Do you want to learn How to Write A Good CV if you don’t have experience?
Do you want a CV that can get you hired?
As you are aware, your CV is your chance to make a first-time good impression on your potential employer and according to this statistic, recruiters take less than 1min to review your resume.
This is why it is important to have a great CV that can get you the job
The major challenge then is not if you need a CV but how to actually come up with a workable CV.
That is what I am going to show you in this article.
In this post, you are going to learn:
- What is A CV
- Major Difference between a CV and a Resume
- Tips to Write A Great CV Step by Step
- Common Features of A CV
and then I will share with you the CV template that is 90% proven to work and you can download it for free
How to write a Good CV for A Job
- Make sure you read the job description
- Pick a CV template that you want to use
- Identify and write down your core skills
- Begin with your name and include your details
- List your work experience and key achievement starting with the most recent
- List your educational qualification starting with the most recent
- Include your skills and training/qualifications
- Include additional information that is relevant to the job you are applying for
- Proofread and make sure all the information listed are correct
- Write an accompanying cover letter
What is a CV?
A CV is a 2-page document that shows in chronological order a detailed document highlighting your professional and academic history.
This is a question many job seekers would always ask but quite a few find the answer they seek. Even throughout their entire career, most professionals would still not be able to answer this question because a CV is often used interchangeably with another word, the resume.
If you are reading this article then congratulations because you are about to be numbered among the few who understands what a CV is and can differentiate between it and a resume.
The meaning of CV is (Curriculum Vitæ), which means a course of life in Latin. It is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honors, etc.
A CV is a document that tends to be organized chronologically and should make it easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions, the difference would be in the cover letter.
What is a Resume?
A resume, or résumé, on the other hand, is a concise document typically not longer than one page as it is assumed that the reader will not dwell on your document for very long. The goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out from the competition.
The job seeker should adapt the resume to every position they apply for. It is in the applicant’s interest to change the resume from one job application to another and to tailor it to the needs of the specific post. A resume doesn’t have to be ordered chronologically, it also doesn’t have to cover your whole career and is a highly customizable document.
5 Major Difference between a CV and a Resume
From the above definitions, there are three major differences between CVs and resumes. They are the length, the purpose, and the layout.
Length: A resume is a summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages, a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages.
Purpose: The resume will be tailored to each position whereas the Curriculum vitae will stay put and any changes will be in the cover letter.
Layout: A CV has a clear order listing the whole career of the individual whereas a resume’s information can be shuffled around to best suit the applicant.
Hence, the main difference between a resume and a CV is that a CV is intended to be a full record of your career history and a resume is a brief, targeted list of skills and achievements.
When Should I use a CV or Resume for my Application?
Many people are usually confused about this and although some recruiters are not conscious of what they want, most of them will let you know whether they expect a CV or a resume.
If you are still confused, then it is ok to ask.
It is advised that an experienced job seeker should use a CV for high profile applications as this will show how much experience and expertise he has.
If however, you are using a resume and feels that you need to convince the employer more about your qualifications and expertise then it is ok to include a cover letter with your resume.
How to Write A Professional CV
Starting off the writing of a CV can be somewhat difficult. That is why we are presenting you 5 easy steps on how to write a professional cv for a job.
The reason is that there is no one specific format for a CV and you will have to determine exactly the right CV for the position you are applying to.
You will always need to tailor your CV content to the individual jobs you are applying for because one type of job might need you to emphasize a specific area whereas another might ask you to elaborate on a different area and knowing which is critical to making sure your CV is perfect for your discipline.
One of the best ways to know what CV is right for your industry is to look at examples of what others have done. You can do this by either researching them online or by reaching out and talking to either your mentor or peers who are already employed where you are applying.
Always remember though that these examples are only examples and you should make sure your CV is specific to you and not just a copy of what someone else has done. You’re an individual and your CV should reflect that.
With that being said, however, there are some common CV features you should keep in mind when writing yours.
