CV Writing

Team English -
Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: May 8, 2024

CV Writing

CV stands for Curriculum Vitae, which is a Latin term meaning “course of life.” It’s essentially a detailed document outlining a person’s educational background, work experience, skills, achievements, and other relevant information, typically used when applying for jobs or academic positions. Writing a CV involves summarizing one’s professional journey in a clear and concise manner, highlighting qualifications and experiences that are pertinent to the desired role or field. The goal is to effectively showcase one’s suitability and potential contribution to prospective employers or institutions.

What is CV?

CV, short for Curriculum Vitae, is a detailed document outlining an individual’s educational background, work experience, skills, achievements, and qualifications. It is primarily used in academia and international job applications, particularly in countries like the UK, Europe, and New Zealand. Unlike a resume, which is typically tailored for specific job applications and kept concise, a CV provides a comprehensive overview of one’s entire career history and academic accomplishments. It serves as a tool for employers or admissions committees to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job, scholarship, or academic program.

What is CV Writing?

CV writing is the process of creating a Curriculum Vitae (CV), a comprehensive document summarizing one’s education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments. It aims to showcase an individual’s qualifications and suitability for a particular job or academic opportunity. A well-written CV is crucial for job seekers, as it serves as their first impression to potential employers or admissions committees. By effectively highlighting relevant achievements and experiences, CV writing increases the likelihood of securing interviews or further consideration for desired positions.

CV Writing Format

The format of a CV (Curriculum Vitae) typically includes the following sections:

  1. Contact Information: Include your full name, professional title, phone number, email address, and optionally, your physical address.
  2. Summary or Objective Statement: Provide a brief overview of your professional background, key skills, and career objectives.
  3. Education: List your academic qualifications, including degrees earned, institutions attended, graduation dates, and any relevant certifications or honors.
  4. Work Experience: Detail your professional work history, including job titles, company names, dates of employment, and key responsibilities or achievements for each position.
  5. Skills: Highlight your relevant skills and competencies, such as technical proficiencies, language abilities, and soft skills relevant to the job.
  6. Publications/Presentations (if applicable): Include any publications, presentations, or research projects you’ve contributed to, along with relevant details such as titles, dates, and venues.
  7. Awards and Honors (if applicable): Mention any awards, scholarships, or honors you’ve received throughout your academic or professional career.
  8. Professional Affiliations: List any memberships in professional organizations or associations relevant to your field.
  9. References: Optionally, provide the names and contact information of professional references who can vouch for your qualifications and character.
  10. Additional Sections (if needed): Depending on your background and the job you’re applying for, you may include additional sections such as volunteer experience, certifications, or interests/hobbies.

What is the difference between a CV and a Resume?

Difference Between CV and Resume
PurposeAcademic, research, internationalJob applications in various industries
LengthLonger, often multiple pagesConcise, typically one or two pages
ContentComprehensive career historyRelevant skills, work experience, achievements
SectionsEducation, research, publications, etc.Summary/objective, work history, skills, education
FocusAcademic and professional accomplishmentsKey qualifications and experiences for specific job
CustomizationLess tailored, broader scopeTailored to specific job or industry

The main difference between a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and a resume lies in their purpose, length, and content:

  1. Purpose:
    • CV: Typically used in academic, research, or international contexts, a CV emphasizes an individual’s full career history, including publications, presentations, grants, and academic achievements.
    • Resume: Tailored for job applications in industries such as business, finance, and technology, a resume highlights relevant skills, work experience, and accomplishments related to a specific job.
  2. Length:
    • CV: Longer than a resume, a CV can span multiple pages and provides comprehensive details about an individual’s professional background and academic credentials.
    • Resume: Concise and typically limited to one or two pages, a resume focuses on key qualifications and experiences relevant to a specific job or industry.
  3. Content:
    • CV: Includes sections such as education, research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, and professional affiliations, offering a detailed overview of an individual’s academic and professional accomplishments.
    • Resume: Highlights relevant skills, work experience, achievements, and qualifications, often organized into sections such as summary/objective, work history, skills, education, and additional sections like certifications or volunteer experience.

How to Write CV Letter

To write a CV letter, also known as a cover letter, follow these steps:

  1. Header: Include your contact information at the top of the letter, including your name, address, phone number, and email address. Then, add the date of writing followed by the recipient’s contact details (if known), including their name, job title, company name, and address.
  2. Salutation: Address the recipient by name if possible. If you don’t know their name, use a generic salutation such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
  3. Introduction: Start with a brief introduction that states the position you’re applying for and where you found the job listing. Mention why you’re interested in the position and briefly highlight your qualifications and experience.
  4. Body Paragraphs: Use one or two paragraphs to expand on your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a strong candidate for the position. Provide specific examples to demonstrate your qualifications and match them to the job requirements.
  5. Closing Paragraph: In the final paragraph, express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. Mention that you’ve attached your CV for their review and invite them to contact you for further discussion or to schedule an interview.
  6. Closing: End the letter with a professional closing such as “Sincerely,” followed by your full name. If you’re sending a hard copy of the letter, leave space for your handwritten signature above your typed name. If you’re sending the letter via email, you can simply type your name.
  7. Proofread: Before sending, carefully proofread your CV letter to check for any spelling or grammatical errors. Also, ensure that the content is clear, concise, and relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  8. Attachment: If sending the letter via email, attach your CV to the email along with the cover letter. If mailing a hard copy, print your CV and cover letter on quality paper and include them together in the envelope.

