Writing a CV – Basic Elements

Sono sempre di più gli amici che, per una ragione o per l’altra, mi chiedono consigli su come scrivere un curriculum vitae, sostenere un colloquio di lavoro o fare una presentazione in inglese.

Ho deciso, così, di dedicare una serie di post proprio al Business English. E, visto che scrivere un curriculum, contrariamente a quanto potrebbe sembrare, non è esattamente la cosa più semplice del mondo, ho pensato di iniziare da qui: gli elementi base di un buon CV.

Vediamoli insieme con questo video di Monster UK & Ireland.

A CV is essentially a sales brochure where you pinpoint the unique selling points that make you stand out from the crowd and prove that you are the ideal candidate for the position you are applying for.

Here is a list of key elements you should write in your curriculum:

  • Your personal details: name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address, so any interested employers can contact you easily;
  • A personal statement: a paragraph to immediately catch the attention of your reader, making them want to find out more about you;
  • Employment experience: a list of your positions starting from the most recent one and continuing in reverse chronological order, including the name, location, website and dates of your employment for each company you have worked for and information about your responsibilities and achievements in each role;
  • Education: details of your academic and professional qualifications in reverse chronological order, including the marks achieved;
  • Key skills: a list of all the skills, tangible or not, you have picked up over the years, including every I.T. package or program you have used, any foreign language skills you have gained, whether basic, intermediate or advanced;
  • Hobbies and interests (optional): the idea is to give the interviewer a more rounded picture and something more personal to discuss at an interview;
  • References: it is not necessary to give your references on the CV, but you should write that details are available on request.

And here are some rules you should follow when writing your CV:

  • Keep your CV short (2 pages of A4), to the point and interesting
  • Don’t jazz it up with images or colour
  • Use typefaces like Times New Roman or Arial – they are easier to read
  • Use bullet points when possible
  • Check for spelling and typographical errors

Always remember: you are not writing a CV  for yourself, you are writing it for a potential employer, so put yourself in their shoes.

Here’s some job-related vocabulary used in the video:

application = a written or spoken request for employment, admission, help, funds, etc.

(to) apply = to ask formally for a job, admission to a school, a loan, etc.

candidate = applicant = a person who applies for a job, a grant, support, etc;

CV or curriculum:  a summary of one’s education, work experience and qualifications, prepared typically by a person applying for a job.

employment = occupation

employer = a person or a company that has people who do work for wages or a salary

interview = a meeting at which people assess the qualifications of an applicant

interviewer = a person who interviews

(to) pick up = to learn

position = job

skill = the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice

qualification =  an ability, quality, or attribute that makes someone suitable to do a particular job or activity

reference = a person who can give information about another person’s character, abilities, etc.

And here are two interesting idioms:

to stand out from the crowd = to be unusual in a good way

to put yourself in someone’s shoes = to imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s position

Ricapitolando, la prima cosa da tenere a mente quando scriviamo un curriculum è l’obiettivo: catturare l’attenzione di un potenziale datore di lavoro e ottenere, magari, un colloquio. Dobbiamo, quindi, metterci nei panni del nostro interlocutore e fare in modo che il CV sia completo, sì, ma anche sintetico, interessante, facile da leggere e corretto da un punto di vista formale. Mi raccomando, evitiamo  eccessi di creatività, errori e trascuratezze!

E se volete  qualche suggerimento su come rendere il CV più interessante, non perdetevi il prossimo Business English post! Bye for now, j


Janet L. Dubbini

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