Guidelines for Creating a Simple, Well-Written CV or Resume
Imagine that you are an employer with 2 open positions to fill. After advertising the position, you receive 200 CVs for the 2 positions, and you have to screen all CVs in order to be fair, and to be able to select applicants to interview. Think of some of the things that will cause you to discard some CVs, or things that will raise your interest in other CVs. Would you like to invest your time in going through 200 typo-filled, colourful, disorganized and grammatically incorrect CVs? Probably not. Read on to find out about the dos and don’ts of CV writing.
Remember that your CV or resume usually gives the first impression of you as a person and as a potential employee, and so it must speak very well of you. See it as your opportunity to market your personal brand and make you an attractive, first choice pick for any job position. Since you are not physically there with potential recruiters to elaborate on anything, your CV must be clear and contain all the necessary information. It must be well-organized, to-the-point, and easy to read, and must be clean and free from any kind of grammatical or typographical errors. The decision to interview you is usually based on the overall first impression given by your CV or Resume. Your CV or Resume is needed to get your foot in the door – it should impress and persuade the reader that you are a potential ‘right-fit’ for the job, and should lead to an interview and ultimately, to a new job and career.
In this document, please take note of the following topics:
The difference between a CV and a Resume
Components of a CV
Visual Layout of a CV
Components of a CV
The Dos of CV writing
The Don’ts of CV Writing
Other Job Search Strategies and Tools
The Difference between a Resume and a CV
The term “resume” comes from the French word for summary – résumé. The resume then, is a brief summary about your [relevant] background – past jobs, educational background and relevant skills etc. that you bring to the job. Resumes/CVs on their own don’t get jobs – they get you interviews, and it’s your performance at interviews that gets you the job! Especially for jobs outside of academia, resumes are preferred, while CVs are more common for academic positions. For non-academic positions, resumes are widely used in the USA, while CVs are more commonly used for both academic and non-academic positions in European and African countries including Ghana. CV styles differ from one country/region to the other, and in academia, it also may differ from one discipline to another. Be sensitive to what is appropriate wherever you find yourself. It is also prudent to have multiple (2 or 3) versions of your CV, each with a particular emphasis – for industry, for academia, for certain types of jobs, etc…
The abbreviation “CV” stands for “Curriculum Vita,” which comes from two Latin words –
currere and vita. Currere means to run – as in, to run a course. Vita means life, and together, “curriculum vita” means the course of life. The CV is typically more comprehensive, and covers your relevant experience over the course of your life. Curriculum Vita or Curriculum Vitae is singular, while Curricula Vitae is plural. The CV [a biographical sketch] is also referred to simply as a Vita.
*** When sending application documents to Axis, CVs are preferred, so long as they are well-written and follow the guidelines below. The lists of Do’s and Don’ts of CV writing provided in this section are by no means exhaustive.
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