What is a CV?

What is a CV?   (see an example)

This is the definition of a CV as supplied by Merriam Webster’s online dictionary: 

Curriculum vitae - A short account of one's career and qualifications prepared typically by an applicant for a position.                                                                                                                                                          

A strong CV:

  • provides a professional  introduction to a potential employer. 
  • has a clean, professional appearance.
  • uses action verbs.
  • uses present tense for current work, past tense for former experience.
  • encourages an employer to want to know more about you via an interview. 
  • provides an employer with a “first impression” of your skills and the value that YOU  bring to a job. 
  • is  your personal marketing tool – your first opportunity to sell yourself to an employer.

A strong CV does not:

  • provide a check list of everything you have ever done (whether it is of value to the potential employer or not). 
  • require more than two pages, especially for new graduates.  More than two pages takes too much of the employer’s time.
  • look too crowded and difficult to read.
  • contain grammar or spelling errors.


Your CV will be one of many – sometimes hundreds that an employer receives.  Most employers spend less than 15 seconds looking at CVs for the first time.  

Your work experience/internship/extra-curricular activities are important to employers. It is work experience.  List it at the beginning -  usually right after your education.

A two-page CV, when done well, will effectively market you - as long as the information you provide is related to the employer’s goals and objectives.

To see an example of a CV click here.

Check your CV before you send it using the CV Checklist.