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How to Structure Your CV in a Perfect Manner?

Are you looking at creating that perfect CV that proves to be successful in impressing your dream employer?

For it to happen, what you must know is that it is not the just the content of your CV that is important but also the manner in which that information is presented.

There is much more to CV than simply adding your name, contact details, previous work experience, and references. There is a proper structure to be followed when creating your CV like it should normally not exceed two A4 pages. The basic structure to be followed when creating your CV is as given below:

Header

This section should ideally contain your personal details as given below:

Name: It should be written at the top of a page and should be slightly larger than the other fields. The recommended size for your name is 22 points.

Address: It has to be your permanent residential address.

Phone number: It is recommended that you give your mobile number so that employers can easily get in touch with you.

Email address: You need to mention your email address that looks professional.

Online Presence: You have to mention a link to your professional website, online portfolio or blog in case you have any/ all of these along with professional social media accounts (LinkedIn).

You may even include a short and impressive headline underneath your name to describe yourself in keyword-rich words.

Note: You must refrain from starting your CV with words ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or ‘CV’ written at the top of the page.

Career Summary

Also known as the personal statement, it is a brief version of your cover letter. The idea is to sell yourself to your prospective employer in 150 words or less.

Even though it is meant to be one of the shortest sections of your CV, it can be very difficult to write this one. If done right, it enhances your chances of securing a job manifold.

If not career summary, you may choose to write career objective that states the position you’re looking for. However, career summaries are preferred over career objectives as recruiters tend to find career objectives very boring.

Employment History

The thumb rule is to write your work experience in a reverse chronological order. The work experiences that are directly related to job role you’re applying should be prioritized. All the included entries must contain the following information:

  • Job Title
  • Employer’s Name
  • Job Location
  • Term
  • A brief description of job duties and tasks you were assigned along with any notable achievements

In case you don’t have any relevant work experience or if there are any gaps in the work history, the reasons should be explained briefly and in a convincing manner. You may even use this section to mention any freelancing or volunteering work you did.

Education

This section should also follow a reverse chronological order that is the most recent qualification should be listed first.

The following fields must be included while listing your educational history:

  • Name of the institution
  • Degree/ Course Pursued
  • Dates of the Program
  • Grades Awarded

Achievements

This section is used to highlight any academic or professional achievements that are worth mentioning. You may even specify any contributions made by you while you were working with a previous employer that could be relevant to the job you’re applying to.

Skills

This section holds a lot of significance and a lot of thinking must go into writing this section.

It is divided into two parts: technical skills (hard skills) that are job specific and transferable skills (soft skills).

You may even specify the languages you speak under this section. You must, however, rate your proficiency in every language you mention under one of the levels: native, fluent, advanced, intermediate and beginner.

Read Also: Organizing Your Portfolio for the Job Interview

Hobbies and Interests

This is an optional section, but in case you decide to mention them, they must be relevant to the job role you’re seeking. There is no use making the list exceptionally long. Instead, you can focus on elaborating the ones you mention.

Additional Information

In case there is anything left that needs to be mentioned because it is relevant to the job but couldn’t be mentioned earlier, you may use this section to mention the same.

The information that you might want to include is as follows:

  • Memberships
  • Presentations
  • Certifications
  • Projects
  • Seminars and Conferences
  • Publications

References

A referee can be your former employer, teacher, coach or any credible person who can support your application.

Ideally, there should be three references included in your CV.

When listing your references, their name, job title, company and contact information must be mentioned.

Alternatively, you may remove this section and mention ‘References available upon request’.

Annexes

This section is used to provide a list of annexes that you’re attaching to your CV. These could be the copies of degrees/ courses. You must, however, attach only relevant documents.

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