The content of your CV: what to include?

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The first thing you need to ask yourself when writing your CV is what you are going to include. Both hiring managers and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) have certain expectations around CV content. So which sections do you need in your CV and what content do you need to include in each section?

1. Contact information
Include your first and last name, a phone number and a professional email address. Add links to your LinkedIn profile and any other social media profiles that are beneficial to your job application: it shows that you’re comfortable using technology and understand the importance of personal branding.

Only include your address if you don’t live too far from the job you’re applying to and leave out personal details like your date of birth, proof of ID references or marital status as you may be opening yourself up to discrimination or identity theft.

2. Education
Your education, particularly your most recent educational achievement, gives hiring managers a sense of what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve acquired that could be useful when you start working for them.

Include the name of the institution, level, course name and a summary of your grades for all your qualifications but add more detail for the most recent ones. For example, you can mention relevant skills you’ve picked up in specific modules or projects you’ve worked on. Add dates and list your education in reverse chronological order.

3. Work experience
This crucial section highlights your relevant experience and skills to the hiring manager. List your experience in reverse chronological order and mention the company, job title and start and end date for every role. Don’t limit yourself to full-time roles: relevant part-time jobs and volunteering experience can be just as valuable.
To provide evidence of your abilities, your achievements in this section should include any actions you took (using essential employability or required technical skills) that produced measurable results.

4. Personal profile
A personal profile is a short paragraph at the top of your CV that summarises who you are and what you have to offer. It’s not compulsory but can help grab the hiring manager’s attention and entice them to read on. Keep it between six and eight lines and add a header to ensure the section is found by the ATS.

5. Hobbies & Interests
This section isn’t compulsory, but it can give the hiring manager a glimpse into your personality – which is just as important to them as your skills and experience. It can also be a useful icebreaker at the interview.

6. References
You can choose to leave references out of your CV in which case the employer will assume you’ll make them available when they request them. If you do want to include the names, roles and contact details of references make sure they agree to this first. Writing ‘References available on request’ is okay but can be considered a waste of valuable CV space.

When it comes to writing your CV, make sure the basics are covered. That means including your contact details, education and work experience. Once that’s done you are encouraged to write a personal profile to take your CV to the next level and you might consider adding in your hobbies and interests and any valuable references.

Source: HN Global