F.A.Q. - C.V.

Insert title here This is the CV Tips super CV Frequently asked questions click on the type of problem you have and you will be presented with a list of freqeuntly asked questions on the topic.
  1. Job Section
    1. How can I compile my CV to obtain a job in teaching with only six month's work experience?

      Find out what the job requirements for the specific school entail. Adjust your CV to reflect the specific skills required and focus on the experience obtained in your previous job.

    2. I need help with a CV for freelance clerical or administration work, please advice on how to proceed.

      Your CV should provide an indication of your administration abilities. Start with a summary of your skills, experience and qualifications. List relevant hard and soft skills, followed by a job history or completed projects and then your education or courses attended. End with interests and hobbies. The emphasis should be on examples of completed projects. Please note that your grammar, spelling and formatting skills are already noted in your presentation of the information. This type of CV is more a profile than a job seeker CV and should reflect that you are offering your services.

    3. How should I write my CV for freelance work in proofreading and editing with little to almost no experience?

      First try to get some experience by offering your services for free to your friends or contacts that need proofreading and editing work. Use those completed projects as experience on your CV. The functional type CV is best for freelance work as it enables you to group the completed projects in relevant categories. If you apply for a specific job, find out what the requirements are and adapt your objective section and profile to the job description.

    4. Can I mention "women's rights" in my CV to get a job in a male orientated work environment?

      No, never mention any rights groups to obtain a job. You will create the impression that you are applying pressure to obtain a job, rather than getting the job based on your skills and experience. Focus on your abilities and not your rights.

    5. How should I write my CV for a job in the accounting field?

      The type of CV depends on your work experience and education. You can see samples of functional, chronological and combination CVs at http://www.cvtips.com/CV_styles.html. Make sure that your information is presented in an interesting manner. Donït just list the jobs, but rather indicate how you have contributed to problem-solving etc. Your achievements at your previous jobs should be highlighted.

    6. How do I model my CV for a superintendent job in teaching?

      If you apply for a high profile job, your CV should be slightly longer than the normal two to maximum three pages. It should provide details of your teaching and departmental head experience as well as writing and assessment experience. The chronological CV is best suited for academic and educational related work.

    7. Can I use the normal CV format for a job in the film industry?

      No. The film industry forms part of media and entertainment and for this reason, you should include a good quality photo and all the plays, films, and performance related skills such as dancing and singing. Indicate if you have worked with big names in the industry. Your CV should be supplemented with a profile of your roles in any type of productions. All training should be included.

    8. How can I adapt my CV to obtain a high profile job or to make a severe career change?

      The best type of CV for career change is the functional CV. It is the ideal format if you want to show that you are able to take on more responsibilities and have the needed skills to do a job for which you don't have any qualifications. It enables you to list skills that are relevant to the targeted job and to provide a goal that is in line with the new career field that you have chosen.

    9. Need advice on what to include in my CV for a job in the actuarial industry.

      Apart from the normal contact details, objectives section, employment history, education and interests section, you should mention what exams you have passed and still need to pass.

  2. References
    1. If I am applying for a job in projects or research, should I include my lecturer's recommendations on the CV?

      Don't list all the references or recommendations on your CV, but note at the end of the CV that references and recommendations are available from your lecturers upon request.

    2. How can I provide references or list my previous employer on my CV if I was fired?

      Approach your previous employer for a reference. Explain that you would like to apply for another job and that you would appreciate his assistance. You can also ask someone who worked with you to provide a letter of recommendation based on something you did well at the job or even just act as reference for you. You can still state the previous employer as part of your job history on your CV, but note that references are available upon request.

    3. Can I list my references at the end of the CV?

      Yes you can, but the norm is to include references when so requested or to attach them in a separate document.

  3. Information Disclosure
    1. Should I disclose my race on my CV?

      No, you should not include any references to race in your CV unless requested in the job ad. You can however include your nationality.

    2. Should I include maternity leave taken on my CV

      There is no reason for including it in your CV, unless you have taken long leave to spend more time with your new sibling.

    3. Is it necessary or advisable to disclose on my CV that I also run a small business to supplement my income?

      It may affect your chances of getting the job, since the employer may be concerned that you will do private deals while working at the company. Rather leave it out and discuss the merits of running the business during the interview, but mention that if the employer requires, that you will close the business.

    4. Can I disclose the names of clients in my CV that I have done work for at my previous employer?

      No, even though you should list the most important projects and your contribution to the success thereof, you should not disclose any client names.

