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How to Write a Cv

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How to write a CV?

A curriculum vitae (U.K.) or a résumé (U.S.) is a formal and professional document.
It should therefore have a professional appearance. And above all, it must be free of errors.

• no misspelled words • no grammatical errors • no incorrect references to names, dates, and places

In order to get hired, you have to get an interview. In order to get an interview, your cv has to be read. The chances of your cv being read in its entirety diminish drastically if your cv has errors.

Spell Check

A spell check will not find all your mistakes and the grammar check is not totally reliable because a CV has no conventional sentence-paragraph structure. You need to proof read, again and again.

Formats

There is not one format or layout for résumés. You may choose a style that you like.

Order

Since CVs are now sent via email, remember important information should appear in the first half pageAlways list both your education and work experience in REVERSE chronological order, within categories.And within each item and in each section, always present information in the same order in the same format.

Seek elegance through simplicity. Placement is a matter of choice.

|Traditional left-justified placement. |Right-justified. |
| |Adam Smith |
|Adam Smith |Westminster House |
|Westminster House |625 Easton Street |
|625 Easton Street |London WC1 5RW |
|London WC1 5RW |Tel: 020 6538 7295 |
|020 6538 7295 |GSM: 020 9465 3227 |
|adam.smith@gmail.com |adam.smith@gmail.com |

|If the personal information* occupies too much |vertical space, split it in two, justifying each side.** |
| | |
|Adam Smith |E-mail: adam.smith@gmail.com |
|Westminster House |Birthdate: 12 May 1987 |
|625 Easton Street |Nationality: French |
|London WC1 5RW |Marital Status: Single |
|Tel: 020 6538 7295 |Full clean driving licence |

* For the U.S., do not include age or birth date, marital status, race, or sex.
** Justifying text is a style choice.

Photos

Unless requested, a photo on your cv is optional and therefore a personal choice. Some job advertisements specify a photo requirement. Should you decide to or have to include one, be careful to select an appropriate photo (one in which you appear to have a healthy hygiene, are well coiffed, clean-shaven and properly dressed.) Important: Do not include a photo with your cv if you are applying to a company in the U.S. unless otherwise specified. Companies risk legal action if they require a photo.

Job Title statements and Personal Profile statements

These are not the same. They are treated here together because each appears on a cv in the same location.

A job title statement is just that: a phrase that clearly and succinctly describes what type of position you are looking for or what your short-term professional goals are. Also, be sure to change the language you find in a job ad, never repeat it word for word.

A personal profile statement says more about your qualities but may also evoke your goals.

| | |
|Job Title |An entry-level position in software development and operating system implementation |
| | |
|Job Title |Seeking an entry-level position to coordinate and manage client-based IT projects |
| | |
|Professional Objective |A position in business operations involving IT networks and customer service. Emphasis in management |
| |information systems and financial services. |
| | |
|Personal Profile |Hardworking and highly motivated computer engineering student with technical team project experience |
| |seeks opportunity to use initiative and leadership skills in a sales or customer service position. |
| | |
|Profile |Detail-minded individual combining strong interpersonal and communication skills with experience in |
| |customer service, training, and sales. |

The key to good job title and personal profile statements is clarity and conciseness. To that end, finding and using accurate and advanced vocabulary is essential. Poorly worded statements can do more harm than good.

Always remember that any particular statement is rarely appropriate for numerous positions. In other words, if you include job title or personal profile statements, carefully re-read the statement each time you wish to apply for a position to verify that it corresponds. You may only need to change a few words.

Education
Key points to remember:

1. Always list in reverse chronological order
2. It is imperative to maintain a consistent format throughout each section*, meaning for each item:

a. The first line indicates the name of the educational establishment and the dates, whereas the second line lists the degree obtained and the discipline (major) or a selection of the courses taken. b. The first line indicates the degree obtained, the discipline (major) and the date(s) whereas the second line specifies the name of the educational establishment

3. Always give the full name of the school. If you use the acronym, give the full name as well. And do not translate or anglicize the name. Give the school’s official name in English if it has one and if you are sending your résumé abroad where there is a strong chance they have little knowledge of French schools.
4. When you cite your French degrees use: equivalent to... You have never earned a high school diploma nor done "A-levels". You have a baccalauréat or in English "baccalaureate" degree.

