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When you write a CV, you’re making it easier for hiring managers to know about your work experience, your qualifications and your skills. However, to make it even simpler for a hiring manager to go through your CV, you will organise it into multiple sections. These sections have different formats and intentions, and they all go into building a professional CV.
To get your important information across, you’ll typically have at least five sections in a CV, with the option of creating some extra sections.
First is the CV header. This is technically not a section but it is still important. It goes at the very top of the CV and introduces you. It includes your full name, phone number and email address. This information helps a recruiter see who you are and who the job application belongs to at a glance.
Next is your professional summary, which goes at the top of your CV. This CV introduction is a few sentences long and highlights the most important elements in your work history. It may include details on your years of experience, your key skills and your top strengths. It’s the part of your CV that encourages a hiring manager to keep reading and potentially reach out to you for a job interview.
Next is your work experience section. This is where you lay out your employment history and other professional experience, typically including a short job description for each. You may also include internships, volunteer work and even summer jobs. The experience section will typically be the longest section on a chronological CV.
Regardless of your CV format, you’ll list your work history in reverse chronological order, with more recent experience first.
Your skills are typically up next. You need to list both hard skills and soft skills, including technical skills, although the specific ratio will typically depend on your job search. Your skills section will almost always be in bullet points and you’ll typically have 8-10 bullet points.
The next section is your education section. This is where you might put a college diploma or any certification programmes you’ve taken. Include your school name, and the actual degree or certificate you earned. You might also want to include relevant coursework, especially if you don’t have much work experience. Only include your high school experience if you have no college experience and include graduating honours.
The last section is any additional information you’re interested in including. These sections may include awards, publications, certifications and anything else that you want to include in your CV, but don’t fit in any other sections.
Every CV and cover letter you submit should be personalised. If you submit a CV that’s exactly the same as every other one you’ve submitted for every job, a hiring manager can often tell and that might hurt your chances of getting the job.
These are the baseline components for any CV, even if you’re working on an entry-level CV. Even if you don’t have “work experience,” you can still include volunteer experience and internships as long as they feature skills that apply to the job.
This depends on the CV format and the CV template that you use. Generally, the format listed on this page will be the right option for you. However, you may run into CV templates that change the order or even two-column CV formats that put multiple sections on the same level. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can look through the CV examples at CVHelp to see how people structure their CVs.
This also depends. Your skill list may list as few as five or as many as around 12 skills, and depending on the amount of experience you have, you may have more or less work experience listed. It is important to remember that you typically want your CV to fit on one page. While a two-page CV is an option, it’s typically reserved for people with a monumental amount of work experience or achievements.
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