What Is a C.V.?


What is a C.V. and what does it mean?

C.V. stands for Curriculum Vitae, which is Latin for “the course of my life.” It is the modern day resume, which is more comprehensive, providing a potential employer with an overview of a person’s professional background.

Personally, I still use the word “resume.” I think today the two terms are pretty well interchangeable. However, with a resume, you must make sure it is one or two pages. A C.V. can be longer.

Please check out my resume if you’d like to see an example. It has worked well for me!

What should my C.V. or resume have?

Consider what you would want to know about someone if you were hiring them! That will help you put together your C.V.

Here are some elements that you’ll want to include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Where you went to school
  • Your work experience
  • Your achievements

These are the basic elements, but you can get creative with it. Don’t be too mechanical. For instance, when I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Civil Engineering, I had no experience. However, I received a high paying job right out of the gate. Why?

On my resume, I made sure to include that I was one of the top 50 women chess players in the country. It came up in almost every interview as a point of interest with the employer. I’d watch him read my resume with a sort of glazed bland expression, waiting for him to come to that line, when his eyes would inevitably pop.

What should go first on my C.V. or resume?

This is a very important point. This goes back to the original question: What is a C.V.? What is the purpose of this document?

You want to promote yourself so that your potential new boss sees you in the right light and hires you, right? Lead with your best feature!

If you have a PHD in your field, by all means, lead with education.

Perhaps you’ve just written a best-selling book, that should be top on the list!

If you have no work experience, but are an Olympic gold medal winner, that should be the focus, front and center.

People often start with work experience, because that is most relevant, but you need to decide what is right for you. What will get you noticed?  And again, what would you want to see at the top of the resume?

Please feel free to share your resume or C.V. here. Provide a link, so that we can learn more about your experience and see how you put your resume together! What advice do you have for people creating their very first resume?

How can I help you?