- What Is a CV?
- CV Presentation
- When to Send a CV Or Resume
- Three CV Format Types
- Sections of Good Sample CV
- Should We Put The References In CV?
- Final Tips
The Curriculum Vitae is your identity card on the job market. It allows employers to understand who you are, where you come from, and where you are going. Without a good CV, finding work can be very complicated. That's why we put at your disposal the best curriculum vitae template in 2020.
Making a CV is a task that takes time, attention, and focus. It is always difficult to sum up your professional profile on one page and stand out from competitors. In developing a CV, the form is just as important as the content. Therefore, it is essential to work well on the presentation and content of your CV to give a good first impression and thus increase your chances. A recruiter will spend an average of 15 to 20 seconds on each CV before making their first selection.
Differentiating yourself from other candidates is essential. To get it right, you can download one of our best CV examples here.
A well-written Curriculum Vitae, free of spelling mistakes, and a good design will significantly help you pass this first step of CV selection. Our CV examples have been produced in such a way as to grab the recruiter's attention.
What Is a CV?
The expression "Curriculum vitae" is a Latin word that means "life story." It is a document summarizing the career history of a job seeker. A CV aims to impress recruiters.
The CV is precious and important, it is your official document, and it is the first relationship between you and your next employer. The presentation of Curriculum Vitae is a primary key. It must be carefully drafted, designed, and written for one reason only: to satisfy decision-makers. When a reader looks at your CV, they should quickly get a clear indication of your experiences. Try to have a clean, error-free document, and keep in mind that your CV should reflect who you are.
In short, your CV is essentially a marketing tool that gives you the chance to sell yourself and give yourself a good professional impression. It must contain:
- Your strengths and experiences most relevant to the position you are applying for
- Demonstrating your potential as a future employee
If you have any doubts about how to write your CV, do not hesitate to consult our free Curriculum Vitae templates to get a first idea of what to do and what not to do. But know that your CV must be personalized.
Your CV should lead you to a job interview. Some people believe that with just one CV they can get a job! This is a misconception, and it indicates that many have not understood the role of the CV.
Apart from applying for job positions, a CV is also useful to remind you of what you have achieved in your career.
You might be the most qualified and suitable candidate for a job, but if your resume is disorganized and doesn't highlight your critical skills, you will likely be rejected. Improve the relevance of your CV based on these elements:
Keep Your CV Short And Up To Date
In the United States, it is recommended to have a CV that is no longer than one page. Save space by removing unnecessary information and keep relevant items that can impact the reader for your next job.
Never use the same CV for several job offers! A CV should always be ready for changes, adding new skills or qualifications that you have acquired. It is, therefore, important that you keep your Curriculum Vitae up to date.
The Difference Between CV And Resume
The difference between CV and resume is, first of all, in length. Indeed, the CV will tend to be much longer than the resume. Why? Because it contains much more information! The curriculum vitae will retrace your entire career in detail, from your training to your professional experience, including your publications, research work, skills, etc. The resume is much more condensed. It also allows you to retrace your background, but by mentioning only the most important information, most often connected with the position you are applying for. Thus, CV and resume can both be used in job search, but they do not have the same structure and should be used differently.
The Curriculum Vitae
Often written chronologically, the CV contains a great deal of information and allows you to retrace your career exactly, all illustrated with examples of what you have accomplished: publications, organized events, awards received, conferences. It must be updated regularly but is not intended to change to adapt to a particular position. When writing, the candidate must be exhaustive and retrace his entire courses, such as his extracurricular activities or internships.
The resume is, in a way, a condensed version of the CV. It should last on one page, two at most if you have a long career behind you. If you are responding to a job posting, your resume should be targeted for that job - that is, it should be written in a way that shows recruiters that you are the perfect fit for the position. A resume, therefore, allows you to be more competitive, to stand out from other candidates. You can check out our best resume examples here for a better understanding
In its structure, a resume contains the same headings as the CV, but the information they contain is sorted according to the job for which you are applying. It should be personalized and does not need to trace your entire career. Also, a resume is not necessarily written chronologically: it can also be a functional CV.
When to Send a CV Or Resume
Most of the time, when you respond to a job posting, employers will ask you for a resume, not a CV. This is particularly the case if you apply to the United States, Canada, and most English-speaking countries and European countries. The CV will then be reserved for scientific or research positions. However, there are exceptions. In some countries like England, Ireland, New Zealand, and Germany, the CV is often preferred to the resume. It is, therefore, important to inquire before applying for a job abroad!
Remember, your resume or CV must be accompanied by a cover letter.
Three CV Format Types
The same information can be organized in very different ways. Depending on the structure you choose, you will give more importance to certain details and less to others. Writing your curriculum vitae is going to be the same. You can organize your CV in order of priority, for example, recent professional experiences, training, international career, and objectives achieved, and so on. There are three basic types of CV, where the information is organized differently:
- Chronological CV
- Functional or Skills-based CV
- Combined CV
As the name suggests, the chronological CV traces your experiences over time, going from the most recent to the oldest. It emphasizes the various experiences you have acquired in the same industry or the same field of employment.
This type of CV is useful if you want to stay in the same field or steady your career progress.
Here are some cases where you must avoid the chronological CV:
- Your journey involves frequent job changes or long periods of unemployment that you may have trouble explaining.
- You don't want to place too much emphasis on the last job you held.
- The connection between your old work experiences and your new professional goal is challenging to make.
The Functional CV
The functional resume emphasizes what you have to offer. It brings out your accomplishments or the skills that you have acquired throughout your professional journey.
