How to Write a good Professional Curriculum Vitae (CV)

To begin with, curriculum vitae popularly known as CV is brief synopsis or account of your educational, professional experience, skills and more typically used for job applications.

Additionally, there are 2 types of curriculum vitae – the educational CV and the experience focused type. The former focuses on educational/professional qualification and academic work and is usually for applicants who have no work experience while the latter focuses on professional experience, skills and achievements.

Start with the right CV format

Begin with creating a CV outline divided into the following sections:

  • CV Header with Contact Information
  • Personal Profile: CV Objective or CV Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Sections

Choose clear, legible fonts

Go for one of the standard CV typefaces: Arial, Tahoma, or Helvetica if you prefer sans-serif fonts, and Times New Roman or Bookman Old Style if serif fonts are your usual pick. Use 11 to 12 pt font size and single spacing. For your name and section titles, pick a 14 to 16-pt font size.

Be consistent with your CV layout

Set one-inch margins for all four sides. Make sure your curriculum vitae headings are uniform—make them larger and bold, but go easy on italics and underlining. Stick to a single date format: 11-2017 or November 2017.

Setting one-inch margins is a standard formatting choice for documents. Additionally, consistency in headings, such as using a larger and bold font, creates a polished look. However, overusing italics and underlining can distract, so keeping those minimal is a good call. Moreover, using a single date format throughout your CV maintains a clean appearance and helps the reader navigate your timeline easily. Furthermore, adding more content to your CV can involve expanding on your experiences, skills, achievements, and any relevant details that showcase your qualifications.”

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Don’t cram your CV with gimmicky graphics

Embracing minimalism in your curriculum vitae design is crucial. Firstly, allowing for sufficient white space gives recruiters room to navigate and focus on the content. Moreover, considering that most CVs are printed in black ink on white paper, incorporating too many graphics might negatively impact legibility. Striking a balance between visual elements and readability ensures that your CV remains professional and easily digestible for recruiters.

Get photo off your CV

Unless explicitly requested in the job advertisement, opt for a professional yet less formal picture, avoiding the official appearance of an ID photo. Moreover, using a photograph that aligns with professionalism but avoids excessive formality is advisable when not explicitly required by the job posting.

Add Your Contact Information the Right Way

Build a CV header that includes the essential contact details. In the contact information section, enter your:

  • Full name
  • Professional title
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Home address

Thus, recruiters will use it to research you online. If your social media profiles are unprofessional or your LinkedIn profile information doesn’t match your CV, you’re immediately out of the race.

Include a Personal Profile and Your Job Title

To craft an attention-grabbing CV, concentrate on the personal profile statement, a concise and impactful paragraph of around 100 words that communicates to recruiters why you are the ideal candidate they seek.

Now, concerning their distinctions:

A CV objective delineates your mastered skills and potential fit for the role. It’s a suitable choice if your work experience is limited and not directly relevant to the desired job, such as when creating a CV for a student.

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On the other hand, a CV summary emphasizes your career trajectory and accomplishments. Hence, it is best employed if you’re an experienced professional with substantial expertise in your field.

List Your Relevant Work Experience & Key Achievements

More often than not, the work experience section receives the most attention in your CV. To craft a job-winning work experience section, consider the following:

Firstly, focus on your measurable and relevant achievements, not solely your duties.

Additionally, utilize action verbs such as “created,” “analyzed,” and “implemented” instead of passive phrases. Moreover, tailor your CV to the job posting by carefully examining the job description. Include tasks relevant to the role, even if they weren’t your primary responsibilities in previous positions.

Build your CV education section correctly

Begin with your most recent academic achievement. For instance:

University of Harvard – Graduated in 2018

  • Degree: B.A. in History and International Relations
  • Proficient in three foreign languages: French, Portuguese, and Chinese.
  • Achieved a first-class grade of 4.56 and received the ‘Best Graduating Student’ award.

Remember, prioritizing recent and relevant educational qualifications is crucial. Additionally, including professional certifications, affiliations, memberships, as well as completed training or seminars can further enrich this section. Moreso, these additional details can be presented as a subsection under the Education segment of your CV.

Highlight Your Relevant Soft and Hard Skills

Would a list of a dozen and a half skills look good on a CV? Regarding skills for a CV, focus on their relevance instead of trying to include as many as possible. Include an appropriate mix of hard skills, soft skills, and anything in between.

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Include Additional CV Sections to Impress the Recruiter

Notably, consider including an extra section dedicated to showcasing your undeniable accomplishments, solidifying your value as a candidate. Examples of such sections might encompass:

For a professional CV:

  • Industry accolades
  • Professional certifications
  • Relevant publications
  • Professional affiliations
  • Conferences attended
  • Additional training

For a student:

  • Volunteer experiences
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Projects
  • Freelance engagements
  • Academic achievements
  • Personal blog

Remember, even if you’re still in the learning phase and can’t display the items listed above, adding an additional section can still greatly benefit a students’ curriculum vitae. You can highlight areas such as volunteer experiences, hobbies, projects, academic achievements, and even a personal blog.

Organize Everything on a Professional CV Template

Subsequently, no one likes to mess around with formatting a Curriculum Vitae in MS Word. Subsequently, there are hundreds of ready, fill-in-the-blanks CV templates available online. And we offer some genuinely cracking ones. Additionally, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates.

Complement Your CV with a Cover Letter

However, a cover letter significantly boosts your job application’s impact. Surprisingly, our HR statistics reveal that 45 out of 100 recruiters may not delve into reviewing a Curriculum Vitae if it lacks a well-crafted cover letter. Yet, the process of creating an outstanding cover letter is much more straightforward than commonly believed.

At Academic Hive we are keen on ensuring that you get the very best academic content you need to excel, book a Session with us if ever you any questions regarding you curriculum vitae.

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