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A CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which means course of life in Latin) is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and it contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography.

The term ‘Curriculum Vitae’, commonly abbreviated to CV, can be literally translated as ‘course of life’. Sometimes referred to as a résumé, it’s a summary of your career history that is often the first phase in getting yourself noticed by potential employers.

Why CVs are requested
When employers have a vacancy they need to fill they will put together a person specification; a list of the skills and experience they want the ideal candidate to possess. From this list, the job advert is created, which is where they will ask you to send them your CV.

How closely your CV matches the person specification is the key factor in determining whether they see you as a suitable person to join their company.

Your personal advertising campaign
Like any advert, you should use your CV as an opportunity to sell. You want to sell your skills, your qualifications, you experience and your ability to do the job. Advertising is all about attracting attention and appealing to the needs of the buyer so highlight your strengths and achievements to interest of the recruiter.

The skill is in honing your CV to the opening and demonstrating how any experience your have gained can be useful to the company you are applying to. Every time you complete a training course, volunteer or gain new responsibilities you should update your CV.

If you’re a recent graduate and can’t demonstrate a long career history, you can still list gap year experience, part time work, charity work, internships and association memberships explaining how the experiences you’ve gained during these will help you in your future career.

before the start cv

To decide whether to submit a CV or a resume, you will need to determine which of them most appropriately fits the criteria provided by the employer, grant agency, or scholarship or internship committee who will be reading your application. Often, the application instructions for a particular position will state whether a CV or resume is requested. If you are unsure, it is worth your time to contact the agency and ask which would be most appropriate for the position.

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