Education

|Master of Commerce |Ecole Supérieure de Commerce Extérieur |France |
|(Expected Oct 2009) |Degree option selected: Business Administration | |
|Bachelor of Commerce |Ecole Supérieure de Commerce Extérieur |France |
|(Expected July 2007) |Selected courses in 2006-07: Introduction to Business Accounting , European Law, Ethics,| |
| |Logistics | |
|Baccalaureate |Lycée Douanier Rousseau |Laval, |
|with honours (2002) |Equivalent to 3 A-levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry |France |

The example above intentionally mixes text formatting for illustration purposes only. It is an example of a typical MISTAKE. If you use bold type or italics for the name of one school or one degree, then do the same for the others. Consistency is essential. Regardless, use bold type, italics and underlining sparingly (judicieusement.) And unless you are creating a web résumé, avoid using colours. Be consistent in formatting.

Compare the following two presentations of the same educational background.

EDUCATION

2009 Ecole Supérieure de Commerce Master of Science in Logistics Coursework: European law, Ethics, Logistics, data structures, computer architecture, probability &statistics

2006 INFOSUP Paris BTS (2 year post A-level diploma) in computer science, option applications developer Coursework: (insert selected and relevant courses here)

2004 Lycée Jules Ferry, Paris Baccalauréat S (hons) (equivalent to A-Levels in Mathematics, Physics & Chemistry)

Professional Experience

Here are some suggested headings for this section: • Professional Experience • Employment History • Work Experience • Employment Experience

This section is by far the most difficult section to write well and the one that most often fails to sell the candidate. As you write, consider the following:

• What do I want them to know about me ? • What have I DONE? (Not just what your job title was, but what you actually did.) • How can I best describe what I have done in order to reveal my skills? • How can I get my résumé noticed?

Just like the job title statement, your work experience needs to be described clearly and succinctly.
Try to “sell” yourself without exaggerating your real experience.

Rules

• Be consistent with format and style • Use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want • Use action verbs and keywords • Avoid using "I" in your résumé • Be concise and communicate RELEVANT INFORMATION

However, do not err on the side of extreme conciseness. The goal is to communicate your experience and separate yourself from the competition.

Regardless of your actual job and project experience, you have done things that can be described in a manner that at least makes them appear to be substantial.

Internships, job trainings and project work

Contrary to many students in higher education in other countries, students of French grandes écoles have significant work experience in the form of internships/job trainings. By the time you enter the final year of study at ESCE, not one of you will be able to say “I don’t have real work experience.” You do and you will have more and more of it. You just need to present it well and sell yourself. And do not hesitate to present your technical project experience as well to demonstrate to the employer that you have some of the skills that they are looking for.

IMPORTANT!

With work and project experience, always try not to just “say” you are this or that you can do that.
Always try to DEMONSTRATE how you developed skills by accurately describing what you actually did that required you to use or learn those skills and in a manner that illustrates you needed them.

Skills
Consider categorizing your skills according to level of mastery. In other words, if you are merely familiar with or just have basic knowledge of certain software or technologies, separate them according to your skill level. This can be useful because: 1. Not all jobs will require as many skills as you may have and therefore providing such an extensive list as above may not be useful to your candidature and even distract the employer. Worse, the employer may miss the fact that you have a skill that the position specifically requires. 2. A list as extensive as the above may be misleading because it is unlikely that such a candidate has solid knowledge of everything listed. This can lead the employer to wonder how many and which ones you actually know and can work with.

Example:

Languages/Databases SAP, SQL, Oracle, Sybase, AS400

Language Skills

This is not to be neglected as the more multi-lingual you are, the better your chances of landing a highly desired position. However, be careful of how you describe your level of skill in each language because if you exagerate your ability, it may be problematic for you in the event you are called in for an interview. There is always a possibility that during some part of the interview process someone will start speaking in one of the languages you claim to be fluent in or have a working knowledge of just to test you.

But even if you have to struggle to carry on a conversation in a foreign language, do not hesitate to claim you have a level slightly higher than you may actually have. If you are prepared well enough for an interview (i.e. you have researched the company) then you can always brush up on your linguisitc skills before an interview.

