A well-written CV will help you stand out from the crowd. Go through our simple tips on how to level up your curriculum vitae.
What is a CV or curriculum vitae?
A CV or curriculum vitae is different from a resume. It is more likely to be used in academic or scientific fields. “Curriculum vitae” means “course of life” in Latin. It is geared towards understanding the details of your scholarly career. If you are someone who has spent a lot of years in the academe, writing a curriculum vitae makes more sense than writing a resume, which is job and work experience focused. CV’s, because of the greater detail, tend to be longer than resumes.
You use a CV to apply for employment in certain fields. You are usually asked for a CV rather than a resume if you are in the medical field or a similar career path that involves detailed scholarly credentials. This is the traditional understanding of a CV.
A CV is usually requested by an institution that needs to have a grasp of your credentials, as opposed to your identified skills. They want information regarding formal training. A standard resume will focus on job competency, which is not the same thing.
There are other countries and companies, however, that no longer distinguish between a CV and a resume. In the United States, a CV can mean the details of your scholarly experience. However, in the UK, they might call a resume a CV.
This can get a bit confusing. Just remember that there is a formal understanding of the term CV and there is a practical understanding of what it means. It all depends on where in the world you are at the moment, and to what institution you’re applying.
Europeans prefer to call it a CV. Americans prefer to call it a resume. Do not confuse either with your cover letter, which is an introduction attached to your CV or resume as a formal address to your prospective employer. A cover letter is a marketing instrument to sell the items listed in your CV.
How to Write a Curriculum Vitae
You need to know when a curriculum vitae is appropriate as opposed to a standard resume.
First of all, remember who you are sending it to. If you are sending it to a research, education, medical or scientific body, then you are most likely to need a CV. When you are applying for a grant or fellowship, a CV is the more appropriate document.
Get noticed by international employers.
Second, consider the place. Asia, the Middle East, the EU or Africa have different hiring cultures and you might be asked to send your CV instead of a standard resume. Companies or institutions in such countries might demand more detailed personal information than what is found in resumes in the US. The US requires you to divulge less personal information; but this rule doesn’t apply internationally.
Early into your CV-writing task, it is recommended that you look up CV examples or search “curriculum vitae template” to have a broad idea of formats and applications.
Information written in a CV
What information should you include in a CV? You expect this document to be longer and to be disclosing much more information than you would in a regular resume.
Basic information in a CV:
- Contact details
- Level of Education
- Education history
- Work experience
Additional information that is likely to be required:
- Marital status
- Number of children
A CV also includes professional information such as publications where your work was printed, details on your research work, your teaching experience, details on any presentations you made to the academe, and accomplishments including the completion of fellowships or grants. You should also include any awards received and membership in any relevant organizations.
Make sure that you make a draft of all this information, and then organize it chronologically or into relevant categories.
Should you use a CV maker or a CV resume template?
If creating a CV intimidates you, you should definitely look for a guide on how to write a CV that makes the task easier. A CV resume maker will give you a basic CV example that can serve as your starting point or format guide.
No matter how advanced you are in your career, you should never be ashamed to get a little help from a search or a CV maker website. Sites like Strikingly offer great options for professional sites to market your credentials and get you noticed.
Once you have a rough outline of the items you want to add to your CV, you need to decide on the best details that highlight your relevant experience. It might help to create different versions of your CV for different jobs.
A CV maker will help run you through the process of going through the different sections of your curriculum vitae.
The process of customization will help you stand out from other applicants. Ideally, you should begin with a summary or professional profile. Under this “Summary”, you create a brief highlighted spiel on your best attributes as a candidate.
- You can create bullet-point lists of your accomplishments. It helps to write in an active voice and make a note of the results that you achieved when you held the role.
- Be selective of the skills and knowledge items presented on your CV. Take care to list the most relevant ones and leave out the ones that have no significance to the job.
- Know your employer. Understand what appeals to that particular institution or company. Your CV, however formal-sounding, is still a marketing tool. So choose the credentials that attract your target company or employer best.
Create a CV Website
Put your best foot forward with a customized CV website.
To make your job search more convenient, you might want to set up a CV resume website that lists all of your credentials in the desired format and even showcases your academic talks, speaking engagements or fellowships.
A CV website is a next level tool to get you noticed in the academic, scientific or medical field without having to upload or send a ton of documents every time.
A CV website also gets you to stand out with a personal touch, considering there are many CV builders out there that offer free design templates that bring out your strengths and uniqueness as a job candidate. You can create a personal portfolio to have your audience view your career accomplishments.
Apart from the information that you’re putting up on your site, don’t forget the power of great photography and good design. Search for inspiration on how you want your website to look.
It can be as simple as:
- Creating a free account
- Choosing a template that best reflects your personality
- Adding the content you have pre-written and reviewed
- Adding more files to your site, such as photos and multimedia
- Hitting “publish”
All of these steps can be accomplished through a free website builder like Strikingly. Strikingly takes you through these steps and switches you from “basic” to a multimedia approach to CVs.
Strikingly allows you to select various elements, color palettes, and functionalities to make your site more interesting. Its free website design templates look professional and clean. Strikingly allows you to explore your design preferences, even with a free account.
One helpful strategy when building a CV website is to segregate sections of your CV into pages. Consider your home page as your “Summary”. This is where you post a general view of yourself--your current involvements, as well as the kind of opportunities you are seeking.
You can design the navigation this way, so that it is properly segmented and easy to read. The next page you should make is the “Background” or “Experience” page where the list of your entire academic or job experience goes. Since you are creating a CV, make this more detailed than when you are writing a regular resume.
There are optional details that you can add to this, like comments on your personality, taste, and hobbies.
As you move the details from your original CV draft, be mindful of design and proper spacing. Don’t crowd your text. For added reference, you can even link back to the companies you used to work for. The idea is to create more dynamism than a regular paper CV.
Always select images that convey professionalism in your particular field. A beautiful image could capture the eye of your audience and lead them to read your information. These days, it is customary to add links to your social media accounts as well. If you think this will help, then add your Linkedin and other accounts for a better overview of your expertise.
Get Started Now
The road to your CV website need not be complicated at all. You can get creative even with little or no web design experience. Just keep in mind that apart from a seamless interface, it is content that makes your site a standout.
Armed with your new curriculum vitae and a CV website, you can easily send links to your target employers. You can also update your information as needed. No more clunky uploads. No more heavy files. Adopt the one-stop approach to professionally marketing yourself.
This is an all-new and exciting way to go about your job applications.