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The benefits of curriculum vitae A curriculum vitae is a document that should show prospective employers what you could do for them, show them how you meet their needs. The curriculum vitae should do the following:    Make the reader aware of your skills and achievements Summarise your qualifications and experience Let your personality come through: the curriculum vita is about you as an individual, not an anonymous jobholder

Getting it right If you want to write effective curriculum vitae, put yourself in the hands of the recruiter. A recruiter wants to find a person for a job, not a job to suit you. Your curriculum vitae should match your skills and experience to the recruiter‟s requirements. A curriculum vita is a time consuming document to prepare. Do not be surprised if you need to make quite a few drafts. Your curriculum vitae will change over time and you may decide to have two or more slightly different versions. Whatever you may decide, you should bear in mind the following key points on the following pages for any curriculum vitae.

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1. Length 2-3 pages is a suitable length - try not to exceed 3 pages. 2. Paper& Type Use A4 white paper and clear, simple typeface. Sometimes people get carried away with the range of exotic typefaces available with computer packages and have a fondness for coloured and scented paper. These features are best avoided. 3. Name, Address and Telephone numbers These should go at the top of your curriculum vitae. Remember to put down your home and work numbers. There is no need to put curriculum vitae at the top, as is what the document clearly is. 4. Other Personal Information It is a matter of individual choice as to what other personal information you should include. It is quite common to put down date of birth. Sometimes people are afraid to do so, for fear of age discrimination. Unfortunately, age discrimination is not illegal, and recent research has shown that it is a real problem in some sectors, particularly for „older‟ workers. However there are a growing number of companies as well as the NHS, local government and the voluntary sector have Equal Opportunities policies that prevent age discrimination. There are no hard and fast rules as to whether you should include details of marital status and children. If you have very young children, you might have a fear that even an Equal Opportunities policy may not prevent a rogue interviewer making unfair judgements about you taking lots of time off to care for them. If you have this fear, you may want to omit these details. On the other hand, you may feel that your parental skills are very much part of the like skills you have to offer employers, so you might choose to include a few details of your children. If you decide to do so, the number and ages of the children are more than enough - there is no need to go into details of names.

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5. Hobbies/Interests Hobbies/Interests are another contentious issue. Think carefully about what they add to your curriculum vitae. Let us say that you have done some fund-raising for a charity — that could show resourcefulness. A lot of the time people put down hobbies that do not really add much to their curriculum vitae. Examples of this would be „reading‟ or „socialising‟. Interviewers have been known to pick on „reading‟ and ask you questions about the last book you have read. That is the kind of thing that can wrong foot you at an interview. Sometimes „socialising‟ might be interpreted as a fondness for wild nights out. If you are going to include any of the above personal information it is best putting it at the end of your curriculum vitae. 6. Dates of Employment Normally the year is sufficient. However, if you have changed job quite frequently, you may want to put down the month as well. You should be careful not to leave gaps. If you have had a career break mention that on your curriculum vitae. You do not want the recruiter to see a gap and assume you have spent the time sewing mailbags. 7. Career History You want to attract the recruiter‟s eye with your most valuable experience near the start of the curriculum vitae. It is best therefore to start your career history with your most recent post first and to work your way back from there. You want to write about your career in a way that shows your strengths and achievements. 8. Organisational Information Details of the Company and organisation do not put down address details as this takes up valuable space. If you have held several consecutive posts with the company you should put a heading showing the overall dates at the top with the dates and details of each post below.

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9. Education Some people put this at the start of their curriculum vitae others put it at the end. Think about what is of most interest to the employer, you want you curriculum vitae to get off to an impressive start. A person with little work experience but good qualifications may want to put education before work experience. Likewise an experience worker who has done recent and relevant further education may also want to put education at the start. On the other band if it is a while since you completed your education you might want to put your work experience first. When you are writing about your education details put the highest or most relevant qualifications first. Include the dates and institutions. It is not always necessary to put down all your qualifications. A BA Economics with Highers in English, Mathematics and Biology would not be really being adding much if they continued to list Ordinary Grades in English, Arithmetic, Mathematics, Biology and Technical Drawing. Some people choose not to list their 0-grades at all others simply note the numbers they have passed. It is a question of personal judgement. For example if you bad an 0-grade in Accounts and you were applying for a job with budget management responsibilities you might want to mention it. 10. Training Courses If you are going to include Training Courses do make sure that the recruiter will understand them. If some of the courses you have attended have obscure titles then it is best to simply put down the skill acquired. 11. Profile Statement Some people choose to write a few sentences about themselves to give the recruiter an overview of what they have to offer. Such statements go early in the curriculum vitae usually after the details of name and address. It is not necessary to have one of these statements - only include one if you feel that it adds something valuable to your curriculum vitae. Most recruiters will have seen a few hideous examples of profiles. For instance would you want to interview „a hands-on self starter with a track record of achievement‟? The statement should be something that you are comfortable with and something that should help the reader.
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Beware of… Photographs - do not include a photograph of yourself unless the recruiter specifically requests one.

Jargon and abbreviations - every organisation has its own words and abbreviations, which soon become second nature to those who work there. However they often fail to make sense to those outside. So it is a good idea to get someone who does not know the jargon to read your curriculum vitae to see if it makes sense.

Salary - it is best not to clutter up your curriculum vitae with salary details. If the recruiter asks for details of your current salary you can mention it in your accompanying letter.

References - it is not necessary to include details of referees in your curriculum vitae. If the recruiter asks for details you could put them in your accompanying letter. If you are writing speculatively to an employer it is best not to included reference details until you know that they are definitely interested in you. Make sure that your referees know that you are using their names. It is a good idea to discuss your career plans with them - as well as being good manners, it may help them to write you a more informed reference. And finally… „To thine own self by true‟ is a point for any curriculum writer to remember. Whilst the information above suggests some “dos and don‟ts”, it does not propose an Identikit format for everyone.

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