Curriculum Vitae

(1) A Brief Introduction


CV, according to the definition of Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture(English-Chinese) (2006) is a short wirtten account of your education and your previous jobs, which you send to an empolyer when you are looking for a new jobs; Resume.

My Point of View

When applying for a job, curriculum vitae is the first impression you make for the employers. It is the first step to get a excellent offer. As a result, designing an impressive cv is quite important for job hunters, especially for those graduating students because they has little experience in job hunting.

In general, a curriculum vitae has a fixed pattern to follow. It has certain required components, including personal details, education, work experience, awards, ,qualification, other information and reference. However, the style of cv changes a lot depending on who you are, which position you are applying for and where you are located. As to graduating students, education is much more important than work experience, so education is put prior to work experience. While for those who has been working for years, work experience is valued, while education minor.

In spite of this, there are also some fundamental organisation rules and forms to follow.This article will provide you with some tips and requirements that a good cv needs when you design one.

(2) Example

Here is an example from The University of Exeter,

Alexander Smith

13 Ryder Park Avenue, Exeter EX2 4PY
mob: 07756 984 006
e-mail: Alex.W.Smith@exeter


Young caree -minded undergraduate with an aptitude for creative problem solving and analysis with attention to detail. Excellent team skills and strong communication abilities


2003 – present University of Exeter BSc Honours in Mathematics predicted 2:1.

2001 – 2003 Esher College, Surrey A-levels studied: Mathematics (A), Physics (B), Biology (C).
1996 – 2001 Heathside Secondary School, Surrey GCSE`s gained: Eight A grades and three B grades.

Work Experience

Summer 2005 Hawthorns Engineering
STEP summer placement with project involving evaluating
ITsystems within the company and installing new software, writing manual and training staff in new systems

Summer 2004 Eurocamp, South West France

General administration at international camp site including sorting out customer queries and complaints. Working with children and the kids’ sports club.

2000 – 2003 Brodies Newsagents Swindon
Saturdayshop manager; independently organising deliveries and
managing small team of staff in a local convenience store.

Skills interests and achievements

  • Strong capabilities using current mainstream computer applications in Windows and Apple Macintosh environments; including HTML
  • Keen musician: Bass player in London based acoustic band. Organising and playing at regular live gigs and independent recording sessions.
  • President of wine tasting society at University: Head of eight strong committee organising fundraisers and social events.
  • Currently studying on amateur refereeing course: Learning laws of association football to become a qualified level seven referee.
  • Independent part-time mathematics tutor to A-level mathematicians.
  • Captained local non-league football team for five years.

References : Available upon request.

For more examples, please look at the web:

(3) Content

The content should be presented in a clear and obvious form, including the details of one's life experience and his/her highlight. The layout is flexible and changable, but it usually includes the following ones, or some of them.
  • Personal Details
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Awards
  • Qualification
  • Hobby and Interest
  • Self-evaluation
  • Other Information
  • Reference

As in the book of A Practical Writing Course for College Students(Fu,2008)shows, they should include:

a) Personal Details
  • name in full
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • nationality
  • marital status
  • address(correspondence address and hme address, if different)
  • telephone number
  • E-mail address(if any)
b) Education
  • a precise record of schools and colleges attended
  • examination qualifications
  • degree awards
c) Work Experience
  • a precise record of employment positions held (including part-time work)
d) Reference
  • name, professional titles and detailed addresses of people who will write a reference for you if approached

Apart from these four major components, there may be other things to include, such as "Personal achievement" (in sport or music... etc.) or "Interests and activities". These are usually put in the space after "Work experience" but before "Reference".

My point of view

The most significant thing to present the details is clear and still highlighting one's merits. Not all of the details one should mention, but only the ones that is appropriate and important to the position one applies for.

(4) General Guidelines

Here are some tips and guidelines that one needs to pay attention to.

