Resume layout

Resume or CV?
In North America the term Resume (alt résumé) is used for a business presentation of your education, work experience and other merits. Curriculum Vitea (CV) is the most common term in Europe and Asia but in general means the same thing.

Confusion arises since the North Americans often use the term CV to refer to the Academic CV which covers your education, work experience, publications, conferences, teaching experience, etc., and is often lengthy and detailed.

A chronological, organised approach to presenting your information is in general the most successful one. Employers appreciate being able to follow your work and educational experience and to see what you have been doing with your time.  
Make sure your resume is attractive. Don’t use any strange paper, colours or tiny fonts. Keep it clean and spacious. And remember:
  • Most important info first – your name and contact info
  • Make it easy to read
  • Use correct spelling and grammar
  • Avoid overloading it with info
  • Consistency – what have you been doing? Don’t use specific dates but instead years or seasons – i.e. Summer 2009 
Your resume will most often cover the following:

Name and contact info – no date of birth, ethnic origin or other irrelevant info.

Objective statement – 2 to 3 lines, basically a brief statement about what your goals are or what you are good at – a summing up of what you have to offer.

Education – make sure you start with your latest education and go backwards – use internationally accepted titles. Don’t list your courses.

Work experience – if you are a student, then everything is of value, including the job waiting tables and driving a forklift.

Awards and scholarships – always very popular with employers. Make sure you include them nice and clearly – even if it’s only a minor award.

Volunteer work
– can even be used under work. Looks very good on your resume.

Computer and human languages
– list your computer skills and note down the languages you know – but not the ones you only can say hello in.

Sports, music, organisations –if you’ve been a scout leader, a trumpet player, an elite swimmer, whatever, it is interesting and identifies some characteristics that an employer might be interested in; leadership abilities, creativity, perseverance.

Other important things – sure, you decide what might be relevant or not. Remember to keep it interesting and brief.  Don’t get carried away and tell them your life story.

You might have a lot you want to say – but don’t say it all now, save it for the interview.  Don’t undersell yourself either – you’ve probably done a lot of things that are interesting to an employer – present them attractively and show up your strengths.

Page manager Published: Tue 10 Jan 2012.