    5. Is it necessary to disclose a criminal record or felony on my CV?

      Although it isn't needed for your CV, honesty is a good policy. If you fear that you will not get to the interview stage, you can attach a separate letter to explain the circumstances surrounding the criminal offense. You may as an alternative leave it out altogether and only mention it in the application form together with a note that it will be discussed during the interview.

    6. How can you disguise your age on the CV if you may be considered too old for a position?

      Just list your most recent work history and refrain from listing information past the last ten years. If you held relevant jobs past a decade ago, then list them under other jobs held without specific dates.

  4. Situation
    1. What if I really struggle with writing a CV and don't possess good writing skills?

      Make use of a professional CV writer or ask one of your friends with some writing or job hunting experience to assist you. You can list your experience, skills and qualifications to assist the writer. As an alternative use CVtips.com to gain knowledge about the process and ask someone to check your formatting, spelling and grammar after you have written your CV.

    2. How can I make it look acceptable on my CV if I am over qualified for the job?

      Employers see over qualified candidates as a risk because they will get bored with the job responsibilities or will use the job as a springboard for something better. It is for these reasons that you must put the employer to ease. State in the objectives or summary section of your CV or cover letter that you know that you are overqualified for the job and proceed to indicate why you would like the specific job. Your goals must be in line with the employer's expectations. Place more emphasis on your skills than your qualifications.

    3. Is it reasonable for a prospective employer to request that I list more skills on my CV?

      Even if your CV is already long, you should list any additional skills relevant to the job, if so required. It is quite fair of an employer to request more information.

    4. How can I use the too young factor to my advantage on my CV?

      Indicate in the profile section that you are willing to work hard, have set goals and how your skills will be and advantage to the employer. Market your youth as a benefit to the company. You for instance, are willing to work for less, can learn fast and will cost the company less.

    5. What if most of my skills have been gained through projects while at school, even though I have worked for a period. Should I include the skills gained at school in my CV?

      Your tertiary education and employment after school is the most important. You can list the skills gained at school when they are relevant to the advertised job, but list them under 'Other skills' in your CV.

    6. How can I relate military experience on my CV to jobs in the private sector?

      First of all, see the military environment in the same light as any other employer. You may have done several courses that can be listed, received awards and promotion because of good conduct or leadership skills, presented classes or training and worked with technological applications. List soft skills applicable to the job that you are targeting, for instance, self discipline, motivational abilities, communication skills and leadership abilities. Although the software applications may differ, you can still list computer literacy, working with heavy duty equipment, stock or record keeping, budgeting etc. Stay away from strictly military terms and make use of current employment vocabulary.

    7. How can I disguise a work that I did for a long period, which I would rather not mention on my CV?

      Many people did jobs which they would rather not mention, for instance, strip dancing etc. If you also did other more corporate presentable work, focus on that. You may consider another description or title for the position, for instance with strip dancing, you can use entertainment dancer. You can include a note at the end of the CV to say that further details are available upon request.

    8. Is a different type of CV needed if you have worked in another country for all your work life?

      No, use the same chronological CV that is used in your country. Substitute or place work related terms that may differ from that country in brackets. Just make a note at the end of the CV to indicate that you are eligible to work in the targeted country.

    9. How can you state 'drop-out' from a course or change in study direction in a positive way if you haven't finished the first course on your CV?

      It is not uncommon for students to drop-out from their studies and waiting a while before they study another course. If you have completed the last course, this shouldn't be a problem on your CV. You can simply state the course or degree you studied as well as the years and institution. Place emphasis on the completed course by listing it first.

    10. What if my CV has been described as excellent, but I still don't get the interviews?

      Your CV and cover letter is only one factor in getting the job. Once you have submitted your CV, you should follow up and stay in contact with the recruiter. Remember that recruiters or employers receive hundreds of curriculum vitas, but you need to make sure that they remember your CV and are aware that you are determined to get the job.

    11. How do I give myself a job title in my CV when self-employed all my work life - doing several short projects or small jobs?

      List everything you did and find a common theme. Create a job title to reflect that theme.

    12. How can you make the work history section of the CV more presentable when you had several jobs and some together with numerous short projects?

      Use the functional style CV where you can combine the same type of jobs for a certain period. As an alternative leave out the less relevant jobs or duplicates and list them as projects. Keep the most recent jobs on your CV.

    13. How do I include my salary history in my CV if the employer requested the information?

      Even when you salary history is requested by the employer - don't include it in your CV. You can state at the end of employment history that 'salary history as requested will be provided at the interview'.

