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What to include in a CV?

What to include in a CV?

A CV includes a concise version of the complete biography of the candidate. It is a chronological overview of education, work experience, abilities and other detail about the applicant. Based on this information, the employer gets a picture of you and decides whether you are a suitable for the second round or not. Therefore, you must present yourself in the best light and stand out from the other candidates.


Your biography should consist of several basic sections.



1. Personal profile 


  • Name and surname
  • Datof birth
  • Phone number 
  • E-mail (name.surname@xxxxxx, avoid unprofessional email addresses)
  • Address/location 
  • Photo
    In a CV the photo should be smaller, in a form of a portrait. Choose solid background on which you look professional, positive and polite. The photo is useful for an employer to remember the candidate who is in the process of recruitment and selection more easily.

All other details are unnecessary such as marital status, number of children, military service, personal attributes.


2. Education 

Put the most relevant formal education first. If you have completed your studies, list only higher and secondary formal education.


  • Name of educational institution 
  • Degree/Major 
  • Period of study
  • Additional information (scholarships, awards you have won, outstanding GPA…)

Alsoyou can put non-formal education (seminars, training, specializations), if it is relevant for the position you are applying for.


3. Work Experience  

If you have enough relevant experience, this section should come before the education section. List everything in reverse chronological order. Start with work experience from the most relevant achievement.


  • Name of employer/organization 
  • Position 
  • Roles and responsibilities 
  • Period of work/internship  

Briefly list your responsibilities and use active verbs (such as led, analyzed, conceived, made, provided). Emphasize what you have contributed, achieved such as worked on innovation, improved results. 
Do not use the present tense for old jobs.
It is usually enough to cover 10 years of your work history.
If you have diverse work experience, list and describe in more detail the experiences that are relevant for the position for which you are applying.
If you do not have work experience in this section emphasize participation in volunteer works, projects, memberships, internships…


 4. Skills

List the set of skills you possess (general, professional, people skills); knowledge of foreign languages - specify level (completed language course, certificate or diploma); computer skills and IT programs as well as some other important information that will be useful for the employer to know (such as driver's license if it is necessary to use a vehicle to do the job).


5. References 

You can write that references are available on request. It is not necessary to provide references at this stage unless it is indicated in the application.
The rule is for the candidate to list two people who can make a recommendation. Therefore, it is important that the person knows you and can confirm your personal and professional qualities.


  • Name and surname of the person who can recommend you (be sure to inform the person before sending his/her data)
  • Position/title, company in which the person is employed
  • Phone number/e-mail


 6. Interests 

In a CV this section is optional. If the interests are relevant to the position you are applying for and if it will provide a complete picture of yourself, then list them.
General things like reading a book, walking will not attract the attention of the employer.


7. Summary 

Briefly explain why you are a suitable candidate for the position you are applying for, emphasize your qualities, successes and skills that are relevant for the open position.  
If you do not have any work experience, here you can provide some basic information about yourself, what you are interested in and what skills you possess, that are important for the job you are applying for.
This is the part that the employer usually 
looks at first and it is very important to interest the employer to further read your resume. 



CV should be a unique combination of your qualities, skills, abilities. 

Take your time and dedicate yourself to creating your biography, because it is the first step towards employment - your dream job. 


Check out some professional templates here.


Good luck! 


Nina Trajković 

Regional Manager for Business Process Development