hobbies here and hope for the best, it’s actually a good idea to expand on what you do in your free time as well as why you do it. Are you a soccer buff who loves to go to watch soccer? Rather than just listing “Soccer” on your CV, flesh it out a bit.
“As a lover of soccer, I enjoy spending my weekends immersed in a world where I coach a team of teenagers in my locality on everything soccer.”
Do you have leadership skills outside of your work that you enjoy participating in? List those here as well.
This section is also a great place to list any interests that you have that relate directly to the job you’re applying to. Are you working on obtaining employment as a culinary specialist? List your interest in food blogs and magazines.
No matter what you list here, try to include a range of interests that demonstrate who you are when you’re not working at your job. Of course, try not to include information that would make it appear that you’re just stuffing things into your CV in order to give it length. It’s perfectly fine to list your interests, but keep it within reason. List the things that are the most relevant to what you are looking for work wise.
It’s not necessary to list every extracurricular activity you’ve ever participated in.
How many languages do you speak? Are you fluent in multiple tongues? What about computer programs? Are you an accomplished graphic designer who has an extensive knowledge of specific software? List that too!
6) Awards and recognitions
Have others recognized you for the work you’ve done? Do you have any awards or honors that you’ve received for teaching? How about for service or work? Have you applied for and received any grants or scholarships? Those go here! This is also where you want to include things like fellowships or patents.
Are you an author of any papers, articles or books? Are you an expert in your field and thus find yourself speaking at conferences, panels or symposiums? Make sure you list those and give a brief description of each so your reader knows what you’ve done and where.
8) Professional membership
Are you a member of any professional organizations, guilds or clubs? Make sure to include if you’ve held any offices or positions within those organizations and how long you’ve been with them.
A reference section is also something you might consider including in your CV. While it’s not always required, it’s not a bad idea to put down references if you know the person recommending you is going to be enthusiastically in your corner. (Of course it should go without saying you should only have enthusiastic references…)
If you feel your CV is running long for your level of experience, or you’d like more time to prep your references, it’s also perfectly acceptable to say “References available upon request.”
Other sections you might include in your CV (depending entirely on the job you’re applying for) include:
- Study Abroad
- Professional Licenses and/or memberships
- Consulting Work
- Professional Development
- Research Experience
- Teaching Experience
Remember, your CV should be specific to the industry or area of work you’re entering, so while much of the basic information should be fairly standard, always find examples that relate to the job you’re after to ensure that you’re including all the necessary things.
What should be included in my CV and Resume
Bearing in mind, your objective for writing a CV or Resume,
- Your CV MUST include:
- Your Fullname
- Contact information: Physical address, Phone numbers, email address
Your CV may or may not include the following:
- Career Objective or Brand Statement
- Professional Certifications/Qualifications/Licenses
Your CV should NOT include the following:
- Previous Salary
- Reason for leaving your previous job(s)
- Date of Birth
- Health Information
- Phone numbers, email addresses or names of past employers.
These are not relevant to your job and should be discussed in person during interview if they are a source of concern.