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10 questions to help you prepare your cv

Everything you need to know about preparing your CV

1°) What language are you going to write your CV in?
The rule is that the CV should be written in the same language as the job advertisement. However, a second version written in English (or the destination language) is always appreciated especially if the company plans to share your CV with local stakeholders.
 
2°) Do I have to include a photograph?
No, it is not compulsory. However, if you do decide to include a photograph, it should portray you as likeable, serious and professional. Your expression should be neutral, your face should be properly positioned and it should be good quality.
 
3°) Should the CV have a title or include a short introductory description?
Anything that makes your CV easier to read for the recruiter is a good idea. A title or a short description (one or two lines) will help to immediately position you in terms of the mission as well as communicating your key message and highlighting any keywords.
 
4°) How should I present my language skills?
Adding the phrase: “Read, spoken and written” will suffice. Your language level must be accurate and objective. Mention any TOEFL and TOEIC results or Europass self-evaluation results (see link below), which you can do online free of charge. Also try to give some context to your language skills e.g. able to read a technical patent, etc.
 
5°) What is the best way to highlight professional experience?
You should be precise but not give too many details. The recruiter must be able to have an idea of the company, which he/she may not be familiar with (e.g. mention its business activity, its size, etc.), understand your role (don’t be too technical) and understand what you achieved e.g. a few accomplishments, acquired skills, knowledge, etc.
 
6°) Should I mention my student jobs e.g. babysitter and waiter in a fast food restaurant?
All information included on your CV must be meaningful in terms of the assignment you want to apply for. Mentioning your job as a waiter could be beneficial if you’re applying to be a sales advisor but not so much if you want to be a tax lawyer.
 
7°) What is the purpose of the “Interests” section?
This section is key as it allows you to stand out from other applicants. Your personal activities (sports, associations, humanitarian activities, etc.) give the recruiter information about your personality, your ability to take initiative, your openness to the world, your sense of commitment, etc.).
 
8°) Does my CV have to fit onto a single page?
The easier it is to read, the better your CV will be. In principle, one well formatted page should be enough to present the experience of a young graduate. To keep it short, stick to the point, only include information that is directly related to the assignment, remove any repetitions. etc. However, do not write your CV in font size 7 so that it will fit on a single page!
 
9°) What’s the best way to catch the recruiter’s attention?
Being clear and concise are always the best way and less risky than trying to be original (unless you are applying for an assignment that requires creativity). The best way to attract the recruiter’s attention is by ensuring that your CV is easy to read and showcases your value added in terms of the proposed assignment.
 
10°) Is a cover letter compulsory?
Yes, it is an absolute must. It complements your CV and allows you to capture the attention of the recruiter and enhance your application. Not writing a cover letter could be interpreted as a serious lack of motivation or sign of pretension, which is highly unlikely to be appreciated by the company. As for the CV, write your cover letter in the same language as the assignment listing.

 

 

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