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What is a Curriculum Vitae

What is a Curriculum Vitae

By Brian Lariche 

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) means "courses of life" in Latin, or in other words succinct document which gives a quick overview of you former and current professional skills, expertise and experience. This document seeks to highlight your ability to do the job for which you are applying.

Most CVs include your personal information, your education and qualifications, your work experience, your interests and achievements, your skills, and references. Nowadays, you need to ‘skew’ your CV to reflect the skills needed to manage the job you are applying for. 

While there is no fixed format for a CV, you should consider the following:

  1. The job you are applying for is with? Always google the company where you are applying for the job. Explore the company and the job and ensure the CV reflects the skills needed for the job.  Know all the industries the company is working in. What is the company mission and vision? What will be their model employee? What skills of yours do you need to highlight in the CV?
  1. IS there any specific information you should and shouldn’t put in your CV? Check the if the company gives a format for the CV. Is there any specific information they ask for? They may give examples of this on their webpage, check this out. Also some companies ask you NOT to state certain points like gender or even put your photo in the CV. 
  1. Highlight your experience. Many companies would like to see your ability to work in a team. Your past and current experiences will help highlight this. Be specific with regards to the time you worked in these jobs. 
  1. Individuality. Unusual past times or interests can help differentiate you. However, be careful, sometimes you can be stereotyped if you list some of these. So only list the interests that highlight the relevance to the job you are applying for. This will include showing you can lead or be part of a team or have the ability communicate or work in a diverse work environment. For example, highlight if you are a leader of a sports team or have organised community programs or even if you hold positions in a club or society. Don’t highlight activities that portray you as a loner or are too individualistic. 
  1. List your technical skills. These skills will include skills on the computer like Word, Excel or Wordpress. The ability to speak and write in other languages must be highlighted as it is an asset in this increasingly global world. Just look at the job you are applying for and list as many skills related to the job as possible that you CAN ACTUALLY do. 

FINALLY, before submitting the CV, SPELLCHECK and also ask a friend good in English or the language you are applying in to check for grammar errors. 

GOOD LUCK!