How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) Research indicates that on average, recruiters search resumes for up to 6 seconds – at most!
Seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it?
You spend days, if not weeks, writing the perfect resume that represents you in a nutshell – with bells and whistles and all.
And what does the recruiter do?
They look at it for a few seconds (again, if they’re lucky) and move on.
As unfair as it may sound, how are you supposed to get someone’s attention in seconds?
Well, we have an answer.
are you ready?
It is long and can take some time. And no, there are no shortcuts.
If you want to improve your CV, you may need to grease your elbows, get your reading glasses on, and make sure every little detail is polished perfectly. Once you do that, believe us, it will be worth it.
After all, it’s a small price to pay to get the dream job you’ve been eyeing.
By building a near-perfect resume, you are essentially investing in yourself and your future.
How do you do this?
Let’s take it one step at a time
Do you need a CV or a Resume? what is the difference ?
You may have noticed that when applying for a job, some say to send your CV, while others prefer your resume.
So what’s the problem? Aren’t they technically the same?
Answer: It depends on your country.
All over Europe – they are really the same thing and can be used interchangeably. If you are applying for a job that requires a resume, know that it is the same as a resume.
Now, if you’re from the US, it’s a little different.
A resume is a one-page summary of your work experience and background to the job you are applying for.
A resume, on the other hand, is a longer academic journal that includes all of your experience, publications, and more.
The main difference is that a resume is one page (a maximum of two pages), while a resume can be longer. Resume is used for job search across all industries, Resume is used for jobs and admissions in academia. Finally, the resume is tailored to the specific job you are applying for, and the resume is a complete overview.
So, in a nutshell, CV vs Curriculum Vitae – what’s the difference?
If you’re from Europe, it’s basically the same thing.
Instead, a resume is a one-page summary of your work experience and background. Your resume is a longer academic journal that includes all of your experiences, certifications, and publications.
Simple, isn’t it?
Since you’re reading this guide, you’ll likely want to know how to write a regular resume for your job search. If so, then you are in the right place.
For this, we recommend using one of Novoresume’s resume templates.
What, you didn’t think you’d get away with using a simple text editor resume template, did you?
No, to stand out on your resume, you need something more powerful.
Why use CV Builder
Most people use default Word templates to create their resume. The problem is that these default templates are often bland and lifeless. You want your resume to stand out and not quite fit in with others.
Your average resume template is also a total pain to work with. Imagine this scenario…
You spend more than two hours aimlessly trying to fit the content of your resume with the default template layout. And then, when you make another small adjustment, everything is completely messed up.
You start looking for a better resume template online and find one that costs $19.99 or more.
You pay your hard-earned money and hope that this resume template will be better than the templates you’ve tried so far.
Here’s the spoiler: It probably isn’t. The word is to write a college essay, not to create a resume.
Are you looking for a much easier experience?
Novoresume’s resume builder helps you create a one-page resume for free (with a premium version if you’re looking for an extra payment). It comes with a lot of customizations, so even if you’re working on a template, you can customize it to your liking.
And the icing on the cake?
All of our resume templates are optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
You ask what that means in regular terms?
Well, it just means that the resume filter software that HR manager uses will be able to read your resume for sure, giving you a much better chance of getting through the filtering process.
How to Format Your Resume
Alright, let’s get to the copper nails. So what exactly goes into a resume?
Now there is no golden rule and not all resumes have the same sections. It all depends on your experience and where you are applying. However, some parts remain the same.
Sections to include in a resume:
- Contact information
- Summary or objective CV
- Professional experience
Optional sections to include in a resume:
- Certificates and awards
- Personal projects
- Volunteer experience
We will cover all these sections step by step. Before we do that, let’s discuss how…
Get the right resume design
The first thing a recruiter will notice about any resume is the design.
Is it easy to find everything at a glance?
Are colors, fonts and titles consistent?
Is all the information well organized?
Here are some best practices for designing your resume well:
Keep it on one page – You should only go for two pages if you are convinced that you cannot sum it up on one page. Don’t waste your valuable resume on your life story – no one will read it!
Clear and Consistent Section Title – Keep colors, font size, and headings consistent so they’re easy on the eyes. We recommend a premium font, but not too much. Usage: Ubuntu, Roboto, Overpass, etc. Do not use: comedic sense.
White space – Make sure there are enough margins and spaces between the text to make the whole thing comfortable on the eyes.
