CVs - what do you need to know?
A CV or Curriculum Vitae is a summary of a person's educational and professional history, usually prepared for job applications. It is sometime also called résumé.
We have created a CV template which highlights key items to include. ↓ Download our CV Template
A CV is one of the most important and convenient ways to apply for a job.
It should convey your personal details in the way that presents you in the best possible light. A CV is therefore a marketing document with which you are marketing yourself! You need to "sell" your skills, abilities, qualifications and experience to employers. You must however be truthful. Lie in your CV and it is very likely that you get found out. In many countries a CV is a legal document and has to be signed by the author to confirm that the information given is correct.
Before going into the details and aspects of CV writing, it is worthwhile to think for a moment about the recipient of the CV.
If you put yourself into the shoes of the person that will read your CV and is also a selector for a position, then important things about a successful CV will become apparent.
The recipient of your CV is likely to be short of time, may have a large number of CVs to review and is very likely to make a selection fairly quickly – therefore your CV must stand out and convince the reader:
- Your CV should contain clear, logical and relevant information that is easy to read and understand.
- The CV should be well structured, make good use of paragraphs, bullet points and highlighted sections.
- The CV should be targeted to the job you are applying for, clearly showing the relevant skills and experience you are bringing to this job.
- The information given should be informative, but also concise (do not waffle and make the CV unnecessarily long).
- The CV should be accurate in content, spelling and grammar. (This will immediately be proof of one important skill that is necessary for any job: attention to detail!)
What information should a CV include?
Usually these would be your name, address, date of birth (although with age discrimination laws now in force this isn't essential), telephone number, mobile number, email address, Skype address, website address if applicable and nationality. Technicon Design operates on a global scale and the nationality of applicants is very important for us to assess work permit requirements and opportunities for applicants. When supplying telephone numbers please remember to include country and area codes, which are often forgotten.
British CVs don't usually include a photograph, but in some other countries (for example France, Belgium and Germany) it is common for CVs to include photographs in the top right-hand corner (passport size). In the UK and the USA photographs are frowned upon as this may contravene equal opportunity legislation - a photograph makes it easier to reject a candidate on grounds of ethnicity, sex or age. If you include a photograph, make sure it is a head and shoulders picture of good quality and that you are dressed suitably and smile.
Technicon Design CVs that are submitted to clients do not contain photographs. We can however save photographs in our databank on your electronic file. At present provision of a photograph is not mandatory.
Summary or Personal Profile
This is an ideal way of making key information about yourself stand out and works particularly well in competitive industries. Keep this section brief but include important information about your experience, qualification and personality. This section will be the most important section to capture the interest of the reader – make it original, interesting and fitting to the job you are applying for. If this section is well written, it will encourage the reader to continue with the rest of your CV. Equally a badly written summary will put readers off, so please put plenty of thought into this section of your CV.
Education and Qualifications
Please include precise dates when you attended educational institutions, their names, places and countries. Name your degree (e.g. MA in Transportation Design) and if appropriate your grade.
Put your latest and highest qualification at the top and work downwards. If you have attended a number of educational institutions or if you have already worked for a long time, then examinations and qualifications from a long while ago may not be quite so important and could be summarized or even left out (for example if you have done a PhD it is not necessary to list all your exam grades in your GCSE courses).
Be precise and list accurate dates and names, towns and countries of your employers.
Start with the most recent work experience and work into the past.
Make sure you mention accurate job titles in each position you held. Give an accurate description of duties, responsibilities and achievements. Try to relate your skills to your job. A digital modelling job will involve design interpretation and problem solving skills as well as good Alias modelling techniques.
The use of bullet points can often make this section easier to read quickly, whilst ensuring that the reader still absorbs the key information and all information is given in a compact way.
The automotive design industry is a highly confidential industry. Make sure you do not mention anything in a CV that is of a confidential nature (and this includes code names of projects!).
In order to give a quick overview of your skills to the reader it is often advisable to list them separately as bullet point list. This is particularly important for the listing of software systems you use. It may be good to also give an indication of your proficiency in the use of a software system (but remember be honest!)
Technicon Design does not usually check references at the application stage so unless the vacancy specifically requests referees it's fine to omit this section completely if you are running short of space or to say "References are available on request."
If you are listing referees, then make sure that the contact details are correct and that those referees are actually happy to provide a reference.
If you already have reference letters from previous employers, then we are happy to receive them and will store them in our database.
Different people have different writing styles and how you write your CV is a reflection of your personality. Do not be afraid to let your personality come through in your CV. Technicon Design does not alter the wording of CVs because we recognise the importance of passing the original wording on to our clients so that they get a true impression of each applicant. There are however a few rules that are important:
- Don’t be too relaxed or informal.
- Use correct English grammar and fully formed, non-abbreviated words and sentences.
- Always run Spell Check over your CV.