The CV content
11.09.2015 / Category: The CV
Whichever format you choose, your CV must include the following sections:
1. Contact details
- First name/surname
- Postal code and town
- Nationality and work permit
- Telephone no.: whether fixed line or mobile, choose the one at which you are most easily reached and pay attention to your recorded greeting!
- E-mail address: create a "professional" address such as firstname.surname@e-mail server (e.g. bluewin, sunrise, yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc.) and check it regularly!
- Fax no. (not required)
- Birth date or age
- Type of drivers license (only if your profession requires you to drive a vehicle)
2. Professional profile
- Put the name of your current profession and perhaps also the number of years you have worked in this field
- List your title (e.g.: certified accountant).
- Indicate your career goal
- List your strengths
3. Working expérience
List the following:
- Start and end dates of all assignments or the year and duration of assignments that were less than one year, the job title, the company name and its location (town/canton)
- Identify whether any of these were temporary or training assignments
- Below, you can describe the tasks you performed that correspond with your key skills
- If you have pursued advanced studies, you can start off by listing the secondary school that you attended.
- List the year and the diploma obtained. As with your work experience, you may list the start and end years, the school name, the program followed and the location (town/canton)
- Avoid using abbreviations and acronyms for the school, even if these are well-known. Write the name in full.
- If you have attended training and development programs, list these, as they help demonstrate your professionalism.
- List the language and your current level of proficiency.
- If your level is certified by a diploma, add the full name of it together with the year the exam was taken.
- Choice of phrase
If you don't have a language diploma or if you lived abroad and learned the language in the country, avoid using the obsolete, stock expression "written, read and spoken". Use expressions that relate to the work environment, such as "fluent professional conversation", "report preparation", "telephone interviews", etc. to help demonstrate your level.
6. Computer skills
List the names of software programs that you are able to use. If you are indicating your level of knowledge, use the following scale:
- Basic knowledge/good knowledge/very good knowledge/expert
- For instance:
- Word, Excel, Internet: daily use, very good knowledge
- Microsoft Project: good knowledge
7. Non work related activities or personal interests
If your hobbies involve skills that are needed in your work activities then don't hesitate to show this.
It is preferable not to list references on your CV. Instead write: "References: upon request."
When creating your list of references, carefully select the companies to be named and, above all, choose the right person who will provide satisfactory information.
Take the time when you are putting your file together to list people who could recommend you to an employer (maximum 2 or 3 references and preferably a superior). Check their contact details and call the person to notify them that you are using them as a reference to an employer. Keep the list for the day when you will go for an interview. Generally that is the time when you will be asked for your references. The list should include: your reference's company name, first name, surname and position as well as their telephone number.
9. Photo or no photo?
This question automatically prompts an extensive debate. A photo is often disparaged for its potential discriminatory influence and is not specifically required unless stipulated. It's up to you.
Adding your picture to your CV can provide certain advantages.
- The photo gives your CV more of a human touch.
- It helps personalize your work record.
- If you are invited for an interview, the photo allows the recruiter to remember you when selecting candidate(s).
If you choose to attach a photo to your CV or insert it in the electronic document, follow these tips.
- The photo should be recent
- Passport format (portrait or bust)
- The photo should look professional. Avoid: a cropped family photo, sunglasses or a backdrop with palm trees, etc.
- If it's a digital photo, it should be of high quality but not too big (maximum 100 KB) in case you are sending your CV by e-mail.