There are times when you will not use a traditional resume when applying for a job. You may need to use a functional resume, a professional or executive resume, or you may need to use a curriculum vitae.
A curriculum vitae is typically used when you:
Are applying for an academic position or a research fellowship
You have a lot of publishing credits to your name
The company you are applying for asks for a more detailed history of your professional accomplishments
If you are in one of these positions, then you need to ensure that your CV is complete.
The main difference between a resume and a CV is the detail included in a CV. This means that a CV is going to be much longer.
A complete curriculum vitae should include all publications in which you’ve been published and all relevant training. You should also include a full work history even if it spans across twenty or thirty years. Obviously having all this information will make your CV particularly lengthy. If your CV is not three or more pages, it is likely that you do not have all the information you need to present.
Go through your entire career and education history to ensure you have all the information. Hopefully, you have kept complete records so that you know exactly what to put into your CV and the details about each project, publishing, and job.
When you have all the details put into your curriculum vitae it will be long, but don’t worry, a CV should be that long in order for it to be complete and professional.
If you were in a social situation, you would not go up to a person and start talking to him or her without introducing yourself. The same is true of applying for a position. Unless a position advertisement tells you to skip the cover letter, make sure you tell the reader who you are and why you are applying in an introductory cover letter. A cover letter is not a regurgitation of what is on your curriculum vitae or resume. That is why so many potential employers may skip reading the cover letter unless they asked you to list specific information in it such as salary history or availability for work. However, you can grab your reader’s attention by making a bold statement in the first line of your cover letter. Instead of just listing the job for which you are applying and the fact that you are interested in it, tell the reader why the position is important to you. What piqued your interest enough about this position that you are taking time to apply for it? The second paragraph of the cover letter should outline how your skill sets allow you to make a difference, to be successful in this position. What makes you the best person for this job? It cannot just be experience. Everyone else applying for the position should have relevant experience too. Your experience is already listed on your resume. How can you use your experience in a way to help this company or organization. Will it increase their bottom line, help them to be in compliance, see that they are more efficient? Lastly, close with a statement on your desire to meet the employer to talk further about the position. Your interest should show strongly in every statement that you make in your cover letter so that an employer will feel obligated to talk to you, as if he may be missing out on the best candidate for the position if he does not interview you.
The expression “curriculum vitae” originated from a Latin phrase meaning “course of life.” It can be described as a concise review of an individual’s academic qualifications, professional experience, and skills and is usually attached to a job application when seeking a job. Whereas a curriculum vitae or CV is used particularly to apply for academic, educational, scientific, and research positions, or even for fellowships and grants in the United States, it is used to apply for all kinds of white collar jobs in other parts of the world. CVs can be anywhere from 3 to 20 pages and more (we’ve seen them all!)– that describe you and your career. Especially in academia, a CV can actually be several pages long, since educators will list all of their published papers, any speaking engagements,workshops, professional development, volunteer info and more. Employers use CVs to screen candidates for personal interviews and to aid in the final employee selection. Therefore, it is important for a CV to be catchy, attractive and interesting. Good CV writing thus becomes an important part of finding a good job. In spite of CVs being so popular, there are a few organizations that prefer to have job seekers apply for a job using a format designed by the company itself. The reason is simple: these businesses rate job seekers based on their answers to a series of standardized questions. A custom format ensures that all candidates provide the desired information, as opposed to a CV, which is somewhat flexible and makes it more difficult to compare two individuals. Internationally a CV is actually what people in the United States refer to as the resume.CV writing could be divided into groups based on the purpose for which a CV is written. General or all-purpose CV writing is when a CV is written to suit all general purposes. Graduate CV writing is when a new graduate writes a CV for his/her first job. Various forms of CV writing can be difficult and has to be done skilfully. Good CV writing is not something everyone can do. As a result, a huge number of professional CV writing companies have cropped up in recent years, each promising a better CV than the other. You could approach a company in person in order to get your CV made, or you could simply hire a CV writer online, from the comfort of your home. The choice is yours. Each CV designing company makes different promises and claims. As always, to your homework and research any company you are interested in.
When searching for a job, it is important to have prepared a well-written, professional looking resume that best displays your most significant qualifications, attributes, and characteristics that make you stand out to your prospective employer. You want the reader of your resume to be impressed and believe that their company needs someone like you for the position. Your resume is essentially your very first impression, so it should reflect you in a way that leaves a lasting effect on the person considering you for employment.