  5. CV types
    1. What type of CV is relevant for a job in web-design?

      Your CV should represent the relevant job industry. You can use a functional or combination CV for this type of work, but don't limit your CV to paper since a cd or online CV in the form of a website will prove your ability for design work. Your presentation for a work in the media sector should include at least one multimedia application, for instance a website built with Dreamveaver MX or Frontpage on a CD, or a Powerpoint presentation with images designed by you.

    2. When should I rather use a chronological CV instead of the functional CV?

      Use the chronological CV when you have a solid career history, good qualifications and haven't done much job hopping. Use the functional CV when you have done several unrelated jobs, plan a career change or have unexplained unemployment gaps.

    3. When should I use an inventory type of CV?

      Use this type of CV if you don't have a specific job objective or would like to send it to several recruiters, or when you have been unemployed for a long time and need a job quickly.

    4. Can I send the inventory type of CV to several employers at once?

      Yes you can as long as you write an employer customized cover letter for each specific job or industry and attach it to your CV.

    5. What does the employer mean when he says I should send a summary CV?

      It is normally a one page summary of your skills, experience and qualifications. Include your education - don't provide details of all the courses. Write it in tabular form to take up less space on your CV. Write your job history in reverse chronological order. Start with the most relevant accomplishments. Include your contact details.

    6. When will I use a summary CV if not requested?

      It is the perfect introduction to employers when you send unsolicited CVs or request possible employment and can also be used for contract work.

    7. What information should be included in an academic CV?

      The CV should emphasize academic accomplishments. Include the following:

    8. What type of CV can be used for contracting work?

      The contractor's CV can be slightly different from the conventional CV type. Include the following in a combination or functional type of CV:

    9. Can I use one CV for several employers?

      No, you should preferably target your CV for each job type that you apply for. You can write a basic CV and adapt it to the specific job or employer, or use the inventory CV together with a specific cover letter if you want to mass mail your CV.

    10. When should I consider using the targeted CV?

      The targeted CV can be used when you have clear career objectives, want to work for a specific employer and have the right skills, education and experience for the advertised or targeted job.

    11. Can I make use of a CV template if I am not good at writing?

      CV templates have their advantages, but should only be used as guidelines. The generic formats and lack of original content can cost you the interview.

    12. When should I use a combination CV??

      Use the combination CV when you have a firm background associated with your career goals and objectives. The combination CV includes the best of the functional and chronological styles. You can also use it when each position or job you held had unique responsibilities. Don't use it when a short CV is requested or when you have several unexplained employment gaps, or when you don't have enough work experience.

    13. When should I use the functional CV?

      Use the functional CV style when you want to emphasize certain skills and qualifications or want to make a career change. It is ideal for the entrepreneur who wants to get into the formal job sector or the graduate with no experience. You can also use it if you have several unexplained employment gaps.

    14. Where can I find examples of curriculum vitas?

      You can find examples of curriculum vitas at http://www.cvtips.com/CV_writing.html

  6. CV Distribution
    1. Can I fold the CV if I want to post it?

      Unless you want to save on postage costs, don't fold your CV; especially not a laser printed CV because the ink will definitely flake off. It is more professional to use an A4 size envelope to post it.

    2. What format should I use when I would like to post my CV online?

      Keep the format simple, for instance, plain text or ASCII. Include specific keywords to get your CV noticed by search engines. The keywords must be specific to the job that you target. List your most important skills at the start of the CV and keep a hard copy to post to the employer. Don't use fancy software since the employer might not be able to open the document.

    3. How can I make my CV scanable?

      Use white A4 size paper and write only on one side of the paper. Print it out with a laser printer and avoid too small fonts. Leave 2.5cm margins. Use capital letters rather than bold to indicate section headers. Use one column only and one and a half line spacing. Don't use italics and avoid graphics.

    4. In what format should I save my CV if I want to email it?

      The text format saving is used to ensure that all employers are able to read your CV. The limitation with this is however, in the formatting. You cannot use special fonts and formatting to make it more attractive. The best option is to save it in MS Word and then attach it to the email. If you are looking for a job in presentations or the media, you should consider PDF format. PDF should however not be used in any of the other employment sections unless requested.

    5. How can I make sure that my CV can be faxed?

      Use an easy to read font such as Verdana or Arial and make sure that the font size is not too small. You can use 11 to 12 size font. Leave enough white space and write your CV on white paper. Use only text and no graphics. Avoid fancy format styles. Leave out italics and excessive use of bold. Keep your CV to a maximum of two pages.

    6. Should I post my CV after I have faxed it to the employer?

      Yes you should either post the CV afterwards or hand deliver it to the employer. Call the employer to confirm receipt of all the pages.

