Curriculum vitae

By: Jen Wiss

curriculum vitaeLooking for your first job?  Or thinking of moving on?  Either way, you’re probably sat there wondering how you can make an awesome curriculum vitae that impresses prospective employers and gets you the elusive job interview you’re looking for! Fear not.  CV GURU is your ultimate resource for building a winning CV – packed with tips, templates and resources to ensure your curriculum vitae gets you a foot in the door. Check out our best resources below and keep an eye on our blog where we have the latest updates and advice on careers.

Where do I start? 

Jump straight in with a curriculum vitae template – download your free template here: CV template

Fill out the easy information – name, address and contact info.  Don’t be tempted to include unnecessary details.  Your employer doesn’t need to know if you’re married or single, how many kids you have or how old you are.  In fact, employers should not ask these questions during job interviews, neither may they ask whether you have plans to have children.  Don’t give a prospective employer the chance to discriminate against you before they’ve even met you – leave this info off.

Collecting information

The next stage is to draft up the essential information you need for your curriculum vitae.  This includes your education, past employment history and skills.  The template will help you arrange this in an organised and logical way.  For extra guidance, read our guide on how to write a CV.

Your skills may be hard skills (such as the ability to use software packages) or soft skills (such as communication and team work).  Always give specific examples of soft skills – these are best worked into other areas of your CV (such as descriptions of past employment) unless you have particular notable examples that stand out on their own.  Our guides to work experience include extensive lists of soft skills that employers find valuable, which you might be able to give examples of.

See what others are doing

If you’re feeling a little lost, you might find it useful to view examples of other peoples’ curricula vitarum.  See our CV examples for ideas.

“I’m ready to submit!”

Stop! Once you have your basic curriculum vitae, don’t just send it out all over the place without a second thought.  Tailor your curriculum vitae to the job you’re applying for each time, highlighting the skills and experience that the job advert indicates the prospective employer is looking for.  This makes it look like you’re far more suited to the role and you’ll have a far better chance of getting an interview.

When you’re ready to track down some suitable positions, check out our list of top job sites, and make sure you have a winning cover letter to tie everything together.

“What on earth are curricula vitarum?”

Geek alert.  The plural of curriculum vitæ, in Latin, is formed following Latin rules of grammar as curricula vitæ (meaning “courses of life”) or curricula vitarum (meaning “courses of lives”)— not curriculum vita (which is grammatically incorrect). The form vitæ is the singular genitive of vita and is translated as “of life”.  Nevertheless, in English, the plural of the full expression curriculum vitae is seldom used; the plural of curriculum on its own is usually written as “curriculums”, rather than the traditional curricula (from Wikipedia).