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Writing your Curriculum Vitae (CV, or Resume)

A well written CV is a vital component in the process of securing a good job. There is no absolute standard format so the style you choose to adopt will reflect your character.

Your CV will remain fairly constant. When applying for many jobs the easiest method is to have a master CV that lists everything you have done. Tailoring the CV is simply a case of deleting certain items that might work against you. For example, if you are going for a job that requires the ability to work in a team then in your hobby section you might want to include you favourite team sports, and perhaps omit individual sports.

The CV needs to cover several areas: Education, employment experience, professional credentials, achievements, professional associations, hobbies, licences, etc. There is no fast rule as to which is first. Common sense, however, dictates that you put your strongest criteria – relative to the job – on the front page. If you are fresh out of university then it is prudent to put Education first. If you have had considerable career experience, then that should be first. Simply, recruiters with 20 CVs to read will tend to look at the front page more closely. Some people list their date of birth and even attach a picture. Others prefer not to. Some recruiters specifically state ‘no pictures’. This is to help prevent discrimination.  Read and follow their requirements carefully.

The CV style should be constant and easy to follow. The stylistic method you use to list the first item should be carried through to the last.

Some general rules of thumb are:


Include your name and details at the top of the front page


Write in reverse chronological order


Decide whether to put Education or Work Experience first


Try to keep the most important details on the front page


Include items that show your character such as memberships, hobbies, interests


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Last modified: 02-11-2013