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International Language Job Centre Home guide to european curriculum vitae preparation * write a CV for a european company* how to write a resumé * europass

How to Write a Good CV
- europass -

View summary of CV advice

Introduction

Drawing up a curriculum vitae is an important step in looking for any job or training. The CV is often the first contact with a future employer. It needs to seize the reader’s attention immediately and to demonstrate why you should be given an interview.

Important! Employers generally spend no more than a minute on each CV when making an initial selection from applications received. If you fail to make the right impact, you will waste your opportunity.

Read the following information carefully before entering your details into the template.

General recommendations

Before starting to write your curriculum vitae, remind yourself of a few important principles:

Take care over the presentation of your CV

Set out your qualifications, skills and competences clearly and logically, so that your specific attributes are easily seen.

Give proper attention to all relevant detail, both of substance and presentation; there is no excuse for mistakes in spelling and punctuation!

Concentrate on the essentials

- a CV must be brief: in most cases, two pages are enough to show who and what you are. A three page CV may be considered too long in some countries, even if your work experience is outstanding.

- if your work experience is still limited (because you have just left school or university), describe your education and training first; highlight work placements during training (see online examples);

- concentrate on essential information that brings added value to your application: work experience or training which is old or not relevant for the application can be omitted.

Adapt your CV to suit the post applied for

Systematically check your CV every time you want to send it to an employer to see if it corresponds to the profile required; highlight your advantages according to the specific requirements of the prospective employer. A good knowledge of the company will help you tailoring your CV to the appropriate profile.

Take care: do not artificially inflate your CV; if you do, you are likely to be found out at the interview.

Keep to the structure of the CV template

The Europass curriculum vitae allows you to present your qualifications, skills and competences in a logical order:

- personal information;

- description of your work experience;

- description of your education and training (which may appear before the heading ‘Work experience’ for users with limited work experience; to invert the order of the two headings, use the ‘copy/paste’ command in your word processing software);

- detailed inventory of your skills and competences, acquired in the course of your training, work and daily life.

Notes:

- print your curriculum vitae on white paper;

- retain the suggested layout;

- avoid underlining or writing whole sentences in capitals or bold: it affects the readability of the document;

- do not split an entry under one heading over two pages (e.g. your list of training courses) – to avoid this use the ‘page break’ command in your word processing software;

Be clear and concise

Your profile must be appreciated by the potential employer after a few seconds’ reading. In consequence:

- use short sentences;

- concentrate on the relevant aspects of your training and work experience;

- explain any breaks in your studies or career;

- remove any optional heading (e.g. if you have no ‘Artistic skills and competences’ or if you consider that such skills and competences do not bring added value to your application).

Have someone else read your CV on completion

Check your CV carefully once you have filled it in to remove any spelling mistakes and to ensure it is laid out clearly and logically.

Have someone else read your CV so that you are sure the content is clear and easy to understand.

All Europass CV information © European Communities  http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu
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