Seeing the web:
a) Length
  • a maximum of 2 sides of A4 (unless you are including an extra page for your publications if these are important for the post).

b) Apparance

  • look good
  • use a common typeface (if via e-mail)
  • use good quality paper (if post); use the same paper for your covering letter and a large envelope (A4 preferably) to avoid folding
  • using headings and sub-headings
  • avoid large chunks of text
c) Content
  • use space wisely
  • readily accessible - put the most important points you wish to be noticed in the most obvious positions to grab attention.
  • employment and education should be listed in reverse chronological order - ie the most recent at the top of the list.
  • update and change CV as necessary
  • don't include information you don't want a company to know about eg poor grades, brushes with the Law.
  • few companies appreciate a wacky CV but this might go down well when applying to some advertising agencies.
  • send your CV with a good covering letter

Seeing the web:
d) Style
  • Proofread to eliminate all spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
  • Use action verbs and strong adjectives
  • Make it future or present oriented, suggesting that "I am this kind of person, with these abilities, as my past record demonstrates."
  • Avoid repeating words or phrases.
  • Leave out unnecessary words, sentences, and phrases such as "Duties included / Hired to / Project involved."
  • Avoid stilted or confusing language. Ask yourself, "Would I talk like that?"
  • Don’t use the first person I or any pronouns.
  • Be consistent and use the same grammatical style throughout.
  • Avoid self-flattering terms such as "highly skilled, outstanding, or excellent." Describe your accomplishments effectively and let readers decide for themselves that you are well-qualified.
  • Be honest and accurate, but not overly modest.
  • Convey through the style and content of your resume an understanding of your audience’s needs, priorities, hiring criteria, and vocabulary.
e) Format
  • Stick to 1 page; use 2 pages if you have an advanced degree or extensive experience (10+ years).
  • Make the page easy to scan and graphically-pleasing: leave sufficient white space.
  • Select a format that suits your qualifications. Don’t automatically follow someone else’s, which may not suit what you have to say.
  • Underline, bold face, and use bullets to emphasize your credentials.

Overall Requirements: Seeing the web:
"Your CV should:
  • be neat, typed if possible and to the best standard you can achieve in content and layout
  • be short, two sides of a sheet of A4 paper is normally enough
  • be positive, it should emphasise your achievements, strengths, successes and how you have contributed to your employers making a profit (add figures to support facts whenever you can and use positive action words, for example: ‘consulting’, ‘negotiating’, ‘managing’ and so on)
  • make a good impression, this means presenting the facts about yourself in a clear and positive way"

(5) Useful expressions

  • University's ... Award (date)
  • First/Second Prize in ... Competition (date)
  • Excellent Student Award (date)
  • Excellent Performance Award (date)
  • Scholarship (First/Second/Third Class, date)

Position of Work Expericence:
  • Chairman
  • Executive Vice-Chairman
  • Assistant Chairman
  • Head of the Office
  • Minister of the Science& Technology and Academic Department
  • Minister of the Human Resources/Girls Affairs/Network/Liaison Department
  • Minister of the Rights and Benefits/International Communication Department
  • Minister of the Publicity Department
  • Secretary

  • Certificate of Test for English Majors (TEM-4/TEM-8)
  • Certificate of Japanese Language (Level 1/2/3)
  • Busniss English Certificate (BEC-1/2/3)
  • Certificate of Jujian Provincial/National Computer Test
  • Certificate of National Putonghua Test

(6) Citation

①Summers, Della.Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture(English-Chinese). The Commercial Press. May 2006. June 2011
②The University of Exeter.June 2011
③Fu, Siyi. A Practical Writing Course for College Students.Peking University Press. Jan.2008. June 2011
④The Curriculum Vitae - General Guidelines.2011.University of Exeter.June 2011
⑤Resume Tips.March 2011.Massachusetts Institute of Technology.June 2011
⑥Writing a CV.the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).June 2011

(7) External Links on Curriculum Vitae, MIT Career Development Center