While there is no magic formula for a perfect CV, you should always aim to have it updated and tailored for a role(s) you’re planning to apply for. Check what information my “must-have” CV would include.
1. Contact details
Things like phone number, email address, link(s)*, and the city in which you currently live will be enough. Remember, if you’re applying for a role in another country, do not forget to write your country phone code, so you can be easily reached.
If you prefer to be contacted by email or at certain hours, add this annotation to your resume.
*Links (personal website / portfolio / social media profile): make sure to add them as hyperlinks AND check if they’re working (no one wants to be redirected to the “website does not exist” page).
The summary section is NOT a copy/paste of your work experience section so don’t try to fit there all information about you. Instead, focus on highlighting your skills and achievements.
Keep it short: 3-5 sentences will be enough. When in doubt remember that the purpose of this section is to show what you have to offer and can bring to the company/team.
3. Work experience
This is my favorite part, but I see that lots of people have got a problem with not knowing what to write here.
What I’d include here is:
- company name (you can add city and/or country),
- the role you were/are working on,
- dates when you’re working there (with months, as December 2013 – December 2014 is something completely different from December 2013-January 2014),
- responsibilities you had (not only those that are written in your contract but also ones you’re doing daily/additionally),
- if you work in the IT industry do not forget to write technologies you’ve used when working on projects,
- extra info like special achievements, winning prize for best employee, etc.
If you already have professional experience, it is not necessary to list all your schools. Instead of doing it, focus on your last education.
Write your school/university name, dates attended, degree received, and field of study.
If you’re an active member of some organizations, have publications, or won a prize during your studies – write it.
Be honest when writing this section! If you’re applying for a role that requires fluent German and Japanese and you’re only intermediate in both languages, it’s most likely that you won’t get this job, and lying about your level won’t help you either.
Remember that your language skills could be verified at the very beginning of the recruitment process. Not only you’re wasting your and company time, but you’ll leave a bad impression (for now and for the future, as recruiters can put notes regarding your language skills).
This section may be especially worth adding if you’re an IT Specialist, as sometimes companies are looking for candidates with certificates in a particular area.
7. Interests/Additional information
This section is a great opportunity to show your future employer what you’re interested in! And I’m not talking only about hobbies – sometimes we can’t fully present our potential in our company. If we’re doing extra activities outside of work (working on some projects, attending courses, or being an active member of various organizations) and they might help us to get the job we’re applying for, we should mention them in our resume.
What do you think a good resume should contain? Would you add something to my list? Or maybe you think that some of this information is unnecessary?
Thanks for reading & have a nice day,
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