Curriculum vitae is a Latin expression which can be loosely translated as [the] course of [my] life. In current usage, curriculum is less marked as a foreign loan word. Traditionally the word vitae is rendered in English using the ligature æ, hence vitæ, although this convention is less common in contemporary practice. The plural of curriculum vitae, in Latin, is formed following Latin rules of grammar as curricula vitae (meaning “courses of life”)—not curriculum vita (which is grammatically incorrect), nor curricula vitarum. The form vitae is the singular genitive of vita and is translated as “of life”. In English, the plural of the full expression curriculum vitae is seldom used; the plural of curriculum on its own is usually written as “curricula”, rather than the traditional curriculums.
The Oxford dictionary defines a CV as; a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupations, typically sent with a job application. Cambridge dictionary further defines it as a short written description of your education, qualifications, previous jobs, and sometimes also your personal interests, that you send to an employer when you are trying to get a job. From the aforementioned definitions one key characteristic of a CV is its ability to be short, brief or precise.
Coming up with a well written, concise CV is one of the hardest tasks ever. HR Managers and recruiting officers have thousands of CVs to go through. Therefore, your CV can be disqualified simply because of small mistakes here and there and maybe, just maybe, that is why you are not getting call backs from potential employers.
Outlined below are constituents or rules of thumbs which should guide the formulation of a perfect or near perfect CV:
1. Unnecessary personal information
Anything besides your name, email address and contact information should not be included on your CV. Details such as your tribe, age, height, weight and religion are minor details that no one cares about.
2. Education Background
If you are a university graduate or have a college diploma then you do not need to include all your other education details. Your university degree is your highest level of education and that’s all that matters. If you are yet to graduate, you can include both the secondary school and the university where you’re currently enrolled and for which course.
Related to number 2, if you got a D- in your final exams or a GPA of 1.88, why! oh why would you include that in your resume? No offense but no one will hire a dimwit. Remove that shame on your resume and show the employer that you’re smart beyond your grades at the interview.
4. Work experience
There’s no need to include all of your work experience, such as a 3-day job you did at the mall and the likes. Include only what’s related to the particular job you are applying for. Remember, no employer has time to go through a 4-5 page CV the shorter the better. Do not bore the employer with unnecessary details. Your CV will be shoved in the dustbin.
Even if you have a mixtape out, keep unnecessary hobbies to yourself. Only include hobbies that are related to the job you are applying for. If for example you are applying for a Customer Care job, you can state socializing and making new friends as one of your hobbies.
6. Salary details
Unless you have specifically been requested to include salary details on the CV, leave them out. That’s the last thing you negotiate on, when and if you get the job.
7. Email address
If you still use the embarrassing email address you created when you were 16 years old, it’s time to change it up. Create a formal email address, bearing your official name. You can do it on Gmail or Yahoo. It’s free! No employer will hire someone with an email address like empresstheee1sexy[at]gmail.com. Nah!
8. Saving the CV
Do not save your CV as CV or Resume or doc or whatever. Save it as your name, unless advised otherwise by the hiring company. Also, do not include the word CV, Resume or the date at the top of your CV.
This is a debatable point. Some people argue that it’s good to include your photo, others are of the opinion that you should leave it out. Some companies prefer that you not to include a photograph so they can safely adhere to the Equal Employment Opportunity legislation. Hey, unless it’s a modeling, acting, flight attendant or any other job that requires applicants to attach their photographs, then it’s probably better to leave it out.
10. Career objective
Rather than writing a summary of what you want, tell the employer what you’re capable of and if hired, what you will bring to the table.
Lastly, remember to keep it short, error free, simple and at maximum, 2 pages!