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A decent and up-to-date CV is becoming increasingly important. It is the first tool to convince a recruiter that you’re the go-to guy/girl. Therefore, being different from all the other CVs is the key to being invited for an actual interview. Displaying the most important information about yourself in a insightful and strategic way will provide this distinction. There are a lot of different ways to do so, however, but the CaCo comes to the rescue! We’ve set-up an overview of the most important aspects of a CV and how to build one properly. Keep in mind that a CV is a very personal document, so if you have something very special that’s not mentioned below; don’t forget to implement it!

The first part of your CV is very simple and important at the same time: your personal information. This included your name (often including initials and such), day of birth, home address, phone number, email address and nationality. If credentials such as the possession of a driver’s license are important for your application, include these too! Adding an up-to-date photo of yourself as well is often received positively. Keep in mind that the photo has to be a bit formal and should only display you (not you + friends + beer on a holiday in Ibiza).

Second, you mention your current and completed education. Rank these from most to least recent, mentioning the relevant years. Don’t forget to mention the school/university (and city/country).

Thirdly, a very important aspect of your CV: employment history. Mention all jobs, including firm, function/tasks and period of employment. Again, rank your jobs from most to least recent. If possible, mentioning references (like your supervisor or colleagues) is very valuable. Don’t forget to include the contact information of your references (and don’t forget to inform them about you mentioning them in your CV)! You can also include work experience you’ve gotten during your studies (such as lab experience).

Next, you have to mention your qualities as an employee and/or person. Include languages and (computer) programmes you master and what skills you have. Indicating how strong your skills are is very important; you can indicate these with terms like ‘professional’, ‘native’, ‘basic’, etc. Keep in mind that it is a big turnoff for recruiters if they expect someone to speak fluently in English, while noticing rather basic proficiency. Being honest is key!

Last but not least, mention diploma’s, extracurricular courses, volunteer work, a board year, etc. If relevant, you can mention some of your hobby’s/personal interest. This provides an image of you as a person.

Click here for an example of a decent CV.