A guide to writing your first CV

A guide to writing your first CV
Photo: Collected

So, you have decided to enter the workforce and look for a job or internship. That's a great start. But how do you go about creating your first curriculum vitae? You may believe you do not have enough to say to fill a page, but you probably have more than you realise. According to research, recruiters spend on average between five to ten seconds reading through a CV. It is quite clear that your CV must grab the attention of recruiters at the first glance. Preparing the perfect CV can be quite daunting for people with years of experience, let alone freshers who are working on writing their first. Today, let's break down some basics you need to consider while writing your curriculum vitae.

Firstly, your CV must not be longer than 1 or 2 pages. Keep the information precise and relevant. Now coming to the part of keeping the information precise, the concept of 'precise' can be subjective. You already do not have enough space, use your words wisely. Using a header function to include your name, address, and contact information (both an email address and a phone number) saves space and makes the information easy to find for the recruiter. And remember, your CV is not your Insta story, don't play around with font styles and size. Keep it simple and classic.

List your educational accomplishments in chronological order, beginning with your most recent qualification. If you have not yet received your results, write down your predicted grade or that it is 'subject to review.' Because this is your first CV, it comes before any work experience. This section will move further down the page once you have a job or two under your belt.

A skill section is especially useful for your first CV because it allows you to highlight skills that are not necessarily related to employment experience as you are just starting your career. You can identify the key skills that employers are looking for by carefully reading the job description.

And lastly, when you apply for a job, you will usually be asked to provide two references before you can be hired. Typically, this will be your previous employer; however, if you are still studying, this can be your teacher or your supervisor. Remember to ask someone respectfully before using them as a reference.

And a pro tip: ensure that everything on your first CV is spelled correctly. Employers who receive a large number of applications will use spelling and grammatical errors to differentiate between candidates, so make sure your CV is error-free. Use spelling and grammar checkers, or have it proofread by someone else.


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