Key Points to Include in Your CV

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The curriculum vitae (CV) describes your professional and academic experiences in great detail, giving potential employers the chance to decide early on whether they think you would make a good fit for their organization. As a result, writing a CV that meets employer expectations is imperative if you want to land a job.

CVs need to include several kinds of information. They should provide the employer with personal details including your name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number. You may wish to include your date of birth as well, though in many places, age discrimination laws have made that information irrelevant. Your CV also needs to provide information on your educational background, including university degree if applicable. Unless your grades in school were poor, you should make mention of them.

In the 2010 Orange County Resume Survey, 45% of employers noted that “previous related work experience” was the most important thing they looked for on a CV, and another 35% said they looked for “qualifications and skills.” Keep that in mind when writing your CV, and make sure you mention any previous position that might demonstrate a skill that would be useful in the job for which you are applying. If your previous work was not directly related to the job you want, think about whether the general skills you acquired there might be relevant. A job in a restaurant, for instance, might have taught you how to work as part of a team, interact with customers, and take responsibility for providing people with a quality experience.

While work experience should take up the bulk of your CV, you should also include a brief list of your hobbies and achievements, as well as a rundown of your other skills. Keep the section on your interests short and focus on demonstrating a broad range of hobbies, interests related to the field you want to work in, and achievements that demonstrate leadership or that will distinguish you from other applicants. Important skills to list include the ability to speak multiple languages, proficiency with computer programs, and driving record.

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