What to Include on Your CV
Even if your CV can be flexible to suite some information like your skillset, professional experience, interest etc. There is still some information that an employer would love to see on your CV regardless.
You know that employers don’t spend the whole day reading your CV. An average recruiter will spend 6 seconds to glance through your CV. Surprised right?
When employers read your CV, they are reading your CV to determine if you are the best person for the job.
So to appeal to your prospective employer’s judgment, you must figure out what your prospective employer wants to see at a glance.
If you are confused about employers are looking for on your CV, then you don’t have to worry because we’ve got you covered.
To create an outstanding CV, you have to include the following information:
Name, professional title and contact information
The first thing the recruiter should see when they open your CV should be your name, professional title, and personal contact.
This information should be positioned at the top of your CV. Putting this information at the top of your CV gives the employer an idea of who you are at a glance.
Your name should be the title of your CV followed by your professional title. You should not use titles like; “Curriculum Vitae”, “CV” on your CV, you know why? It does not serve any purpose.
When it comes to adding your contact details to your CV, your email and phone numbers are important. A recruiter will likely call you on phone to inform you of the interview after they must have sent you an email to that effect.
You can decide to add your social media account in this section. Many employers search for candidates on social media to know more about them.
2, mtncon Street, Ikeja
Your profile is also known as your personal statement. Your personal statement is a piece of writing usually not more than 2 or 3 paragraphs that appears at the top of your CV that gives a summary of who you are, your skills, your achievement, experience, your career goals and finally; the reason for your application.
You can write an amazing CV, but not having a personal statement on your CV or having a poor one can make your CV not get the attention that it should get. A personal statement is what captivates the recruiter’s attention to your CV.
It is good for you to tailor your personal statement to the job that you are applying for, paying attention to the particular job that you are applying for.
Don’t forget to keep your personal statement short and interesting and a few sentences long. To achieve this, you can build your personal statement around the following:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you are applying for the role
Need more tips on how to write a great personal statement? Then this all you need to know about the personal statement.
Personal statement example:
A team player, with a commitment to customer service, who possesses a long track record of working in various administrative roles,
coupled with good PC skills and the ability to communicate confidently at all levels.
Apart from being immediately available, I have a strong background in general administration along with experience of working within a customer focused company like yours.
Job Experience and Employment History
This section allows you to list your previous jobs, work experience and internships. You must include this section in your CV because it gives the employer an idea of what you can do.
Employers find it easier to hire a candidate that has functioned in a particular role, rather than someone that has little or no experience at all.
That is why it is good for you to arrange your work experience in reverse chronological order so that the employer can see your most recent work experience first.
When you are listing your previous positions of employment, you should state your job title, the employer (company name), the dates that you worked, and a few sentences that summarize the role. Put your key responsibilities, skills, etc. in bullet points to aid readability.
MMM YYYY – MMM YYYY Company Name, Location
Key Achievement/ Projects
Education and Qualification
Your education is another important section that should be included in your CV. Many job descriptions usually come with educational qualification specification.
Just like you listed your job experience, you should also list your educational qualification in reverse chronology. Include the name of the institution and the dates you were there, followed by the qualifications and grades that you achieved.
If you recently graduated from school, you can list a few of your relevant modules, assignments or projects underneath your educational qualification.
If you have gone a little further along in your career journey and have many certifications, you can add that to your qualification.
You can write your educational qualifications this way:
Institution name – Dates (From – to)
Qualification/Subjects – Grade
If you are writing a CV that is focused on showing your work experience, knowledge and expertise, then you are writing a functional CV. In this kind of CV, you arrange your job skills chronologically.
Asides from writing a functional CV, your skills are one of the most important information that you should include on your CV.
It is important to add skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for at a strategic section of your CV. You can study the job description carefully to understand what skills are most important to perform the job.
Make sure you arrange your skills in order of relevance.
Interest and Abilities
Interest and abilities are very important aspects of your CV especially when you don’t have enough work experience.
If your CV is lacking work experience, your interest and abilities will provide a way for you to show your prospective employer that you have interest and abilities that are related to the position that you are looking for.
