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How to Write a CV? Tips, Templates, and Samples

Are you all set to enter the professional world after completing your education? If yes, you will need a CV to seek relevant opportunities. You have probably already made one, but it’s not helping you get noticed in the competitive job market. So, you are thinking of ways to make your CV more effective. Don’t worry because we are here to teach you how to write a CV. Jump into this article to discover all the tips you need to curate the perfect CV. 

Understanding the Basics of a CV

Before you learn how to write a CV, you will have to develop a little understanding of its basics. Let’s discuss that before we move on to explaining the contents of a CV and give you formatting tips. 

Difference between a CV and a resume

In some cases, the terms resume and curriculum vitae are used interchangeably. But are they the same thing? While they are similar, a resume and a CV also have subtle differences. 

A resume is always shorter than a CV. It will only provide short descriptions of your professional and educational history. Meanwhile, CVs are a lot more comprehensive in nature, with detailed descriptions of your academic qualifications and work experience. 

Types of CVs

1. Chronological CV: Includes work experience in reverse chronological order, starting from the most recent one

2. Functional CV: Highlights skills and abilities more than presenting work history in chronological order

3. Combination CV: Combines the features of a chronological and functional CV format

Preparing to Write Your CV

If you want to learn how to write a CV, check out the tips for preparation:

Gathering relevant information

Before you start drafting your CV, keep all certificates and documents ready to input all personal information accurately. Apart from your personal details, you also need to add your educational background and work experience on the CV. Moreover, you will have to talk about your skills and achievements in it. 

Identifying the target job and industry

While deciding on your job application CV format, it’s important to research the target job and its industry. Try to follow instructions relevant to the industry while making your CV. 

Researching the company and job requirements

Understand the company values and what they are looking for in a suitable candidate. It will help you create an impressive CV. 

Structuring Your CV

The structure of your CV is extremely crucial for making it noticeable. So, learning how to write a CV is also about understanding the sections to include and ordering them properly. 

Key sections to include

1. Contact information: Mention your email and mobile number for official communication. 

2. Personal statement or objective: Provide a short summary of who you are and what opportunities you are looking for. 

3. Education: Talk about where you have obtained your degrees, in which year, and what your subjects were. 

4. Work experience: Highlight the companies you have worked in and your responsibilities. 

5. Skills: Mention the abilities that make you suitable for the job. 

6. Achievements and awards: Talk about achievements and awards that validate your skills and expertise. 

7. Additional sections: Some optional sections to include in your CV are a list of publications, the languages you know, and your areas of interest. 

Ordering the sections

You will have to order the different sections on the CV according to the job you are applying to. For instance, you might need to highlight your education more to seek academic opportunities. In that case, you can talk about your work experience in other fields later. 

Choosing the appropriate CV format

If you are wondering how to write a CV, remember that you don’t have to stick to a specific format. Every CV format does not work for everyone. So, choose a CV type and format that’s best suited for your purpose. 

Writing Your CV Sections

You already know the important sections to include in your CV. But what should you write under each section? Come, let’s find out. 

1. Contact Information

Start with your full name. You also need to provide your email address and mobile number. The email address should be professional. Moreover, remember to enter accurate contact information to ensure that recruiters can get in touch with you. 

2. Personal Statement or Objective

In the next section, provide a summary of your professional goals. Moreover, mention how your goals will help in the growth of an organization. Additionally, remember that this part is great for highlighting your unique selling points. But don’t make this section lengthy. 

3. Education

Talk about your academic history, including the degrees you have and where you got them from. Furthermore, you can talk about coursework or projects that will help you fulfill the job role with ease. 

4. Work Experience

Highlight where you have worked and what your responsibilities were. Remember to use action verbs to describe your role and quantify your achievements with numbers. 

5. Skills

Mention all the skills that make you a perfect fit for the job you are applying to. You must mention your technical skills. But it’s also essential for you to mention soft skills that can help with the job. 

6. Achievements and Awards

Talk about significant accolades and achievements that reflect your potential. Moreover, you should mention the reason behind receiving each award. 

Formatting and Design Tips

While learning how to write a CV, you must acquire knowledge regarding the formatting style. 

