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How to write a good CV in English?

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Nowadays, employers tend to receive thousands of applications for a job as soon as it is advertised on the job market. Therefore it is vital that your letter should stand out from the thousands of CVs and letters that people are going to send.

The first impression is always the most important one, therefore you need a good and well- structured CV in order to attract the employers' attention. Here are a couple of tips about how to write a good CV when applying for a job in the UK or in Ireland.

An employer has very little time to spend on your application. The most important thing is that your CV is clear. Your CV has to be word processed. It immediately shows that you can work on word processors. The CV should be between one or two pages long. Don't be scared to space it out, never condense everything onto one page otherwise it will look messy. Since most employers have very little time to spend on each CV, they tend to skim read what you have written. It is therefore better to start by what is most important and work your way downwards from what is important to what is not so vital.

Structure and content
The structure of a CV must follow a certain order.

  1. Personal data
    First of all, you have got to introduce yourself: full name, address, date of birth. If you want, you can add your phone number, marital status and nationality. Even if this is not compulsory, this might be important for the type of job for which you are applying. For example, if you are applying to an international company that requires knowledge of a language as a native tongue then it might be useful to mention your nationality. If there is anything that you would feel that is important to mention, you can do it here.
  2. Education and qualifications
    This part of the CV is one of the most important because it gives the employer an insight into who you are, through your academic career. The trickiest part of mentioning qualifications is to try and find the equivalent in English. This is not always easy as the diplomas in the education system vary from country to country. The best thing to do is to write the original name of your qualification along with the equivalents in English in brackets. Grades can also be a problem. 1/20 is not an "eins"(l) in German.
  3. Work experience
    This section can be divided in various sub-sections especially if you have got a lot of experience (present post, previous employment, voluntary work). Don't be afraid to describe the tasks that you had to do in your different jobs, especially if these are relevant to the job that you are applying for.
  4. Skills
    In this section, you can put down all the practical things that you can do that might be useful for the job: driving licence (always say clean driving licence), knowledge of languages and computer software.
  5. Interests
    Of course, the employer is not going to hire you because you have the same hobbies as him/her but this section helps him/her get a better idea of what kind of person you are. However, you should remain brief.
  6. References
    It always looks good to put down the names of two people who have agreed to provide references. Ideally, one should be academic and the other from one of your previous job(s). Always give the name and title of your referee.

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