You should put the following into consideration when you are writing your interest in your interest and abilities:
- Are any of your abilities and interest relevant to the job?
- You can add your volunteering activities
- Don’t just write a list of your interest and abilities
- Do your interest and abilities show that you are the best person for the job? does it show your long term commitment?
- Don’t use the term “hobby” when you are talking about your interest and abilities because it does not sound professional.
- Avoid including activities that suggest that you are a loner. Employers look forward to hiring someone that can work well in a team. Avoid writing activities like reading unless it is related to the job.
What Not to Include on Your CV
Irrelevant work experience: Any work experience that is not related to the position you are applying for should not be added to your CV. As much as adding your work experience to your CV is important, it is also important you include only experiences that are related to the job that you are applying for.
Personal information: Personal information like; your marital status, religious preference etc. Any information that does not suggest that you are the best person for the job should not be added to your CV.
Employers are not interested in knowing your personal details; they want to know if you are the best candidate for the position.
Your hobbies: Your prospective employer does not really care about what you love to do in your spare time if it is not related to the job.
There is no need including your hobbies to your CV if it is not related to the job.
Blatant lies: There is no point lying on your CV to please the recruiter. Lying does not make you qualified for the job.
According to statistics, 75% of hiring managers can spot a lie on a CV. Lying about your skills and qualifications may even get you disqualified for the position.
A career objective: A career objective may not be necessary on your CV. If you have applied for the job, then your objective is clear (you want the job). You should write a personal statement instead to emphasize why you think you are the best candidate for the job.
Physical description: It is necessary to add a physical description of yourself to your CV. Even if you think you have a great physical feature, it may not appear great to the recruiter.
You should leave this information to the recruiter to discover during the interview.
Salary information: Compensation rate differ from company to company. Adding your salary information to your CV may have a negative effect on you more than you think.
Putting your salary information can make you earn lesser than you should earn. It can also disqualify you from the position, as the information may suggest to the recruiter that you are not open to negotiation at all.
Reference: If the recruiter wants to talk to your reference, then they will let you know and ask you to provide that information.
Writing “reference upon request” may also be unnecessary. However, it is good you make plans for this before hand to give you ample time to prepare.
2021 CV Format for Fresh Graduate ( Common Features of a CV)
So what CV format is working in 2019. We will address this by looking at the best features a good CV should have.
Start by first listing everything you can about your background information and then building out from there.
To help you get started, here are a few of the most often seen sections of CVs that you might expect to include when writing your own.
1) Who are you?
A CV should always include your basic information starting with your name, address, telephone number, and email.
Include a brief bio of yourself. Depending on the industry you are going into, a short blurb about who you are might be all you need to catch a recruiter’s eye and get called in for an interview. If you do decide to include a brief bio, make sure it’s well written and original.
2) What have you done?
As a CV is a thorough detailing of your history, that includes your educational history as well as your work experience and any training you might have received.
When detailing your educational history, you want to do it in reverse chronological order. Be sure to include the full list of your degrees, including those you’ve already earned and any you might be currently pursuing as well as where you received your education.
Be sure to list the years of your graduation. If you are the author of a dissertation or thesis, you would include that information here as well as the name of your advisor.
For your work history, you want to include not only where you’ve worked, but also any applicable experiences related to that work.
If you’re an educator and you’re not only teaching, but also working in a research lab or facility, you would want to include that here. Field experience, leadership experience, related volunteer work and any other experience that relates to your employment goes in this section.
3) What do you like?
Unlike a resume, a CV often includes a section that covers your areas of interest. While this might seem unusual, it can provide a potential employer with a lot of insight into who you are, which is why it’s so important to make sure you handle this section carefully.
While it might be tempting to just list your hobbies here and hope for the best, it’s a good idea to expand on what you do in your free time as well as why you do it. Are you a soccer buff who loves to go to watch soccer? Rather than just listing “Soccer” on your CV, flesh it out a bit.
