How to write your CV

CV format
Which is the best format? What about EU CV format? Do I need to add my picture? Is a general description necessary? All these questions have one simple answer: “it depends”!

Communicate yourself
Whether you are a creative person, or a hard worker or both, you are free to choose the format you believe will best communicate your skills. You can use colours or bold characters, different fonts or whatever.

30 seconds rule
What really matters is that your CV is clear and hits the spot: you only have 30 seconds to impress whoever is reading about you, and you want to make sure he/she fully understands who you are and what you can provide. It is not an easy task.

Clear presentation
Clear and ordered CVs with minimal presentations are very appreciated among professionals who are used to deal with hundreds of Curriculum Vitae every day. Use bold character to underline important things and try to maintain a professional outline.

Section 1: Personal Data and Contacts


• Personal data and contacts are usually listed on the top (left/right) of the page.

• Please make sure that all your contact information is up to date. Email address should be in the form (please avoid weird email addresses, they are not professional and difficult to remember)

Personal statement

Personalise your CV
A personal statement is not at all compulsory, but it may represent an added value to your CV. Use this section to adapt your CV to the type of job you are applying for.

State your objectives
Following your data and contact info, it is always a good idea to spend 3-4 lines describing who you are and what your objectives are.

Be reasonable
When you describe yourself and your ambitions try to be realistic: If you are  20-year old candidate, even if you own strong leadership skills, it is still unlikely that you will become CEO.

Be modest and communicate simply
Ambition is good but you must always balance it with reality. Please always keep in mind that you are still a student and your CV is probably been read by a 20-year-experienced professional.

Example: I am a graduating student in the Business Administration course at University of Rome "Tor Vergata", I have been always interested in building an international career in the area of XXXXX. I like to travel and experience multicultural environments as you can see from my 6-month Erasmus in XXXX ecc…

Section 2: Education


Education first
Since it is likely that you still do not have any relevant work experience and since this CV may be used to apply for an internship, it is best that you first enter your educational background leaving your work experiences for the next section.

• List your academic titles and achievements starting from the most recent (until high school diploma)

Section 3: Work Experience


Soft skills matter
This section is dedicated to your previous and current work experiences. Please do not underestimate the value of your work experiences even if they are not fully related to the job you are applying for. Even a minor job experience can help you communicate some of your soft skills which could result successfull to the recruiter.

Be exhaustive
Also always specify the name of the company, your role, location, period and a brief description of your main tasks.

PLEASE NOTE: even if this job may be considered as “minor” and unrelated to your academic background, you may still communicate two very important soft skills: With just 4 bullet points you are telling the recruiter that you own good relationship, organizational and communication skills.

Section 4: Language knowledge (1/2)


An essential asset
Needless to say languages are very important asset these days. Many companies are looking for students able to speak different languages to deal with foreign customers or partners.

Specify you level
You should add your spoken languages in decrescent order (starting from your own mothertongue), specifying your level of knowledge (A1,B2 etc)

Certify your knowledge
Language knowledge should always be proven by a certificate or by a relevant experience (Erasmus, work experience ecc..)

Section 4: IT knowledge (2/2)

Be up to date
When you deal with IT skills, please be sure to provide updated information: The IT world changes rapidly and what could be considered a proper skill 2 years ago, today may be taken for granted. It is completely useless to include something like: email box management or internet explorer proficient user.

Specify your knowledge
Regarding IT knowledge you can divide it in different areas like: social media, database management (Access ecc...) and so on and so forth. It is highly recommended to enlist the known softwares, including the level of your knowledge. Office Package is an evergreen and Excel in particular is one of the most required softwares.

Social Media
Please add something new and valuable like Photoshop, Autocad, Social Media (Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, Hootsuite) and remember to specify that you have a professional knowledge of them.

• If you have certificates proving your IT knowledge on a specific software please insert this info. Please be sure that your certificate is widely recognized and that your score is a good one (please avoid own goals).

Hobbies and relevant experiences

Other experiences
If you've had any relevant experience which cannot be included in the above mentioned sections, you can create a further section called «Other relevant experiences».

• In this section you can list whatever you believe is worth to mentioning in order to communicate something good/important about your profile. Try to always be precise specifying location, period, country ecc.

• Hobbies and Sports should be added only if they represent a proper added value or if they describe further qualities.