A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is similar to a resume, except it’s a lot more detailed. There are certain professions where it may go on for several pages, though it typically fills two pages and usually no more than three. In the United States, a CV is commonly used for academic, education, scientific or research positions. It’s also used when applying for fellowships or grants.
A CV is a detailed synopsis of a person’s background and skills, providing an overview of a person’s life and qualifications. It’s a very important marketing tool when searching for a job, as it is the first impression to a prospective employer. Just like a resume, it should be carefully constructed to showcase your qualifications and skills making you stand out as the premier selection amongst all the other applicants.
A CV elaborates on education and should include an extensive listing of professional history including all employment, academic achievements, credentials, publications, contributions or significant accomplishments. Some professions may include samples of work making the CV several pages long.
The optimum length of a CV is two pages and lists lifetime accomplishments in chronological order, including any awards obtained in high school or journal publications. For the United States, it includes a summary of educational and academic background and teaching, presentations, awards, honors, research experience, publications and affiliations. There are different versions for different types of positions which emulate resume styles.
To write your CV, first take stock of your abilities and interests so you’ll know which skills, achievements and values that you want to showcase in your CV.
Once you’ve done this, search for a suitable employer. There are several things to consider, such as the size and type of organization, the geographical location and the type of supervision you’re comfortable with. You’ll want to investigate the working hours, whether it’s daytime, evening or shift work or the potential of working from home. Salary and benefits are important considerations, so you’ll want to write down what’s important to you in this area. Travel time, work environment and position characteristics, such as opportunity for advancement or further training may be important to you, so if you’ve listed everything that you’re looking for, it’ll help to hone your CV and target the businesses that you’ll want to work for.
This brings us to the type of format you’ll choose for your CV. Like resumes, the CV uses a chronological, functional or combination style, as well as targeted or untargeted. Having said this, a CV should look like it was written directly to the individual to whom it is addressed, so you may need to adjust each CV slightly, depending on the employer that you’re sending it out to.
Once you’ve determined all you need to begin to write your CV, make sure that you use a clear font and that your CV is grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. Add any computer skills that you have under your summary of qualifications. Use clear, structured and concise language and keep your content relevant to the position you’re seeking. Use up to date information, and be sure that you include dates with your educational achievements and work experience. If you find that your CV is getting a little long, you can use bullets to minimize the word count. Remember that two pages is a good length, but shouldn’t be more than three pages.
When it comes to listing references, be sure to use ones that will work to your best advantage. Many supervisors or managers will be pleased to give you a reference, but you’ll want to choose ones that will speak the same language as the prospective employer. Your references should be ones that will make a good impression, be relevant to the job you’re applying for, and be able to vouch for your fine character, skills and experience.
A CV is a very important tool in your quest for employment and you would be well served to recruit a professional to help you. They’ll be able to sort through your information and arrange it in such a way that puts your best foot forward and gets you the interview that can win you the job.