I have helped many of my students write a CV and find a job and I have had many jobs in my life, so I definitely know how to write a CV! 📝
SO….. I thought I would share my incredible knowledge with you.
In this article, I will give you a STEP-BY-STEP guide for how to write a CV in English and at the bottom of the page there is a FREE TEMPLATE that you can download and some SECRET tips.
Before we get started, let me ask you a question:
WHY did you spend 20 (maybe more) years in the education system?
It’s a simple answer: to GET A GOOD JOB and make a good life for yourself.
The thing I find very strange is that people spend 20 years preparing to find a job, then 10 MINUTES writing their CV which is the key to finding a job!
Without the 20 years in the education system you won’t be able to DO the job. However, without a good CV, you won’t GET the job!
So a good CV is very important!
Remember this: the person with the best experience doesn’t always get the job. The person with their experience presented in the best way does!
Ok, so let’s start….
The very first thing to say is…. DON’T USE THE EUROPASS FORMAT.
If you want to find a job in Germany, France, Holland, or any other country in the EU (I still can’t believe that we’ve left the EU 🙁 ) then the Europass format should be fine.
If you want a job in an Anglo-Saxon country, then the Europass format WILL NOT WORK.
Let’s look at some general rules for writing a CV in English before we move to the step by step process:
An English CV can be broken down into sections, now let’s take a look at each one:
This part SEEMS easy, but many people MAKE MISTAKES – so read the points below CAREFULLY!
Most importantly, DO NOT PUT A PHOTO. This again creates problems for the employer, as people can accuse them of only choosing the beautiful people.
Keep this section as short as possible, as you want to leave space for the other (more important) parts.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the CV. Here you must give a short description of who you are and your experience, but remember to CAPTURE ALL OF YOUR IMPORTANT SUCCESSES.
Let’s have a look at an example. You are an employer, you are looking for someone to work as a junior chemist in your company, you have received 100 CVs, so you don’t have time to read all of them. What can you do to save time?
The normal thing to do to solve this problem is to read the first part (the Personal Profile) of the CV, if it’s interesting, you continue, if it’s not, you throw it in the bin. Simple.
SO…. here is the profile of one CV:
Hard working individual who is comfortable working in a team and alone. Good communication skills who always gets good results in everything.
What REAL or SPECIFIC information does this give you? Think about it for a second, then read this one:
Qualified Italian Pharmacist with more than 3 years’ professional lab experience and co-author of a published paper Characterisation of Diarylheptanoid. Experience in extraction, data analysis as well as manufacturing new and innovative cosmetic products – vast experience in working in an international environment and using foreign languages to communicate.
After reading both of them, which one would you choose?
I hope you said the second one!
To write an effective profile you must explain the following:
For some more examples of profiles, click HERE.
First of all write down each job that you had and the dates that you worked there. Also write a small 1-2 line description of your role you did.
After this, make sure you do the following:
This should always go under experience. If you are a student that has just graduated, try to find some work experience to put before. Remember:
If you have very little work experience, go into more detail in this section.
This is your chance to SHOW that you are SPECIAL. Put in any relevant qualifications that you have – this is a great place to say whether you have any English certificates or any knowledge of special software.
Be INVENTIVE, for example, if you don’t have any English certificate you can write: Constant self-study of English – following online lessons and practising with mother-tongue friends.
Avoid things like “good knowledge of using e-mail and Microsoft Office” – we are in 2017, so if you don’t know how to use e-mail or Word, there is a big problem! Any specific program knowledge should be included in your work experience points, as this shows that you have experience using them.
Only write something here if you have space, or if you are extremely passionate about something.
DO NOT write things like “reading, socialising with friends”, it would be the same as writing “eating, sleeping, breathing” – these are things that EVERYONE does!
If you have a hobby that is quite particular, this can be a good thing to write as it can be an interesting thing to talk about at the end of the interview. For example, something like karate, horse riding, musical instruments or something similar would be good.
These job sites use key words, so you can hide them in your CV. Do the research on the job you are looking for and the keywords in the job advertisements which might be “experience in banking” “economics degree” – these should be included in your CV anyway, but you can also write them in white text in the footer, so the words are invisible but the search engines still picks it up.
If you send your CV directly to someone, find out their name and send the CV in PDF, as it looks more professional.
Last but not least, click HERE to download the free template – you’re welcome 😉
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my FREE podcast, there is a new episode every Monday and Thursday… ROCK ON! 🤘