Preparing Your Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

 

Your Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a structurised listing of vocational facts. Its purpose is to provide convenient and quick reference to information of yourself to a reader of it. It is your mission to make it the best way possible.
 
Make it clear, easy to read, well organized and neatly typed. Do not over-embellish - two fonts are usually optimal - and each one must be used for its purpose. For example, one is used for section titles, and the other for body text. To keep the text readable, avoid using a font size of less than ten points. You may also use indentions, space, alignment, bold and italic text, but remember to be consistent.
 
Though they are similar documents, the résumé and Curriculum Vitae have their differences. Résumés normally present a few essential sections, discussed below: "Personal," "Experience," "Skills" or "Capabilities" (including languages), "Extracurricular Activities" and "References." Whatever combination you choose, it is not to exceed one page in length. Because résumés concentrate on the specific data and accomplishments of past jobs, include the most relevant and substantial for each potential position. The Curriculum Vitae (sometimes called just vita) provides a comprehensive list of information necessary for perfect candidacy by listing your experiences in extensive detail. It is used more often than a résumé for presentation of a biography for academic positions. Vita may be up to four pages in length. However, short versions of CVs are not unheard of.
 
Another difference between a CV and a résumé is format. While CVs adhere to chronological order, résumés present information in several different formats. The key résumé formats are chronological, functional and focused (the latter is less widespread, though there are even less traditional forms of résumé: a letter, article, etc).
 
Chronological order is the most acceptable and widespread résumé presentation. It is characterized by the presentation of sections in connection with studies, jobs, and so on listed in reverse chronological order. It offers the most convenient reference alongside one's fact sheet.
 
Skills or areas of qualification as a stem organize the functional résumé. In the functional résumé one splits his activities and accomplishments into domains of competence in sections titled, for example, "Assets or Capabilities." Professional history then follows, with brief statements of the employment data.
 
Finally, the focused (or targeted, analytical) résumé depicts all that candidate has done and known (skills, accomplishments, etc) in relation to the targeted position by distributing it into sections like "Attainments" and "Accomplishments."
 
There is no strict rule in presenting information; the goal is to do so in the most positive, comprehensive and simultaneously concise way. Do anything that you believe will be appropriate regarding the position for which you are applying.
 
Be specific with your information; it gives reliability to your credentials. Communicate dates, titles of positions and names of institutions. However, omit irrelevant information: for example, your height, weight and health usually bear little relation to your qualifications.
 
Information in résumé or CV is given under sections. Depending on your objectives and the kind of document you're presenting - résumé or CV - you may in any section give the full listing of facts or provide information for a certain period of time (for example, for the last five years, indicating this in the section title), or even selected information.
 
Your résumé or CV will start with the header, which comprises your name, surname, and contact information: address, telephone number and email (your home email address is mandatory; you may also include your work email address if appropriate). Do not forget to provide contact information, or your perspective employer may not be able to reach you.
 
The following are basic suggestions for possible resumé or CV sections:

Objective (optional)

Some people start their résumé or CV with the "Objective" section, but it is not always necessary. It is needed, though, if you know that there are several positions open at the company to which you are applying. It is particularly useful when you do not provide a cover letter. Objective should consist of a short, definite statement (usually merely the title of the position you are applying for).

Personal

This section gives the most basic information: your origin, age, etc. Consider whether it is necessary section in your résumé. State here your date of birth and place (city, country) of birth. If you are applying to an international program or job overseas, it is important to include your citizenship information here. Follow with your marital status and number of children, if any (these are even more optional items).

Education

Along with the "Experience" section (see below), this is a mandatory one. In this section, list all significant certificates received, beginning with your most recent studies. Include school education only if you are an undergraduate applicant. Graduates do not usually mention pre-college education. Entry contents may be represented in two ways, depending on what you want to emphasize. One way is to list the dates of attendance (years and probably months) and name of institution at the beginning, followed by the city of location (and probably country if preparing an international application), then the department, specialty, degree earned and date when earned. Alternatively, list the date the degree was earned first, then the degree (and field of specialization), department and institution. If you are recent graduate, you may also include the title of your thesis and GPA (Grade Point Average) if it is high enough. Here you may also include scholarships and honours you have received, or you may place this information in a separate section (see "Awards," below). If you studied at several schools before you obtained a degree, it is not necessary to list every institution you attended.

Along with information about your higher education, name any courses taken and certificates earned that you believe necessary, including the institution having issued credentials, and the month and year of issuance.

Entry may also begin with the name of the degree earned, not with the university. In this case, giving the date of the program completion at the start seems more appropriate.

Experience (Professional Records)

Here you give positions you have held in reverse chronological order. You may specify all of your previous jobs or make a selection of the significant ones (in CV format you usually provide a comprehensive list). Begin with the dates, then provide employment information, starting with the position title (which is usually highlighted). Then give the name of the institution and its form of establishment (e.g. joint-stock company, limited, etc). Abbreviations must be spelled out. (You may briefly describe the activities of the institution in parentheses.) Indicate the institution's address (including country for international applications). Students and recent graduates who have previously only held unqualified jobs may wish to start their job entries with the institution name instead of the position title. If you are a recent graduate, you need to denote every professional job you've held, whether an internship or summer job. Be explicit with your information: it is highly recommended (especially when the position title is not explicit) that, in addition to job title and company information, you include a brief description (in incomplete sentences) of your job responsibilities, using present-tense verbs for current jobs, and past-tense verbs for previously held positions. To escape monotony, diversify the action verbs you use. Incorporating bullets for itemization will break up solid text and make the text easier to read.