A typical resume is a one to two page document typed up and listing such things as educational background, objective or career goal, qualifications and skills, and past experience and employment. However, with the way technology is growing and changing, people are beginning to turn to the idea of using virtual resumes; that is, resumes posted online for employers to view. Times are changing, and more pieces of information that were once typed or hand-written are now being displayed on websites and other formats.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my new favorite resume tool, the VisualCV. Visual CVsare online website portfolios created by prospective employees and candidates wishing to display all there is to know about them to prospective employers. They are far more than the typical one-page resume, and can include a variety of unique features.
While traditional resumes must be saved as a certain format and attached to an email or uploaded to send, you can simply send the web address of your VisualCV to be viewed by anyone you wish. There are virtually no limits to what you can add to your page. You can add audio or video of yourself, perhaps describing yourself and your characteristics and qualifications. You can also add graphs and links highlighting certain achievements you’ve accomplished, or anything else you wish to showcase. The actual layout of your page has the look of a traditional resume, but with one side displaying high-tech add-ons to give your presentation a professional and new sort of flair. You can add presentations and even YouTube video’s. If you are at a business lunch and someone asks you for your resume, you can simply give them the URL of your VisualCV and they can pull it up right there on their PDA! Are VisualCVs a good idea? Many are torn on the issue. It can add a bit of a competitive edge to your resume, showing your prospective employer a unique flair and determination, something new that they maybe haven’t seen before. It can bring you and your skills to life in what can be called a 21st century virtual show and tell. It can also be useful in controlling who sees it and where you post it, as you can post the link to your Visual CV to job search websites or directly in emails, and it can be updated and edited easily with the touch of a button. However, some argue that VisualCVs aren’t such a great idea. For one, it’s typically common that employers will take less than a minute or two to first scan resumes to weed out the ones they aren’t interested in; therefore, it can be unlikely that they’ll take the time to actually watch your videos or look at your graphs. Also, speaking in front of a camera can make more of a negative impression than a positive, especially if you aren’t well-versed in public speaking. Whether or not you choose to use a VisualCV is up to you, but it can be a positive idea if used correctly. If you don’t have enough material or the skill to make it worth someone’s while, then a traditional resume is probably for you.
It’s not enough for some potential employers to simply get a cover letter and resume in response to a job advertisement anymore. They may want a biography, a more detailed look into who you are personally and what your life experiences have been. It is a mini life story, and a good one will take a little work on your part. Do not make the mistake of enclosing a biography with just a standard resume and cover letter, for a job that does not specifically ask for it. Do some research on your job field specifically, and learn the protocol for when and where to submit a biography, if at all. A person applying as a construction worker probably won’t require one; whereas a CFO might.
Start by reading over biographies on the Internet or from the library. Look particularly for those that are short and attached to curriculum vitae or resumes, especially those of people who hold positions you might be interested in pursuing. Keep an eye out for ones that appeal to you personally, and set them aside as a rough guideline for how to conduct the writing of your own biography.
Next, take your resume as a launching pad, providing you with a clear chronology of events. Flesh out these events with any remarkable happenings in between or around your work and educational backgrounds, like accomplishments, professional development, or volunteer work, or personal details that were meaningful to you at the time. This is a brainstorming session, so throw on anything you find interesting or important to you, and edit it at a later point.
Now, pinpoint happenings in your life (education, background and career) that might be relevant to the position for which you are applying, and expound on those events. Be detailed as to what they meant to you, and, if needed, who the key players were in your experiences.
The hard part comes now, with editing. You’re going to want to cull down your brainstorming session into three or four relatively short paragraphs that are succinct, and relevant to the job you’re going for. You’ll want a strong introductory sentence, followed by a chronological personal history. If it helps, make an outline with headings and subheadings, and write a sentence or two for each of them. Sell yourself, not being too modest, and not being too show-off. You should be proud of your accomplishments, but not appear as though you have nothing new to learn.
When you’re finished, read it out loud to yourself and listen to your tone. Fix any awkward phrases or poor flow, and then have at least two other people whose writing and reading abilities you respect read over the content. Ask them to examine readability, relevance to the topic (the job you want), and look for grammatical and punctuation errors. Ask them for tough editing. Ask them too, if there is anything missing or they would like to know more about, pretending to be a potential employer.
I get asked often by clients if they need a CV. Then the next question inevitably is, “What IS a CV?”
A CV is a Curriculum Vitae. It is generally used by college professors, physicians, researchers, lawyers and any profession where lists of information are required. Examples include publications, presentations, conferences, residencies, education, etc. They can even be over 20 pages long in some cases.
Internationally, in some areas of the world resumes are called CVs, but they really are resumes. Other countries require a CV type of a format (lists) from candidates. Those are usually the countries where pictures on resumes are required as well.
If you are planning on staying in the United States and do not plan on going into medicine, law or academia, chances are you will only need a resume.