    7. Can I fax an unsolicited CV to an employer?

      Never fax your CV to an employer unless you have arranged to do so, or were requested.

    8. Is it acceptable to present my CV on a disk?

      It depends on the industry. It is perfectly acceptable in the media or design environment since you can include all required examples and documents on the disk. You should however, always provide a hard copy of the CV as well.

    9. What can I do to prevent my CV in email format to be blocked by Spam filters?

      Avoid the following in your subject heading:

      • Using just capital letters
      • The words hello, hi, free and unique
      • Any form of punctuation
      Also avoid the following in the body of the email:
      • Graphics
      • HTML
      • Color
      • Zipped files as attachments
  7. Format
    1. Where should the education section be listed on the CV?

      The placement of the education section depends on the relevancy of the qualifications to the job and how much experience you have. If you have little or no experience, your education section should feature near the beginning of the CV. If you however have little formal education or qualifications, the emphasis should be on your experience and skills.

    2. In what order should the information be listed on the CV?

      The order of the information depends on the type of CV you use. Your contact details and name should always be first, followed by the short introduction or profile. Education, job history, skills and interests follow next. Interests should as a rule be placed last. Education comes first if you have good qualifications and little experience, while job history and skills are placed before education if you have more experience and little education.

    3. Is there a difference between the CV and resume?

      There is no real difference between the CV and resume. The Americans prefer to use the term resume while the European countries prefer CV, although it is generally accepted that a CV would be more detailed than the resume.

    4. What is a good length for a CV?

      The length of the CV depends on the industry. Academic, research and medical related CVs are not page limited and can span several pages. In general, the CV should not exceed more than three pages, but should at least fill one A4 or letter size page.

    5. In what order should the information be organized on my CV if I lack work experience?

      Place more emphasis on your education. List the education and then skills section before job history.

    6. What format can I use for citing salary requirements and should it form part of the cover letter or CV?

      Don't list any salary requirements in your CV or cover letter. It is only dealt with when the employer brings it up or it is requested in the application form.

  8. Presentation
    1. Is it acceptable to present my CV in a ring binder presentation file?
    2. Can I send my CV just stapled in the corner?
    3. What type of paper should be used for my curriculum vitae?
  9. Objectives
    1. What should be the first step in writing a good CV?
    2. What should the focus of the objectives section in my CV be?
    3. Do I always need to include an objectives section in my CV?
    4. What if I have numerous career objectives, should I include them all?
  10. Content
    1. What if I lack experience and don't have enough information to make a full CV?
    2. Should I include my marital status, citizenship, dependants and identification number on my CV?
    3. Is it necessary to include references on my curriculum vitae?
    4. What information is essential for my CV?
    5. What should be excluded from my curriculum vitae?
    6. When should I include a picture on my CV?
    7. To what extent should I include hobbies and interests on my CV?
    8. Should I include results from the exams on my CV?
    9. How many years history should be covered on the CV?
    10. How can I overcome the negative aspect of a long unemployment period on my CV?
    11. Will the CV be read if I don't put the exact starting and ending dates for employment?
    12. Should the dates for graduation from high school and or university be included on the CV?
    13. What contact details should be provided on a CV?
    14. What is the most important information on a CV?
    15. What should the CV be about?
    16. What buzz words are acceptable on a CV?
    17. What if you have not yet finished studying and are already applying for a job. How should you indicate your qualifications on your CV?
    18. What are the no-no's for a CV?
    19. Should I use present or past tense to refer to job activities on my CV?
    20. How can I make sure that my CV will get attention?
    21. What are the main weaknesses that I should avoid on my CV?
    22. What documents should I use as a basis for writing my CV?
    23. Should my CV always be accompanied by a cover letter?
    24. How can I impress the employer through my CV in the suggested ten seconds to read method?
    25. What do employers look for on a CV?
    26. Can I use one personal profile on my CV for all the jobs in a specific industry?
    27. If my position title is not representative of my actual job, can I change the title to be more reflective of my responsibilities on my CV?
  11. Countries
    1. If I have worked in another country all my life and would like to apply for a job in Australia. How should I model my CV for Australia?
    2. Is there a specific format CV for France?
    3. Is there a specific format for the CV if I would like to apply for a job in Japan?
    4. I would like to work in India, how can I tailor my CV?
    5. Do I need a specific type of CV for Hungary?
    6. What length should a CV be for a job in Sweden?
    7. Is there any specific information that is required for my CV if I would like to work in Italy?
    8. What should be emphasized on my CV for a job in Ireland?
    9. What is considered important for a CV in Greece?
    10. How do I model my CV for Germany?