CV or resumé
CV (Curriculum Vitae) or resumé is a short, individual summary of your
work and life experience. In job seeking the CV is your calling card,
which quickly and clearly shows to the employer what kinds of skills and
knowledge and experience you have to offer. It is a personal life
description which aims at convincing the employer that you are the
answer to his problems. The CV consists of several parts. The order and headings of them can
vary, but there are certain basic subsections the CV should have. In
addition to required data there are certain recommended voluntary
information sections that can be attached to a CV.
Drawing up a CV
The CV is tailored according to the job and situation (it is recommended
that you draft a basic CV which can be edited and kept up-to-date). Pay
attention to the appearance of the CV. Make it neat and easy to read.
- Give an active and effective impression of yourself; use verbs describing action.
- Be concrete: describe your job titles, your education, your linguistic skills, IT skills etc.
- Make your resumé chronologically gapless: it is unnecessary to
cover up gaps in your work history such as unemployment periods,
maternity leave and so on. Think of the useful things you have done and
how you have developed yourself during such periods.
- Reserve enough of time to draw up your CV.
- Make it look like you. Don't copy readymade patterns but collect from them hints for your own CV.
The most important information in your CV
Contact information: Your contact information should be put in a visible
place, for instance the top left corner. If you wish to, you can attach
your photograph to the top right corner.
Personal information: On principle it is enough that you give your name
and contact information. At your discretion you can add your date and
place of birth, marital status and number of children.
Education: your education is your most important merit, if you are newly
graduated. It is recorded chronologically inversely so that your latest
education stands first on the list. You should list your degree, degree
programme, specialisation and the school you have graduated from. In
applying for certain jobs, the title and grade of your final project can
Work experience: Of work experience, the employer, period and job title
are mentioned together with a brief description of work tasks and
responsibilities. Only the essential is given of the work experience.
You can highlight some skills or experiences you have acquired. Work
experience also is recorded chronologically inversely. It is advisable
that you write down all work experience relevant to the job you are
Your knowledge and skills: This is the most important part of your CV.
Here you describe what you are good at, what you know and what your
strengths are. Describe the things you do well and which you are
especially good at. Give grounds for why these things are your
specialities or how you have acquired these special skills. This is the
information that will make you stand out from the rest of the
Achievements: If you have special achievements (prizes, trophies,
honorary mentions etc.) in work or extracurricular activities, they
should be mentioned separately in a subsection of their own. Even this
information will make you stand out.
Continuing education: Continuing and additional education information is
essential, if it dates back to the last five years and is connected to
the job you are applying for.
Linguistic skills: Describe your linguistic skills for instance on a
scale from excellent to basics. You can also recount in which situations
you have been using your linguistic skills and what kind of situations
you can handle in different languages. Also describe how you keep up
your skills, and give details on your oral and written skills in
languages. If you have some degrees or diplomas in languages, mention
them. Don't be too modest when assessing your skills.
IT skills: The employer is interested in your IT skills in order to
assess your current situation and knowledge, and your eventual need of
further training. Describe your IT skills through examples and the
applications you master.
Research work: This is a vital section when you are applying for a job
that requires research experience or special knowledge in a certain
field. Write down the research project(s) and your task within it
Publications: If you have published something, don't forget to mention it!
Conscript service: Write down when and where you did your conscript service, and your military rank.
(These sections come at the end of your CV and can vary according to
purpose. Choose for your CV the sections that best highlight your
knowledge, experience and special skills.)
Trustee positions / organizational activities: Bring out your trustee
positions in case you have little of work experience in your field, or
if they enhance your chances of getting the job. All extracurricular
activity is usually to your credit and shows you as an active person.
Hobbies: By describing your hobbies you give the employer a picture of
your personality. Mention a few hobbies that bring you out as an active
person, especially if they somehow support carrying out the job tasks.
Experience abroad: International experience prepares you for the
challenges of internationalisation in business and can be an important
asset in the competition for the job.
References: You can ask your former employers, teachers and other such
persons (who can say something about you as an employee) to be your
references. The best references are persons that the potential employer
knows. Give the name, title, organisation and telephone number of the
references. Always remember to ask the reference for his/her permission!
References are mentioned as the last item in the CV.
A good CV
- Is distinct and neat
- Describes the what, where and when of your accomplishments
- Describes clearly what you know and can
- Is easy to read
- Is flawless
- Is always up-to-date
- Is tailored according to the applied job