Convert your CV format into a resume seamlessly with these tips.

As a job seeker, you may find yourself in a position where both a curriculum vitae (CV) and a resume are needed, forcing you to question which information should be omitted from your CV format and which is crucial to keep. This may seem daunting, but it is easier than you think.

The first step of turning a CV into a resume is to determine the difference between the two, when to use one or the other, and how to shorten information. Here are a few tips for tackling the CV-to-resume transformation.

What is a CV?

CVs are detail-oriented documents that display a written overview of your education and qualifications, positions of employment, and your skills and achievements developed throughout your career. They are designed to cover your work history in enough detail to persuade prospective employers to invite you for an interview.

The primary difference between a resume and a CV is the length. CVs are two, possibly three, pages long, while resumes rarely exceed the two-page limit. This is because CVs explore each position of employment in detail, whereas resumes focus on summarising your history. While CVs and resumes are extremely different in appearance, they can readily merge to create a shorter resume-style document or an actual resume. It’s simply a case of identifying what to transfer and adapt, and how to reduce your CV’s content without losing your impact.

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Transferable skills are essential

One of the first methods of converting a CV to a resume format is focusing on your transferable skills. Transferable skills are ‘soft skills’ that are used in most industries and positions. For example, project management, while defined differently depending on the industry, generally can be transposed into another career. Same goes for leadership, communication, and problem-solving.

Look for soft, transferable skills in your CV and transfer them to the resume. Usually, placing a list of areas of expertise or core skills under the career summary works best. Format the list into no more than three columns and four rows. Use bullets, such as check marks, to distinguish the separation.

Focus on key achievements

This is one of the trickier parts of the conversion process. CV formats tend to list many responsibilities, achievements, and skills under each position of employment, while resumes summarise these details in a few lines.

It is preferable to meld the two systems when converting your CV into a resume. Look for the duties or achievements listed on the CV that showcase the abilities your prospective employer is looking for. Use those key points and omit the other details until you are left with about five bullet points. Ensure you continue to use active verbs and quantifiable examples when explaining your key achievements as they demonstrate your professional value with impact.

Slim down your education details

An education section is just as important on the resume as it is on a CV. However, there are a few differences. Do not include details of modules, projects, or assignments unless they were within three to four years, were considered major accomplishments, or they are crucial to displaying your abilities for the job.

It is okay to list professional development, including training, awards, memberships, and so forth. But the point is to supplement your history, not provide a biography. You can discuss the details in your job interview.

Break your resume into clear sections that are easy to skim

Professional resume writers and designers agree that the organisation and formatting of your CV or resume are just as important as the content. It makes reading the document easier, and hiring managers can access the most important information within a few seconds. In fact, depending on the resume writer, most agree that a hiring manager should gain a basic feel for the candidate within ten seconds.

Here are a few sections to include on the resume:

  • Career summary

  • Skills

  • Experience

  • Education

Avoid including the following sections:

  • References

  • Publications

  • Modules and assignments

  • Hobbies and interests

Bringing it all together

Transforming a CV to a resume format isn’t difficult.However, it is recommended to seek professional advice before submitting it to a prospective employer. Professional resume writers can critique your materials, offer suggestions and make edits. The investment is worth it. A professional, polished resume could mean the difference between winning the interview and being shown to the door.

Need help converting your CV into a resume? Our sister site, TopResume, can help!

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