Clarify details – choose the right font size (14-16 point for section headings, 11-12 point for plain text).
Finally, save your resume as a PDF, as Word can change the format of your resume.
The last thing you might want to think about is whether your resume will be traditional or creative.
If you’re pursuing a career in a traditional industry – legal, banking, finance, etc., you might want to stick with industry number one.
If you’re applying to a tech startup, where imagination and innovation are valued in company value, you may be looking for something creative.
How to Add Your Contact Information to a Resume (The Good Way)
Your contact information is arguably the most important part of your CV. After all, even if you did everything right, it wouldn’t matter much if they couldn’t contact you.
Be sure to check everything in your contact information verbatim and that it is up to date.
The contact section of your resume should include:
- First Name, Last Name – The generally preferred format is first name and last name.
- Phone number – be sure to include your country code if applying from outside your country.
- Email Address – Your email should be professional, preferably in the style of [Name] [Name]@email.com
- Title – Your job title, whether it’s the job you want or the job you’re applying for.
- Location – Are you around? Are you moving there in a month or two? Or are you looking for a sponsor for your transition?
Besides basic contact information, you may also consider placing your social media credentials – as long as they are relevant.
For all other social media channels, think about how they reflect your business. For instance:
- LinkedIn – Many people ask for a LinkedIn link when applying for a job. As long as your LinkedIn profile is complete and optimized (as it should be), feel free to include your LinkedIn URL in your resume.
- Twitter – In very specific situations (like a marketing or journalism position), you can include your Twitter profile if you’re active, have a good number of followers, and a writing style relevant to the position.
- Quora – Do you have a lot of authority on a particular topic in your field with a good number of followers? This can convince the HR manager that you really are the best expert they can hire.
- Stack Overflow / Github – Only for developers, programmers and IT people.
- Medium – Only for freelance writers, bloggers, etc.
- Something else – Do you have a personal website, blog or YouTube channel? Use your discretion if necessary.
Clear? Now let’s see how to stand out in your resume summary or objective.
How to Grab the Attention of an HR Manager with a Resume or Resume Objective
The summary or objective of your resume is your attempt to make an important first impression. Make sure the language you use is clear and that the HR manager doesn’t have to read it multiple times to understand it, because they won’t.
Does it pass the 6-second test?
Your resume or resume goal is your attempt at an elevator pitch with 2-3 sentences.
As a general rule, if you have more than two years of work experience, choose a resume summary.
Otherwise, choose a resume goal.
Let’s break this down.
Your resume summary should include:
Jobs and years of work experience.
Related achievements and responsibilities.
What you are looking for is your goal.
However, your resume summary might look like this:
To make your resume more memorable, be sure to mention how your past experience will benefit from the current experience you are applying for. You must also include the following information:
What can you do for them? How can I help you?
How will your previous experience help you adapt to the current business environment?
How can you help them grow while maintaining personal goals?
Now, how do you write a resume objective?
Just like your resume summary, your goal should consist of 2-3 sentences at most. But instead of describing your work experience, you should focus more on your motivation to apply for a particular job.
If you are, say, a recent college graduate with little experience under your belt, you may want to sign up for a resume target instead. This will explain your motivations as well as what you hope to get out of it.
To create a killer resume objective, you may want to include:
Skills, education and certifications relevant to the job title.
The type of responsibilities will help you to help you successfully.
How you can apply what you have learned so far.
Your resume goal might look like this:
“Recent and hardworking graduate with BA in Graphic Design from State University of New York. Looking for new opportunities, with over 3 years of hands-on experience creating and designing Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and UX/UI. I am looking forward to developing as a designer, as well as perfecting my craft In studio XYZ.
In short, summarize the purpose of your resume and communicate your motivation for entering this field.
How to show your work experience (and stand out)
Well, if you got this far, now is the time to show off and sell yourself.
Your work experience is where you can brag a little, assuming it’s documented and accurate of course.
This is the main section of your resume and is where most HR professionals go when viewing your resume.
This is also the deciding factor in deciding whether or not to hire – without pressure.
Thus, to master the training section, the standard format is as follows:
Business name, location and description.
Achievements and responsibilities.
date of use.
Although it may seem simple, it can be very difficult to summarize your work experience in a few points.
Many people simply list their responsibilities alongside the position.
While that’s okay, you should always try to write down your accomplishments and accomplishments instead.
