What does 'CV' mean?


'CV' stands for curriculum vitae, a Latin term that means 'course of (one's) life'.

A CV (curriculum vitae) provides a brief account of a person's education, certifications, skills and work experience and is most often used when someone is applying for work in the UK and most other European countries.

That said, professionals who work in academic, research and scientific fields around the globe use what is known as an 'academic CV'. An academic CV or academic curriculum vitae is a comprehensive, credential-driven document that focuses on showcasing your contributions to a particular field of study or practice.

What should be on a CV?


A CV for a mid level marketing manager with all of the essential components documented. Every CV should have contact information, a professional title, a personal statement, work history and academic history.

While the contents of a CV (curriculum vitae) may slightly differ from country to country, all these documents include the following sections: contact information, professional title, personal statement, academic history and work history.

Contact information: The details may vary, but most CVs list the applicant's first name and surname, mobile number, email address, and at least a portion of their mailing address, such as the town and postal code. A majority of employers also expect candidates to list the link to their LinkedIn profile.

Professional title: Often, a curriculum vitae includes a job title at the top of the document that describes the type of role the candidate is pursuing. The title may change slightly with each job application to mirror the title listed on the job advert.

Personal statement: Otherwise known as a personal profile, professional profile or career objective. A personal statement on your CV is a paragraph that sits on the top, just below your contact information and professional title. It succinctly explains to the reader who you are, what role you're pursuing and why you're a suitable candidate for such an opportunity. In other words, it serves the elevator pitch for your CV.  

Academic history: The amount of details provided in a CV's 'Education' section will depend upon the country and the type of role being pursued. However, all CVs will list the university or college where a candidate graduated, the degree earned and any notable honours achieved whilst studying. Additional credentials such as post-graduate degrees and certifications will also be noted in this section of the CV.

Work history: Also known as professional experience or employment history, this section of a CV outlines a professional's role, responsibilities, contributions and achievements for each position he or she held. It will also list the job title held, the name of the employer and the location where the job was performed. The information provided for each job should be curated based on the job seeker's current job goals. When describing their duties, some details will receive extra attention, whilst others will be downplayed or omitted in order to frame the candidate's qualifications in the best possible way. 

Optional CV elements: Additional CV elements, such as awards and honours, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations, and volunteer work may also be included in a CV depending upon your desired profession.

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