First thing you have to keep in mind when writing a CV is what type of CV you need. Not every application is the same and the biggest difference is between academic and industry CV.
It’s also sometimes hard to remember all the details that deserve their place in the CV, so we advise not to write it in one day.
CV vs Resume
First things first, a CV is not the same thing as a resume. It’s also not recommended to send a CV if a resume is required and vice versa.
CV is a detailed and dated list of your achievements, education and work experience while resumes are typically one to two pages long and summarize both your skills and experience. If you’re fairly new to writing either of them there are plenty of templates online.
Academic CV requires details about your academic achievements, including names of some important modules you took, title of your dissertation, your previous supervisors. Sometimes it’s specifically required to include two or even three recommendation letters as well. You wouldn’t usually put these things when applying for a job, but that’s what makes a difference between two types of CV.
You should also put titles of papers you may have published, some extra courses you took (inducing the ones you took online), your academic skills and maybe some programmes you know how to work with required for quantitative or qualitative research.
Also, academic CV is often more than two pages long, while Industry CV has a recommended limit of maximum two pages.
As mentioned above, Industry CV needs to describe your professional experience and include less academic details than an Academic CV.
You can include relevant work experience, mention you own a driving’s licence, how many languages you speak and some professional references if you have any.
If you’re a recent graduate and don’t have any work experience, feel free to list the skills you gained through your college/university experience. No one is expecting you to graduate with 7 years of working experience, so don’t feel obligated to put something under the work experience section.
How about design?
However, Europass CV is a bit outdated and unless your employer specifically asks for it, it’s better to avoid it. On a different note, be careful not to exaggerate with your design making your CV look like a collage rather than a professional document.
Canva for example has great CV templates that can help you decide how you want your CV to look like, even though they may look more like resumes if Canva is your choice.
How many details?
There are many doubts about whether to include a picture, whether to put references at the end of the CV, to include a phone number or not…
It’s really up to you. And up to your employer and where are you sending your CV to.
Research shows that 80% of employers in the US will not hire you if you upload a picture of yourself into your CV. A CV without a picture may leave a more professional impression, and definitely do not include one if you’re applying for an academic position.
If your job is of different character, or application sounds more relaxed, photo might be a good option.
It’s the same with references really. Depending on where you are sending your CV to, you should decide whether to put references and their contact at the end of your document. In an academic CV, it’s a must. Usually applicants put their previous supervisors, professors or people they worked with.
Phone number, together with an email address is in my personal opinion good to have on top of your document, under your name and address. You never know if your potential employer wants to give you a call rather than sending you an email to invite you for an interview.
Look at a few examples of CV’s online. I think you’ll manage to see for yourself what’s good and what’s not the best example of how a professional document should look like.
At most cases, a motivational letter is required together with a CV/resume. It does not serve to repeat all the things you’ve mentioned in your CV, but as a supplement that explains in more words the facts you’ve listed in the CV.
Remember, lying in your resume is never a good idea. Lying can easily be revealed and that won’t leave a good opinion about you not only as a worker but also as a person.
Put in everything you think relevant, everything that shows all your qualities and represents you as a person everyone would like to work with. For all questions about CV and how to write it, feel free to send us an email to email@example.com.