Curriculum vitae - CV

When searching for a job one has to work systematically on promoting oneself in the labour market and it may be compared to the marketing of oneself. The CV and the cover letter are the principal marketing tools in this process and it is therefore very important that these are made with great care.

It pays to spend ample time on the CV, one has to be very attentive to the content, the layout and the language use. The layout has to be clear and the information concise. Avoid writing long blocks of text. The CV should be catchy and intriguing so that the hiring agent wishes to meet the applicant after having read the CV. The CV can therefore be the tool that is the first contact between the applicant and the hiring agent and a good CV may be decisive regarding whether the applicant is offered the job.

The CV is a short presentation of the applicant where certain basic information is stated. Its length is usually 1 to 2 pages. The information that must necessarily be in the CV might be likened to a pyramid, the individual is the foundation, above is the education and job experience and at the top are other personal factors such as competence, knowledge and interests. To the side is information about references that would be able to comment about your abilities.

The CV needs to include the following information:

  • Personal information may differ in detail, it is however important that the name, address, an active telephone number and e-mail address are included so the recruitment agent is able to contact the applicant.
  • Information about education. Name of school and education, degree and year of graduation. If an individual has completed postgraduate education then it is unnecessary to name the primary school, and if studies were not completed then you can write: 'not completed'  after the title of the studies. Start listing the education that was most recently completed and then add information about the studies and the subject of the term paper, if any. It is possible to mention courses here but it is also possible to list all courses in a special section.
  •  Information about work experience. Place of work, job title and period. It is good to state the most important tasks and responsibilities of the job. Start by listing the job that the individual does now or his last job.
  • Other information. The individual chooses what is recorded in the CV but most commonly listed is language and computer capabilities, social activities, interests and written articles. Some people decide to write a short personal profile and insert this information into that text. Just be careful not to have the information too detailed.
  • Information about references. Name, position and telephone number. It is vey good to have two references. It is desirable to refer to your immediate superior but you can also for example refer to colleagues, teachers or clients. References may not be family members or friends. If the job search is to be kept quiet then it must be indicated that references should be contacted after consulting the applicant.


Tips regarding the CV:

  •  It is a good idea to keep a well made CV that can be adjusted according to needs.
  •  It is not necessary to list all your education/classes or all jobs that the individual has held. Only what is important for the job that is being applied for on each occasion.
  • If there are many, short, temporary recruitments for similar jobs you can summarise them and list them in one place.
  • Highlight your strengths that might be of use in the job that is being applied for. Give a concise and short example that would confirm this.
  • Describe your goals regarding your career development and which elements you wish to train.
  • If an individual does not have a lot of experience in business and industry he or she might give a short account of himself or herself, what he or she has been engaged in and what the principal interests are. Explain why he or she would be able to perform a good job, e.g. are there any examples that show that the individual will be able to take on responsibility, that he or she is able to work with others or that he or she has a well developed service attitude? It is necessary to highlight what might arouse the interest of the employer, it does not have to be experience from business and industry.
  • Everything that is recorded in the CV must be done honestly and the applicant needs to be prepared to explain in an interview everything that is stated there. If the applicant has been without work he needs to be able to account for why there is a gap in his career.
  • It is very important to have someone proofread the CV carefully in order to prevent typos or misspelling.
  • It is a good rule to save the letter with the name of the applicant or with the ID-number, preferably as a pdf document.

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