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A CV or “curriculum vitae” is a document used for job applicants and is an overview of your accomplishments. It is very similar to a resume, however a person searching for a job in academia or research would use a CV over a resume. A CV also looks very different than that of a resume. If the position requests a CV and you submit a resume, you may just have knocked yourself out of the running. Here are some tips to help you write a great CV.

Tailor your CV – As with a resume, you should tailor your CV to a specific job. Find the list of keywords and make sure to include within the CV. You should never use a generic CV, but instead make it custom to each role.

Format of your CV

Presentation – Presentation is very important on your CV. What do I mean by presentation? A CV is not the document to use fun fonts and get creative with your design. A CV is rather a clean well-structured document and must be presented that way.

Length – Typically a CV is longer than a resume. A resume is generally 1-2 pages and a CV can be 2-10 pages. I don’t recommend having a 10 page CV, instead try and keep your information accurate and concise and to the point and keep the pages to a minimum.

Include – Your CV should include your personal, contact information, work history, education and qualifications, achievements or hobbies, interests, skills that are relevant to the position and references. You will also want to include any publications or research projects as well.

Format – There isn’t a specific format that one should use. The key is to focus the CV on the main points within your discipline and conform to the standards of your discipline. You may want to take a look at other examples of CVs of people within your discipline or area of study to understand what your main points should be focused on.

References – Provide references – particularly use someone who knows your work experience. A great resource is typically a teacher or tutor. Two is usually a safe number, however do remember to read carefully through the requirements.

Keep it updated – Make sure to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experiences. If you notice it’s been awhile since you’ve taken on a new skill or experience, it might be time to volunteer and get some great exposure, as it’s a great way to impress!

A CV should be in chronological order and really be a complete record of your work history, where as your resume is a short targeted list of your skills and experiences. You can always turn to the help of a professional resume/cv writer to help craft your document.