What is CV? Meaning & Definition

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What is a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?  


CV is abbreviation of “Curriculum Vitae”. It is a document that gives a detailed description of a person’s education, work experience, skills, achievements and qualifications. In the academic world, research, and professional fields such as law, medicine, and finance, a CV is often the best document to use if one wants to present an exhaustive overview of his or her background and expertise. Overall, the main function of a CV is to be a synopsis of the entire professional background and achievements of an individual. 


Creating a CV is a several-step process to make sure it will function as a tool that presents your skills and professional experience in a proper way.  

How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae)?


1. Contact Information : 

At the beginning of the cover letter, list your name, phone number, email address, and optionally, the address. 


2. Personal Statement or Objective:

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Write, in a few sentences only, what are your goals in your career, the skills which you think you have, and the contribution which you know you will be making. 


3. Education:

State your educational background in summarized order, from recent degree or qualification to the oldest. Include the name of the university/school and degree obtained or still pursuing, followed by the date of graduation (or expected graduation date). 


4. Work Experience:

Write down where you are working, making sure to list the most recent place. Bring up your work experiences from your latest job up to the oldest one. Indicate the job title with the name of the company or organization, dates of employment, and a brief description of your functions and accomplishments in each role. 


5. Skills:

Emphasize the technical skills or languages you possess and complementary soft skills like communication and teamwork. 


6. Achievements and Awards:

Get involved in sharing your recognized awards, accolades, and professional certifications that relate to the post you’re applying for. 


7. Extracurricular Activities: 

Talk about the extracurricular activities, volunteering and other leadership roles you hold that greatly influence the type of person you are. 


8. References:

For my reference, some will be either included or indicated that the references are available upon request. 


Tips for Writing a CV: 


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  •  The size of your CV does not matter as much as what best suits the position sought. 
  •  Stick to the form of conciseness and clarity to ensure that it won’t be longer than two pages. 
  •  Make votes clear with the point to make reading and scanning your CV easier. 
  •  Maintain integrity and truthfulness by presenting your skills and experience objectively. 
  •  Read the CV carefully and ensure it is free of spelling mistakes while keeping right up with the language. 
  •  Select a font and format, impact implications, (for example, Arial or Times New Roman) and remain in a standard font size (e.g., 10-12 points). 
  •  Get a copy of your resume reviewed by friends, a mentor or even a career advisor for any suggested improvements. 
  •  Make sure that you keep updating your resume to highlight anything new that you might have gained either by experience or skills. 

Thus, by applying these steps and suggestions, you will be sure to produce a CV that focuses on your skills and helps place you as a more competitive candidate for the openings. 


How to Format Your CV (Curriculum Vitae)? 


Organizing your CV requires arranging the information logically and attractively. Here’s a simple guide: 


  1. Choose a clean layout:  Consider using a simple and professional text font, making sure the text is easy to read. Abstain from using fanciful fonts and colours which might lead to losing the focus of your content. 
  2. Include your contact information:  To start with your CV, put your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if you have it) on top of it. It has become extremely convenient for employers to get in touch with you. 
  3. Write a strong summary or objective:  Write a short summary of the whole CV in the beginning and present your skills, experience and goals. This way employees can get an idea of what you can provide by this. 
  4. List your work experience: Begin with the last job you held and give your previous jobs in reverse order of the chronology. List down all the jobs you have held in the past with the job title, company name, location, and periods of employment. Additionally, present your job description, and a list of your accomplishments. 
  5. Highlight your skills: Kick off with your skills chapter that includes mentioning related technical proficiency, language fluency, and transmittable skills such as communication and teamwork.
  6. Include your education: Hence, the first item has to be about the highest level of education you have attained, and it should be followed by the name of the university, the degree and the graduation schedule.
  7. Add any relevant certifications or training:  You will be advised to let potential employers understand the certifications and training you underwent that are relevant by sharing a separate section while the resume is clear and simple.
  8. Use bullet points: Make a bullet list of the responsibilities you held in each job and separately put the achievements in order of their importance. It reduces the overall length of the application process by the employers so that they can look at all the applications more carefully.
  9. Keep it concise: To avoid ambiguousness, your CV should be limited to one or two pages, excluding superfluous information. Attempt to present it in the form of a readily understandable and plain speech, keeping away from any scientific terms or details that distract from the main gist.
  10. Proofread carefully: Before casting the CV on the desk of the potential employer, make sure there will be no space for spelling and grammar errors by reviewing it carefully. Also, one option may be that you have someone else look through it for you since in their case, they may fail to miss the mistakes that you missed.


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While both are used for job applications, a CV provides a more exhaustive overview of one’s professional history, often used in academia and certain professions, whereas a resume is typically more concise and tailored to specific job positions.

Key elements of a CV should include contact information, a personal statement or objective, educational history, work experience, skills, achievements, extracurricular activities, and references.

The personal statement sets the tone for the CV, summarizing your professional goals and highlighting key skills that make you suitable for the desired role.

A strong CV is well-organized, concise, relevant to the position, free from errors, and showcases the candidate’s unique qualifications and achievements.