This guide aims to help you make a CV/Resume that’s tailored towards typical part-time work. If you’re looking for your first job, it’s understandable that you may not have a decent CV already prepared. This guide aims to change that. I even made a nice template for you to use.
The CV (or resume for our friends across the pond) is the first impression that you’ll be giving to every single employer that you are looking to work for. It’s important that you get it right. Your CV/Resume is likely only going to get a few brief moments in front of a pair of eyes before it gets judged, so you need to make sure that your CV doesn’t get simply thrown out by someone who’s looking to get rid of as many of their applications as possible.
So, how do you make your CV stand out above everyone else’s?
Well, that’s a complicated topic and one that I’ll be discussing in as much detail as possible later in the article. First, however, I would like to clarify the differences between a CV and a resume.
What are the Differences Between CVs and Resumes?
A resume is the preferred format in the United States and the key difference between it and a CV is that a resume is shorter and more concise. That being said, it’s not uncommon for there to be little difference in formatting between a CV and a resume nowadays. So, for the purposes of this guide I’ll be treating them as one and the same.
However, if you’re in the United States, you may wish to omit certain sections of this guide to keep your resume concise. Specifically, you may wish to ignore the “Personal Profile” and “Hobbies and Interests” sections as well as trimming down any blocks of text into bullet points or briefer sentences.
CV Formatting Guide
Because I’m a great guy, I prepared a CV template in Word to make your lives easier. If you’re making a CV/resume from scratch, I’d advise you use this template to some degree.
Simply click that link above to download the template.
Now, I’ve created separate articles that goes into each section of the CV in more depth, so I strongly advise you check them out.
I’ve written an article all about this, so I strongly advise you check it out over here:
However, if you’re too lazy to click the link, I’ll give you the brief version:
Write about who you are, what you’re trying to achieve, and what you can bring to the table. Keep it brief.
Education and Qualifications
Once again, I’ve already written an article about this, so I strongly urge that you check it out.
If you’re too lazy to click the link, just follow the template I provided. This section is relatively easy to format. In fact, you may wish to omit it entirely if you’ve got a lot of work experience already. However, I imagine most of you out there are looking for your first job and won’t have much in the way of experience. In that case, I’d advise you make the bulk of your CV about your education.
I actually haven’t created an article that details how to format this, but it’s mostly formatted the same way as the education section.
Simply list your work experience in reverse chronological order, so put your most recent employment at the top. I would advise formatting it like so:
When writing the descriptive text about your time in that job, I would strongly advise you stick to the following order:
- Your responsibilities (what you did)
- Your accomplishments
- Anything you learned
If you wish, you can bullet point these sections. I prefer not to, because it keeps the CV physically shorter, which saves paper and makes it more likely that it’ll actually get read (nobody wants to read a 10 page document, even if it is mostly bullet points). That said, bullet points are easier to read. When you make a CV, a lot of personal preference is involved.
If you’re looking for methods of gaining experience, check out this article:
If you’re looking for your first job, then you may not have much in the way of work experience. If you don’t have any work experience, just omit this section entirely and make the bulk of your CV about your education. Perhaps you could replace this section with an accomplishments section, which you can list your non-work related achievements.
Hobbies and Interests
I haven’t created a formatting guide for this section because there’s no real formula for it. Most people choose to omit this section as it’s mostly irrelevant to any jobs you’ll find. However, I like to keep it in as it shows that I’m a real human being with passions and interests.
I would simply state a few of your more impressive pastime and perhaps indicate how they may be relevant to the position you are applying for, without being overly specific.
Just keep it brief.
This section is extremely simple. Just put “references available upon request” at the bottom of your CV. That’s all you need.
For further information regarding references, check out this article:
How to Make your CV Stand Out From the Pack
Okay, so you’ve got the outline of your CV all good to go. I bet you’re raring to start sending it out. But hold your horses there. Are you certain it’s good enough?
There’s a simple test for any CV that’s going to be sent to employers looking for part-time employees.
Print off like 50 random CVs from the internet and insert yours somewhere into the pile. Skim through all of them, setting aside the ones you like. By the third CV, you should be extremely bored and want to go do something more interesting. When you finally reach your CV, attempt to read it.
Okay, so this wasn’t exactly a simple test. Nor is it a test that you should actually attempt. But it does give you an idea of the kind of mindset that whoever is reading your CV will have. The person reading your CV probably won’t be doing it because they want to, they’ll be doing it because they have to.
Write your CV so that it’s as easy to read as possible:
- Bold headings and bullet points are a must.
- Stick to some kind of structure with any text you write, so that it’s easy to skim.
- Keep it brief. You’re not trying to immerse your reader in a fantasy world; you’re trying to convince them to put your CV into the “like” pile.
Hopefully this article was able to help you make a CV. I understand how difficult it can be to make your first CV. I’ve made a fair few CVs in classes I took throughout my secondary and tertiary education and they were all terrible. That’s why I created this guide, so that you can create something with tangible value outside of whatever specific class might ask you to make one. Anyway, this guide should have helped you to make a CV that won’t get immediately binned by employers.