“As a lover of soccer, I enjoy spending my weekends immersed in a world where I coach a team of teenagers in my locality on everything soccer.”
Do you have leadership skills outside of your work that you enjoy participating in? List those here as well.
This section is also a great place to list any interests that you have that relate directly to the job you’re applying to. Are you working on obtaining employment as a culinary specialist? List your interest in food blogs and magazines.
No matter what you list here, try to include a range of interests that demonstrate who you are when you’re not working at your job. Of course, try not to include information that would make it appear that you’re just stuffing things into your CV to give it length. It’s perfectly fine to list your interests, but keep it within reason. List the things that are the most relevant to what you are looking for work-wise.
It’s not necessary to list every extracurricular activity you’ve ever participated in.
How many languages do you speak? Are you fluent in multiple tongues? What about computer programs? Are you an accomplished graphic designer who has extensive knowledge of specific software? List that too!
5) Awards and recognitions
Have others recognized you for the work you’ve done? Do you have any awards or honors that you’ve received for teaching? How about for service or work? Have you applied for and received any grants or scholarships? Those go here! This is also where you want to include things like fellowships or patents.
Are you an author of any papers, articles or books? Are you an expert in your field and thus find yourself speaking at conferences, panels or symposiums? Make sure you list those and give a brief description of each so your reader knows what you’ve done and where.
7) Professional membership
Are you a member of any professional organizations, guilds or clubs? Make sure to include if you’ve held any offices or positions within those organizations and how long you’ve been with them.
Other sections you might include in your CV (depending entirely on the job you’re applying for) include:
- Study Abroad
- Professional Licenses and/or memberships
- Consulting Work
- Professional Development
- Research Experience
- Teaching Experience
Remember, your CV should be specific to the industry or area of work you’re entering, so while much of the basic information should be fairly standard, always find examples that relate to the job you’re after to ensure that you’re including all the necessary things.
You want to make sure that your CV is carefully and logically laid out and that it reads well. Yes, you’re including a lot of information in this document, but don’t try to cram everything in all at once.
Organize it using topical headings and be considerate in how you lay it out and how you order it. While the order of topics in a CV is flexible, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that what you list first will receive the most attention. Try to arrange your sections so that they highlight your strengths in relation to the position you are applying to.
- Make sure your font is readable and that you are consistent with any formatting you decide to use.
- When you’re working on a resume, it’s common to use a type of formatting called “gapping.” Gapping is when you take a full sentence and cut it down to the most basic components in order to convey the most amount of information in the least amount of words.
- when writing your CV, you will want to use full sentences. It’s also important to work in action words that help to not only draw in the reader but keep them engaged in what they’re reading.
Here, let me show you the difference. Let’s pretend you were a Logistics Manager in a service department at a company. If you were writing a resume and utilizing gapping, you might note your experience like this:
Public Relations Manager (2008-2012)
Responsible for customer service.
Again, this example is perfectly acceptable for a resume. For a CV, however, you want to make sure you’re including more information and utilizing your action words.
I worked as a Public Relations Manager from 2008 to 2012. During that time I oversaw and lead a team of twenty employees committed to providing quality customer service.
Need another example?
Rather than saying you were just a marketing manager for five years (perfectly acceptable on a resume), make sure to include words that convey what you did.
I spent five years refining my abilities as a negotiator and motivator, using my skills as a problem solver to help persuade clients to try new and exciting products.
- When printing your CV, always print your pages single-sided. Yes, it’s longer than a resume, and it’s tempting to try to save paper by printing double-sided, but resist that temptation!
- As a CV is longer than a resume and can often run several pages, make sure you include page numbers on every page except for the first one.
- Length: Your CV doesn’t have to be super long for you to pass the information across to your employer. If you are applying for an entry-level job, then a one page CV is just fine. If you are a professional, then a CV of 2 – 3 pages is not bad too.
- Heading: It is good you introduce each section with a heading. It makes your CV clearer, and also helps the recruiter locate important information on your CV easily.
