How to Write a CV

Your CV is supposed to be an introduction to a prospective employer documenting the qualities you have to offer. As it is an introduction the main purpose of the CV is to obtain an interview - not to tell your whole life story. Remember that an employer may have several hundred enquiries about a single job so make your CV short and relevant to the job you are applying for (it should not exceed 2 pages in length and ideally it should be only one page).

Writing a CV is a long process - you don't write a perfect CV in an hour. When you have written a first attempt, get someone to look at it, and tell you how you can improve it. This could be friends, teachers or family or you can seek professional help (see STG Job service for further information).

If you are writing a CV for a job in Spain do always write in Spanish (unless it is specifically requested in the advert that you write in another language). A Spanish employee will be reluctant to invite you to a job interview if you haven't showed that you dominate the Spanish language. If you need help writing or correcting a Spanish CV or Cover Letter see STG Job service.

It is also important that you tailor the CV directly to the job you are applying for. This means that you have to change your CV every time you apply for a new job. You don't have to start all over every time but make sure you place most emphasis on the skills and qualifications which most closely match the job on offer.

Be honest. If the information provided on your CV is found to be dishonest, the employee will find out sooner or later. Even if you manage to get a job by lying you will surely be fired as soon as the truth comes through.

When you have spend a lot of effort on writing the perfect CV remember to take your time to make sure that it arrives to the right person within the company. If you send it to the wrong person it might end up in a stack of papers or in the worst case directly in the bin. With a simple phone call you can find out the name of the person who will be dealing with your application.

Layout and Presentation

The Layout and Presentation of your CV is important. If it doesn't look professional you will most likely be discarded for the position.
The format of your CV depends on the position for which you are applying. Normally a CV should follow the guidelines below but for some jobs (i.e. in the world of marketing) it might be OK to 'spice up' your CV with colours and other effects.

- Your CV should be written on white quality paper, well laid-out with clear headings and easy to read text (don't reduce the font in order to make it fit to the desired length).
- Always start with the most relevant information first (reverse chronological order).
- Use the same font throughout the CV and try to use only 2-3 different font sizes.
- Do use bold and/or underline print for headings and also use bullet points.
- Use the same left and right margin.
- Always print it out on a good quality printer - do newer hand in photocopies.
- In Spain it is very normal to include a photo on your CV. You can either scan it in or ad it afterwards.

What to Include

Personal Details
The personal details should include:
- First and last names (If your name does not obviously show if you are male or female, include this!)
- Home address including postcode
- Telephone number
- Date of birth - Nationality
- E-Mail address

The next section should either be Education or Employment. The general rule is that if you have had more than 3 years of professional experience then start with Employment otherwise with Education.

This section should include information about all the relevant education you have. Apart from the points below you should also include information about any special project, thesis, or dissertation work. (In reverse chronological order).
- Name of course and titles awarded
- Name of the institution where you studied
- Location of the institution
- Dates of the course (start and end dates)
- You can also include you final marks (if they benefit you) - it is not strictly necessary in Spain.

Employment History
This is the most important section of the CV. Here you have to show what experience you have gained from other jobs, your responsibilities and achievements. If you are seeking your first job or don't have much work experience, list summer jobs and unpaid work. Otherwise only use relevant work experience. (In reverse chronological order).
- Name of the company or organisation
- Job title
- Brief description of your responsibilities and what you achieved in that job
- Dates (start and end date)

Interests & Achievements
In this section you can include volunteer work, personal interest, awards, certificates, etc. but try to make it relevant to the job you are seeking.

- Language - Spoken and written level

Computer Knowledge
- Programs (software) and programming knowledge.
- Level

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