Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) can be a difficult task for some people seeking for a job, especially when they don’t know the format for writing a good CV, and the difference between a CV and resumé. This is probably the reason some people write CVs that contain a lot of irrelevant information. In this article, I’ll show you how to write a CV and samples of good written CVs, and also the difference between CV and résumé
Note: Curriculum Vitae (CV) is different from Résumé.
What is the difference between a CV and Résumé?
A CV is, actually, a complete record of your educational, professional, skills, career and more; basically it contains everything you think your employer should know about you. It can take up to 2 to 3 pages, while a résumé is a basic listing of your skills pointing to the job position you are applying for. It takes at most, one page.
Types of CVs
There are two types of CVs;
1. The educational CV: This is about your educational or professional qualifications. It is usually for job applicants who have no work experience.
2. The experience CV: This focuses on professional experience, achievement and skills.
POINT TO NOTE: If a company ask for your CV, try to be as detailed as possible.
In a country like Nigerian, when employers ask for CVs, they’re really asking for résumé. So, send them your Résumé because some of them usually mistake the two. If you send your CV to them, they might not have time to go through it. But if you are applying for a job in a foreign country, you should send the actual CV to them unless it is stated otherwise.
Format For Writing A CV
1. Personal details: This section consists of your name, age, address, phone number and email address.
- Your personal details should be in a visible font.
- Your age is optional
- Don’t include your state of origin
- Don’t include your religion
- Don’t use unprofessional email address eg, [email protected], [email protected]
2. Work experience: When writing about your work experience, start from the most recent job, and state your achievements
- Nigerian Breweries plc 2020 – (present)
- Job Title: Production Supervisor
- Achievement: Through my effective supervision, the production capacity was increased from 40 pallets per day to 50 pallets. Won the best supervisor of the year, 2020.
Tips: ensure that your work experience is tweaked to match with what you are applying for.
3. Education Qualification: Start with your most recent academic qualifications. At this section, you can also add professional certifications that is relevant to what you are applying for.
- University of Nigeria Nsuka – 2015
- Qualification: B.SC Mathematics
Tips: Don’t include your primary school first school leaving certificate unless you are a fresh graduate without job experience.
4. Interest and abilities: In this section, write about your interest and abilities. Try to keep it as short as possible, also endeavour to add interests that are in line with employer’s social responsibilities.
5. Reference: Add three unless otherwise stated. Don’t use referees without properly informing them that you’ll be using them as your referees.
- A good CV should be between two and three pages. No, employer would like to read CVs that look like a textbook. There let your CV be concise and direct to the points, so that it won’t exceed 3 pages. Avoid grammatical errors in your CV.
- Avoid using generic phrases such as ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’ etc instead provide your unique real life examples to demonstrate all your abilities.
- Your CV should target job role advertised by your prospective employers.
- Don’t use the term “Curriculum Vitae at the top of your CV
- Do not include your passport photographs unless stated otherwise.
- Do not lie nor exaggerate on your CV. For example using 2:1 instead of your 2:2 is being classified as degree fraud.
- Do not include your home adress if you are posting your CV online to avoid being targeted by fraudsters.
Below is how employers look at your CV by Eric Hilden
- 45% Work experience
- 35% Qualifications & skills
- 25% Easy to read
- 16% Accomplishments
- 14% Spelling and grammar
- 9% Education
- 9% Intangibles
- 3% Clear objective
- 2% keywords
- 1% contact information
- 1% Personal experience
- 1% Computer skills
Your Cv should include the following:
- Personal details: Name, age (optional), address, phone, e-mail. They must be noticeable at first sight.
- Work experience: Start from the most recent work.
- Education and qualifications: Start from the most recent or highest.
- Interest and Abilities: Make this as short as possible.
- References: Add 3 referees unless the number is stated.
Tip: When writing a CV, don’t think about it as a way to get a job. A good CV is a way to get you to the interview.
Sample of a CV for a fresh graduate
Check this sample of a CV for a fresh graduate.
Below is the type of CV that Nigerian employers expected from job applicants;
(The person is applying for a position of a developer)
- Steve Johnson
- Phone: 08109054xxx
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Address: 80 New Market Road, Enugu, Nigeria
Education and Qualifications:
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Information and Communication Engineering (2011 to 2015), University of Nigeria Nsuka.
- SSCE (2001 to 2007), Comprehensive Secondary School, Ngwo.
- First School Leaving Certificate (2004 to 2010), Community Primary School, Ngwo.
- Programming (Java, Visual Basic, C++)
- Hardware troubleshooting
- Microsoft Office (Excel, Powerpoint, Internet, etc.)
- Network troubleshooting
- Layout Artist, The Guardian Students Magazine (2014-2016)
- Will be provided upon a request
Now, let me show you standard written CV that you should use when applying for jobs in a foreign company or in a very big organization in Nigeria like oil companies.
Check out the picture below:
If you have questions, please go to the comment section below.
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