For added effect, do not just describe your job responsibilities but provide quantifiable rate indicators, or better yet, your achievements - concrete results, if possible - in measurable terms as well. For example, rather than writing, "advised on taxation," instead write, "advised on taxation approx five clients daily (15 in peak of submitting quarterly reports)." Or, instead of "designed company's web site," you write, "designed company's web site, which increased company's overall product sale by 50 percent." If your accomplishment resulted in promotion, bonus, salary raise (in percentage; do not refer to the monetary amounts of salary), be sure to mention that as well. Describe the extent of your responsibilities (for example: "Managed purchase budget of $[number]," or, "Supervised [number]-people staff"). List the most impressive notes first to evoke reader interest. Again, omit irrelevant information: phone numbers or names of employers (though you may name supervisors of postdoctoral work). Finally, do not mention reasons for leaving former jobs.

Conferences

You may present a set of only relevant or selected conferences attended. Alternatively, you may name only conferences visited abroad, and then title this section "International Conferences." Give the name of the conference, date (or you may start the record with the date) and place (city and, selectively, country), title of delivered paper, if any (do not forget to include this in "Publications" section as well and refer to this section), organizers, and organizers' location. In this section and format you may also indicate seminars and workshops attended.

Languages

First, indicate your native language (or languages), then mention any foreign languages you know, accompanied by your level of proficiency: basic or introductory, intermediate, working knowledge, reading or audible understanding (or understanding text, speech), fluent.

Skills

In this section, you may want to emphasize your specific skills pertaining to the position of your application. Or you may describe other skills and their level (probably mentioning certificates) not denoted elsewhere in your résumé or CV, i.e. typing skills, computer skills, driver's license, First Aid or Lifeguard certificate. Everything listed here should be vocational.

Computer Skills

In this section, name all significant software (and probably hardware) you are familiar with. Make sure the names are spelled correctly. Begin with operational systems and continue with MS Office programs; Word and Excel are the most valuable ones. If you are able to program, under subdivision Programming Languages, indicate programming languages you know.

Extracurricular Activities

If you are a student applying to university, any information representing you as an all-round person will be beneficial. If you are not a student, a brief description of the activities beyond your main ones will convey your energy and involving character.

References

This is not a vital part of your résumé or CV; however, if you are applying for a job, under the title of this section you may insert the phrase "Available upon request." If you have space, it is even more helpful to provide a list of referees with names, positions, and work contact information. This information may also be listed on an attached sheet, titled "References." Referees must be from the professional sphere or academia, and not your friends or relatives.

You may also include other relevant information in your document, listing it under specially designed sections. For example, researchers may provide the sections "Research" or "Research Interests," and those having worked abroad may choose to include a section titled "Research Experience Abroad" (indicating time span, position and place). Professors may include "Teaching Experience," "Foreign Lecturing," or "Lectures and Presentations"; likewise, physicians may include sections such as "Community Service," "Licensure," or "Qualification Examinations."

Make sure your paper has no grammatical or orthographic mistakes. If you are not a native English speaker, let someone with high proficiency in English (say, native speaker or English teacher) proofread it. In any case, let many people look at it to trace probable shortcomings.

Remember that with this document you must make a good impression on someone you do not know. If you do not represent yourself well, you may be rejected from the position you are applying for. A well-written résumé or CV substantially increases your chances of obtaining the desired position.

Author: RUSLAN ZALOGIN, EDUCATIONAL ADVISER, OSVITA EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION & ADVISING CENTER, DNEPROPETROVSK, UKRAINE

 

Related Articles

  • Why do an MBA, Diverse Opportunities, Demand for Training
  • Why do an MBA? - Diverse Opportunities. Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the UK and international MBA market. The increasing demand for training in what is now routinely accepted as the graduate management degree is in part due to the MBA's growing reputation with senior executives in the business world.
  • Distance Learning MBA, Full Time Programmes at all Levels
  • Distance Learning MBA. There are various approaches to learning. Full time programmes at all levels require a career break of some sort. This may be acceptable especially for short courses or where you get leave of absence but you also have to consider access, location, timing, the quality of the group and of the deliverer. Local courses may be of restricted quality and you may not be able to afford overseas courses.
  • Online MBA programs, The Continuing Development of Internet Technology
  • Online MBA Programs. The online MBA is a relatively new development and as such there are very few business schools that are offering an MBA program entirely online. Many online programs still require students to attend mandatory residential courses as part of their syllabus. The length and frequency of these "contact" sessions vary depending on the school and program.
  • MBA Rankings, Are a Great Way for Perspective Students to Select
  • MBA Rankings. MBA rankings are a great way for perspective students to select between the best business programs offered at reputable universities. With future students in mind four main sources, The Financial Times, Business Week and The Economist publish a list of universities that offer the best program to earn a Master's in Business Administration. Taking the MBA rankings into account, perspective students will have a general idea of the status and value of their future degree in the business world. When selecting a school students should be aware of these rankings, even though they are debatable since they are seen by so many hiring companies.
  • MBA Rankings, Business Week and U.S. News & World Report
  • MBA Rankings. The ranking of business schools has been a controversial subject for a number of years. It is only recently, however, that they have become popular with the press, publicized and generally accepted. As a matter of fact, one of the principal reasons for the rankings has been the ability of the articles to boost the circulation of the magazines.

Related Courses

  • Full-time MBA
  • A global MBA with an Asia Pacific focus. Students can choose an Asia specific track such as China, Japan or Vietnam. Hawaii’s only AACSB accredited MBA program. The cohort format fosters teamwork and peer learning
  • Full-time MBA
  • The Full-time MBA is an intensive one year programme, which offers a rigorous and challenging process of personal and management development.
  • Part-time MBA
  • The Part-time MBA is a 3 year part-time programme, designed for those working in a wide variety of managerial, technical and professional roles.
About Us Terms and Conditions Privacy policy Sitemap