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Putting Together a Curriculum Vitae

What is Curriculum Vitae (CV) needed for? A good CV is one of the most effective means for job hunters to secure the job they desire. Your CV, however, must leave a good impression on the employer right away. Generally, a CV is only examined for two to three minutes by an employer. If you fail to attract the employer`s attention, it likely means that your CV was lacking something.


When writing your CV, follow the selective principle. Information for the CV should be sorted according to its purposes. In other words, a CV should include a description of those aspects of your experience which are significant for the claimed rank.


A successful CV can lead to an initial interview with an employer. Your goal is to make the one who reads your CV want to meet you personally.




A CV consists of the following sections: your name, address and phone number; a purpose (including a short description of the kind of job you`d like to get); and work experience (in reversed chronological order). This is the principle block.


Note start and end dates for previous work, name the organizations you worked for, and list your previous positions (there can be several of them if your career was a success). In short, describe your work duties and business achievements. When describing your achievements it’s important to use verbs of motion. These can include such words as such as developed, saved, upgraded or reduced.


Education should also be listed in your CV. Keep in mind, however, that the more time that has passed since your graduation date, the less space this point should occupy in your CV. Underline any degrees or special coursework that relate to the job you are applying for.


There is additional information that should be listed in your CV as well, such as: knowledge of foreign languages and different computer programs, having a driver’s license, professional organizations you belong to, etc.




The basic requirements to the writing style of a CV: condensation, specificity and honesty. Avoid using the pronoun I. It`s important to be highly precise in choosing word combinations: don`t write “was engaged in teaching, helped to lower mistakes, master new information fast;” instead, write “taught two new employees, lowered the mistakes by 15 percent thus saved my firm $40,000 and mastered new procedures in the shortest recordable time of two weeks.”


Don`t be too wordy and avoid the passive voice. Don`t write “was responsible for accomplishment…, found application to the following abilities…, was responsible for…,” etc. Write “fulfilled…, effectively applied…, answered for…,” etc.


Favor positive information over negative information. Don`t write “reconciled complains about…, prevented the reducing of the share of trades, quit the post,” etc. You should instead write “helped the clients in…, upgraded the product on the market – got the promotion….”


Concentrate your attention on achievements. Don`t write “worked there for three years, did some additional work,” etc. Write “got the promotion and had my wages increased twice, always did the work on time.”




Don`t write your entire track record or biography in your CV. In fact, most potential boss’ are interested only in the last three to five places that you’ve been employed (and not more than a ten-year time period). Your physical data, your picture, reasons why you quit previous jobs, wage demands, and names of those who gave you their recommendations should also not be included in your CV.


In conclusion, check your CV according to the following points:


  • Ask somebody who knows the language your CV is written in to check it;
  • When describing your present job, use verbs in the present (e.g. am working, am projecting). Therefore, when describing previous places of work use verbs in the past;
  • Avoid bulky phrases and words. Clearly outline the necessary headlines;
  • Make sure your CV is formatted in a single style;
  • Choose a style which can be easily read (wide sidelines, middle print, enough space between lines, etc.);
  • Use white paper of high quality;
  • It`s very important that your CV is, at most, two pages in length;
  • Be sure that you can confirm all the information included in your CV.


If you apply to a foreign company, it’s a good idea to write your CV in two languages. Of course, the CV in a foreign language has the same requirements concerning format, literacy and stylistic unity like the one in your home language.

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