1. Choosing a professional font and size

Don’t use stylish fonts in your CV. So, use fonts like Times New Roman to make your CV look professional and easy to read. It’s better to stick to a font size of 11 or 12 points. But you can increase the font size of headings. 

2. Ensuring consistency and readability

Anyone wondering how to write a CV should remember the importance of consistency. The entire document should have a uniform font style. Moreover, you need to maintain a consistent margin and line spacing throughout your CV. 

3. Using bullet points and clear headings

Adding bullet points to your CV will make it more structured. Additionally, subheads will help employers find important sections easily. So, use bullet points and headings to bring clarity to your CV. 

4. Keeping the CV concise 

You shouldn’t add unnecessary details in the CV to make it lengthy. Remember that employers prefer concise but effective CVs. So, it’s better to stick to a maximum length of 2 pages. 

5. Saving the CV in the appropriate file format 

Apart from learning how to write a CV, you should also know the right format to save it. Most companies accept CVs in PDF form. So, you should download your CV in PDF format after making it. 

CV Templates and Samples

Check out CV templates for individuals with different levels of experience:

1. Entry-level CV template and sample

[Full Name]
Mobile no.: XXX
Email address: XXX
Residential address: XXX
Career Objective
[write a small para]

Education
Degree, Subject
Institution
Duration
Marks

Skills
[mention skills in bullet points]

Awards and Achievements
[talk about your awards and achievements in short]

Interests
[mention your hobbies in bullets]

2. Mid-career CV template and sample

[Full Name]
Mobile no.: XXX
Email address: XXX
Residential address: XXX

Career Objective
[write a small para]

Work Experience
Role
Company Name
Location
Duration

Projects
Name of the project
Short Description

Education
Degree, Subject
Institution
Duration
Marks

Skills
[mention skills in bullet points]

Awards and Achievements
[talk about your awards and achievements in short]

3. Executive-level CV template and sample

[Full Name]

Mobile no.: XXX
Email address: XXX
Residential address: XXX

Career Objective
[write a small para]

Work Experience
Role
Company Name
Location
Duration

Projects
Name of the project
Short Description

Education
Degree, Subject
Institution
Duration
Marks

Skills
[mention skills in bullet points]

4. Industry-specific CV samples (e.g., academia, IT, creative fields)

A curriculum vitae sample tailored to specific industries will further clarify your knowledge of how to draft these documents. So, take a look:

i) Academic CV

Hina Patel
+91 xxxxx 90990
xyz@abcl.com

Looking forward to using my academic experience and research expertise in the field of evolutionary biology. I have a proven record in publishing and securing funding for research purposes.

Professional Expertise
Research AssociateMuseum of Natural History, IndiaJune 2023 to present

Education
Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology
Rockefeller University
August 2017 to March 2023

Published Work
Patel, H., & Doe, J. (2022). Exploring genomic perspectives. Journal of Evolutionary Sciences, 532-548

Reference
Dr Lily Harrison
Professor
Rockefeller University
(555) xxx-2378
lily.harrison@gmail.com

ii) IT CV

Gaurav Mehra
xyz.123@abcl.com
+91xxxxxx 67890

A fresh computer science graduate keen on developing scalable mobile applications. Experience in building apps from scratch using Node and React. Efficient with different programming languages like R and Python.

Education
BSc in Computer Science
Amity University, Noida
August 2020 to March 2024

Projects
Crypto Tracker
– Integrated API calls
– Ability to visualize price changes over a time period
– Used JavaScript

Skills
– Advanced JavaScript
– R, Python, SQL, HTML
– Web scraping
– Attention to detail
– Organizational and problem-solving skills

iii) CV for Creative Fields

Anisha Rehman
+91 xxxxx 45678
xyz@gmail.com

I am a creative individual working in the content writing industry. I am capable of writing grammatically correct and plagiarism-free content for different fields, like finance and technology. I am also capable of writing different styles of content, including blogs, web pages, and articles. Looking forward to joining a company and using my writing skills to produce high-quality content. 

