Compiling a Curriculum Vitae

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a short description of where you’ve worked, where you went to school and your skills and qualifications. It gives an employer a sense of what you can do and what experience you have.
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Employers decide who to interview based on the CVs they receive for each job.

A CV should be short and to the point. Include:

  • Personal information including surname; first names; date and country of birth; identity number; male/female; married/single; state of your health; driver’s licence; address and contact numbers
  • Educational history
  • Languages you are able to speak and write and how well
  • Computer skills
  • Present position and employer (if you are employed)
  • Employment history (if you have been employed, including part-time jobs and volunteer work)
  • Basic skills and characteristics
  • Awards received and leadership positions
  • References. These references should be credible and a reliable source of truthful information regarding your work ethics and credibility. Always check-in with these references before your interview to make sure that their contact details are still valid and that they are still available to stand as a reference for you.

Change your CV to meet the needs of the specific job you are applying for. Emphasise certain skills more than others, or highlight particular experiences more than others for a particular job application.

The Department of Labour has an example of a CV in Your CV [PDF].

Always include a cover letter when you send your CV. The cover letter should be three to four paragraphs long, and highlight your suitability for the job.

Before you send off your CV and cover letter, proofread it. Then proofread it again.

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