How to Write a CV

Putting together a stellar curriculum vita is an essential component for finding a job, but it can be a challenging task. Learning the steps for putting one together is highly beneficial for those right out of college with little to no experience. Additionally, it is helpful for those who have been out of the job-seeking business for a while and need a refresher on what to do. Follow this guide to help you write a CV.

Take Some Time to Think

Before you get too far down the path of developing your CV, take some time to brainstorm and think about what to include. If you already have a CV, take it out and evaluate it. Also, review some templates so that you get an idea of the information that a CV should contain. This typically includes a summary of your qualifications as well as your skills, achievements, education, work experience and contact information.

During your brainstorming session, write down everything that might be relevant to one or more of the sections in a CV. This includes your education and previous jobs, but it should also include your skills, accomplishments, awards and other applicable information. When it comes time to write a CV, you will most likely narrow this list down and restructure it; however, you do not want to limit yourself in the beginning. This might lead you to omit something important.

Research the Position

A strong CV is tailored to the company to which you apply. In the early stages of putting together your CV, you will probably create a generic template that you will personalize when you apply to various jobs. However, even at the early stages, it is beneficial to research the position for which you plan to apply.

This might be one at a specific company if you already have a dream job in mind, or it might simply include a review of open positions in a variety of companies. This provides you with an idea of the skills, qualifications and education requirements for your dream position. Then, you can utilize language similar to that in the job postings to make it easy for recruiters to see you are perfect for the job.

Time to Write a CV

With all the information you have, you are now ready to actually create a CV. Before you get too far, determine the right style for the type of positions and companies to which you plan to apply. When you review examples and templates, you will see types such as classic, contemporary or artistic. Certain professions have their own preferred formats. Be sure to match the field you are in when you write a CV; otherwise, it might appear unprofessional and your document might find its way to the reject pile.

Once you know the format to follow, take the information that you compiled during your research session and insert it into the appropriate space. After the contact information, the first section is often the summary section, where you get to quickly demonstrate your experience and qualifications to the hiring manager. This inspires them to move on to read the rest of the document. This includes your work experience, education and training and applicable skills. You might also choose to include scholarships, awards, hobbies and interests as well.

Proofread and Edit

After you have a solid CV ready to submit, make sure you have reviewed it for any grammar and spelling errors. A typo or other error is an easy way to get your CV thrown into the trash. Errors also demonstrate to potential hiring managers that you lack attention to detail, and it makes you appear unprofessional. Rather than relying on the Word document checker to point out any errors, take time after you write a CV to review it yourself several times. Also ask friends, family members and others to proofread it.


There are many important steps to creating a powerful CV that helps you stand out from the competition. You do not have to attempt to do this on your own. Take advantage of resources such as templates, examples and tips.


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