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Your practical guide

Tips

If you are still a student or are looking for your first job, begin with the “education” section, because this is the section that will be the fullest and also the one to which the person who receives your CV will give the most attention.

On the other hand, if your professional experience is significant, you will obviously open your CV with this section and give it more of your attention.

  • How to organise the main CV sections

These two sections - “education” and “professional experience” – are most often arranged in reverse chronological order, in other words starting with the most recent and ending with the one longest ago.

Above all, don’t get stuck in pointless details: aim for precision and be concise. In fact, it is important that your reader, who is often pressed for time, be able to skim your career path without losing precious minutes extracting the salient points of your career from a jumble of details. Indicate clearly and obviously the length of time you have worked, the position you hold, the name and address of your employer and the service to which you are attached. Then, in a few lines, describe what your job consists of.

Think of emphasising the positive points that are closely related to the job for which you are putting yourself forward, those that could convince your reader of your suitability for the position for which you are putting yourself forward.

The section on professional skills should enumerate your specific assets: for example, your knowledge of languages, your IT skills and expertise with the most up-to-date programmes, etc.

 

  • In the "further information" section you should include:
  • Personal information that you didn’t put in the heading of your curriculum vitae: your nationality, marital status (single, married, separated, divorced, widow(er) and possibly number of children).
  • If you hold a driving licence (what type) and if you have your own transport.
  • Your availability (x weeks and months)
  • Your main interests (cinema, reading, sports … )

Candidates too often neglect this section but nevertheless it allows you to add a little relief to your application and gives your profile more personality.

Don’t forget that your cultural activities, clubs or hobbies give a good indication of your character; for example, taking part in a tough sport will display your courage and tenacity, playing a musical instrument will show your ability to concentrate, etc...

  • Do not include in the information you provide:
  • A description of your physical appearance
  • Your identity card number
  • Your bank account number
  • Your parents’ profession
  • Your spouse or partner’s profession
  • Information about you children

  • You should pay particular attention to:
  • Education:
    • List your qualifications from secondary education onwards
    • List your additional qualifications and/or training
    • Consider listing the subjects of your principle work: theses, reports, etc...
  • Areas of knowledge: be complete and precise but objective
  • Professional experience
    • Outline in detail the positions you held with your previous employers.
    • Consider listing your work experience as a student: camps, holiday jobs, etc...

 

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