Here are some suggestions for describing your language abilities:

LANGUAGES

• French native speaker / mother tongue / native • English fluent / proficient / working knowledge • Spanish conversational / some spoken / basic knowledge / intermediate

Please note that these are options provided, each one separated by a /. Use only one.

Interests

Other common headings for these are Hobbies and Activities. We do not recommend Hobbies because it sounds too amateurish. The heading you choose here will depend on: • The types of activities you engage in off campus or in addition to your academic coursework. • The level of engagement and commitment you accord to those activities.

This section is often the one that job candidates fail to exploit or make interesting. A common mistake is to simply list a number of sports and leisure activities without providing additional information such as the context in which an activity is practiced or a specific aspect of the activity about which the candidate is particularly knowledgeable.

The key is to include all activities: • that demonstrate a real commitment of time and effort for the benefit of others more than for one’s personal benefit. This includes volunteer community service. • practiced at a competitive or high level. • involving any level of managerial or leadership responsibilities in education, community service or non-profit organizations.

Examples:

INTERESTS • Tennis –regional club team player; advanced to national amateur championships in 2004; currently ranked 26th • Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans frontiers) - African mission assistant to special envoy (Cameroon 2004, Burkina Faso 2005, Nigeria 2006) and part-time administrative volunteer • MPRPG (created virtual vocational training center in SecondLife and manage two avatars) • Contemporary U.K. and U.S. fiction (Cormac McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje, Martina Cole) • Independent film makers - (e.g. Gus Van Sant, Hal Hartley, Jim Jarmusch)

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES • Engineers for a Sustainable World – Vice-president of local chapter committee • PEPS – Volunteer mathematics tutor for disadvantaged secondary school students in Villejuif • Volleyball coach for local high school team

Generally speaking, ask yourself if you can lead an interesting conversation about the interest or activity. If you can only offer meaningless generalities about it, then omit it.

AVOID:

INTERESTS
Basket, Movie, Computer, Video games, Music, Reading

Imagine what an employer might think when they read the list above. Employer’s thoughts are in italics.

Why is an employer not interested? The interests are too general, and totally uninteresting. It says nothing about a candidate other than he/she lacks imagination, has difficulty with English and/or possibly avoids responsibility.

This example may seem ridiculous, but rest assured similar entries have appeared on résumés at ESCE before. If you want to be excluded from consideration for a job, just include something as banal as the above.

References
General practice today is to state that references are available upon request.

• Referees available upon request (Only for the Ireland and the U.K.) • References available upon request (International)

For references, try to find people who can attest to you as: • a good student (even several years after you had that teacher) • a reliable, conscientious and industrious worker (a former employer) • a trustworthy, reliable person (someone who has known you a long time such as a friend of the family)

It is a very good idea to contact your references before you apply for jobs. Regardless, always be prepared to furnish references if and when they are requested.It is increasingly common to exclude any mention of references. The thinking is that if employers want references, they will ask for them.

-----------------------
Basket ???? That’s different.

Movie Which one? And just one?
Computer That’s fortunate considering he is a computer engineering student.
Video games Great. Another adolescent with too much time on his hands.
Music All music? Can you be more general?
Reading Wonderful. We need people who can read.

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...CV Template: non-graduate first job CV YOUR NAME CORE SKILLS & EXPERIENCE This is your chance to write about you as a person. Why do you want this job and why would you be good at it? Don’t just talk about your good points – show them off with examples. If you’re a punctual person talk about how good your punctuality record was at school. If you work well in a team then write about a time when you worked well with others to achieve a good result… Use the job advert to pick out what skills the job needs and then use examples to show how you are the perfect person for the job. You can either write this as a short paragraph or as bullet points. PERSONAL DETAILS ADDRESS Current address EMAIL Best email to reach you on TELEPHONE Mobile and/or home phone NOTE: You do not need to include information on your gender or date of birth but you may want to state your nationality in this section if you are British or your right to work in the UK if not. EDUCATION College/Sixth Form dates (if you went to college): COLLEGE NAME QUALIFICATIONS: List qualifications gained. School dates: SCHOOL NAME QUALIFICATIONS: List qualifications gained. (NOTE: if you have no qualifications, include details of your school attended but leave out the qualifications section. If asked in interview it’s easier to explain then if they ask) EMPLOYMENT Although this is your first job, if you’ve had any experience, whether it’s babysitting, work experience or......

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