How to Write Effective Curriculum Vitae with Tips and Tricks?

Golden Tips for the Best Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae, meaning “course of life” in Latin or CV for short is a detailed document listing your academics, skills, achievements and experience. It is one of the most important document that you possess for helping with a job search. A good CV can be a great sales pitch to ensure that you get the job. Similarly, an ill drafted CV can show you the front door and no hopes of getting your desired job. Follow the below mentioned points to draft a great CV and hopefully get the post that you are applying for.

How to Write Effective Curriculum Vitae


1) Know the job

There is no limit on the number of CVs that a person can possess. You can even have as many as 10 CVs designed for different jobs. Say if you are an accountant and a particular job is focused on taxation then you can choose to highlight any tax related skills that you possess. Or if you are a lawyer with multitude of experience but focused on a corporate job, then you can always showcase your experience as a corporate lawyer. Feature any skills and experience that you feel will help you get that particular job. Just remember to keep your curriculum vitae honest and free from any fabrication.

2) Basic information

Please remember that it is a document being used for professional purposes. An employer is not interested in your cooking habits (unless you are a professional chef), or even the number of pets that you have. Your CV should contain your name, contact details, education, skills (professional only) and experience. It is perfectly alright not to provide references in your curriculum vitae, as sensitive contact information should not be handed out in CVs. Choose a proper, updated format and you are good to go.

3) Layout

Dos and don’ts:

a) Do your employer a favor and stick to basic colors of black and white. Avoid the urge to show your colour full personality in your curriculum vitae. It likely will not show up in a black and white printout, but will give a weird impression on screen.

b) Don’t go for very fancy paper either as most employers throw it out even if you get the job. Besides you would not want to look lavish and not caring about the environment with fancy paper.

c) Go for basic font. Stick to Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman if you are confused. Avoid Brush Scripts as they are difficult to read and Comic sans type fonts. Also, avoid any fonts that might not be available to the employer. The best bet is to stick to universally available fonts that are aesthetically pleasing too. A great way is to find out the font being used on the company’s website. Remember, it may seem trivial to you but the devil is in the details.

d) No need to write Curriculum Vitae on top of the page. There is a 100% chance, your potential employer is aware what that document is and does not need to be told. Treat your name as the title of the page. Make sure you don’t over the font size on your name.

There is no format set in concrete. However, the generally accepted one includes your personal profile, experience and employment history, followed by your education and qualifications.

e) Make sure your curriculum vitae doesn’t exceed two A4 pages. Anything more than that is considered blabber by the employers.

4) The right CV type

CVs are generally classified into two categories:

Traditional/Chronological curriculum vitae- This is the most widely used format. It lists your work experience as well as academic qualifications and is the best one to use if there are no work gaps in your experience.

Functional curriculum vitae- This is a skills based CV and highlights your skills and achievements. If you have gaps in your work experience or are planning to switch industries, this format is the best one to opt for.

5) Power words

Your CV really needs to pack a punch. It is your first impression in front of the employer and unless you play it right, it could also be your last. Use assertive words like “achieved”, “coordinated”, and “targets,” successful “in your curriculum vitae to stand out.

6) Skip the picture

Sure you spent a lot of effort in getting that picture done, but DONT add it on your CV. Employers are interested in the skills and knowledge that you can bring to the company, looking smart or even friendly likely is not on their priority list. As long as you get the job done, your looks don’t matter so skip it off the curriculum vitae and use that space for meaningful content.

7) Cover Letter

You would think that now that you have a good curriculum vitae, you are sure to land the interview. Hopefully yes, though in 90% of the cases, a strong cover letter will clinch the deal for you. A cover letter is an additional document sent with your curriculum vitae to highlight your skills. Don’t simply repeat the contents of your CV, rather draft a personal cover letter that clearly states why you are qualified for the job.

Click Here: To Learn How To Create an Effective Cover Letter

Following these golden tips will definitely land you the interview call. If you have any other tips that you would to share, please leave a comment below.

Click Here: To Check How to Execute a Successful Job search

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