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How to write a good CV?

How to write a good CV?

Everyone who has ever applied for a job knows how hard it is to prepare the application documents and how unsure one could be about their quality. Sollicitego, a company that supports job seekers in their application process, answers our questions about writing successful curricula vitae. Their professional advice about the most common issues will make your life easier and help you on your way to your dream job, as a good CV is the first key to your success.

1. What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

The difference between a curriculum vitae and a resume is in their length, content and purpose. A CV is a full record of someone’s experience and skills. A resume provides a targeted summary of your education, work history and other accomplishments and skills. CV are longer than resumes but resumes are requested more often.

2. Are the CV different in the European countries?

The CV for jobs in Europe look similar. In the EU you need to follow the Europass CV format. This is a standard template but, of course, you have to keep in mind the cultural differences and requirements. For example, countries have different approaches, when it comes to attaching a picture. In the Netherlands, France or Germany you would do it but in the UK you would not. I recommend that you use your creativity in the standard European CV to make it personal. This way you can’t forget important points and besides that you will stand out.

3. What do employers pay attention to and should I avoid clichés in my CV?

Most employers will pay attention to your achievements and experiences. Make sure you describe them in detail. It is also important that you don’t have gaps in your CV. If you have taken a gap year for travelling or something else, always describe it. Avoid typing or grammatical errors in the text, since this won't make a good impression. Try to avoid common sentences like ‘I am a team player’, ‘I am highly motivated’ or ‘I am very enthusiastic’. They don't say anything about you. Be unique and add some more personal skills. Make sure to ask yourself the following questions about your CV: ‘Did I include my personal details?’, ‘Are there any unexplained gaps?’, ‘Does my CV match the job requirements?’ and ‘Where have I produced results?’

4. How should I format my CV?

Your CV shouldn't be too long - limit it to one or two pages. When you include a picture, make sure it is a professional one with only your head and shoulders on it. Don’t use a ‘selfie’ with sunglasses from your holiday. It is important that your CV is decent and standard but not too standard. Do not use a font like Comic Sans or Papyrus but choose a more basic one like Calibri or Cambria. 

5. What if I don’t have any work experience yet? Should I add my work experience if it’s not relevant to the job I am applying for?

If you don’t have any work experience, this should not be a problem if you can tell the employer your skills. Maybe you have done some voluntary work or have participated in a committee in high school. Let them know what you like and how you are the best person for the job. Don't mention your previous jobs that aren't relevant to your current application. If you are applying for an office job, the employer doesn't need to know that you were babysitting five years ago.

6. How to personalize my CV and target it on the specific job?

You personalize your CV with a specific style - choose one of the several templates you can find on the web that fits your personality. Additionally, you can mention your interests like sports or music. To target it on the specific job, you can search for some similarities between the job requirements and your skills. Describe them in your resume or during a job interview.

7. How to address the CV when I don’t know who will read it?

Try to find out - check on the company's website if the name of the hiring manager or other responsible employer is mentioned. You could also call and ask who will check the CV. If you can’t discover the name, write the one of the firm or use something like "Dear recruiter".

8. How to figure out if my CV is good?

Make sure that you avoid the most common mistakes - too long CV with too many listed skills, mysterious gaps in the years, irrelevant personal information, grammatical errors or typos or an inconsistent layout.

A CV is great when it is fully written and includes all your relevant experience and skills. It should be good looking and stand out. Be a little bit creative and think about it! You can ask someone in your environment to review it before sending it to your future employer. We recommend you to get some professional help if you want a really good review. Try a CV check at Sollicitego to finally make sure that your CV is perfect or find out how to make it perfect.

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