Work Experience
Content Writer
Writer’s World, Bangalore
November 2022 to present

Education
MA in English
University of Delhi
GPA- 3.5/ 5

Skills
– Writing
– Editing
– Research
– Attention to detail
– Ability to handle deadlines

Interests
– Reading
– Traveling

Tailoring Your CV

While learning how to write a CV, you should understand the importance of customizing it. Wondering how you can do that? Check out below:

1. Customizing your CV for each job application

Every employer has different expectations from candidates. So, check the unique requirements of the job and adjust your CV accordingly. 

2. Highlighting relevant skills and experiences

You won’t need the same set of skills to perform every job role. So, you should highlight capabilities that will help you do the specific job with ease. 

3. Using keywords from the job description

While learning how to write a CV, it’s important to read the description of the role you are applying to. Try using relevant words from the job description in your CV to capture the attention of the recruiter. 

4. Adapting the CV to the company’s culture and values

Maybe you are working as a software developer in your present company. However, due to some issues, you are looking for the same role in other companies. Now, you might be thinking that it’s okay to use the same CV that helped you gain a job in your current company. But don’t make that mistake. Whenever you are applying somewhere, it’s important to check out the culture and values of the company to match that. 

Proofreading and Editing Your CV

If you want to know how to make a perfect CV, never ignore the power of proofreading. Check out how you can proofread your CV to make it flawless:

1. Checking for spelling and grammar errors

Even the best of us end up making spelling and grammatical errors from time to time. Besides, you might have also made some typing errors in your CV. Go through the entire document carefully to ensure that there aren’t any mistakes. Remember that a single grammatical, spelling, or typing mistake can ruin your impression in front of potential employers. 

2. Ensuring consistency in formatting and style

An effective CV has consistent formatting throughout. So, if the body text under one section is 12 points, it should be the same everywhere else. You must ensure that the whole document has a uniform writing tone and formatting style. 

3. Getting feedback from others

One tip for CV writing is to acquire feedback from others. Gain insights from experienced professionals to improve your CV. 

4. Updating your CV regularly

You will gain more skills and experience with time. Remember to add them to your CV to keep it updated. 

Common CV Mistakes to Avoid

If you are wondering how to write a CV, try not to make the following mistakes:

1. Including irrelevant or outdated information

Your CV should highlight skills relevant to the specific job. Moreover, it should contain recent details about your education, work experience, and skills. 

2. Using generic or vague descriptions

While talking about job responsibilities or projects, people end up using vague descriptions. Make them more specific to help the recruiter understand what kind of experiences you have. 

3. Neglecting to tailor the CV to the specific job

While learning how to prepare a CV, the most important thing to remember is to customize it. You can’t submit the same CV everywhere. If you want to get noticed by employers, it’s essential for you to tailor your CV to the specific job requirements. 

4. Overusing buzzwords or clichés

A lot of people think adding words like “hard-working” and “dilgent” helps create a good impression on recruiters. It’s true that employers will want someone hard-working. But the hundreds of other candidates who have applied for the role might have used the same words to describe themselves. So, how are you unique from them, and why should the employer call you for an interview? So, avoid using mainstream descriptions and make the CV a unique reflection of your personality. 

5. Exceeding the recommended page length

A part of knowing how to make a CV is understanding the importance of sticking to the recommended page length. Yes, you will have to offer comprehensive details about your work and academic history. But remember, recruiters have to go through hundreds of CVs while selecting a candidate. When you have a lengthy CV, they are highly likely to overlook important points. So, keep your CV concise with a focus on the most relevant details for a specific job. 

Conclusion

A good CV will highlight your academic as well as professional experience in front of potential employers. Keep it professional and effective to receive your dream job offers from top organizations all over the globe. 

FAQs: 

Q1: What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

Ans: A CV provides a comprehensive overview of your educational background and professional experience. On the other hand, a resume offers a brief summary of your abilities and qualifications for a particular role. Resumes usually have a shorter length. But the length will vary according to your years of work experience.

Q2: Do employers accept a CV or a resume?

Ans: Businesses and industries outside of academia usually favor resumes because of their concise nature. However, roles in academia, science, and research often demand CVs to include the scope of the candidate’s academic accomplishments and experiences.

Q3: How should I write a CV when I have no experience?

Ans: Candidates with no experience should focus more on skills while drafting their CVs. Mention all your abilities that will help you fulfill the job role successfully. 

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