The human resource manager likely already knows what a business development manager or sales manager is doing. You don’t want to look like a regular professional – you want to present yourself as an excellent player, someone who rocks the action (in a good way).
Therefore, you may want to explain how you got the company from point A to point B. Here’s what the experience of working with a well-written resume looks like:
As you can see, the order of work experience is in reverse chronological order, with the most recent job first. In terms of activities, details are backed up by numbers and percentages.
It’s also more doable and gives the hiring manager an idea of how they can benefit from their business.
If you want to assure them that you will be the right candidate, look up the skills and responsibilities listed on the job and make sure to put them in the relevant sections of your resume. Find the skills and responsibilities they are looking for in the job posting and tailor your resume accordingly.
Research some of the soft skills and optional requirements listed in the job posting, and if they apply to you, feel free to include those specific keywords.
An example of a bad work experience would be something like:
Increased customer satisfaction rate
Generate new leads by cold calling and managing existing customers
“Write social media content and increase engagement and reach.”
However, in some areas (like a supermarket cashier) you don’t have much wiggle room in terms of achievements. In this case, you can just stick to your daily responsibilities.
Skills section of your CV
Consider your technical and soft skills.
Hard skills are measurable technical skills that relate directly to your job duties.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are learned skills such as your personality traits (such as leadership, communication, etc.).
Professional qualifications usually already include what they are looking for in terms of skills.
As you can see, the skills required for this position include a mix of hard and soft skills.
Now all you have to do is adapt your CV to the list of qualifications.
For specialized skills that your work experience supports, you can measure them or give yourself an honest assessment, such as:
To write a good skills section, you should also include your soft skills, such as:
Another type of skills section that you can include in your resume is soft skills. This includes skills suited to the description or requirements of most professional fields – such as MS Office, teamwork, analytical thinking and more.
No matter what job you are applying for, these skills will come in handy at some point.
Education section of your CV
Another important part is the education section of your resume.
In the Education section, you can include:
- Program name – eg Bachelor of Business Administration.
- University name – for example State University of New York.
- Year of participation – for example 08/2008 – 06/2012
- (Optional) GPA – e.g. 3.9 GPA
- Honors (optional) – eg cum laude, magna cum laude, honors
- (Optional) Academic Achievements – e.g. relevant papers you have written, courses you have excelled in.
- (Optional) Minor – e.g. Minor in Psychology
When mastering your education section, here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you have no work experience, mention your education section first.
If you have a college degree, do not mention your high school at all.
List your GPA only if it is significant (i.e. between 3.5 and 4.0).
The above is a list of categories that you are likely to find on almost any resume. What happens in them is what matters though. They are necessary and in most cases they decide whether you are a good candidate or not.
Now what about the optional sections of your resume?
They can help you show a bit of your personality. Depending on the position and who is reviewing your resume, this may tip the balance in your favor.
Here are some optional sections that may appear on your resume:
Other biographical sections
The following sections can help you stand out, depending on the company culture and the specifics of your hobbies.
In most cases, you will use your discretion to decide whether or not they are relevant and whether they fit into the bigger picture of your resume. These headings may include:
Certificates and awards
Include any testimonials you have here if they are relevant to the position.
If you’re a Certified Facebook Blueprint Marketer, feel free to include it.
If you don’t have a lot of work experience, you can also include any relevant online courses or certifications that show you’ve taken the first step and show your interest (e.g. HubSpot Marketing Training, Google Certifications, or almost anything you’ve taken on Coursera).
Most companies are international these days, being bilingual is a great way to stand out and have a competitive advantage.
Even if language skills are not necessary for the position, they may come in handy at some point.
When you list your languages, you can categorize them among:
Needless to say, you have to be honest here and not lie about your language skills – it just isn’t worth it.
Hobbies and interests
This is where you can reveal a little bit of your personality. You can mention something unique here if you want to stand out.
What do you care about? What makes you unique as an individual?
To get ahead and show your discipline and general commitment, you can include personal accomplishments in your hobbies.
For example, if you run a marathon (something you should be proud of), you can include that in your hobbies. And who knows, you might also have something in common with your HR manager.
Side projects show your passion and dedication. They can help you make up for any lack of experience in a particular field or show your passion for the job.
If you plan to include optional sections on your resume, make sure they are relevant and portray yourself in a positive light, both professionally and through your personality.