- Font type and size: You will most likely send your CV to your prospective employer in digital format. So this means you have to choose your font size and colour carefully. Your font size should not be too big, so you don’t look unserious. The font colour should be clear and sharp enough for the employer to read. Your CV should be between 10 – 12 point size, use font types like Calibri and Arial.
- Page Margin: Margins make your document appear neat and easy to read. You should keep your margins around 2.5 cm, it should also not be less than 1.27 cm.
- Proof-reading: Be consistent with your formatting to give your CV that clean and neat look. Typos are little errors that can spoil all you have put in so much effort to do. To avoid this from happening, you should proof-read your CV to be sure there are no errors. “Grammarly” can be a great proof-reading tool for you.
- Saving the file: Save your file in a format that can be easily accessed by the employer. Saving your CV in special format may make it difficult for someone that does not have the software to access the document.
- Save your CV as a pdf file to ensure recruiters can open it on any device. A pdf will also help you maintain formatting.
What About Using A CV Template?
A template? Errrrrm, here is one thing about cvs…
They are large documents that contain all kinds of different information and vary greatly depending on who the job seeker is (and more importantly, what field they are in).
I really don’t know how to put it, but there isn’t really a “magic bullet” CV template that will allow you to just plug and play.
Frequently Asked Questions About Writing A CV:
- What is a CV?
Ans: CV is (Curriculum Vitæ), which means a course of life in Latin. It is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography.
- What is a Resume?
Ans: A resume or résumé is a concise document typically not longer than one page as it is assumed that the reader will not dwell on your document for very long.
- What is the difference between a CV and a Resume?
Ans: the main difference between a resume and a CV is that a CV is intended to be a full record of your career history and a resume is a brief, targeted list of skills and achievements.
- When Should I use a CV or Resume for my Application?
Ans: Most employers will tell you what they want you to send in. However, it is advised that an experienced job seeker should use a CV for high profile job applications as this will show how much experience and expertise he has.
- Are there any rules guiding CV and Resume writing
There are no rules but be sure that:
- You do not tell a lie
- There are no typographic and grammatical errors
- What should be included in my CV and Resume
Bearing in mind, your objective for writing a CV or Resume,
- Your CV and Resume MUST include:
- Your Fullname
- Contact information: Physical address, Phone number, email address
- Your CV and Resume may or may not include the following:
- Career Objective or Brand Statement
- Professional Certifications/Qualifications/Licenses
- Your CV and Resume should NOT include the following:
- Previous Salary
- Reason for leaving your previous job(s)
- Date of Birth
- Health Information
- Phone number, email addresses or names of past employers.
These are not relevant to your job and should be discussed in person during an interview if they are a source of concern.
- Your CV and Resume MUST include:
- How do I ensure that my CV and Resume are attractive to employers?
Bearing in mind that a recruiter should be able to tell at a glance what you can offer, what your qualifications are and what experiences you have.
We do recommend that you craft a brand statement and place it at the beginning of your CV/Resume.
Below is an example of a brand statement:With an Msc. in Project and Construction Management and having worked as a Project Manager for 8 years in the oil and gas sector, I love to build formidable project teams from the scratch whocan deliver top-notch projects on budget and within specified time frame.
- What Resume format is best to use?
A chronological resume is the typical style most employers expect to see. The functional resume is popular with career changers, people with little work experience (like students and recent grads), or those who’ve been out of the work force for an extended leave. Mixed (combined format) resumes combine the chronological and functional formats. And a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is mainly for professors, teachers, lawyers, scientists and related professionals.
- Are there CV and Resume samples I can access for FREE?Yes, we have a couple of templates that you can download and use for FREE. Access them here
- Can I get professional help in preparing my CV/Resume?Yes, you can get help to prepare your CV and Resume. MyJobMag also offers professional CV Writing Services that can help you get hired.
Writing a CV should not be a hard job. If you want to learn how to write a resume with no job experience or you are a fresh gradudate and you are wondering how to write an awesome cv for undergraduate students, then I believe that with the information provided in this article, you should be on your way to writing a winning cv.