CV Writing Examples

Here are three simplified examples of CV writing:

1.Entry-Level CV Example:

[Full Name] [Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Phone Number] [Email Address]

Objective: Motivated and enthusiastic recent graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in [Field]. Seeking to leverage academic achievements and internship experience in [relevant area] to contribute effectively to a dynamic team.

Education: Bachelor of Science in [Field], [University Name], [Graduation Year] Relevant Coursework: [List relevant courses]

Experience: Intern, [Company Name], [Dates]

  • Assisted with [specific tasks or projects]
  • Conducted [relevant responsibilities]
  • Collaborated with team members to achieve [goals]


  • Proficient in [relevant software or tools]
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment

2.Experienced Professional CV Example

[Full Name] [Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Phone Number] [Email Address]

Summary: Results-driven [Job Title] with [number] years of experience in [industry]. Proven track record of [specific achievements or accomplishments]. Skilled in [key skills or areas of expertise]. Seeking a challenging role to continue delivering exceptional results.

Experience: [Job Title], [Company Name], [Dates]

  • Led [specific projects or initiatives]
  • Achieved [quantifiable results or improvements]
  • Implemented [innovative strategies or solutions]

[Job Title], [Company Name], [Dates]

  • Managed [specific responsibilities or tasks]
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to [achieve objectives]
  • Identified and resolved [challenges or issues]

Education: [Degree] in [Field], [University Name], [Graduation Year] Certifications: [List relevant certifications]


  • Advanced proficiency in [specific skills or software]
  • Strong leadership and decision-making abilities
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Effective communication and negotiation skills

3.Career Change CV Example

[Full Name] [Address] [City, State, Zip Code] [Phone Number] [Email Address]

Objective: Results-oriented professional with a background in [previous industry] seeking to transition into [new industry]. Combining [relevant skills or experiences] with a passion for [new industry] to excel in a new role.

Experience: [Previous Job Title], [Previous Company], [Dates]

  • Managed [specific responsibilities or projects]
  • Developed expertise in [key areas or skills]
  • Demonstrated ability to [achieve goals or overcome challenges]

[Previous Job Title], [Previous Company], [Dates]

  • Led cross-functional teams to [accomplish objectives]
  • Implemented process improvements to [increase efficiency or effectiveness]
  • Collaborated with stakeholders to [solve problems or address issues]

Education: [Degree] in [Field], [University Name], [Graduation Year] Relevant coursework: [List relevant courses]


  • Transferable skills such as [communication, problem-solving, project management]
  • Proficiency in [relevant software or tools]
  • Adaptability and willingness to learn new concepts
  • Strong work ethic and commitment to excellence

Tips for CV Writing

  1. Tailor your CV to the job: Customize your CV for each job application by highlighting the skills, experiences, and achievements most relevant to the position.
  2. Use a professional format: Choose a clean and organized format that is easy to read. Use bullet points to list your responsibilities and achievements for each job.
  3. Include a strong opening statement: Start your CV with a brief summary or objective statement that highlights your key qualifications and career goals.
  4. Highlight your achievements: Use quantifiable achievements whenever possible to demonstrate the impact you’ve had in previous roles.
  5. Focus on skills: Showcase your skills and abilities that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. This could include technical skills, soft skills, and industry-specific skills.
  6. Include relevant keywords: Use keywords from the job description in your CV to help it get past applicant tracking systems (ATS) and increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers.
  7. Keep it concise: Aim for a CV that is no longer than two pages, focusing on the most important information and leaving out any irrelevant details.
  8. Proofread carefully: Check your CV for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure it is well-formatted and easy to read. Consider asking a friend or colleague to review it as well.
  9. Be honest and accurate: Make sure all the information on your CV is truthful and accurate. Avoid exaggerating your skills or experiences, as this could backfire during the hiring process.
  10. Update regularly: Keep your CV up to date with your most recent job experiences, skills, and achievements. Regularly review and update it as needed to ensure it reflects your current qualifications and goals.


What should you avoid writing a CV?

Avoid including irrelevant personal information, such as age, marital status, or hobbies. Also, steer clear of generic clichés and exaggerated claims, and do not include negative or unprofessional language.

What information should I include in my CV?

Include contact details, a brief summary, education, work experience, skills, achievements, and any relevant additional sections like certifications or languages spoken.

How should I format my CV?

Use a clean and professional format with clear headings and bullet points for easy readability. Choose a standard font and avoid using excessive formatting or graphics.

Should I include a photo on my CV?

It’s generally not necessary or recommended to include a photo on your CV, especially in most Western countries, as it can lead to potential bias in the hiring process.

How should I tailor my CV for different jobs?

Customize your CV for each job application by highlighting relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that match the requirements of the specific role.

Should I include references on my CV?

It’s not necessary to include references on your CV. Instead, you can provide them upon request or mention that references are available upon request.

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