Here are some examples of skills:
- easily handle a hydraulic press;
- know how to write reports;
- have good mechanical aptitudes (or abilities);
You should describe your skills, starting with those that relate to the job you are seeking.
Here are some cases where it may be interesting to choose a functional or skills-based CV:
- You have little or never worked.
- You have held several unrelated jobs.
- You want to emphasize talents that you have never seen in a job.
- You want to showcase transferable skills in a professional field with little to do with your past experiences.
Avoid choosing this kind of curriculum vitae if you want to highlight your career progress.
The Combined CV
The Combined CV is the most complete of the three because, as the name suggests, this type of CV combines the chronological CV and the functional CV. This CV highlights your qualifications and skills in a summary. This allows you to show the employer your motivation and what you want. The other part of the combined CV concerns your professional background, which makes it possible to highlight your professional ascents and to combine your career with your qualifications.
This type of CV is recommended for people wanting to show their professional rise. Or those who are looking for a job that requires highlighting their previous professional experiences and qualifications.
Sections of Good Sample CV
Your CV will be made up of several sections, which may vary depending on a career's details. All CVs must contain the following elements:
Your personal details are usually the first thing the interviewer will see. Indeed, these must be visible and clear so that human resources have direct and rapid access to reach you.
You must indicate:
- your name;
- your complete address;
- your telephone numbers (home and cell phone);
- your email address;
Also, if you have a personal website or even a LinkedIn account, it would be good to add them. Indeed, we live in the digital age, and recruiters appreciate social profiles.
Warning! It will help if you exercise caution with your personal information when applying for jobs.
Personal Profile Statement
This part of your curriculum is ESSENTIAL. Often placed at the top of the CV, the professional objective allows the recruiter to understand, in just a few lines, who you are, what your skills are, and what your abilities are for the position in question. This catchphrase should grab the reader's full attention so that they will want to continue browsing your resume.
Keep it clear and concise when writing this, and allow HR to understand what you can bring to the company.
Highlight the awards you have received for your work (an employee of the year, an award of excellence, a mention for excellence in customer service, etc.). If necessary, create a portfolio to show examples of your work.
Indicate the general and specialized studies you have done, specifying:
- the name of the schools or other educational establishments that you attended and the city where they are located;
- your level of education and the date on which you obtained your diplomas (attestation, certificate, etc.);
- refresher courses or other training you have taken that are related to what you want to do; for example, computer courses, maintenance of small engines, etc .;
- the special mentions you have received (scholarships, prizes, etc.).
Employment and Work History
They will be at the top of the CV if your professional background becomes heavy. Again, it would help if you opted for a descending presentation of your activities, starting with the most recent. You should not be confined to a simple enumeration of your different positions, but be more explicit by specifying the missions and tasks you have been entrusted with. Do not forget to quote and locate the companies you have worked with to focus on the most relevant missions about the targeted job.
List the jobs you have held, specifying, for each:
- the name of the company and the place of work;
- job title;
- the date of hire and the date of termination;
- the duties or tasks related to the job.
Do not hesitate to mention your internships or your experiences as a volunteer.
- Your experience must relate directly to the job you are applying for. Only mention the most important tasks or the ones you prefer.
- Favor action verbs like administer, analyze, compile, direct, inform.
- Ideally, do not exceed five functions for each job. You will always have the opportunity to give more details in an interview.
Every prospective recruiter will want to know your capabilities to fit into the vacant position. Therefore, in this section, details your training or professional courses you have taken.
If this applies to your trade or profession, specify your qualification (for example, according to a type of machinery).
Your skills and qualifications are your theoretical and practical knowledge acquired throughout your academic and professional career. They thus demonstrate the know-how but also the interpersonal skills of the candidate. You must include your language skills and your computer skills in this section of your curriculum vitae. For the clarity and cleanliness of the CV, you can also create subheadings to sort the question's skills.
List the skills that make you the right person for the job.
The more your skills are related to the position you want, the more attention you will attract. Describe the skills you learned through paid work, volunteer experience, an internship, or even a hobby.
Please note, never include skills that are not important to your application.
Your references are the people a potential employer will turn to for information about you; for example
- a former employer;
- someone from your school (a teacher, a guidance counselor);
- someone you have worked for (childcare, volunteering).
Should We Put The References In CV?
The answer to this question is: “you have a choice.” Unless the recruiter requests explicitly it in their ad, you can choose whether or not to mention the names, job titles, and contacts of your referees. If you do not wish to name them immediately, you can use a mention at the bottom of the page, indicating "References available on request," and that will do just fine.
Before providing someone's name as a reference, be sure to get permission from that person.
Adapt Your CV to Each Application
Many candidates make the fatal mistake of sending the same CV for any job posting or unsolicited application. Even where the job title is similar, business needs and the requirements of the position vary. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt your application to different offers and positions to be filled. You must also learn how to write a cover letter for every job application.
Know-How To Use The Job Advertisement
Candidates are at a great advantage when they respond to a job offer for the simple reason that the ad includes a lot of data about the company and the position to be filled.
It is in the candidate's interest to use the keywords appearing in the advertisement judiciously to build their CV.
In the case of a spontaneous application, it is always possible to find out about the company, its activity, its products, services, etc., to better present and adapt the CV.
When you have a long, rich, and varied experience, you must carefully select the elements that will make up your CV by focusing on the missions and responsibilities that coincide with the filled position. It is necessary to gather all the information in a paragraph and detail only the points relating to the company's position.
A rigorous selection must be made in languages spoken, internships, and training, to mention only the most relevant. Even leisure activities such as practicing sport, associative work, or others can be highlighted and underline the candidate's dynamism and sense of action.