Advice and Tips
Is your CV missing this information?
It’s not just showing where you’ve worked that’s important in a CV. Including a paragraph where you describe your skills is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass by.
No matter how well educated you are and how much experience you’ve gained, a poorly written CV can prevent you from being called in for an interview. Try looking at your CV – but this time from an employer’s point of view. Does it look like someone you’d hire? If you’re unsure about this point, read the following article:
After working over ten years as a career advisor and course instructor for Tekna, Mette Meinert has a great deal of insight into what works when job seekers are writing their CV and cover letters.
For example, she says that if you’re a student, it’s important to get your CV ready as soon as possible.
– The earlier the better. You might suddenly have to apply for a part-time and/or summer job, and if you do, it’s good to have something ready to send out. It’s smart to keep your CV updated at all times. Make a “master CV” that includes everything about you. When you apply for a certain job, you can then pick out the information that’s most relevant for your application, she explains.
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– The most important points first
If you’re a student, she feels you should format your CV in a different way than for somebody who’s been working for a longer period of time.
– A lot of information will be the same, but there’s especially one thing that’s different. I always say that the most important information should appear first. So if you have a section called Education and another one called Work Experience, you choose what is most relevant for the job you’re applying for. If you’re trying to get a summer job where your study area is important, then your education is most relevant. So this should appear above work experience, says Meinert.
– What is the biggest mistake students make when they’re creating their CV? – There are two mistakes that often appear; the first is that the CV contains too little information, and the second is that it lacks a Key Qualifications section.
– It’s not enough to just write under Education that you’ve got a Master’s degree in physics from the University of Bergen after studying there from 2013-2020. That’s just the title. You should fill in the details here by writing a few relevant subjects, projects or the title of your Master’s thesis. Include information if you’ve specialized in a certain area or if you’ve presented at a conference or in some other setting. Again, remember that you can include everything in a “master CV” and choose different points as you get more experience and want to emphasize other things. Feel free to use our CV Builder to make different versions of your CV, she says.
This same principle applies to more experienced employees. The Norwegian CV has developed over time from being merely a document containing lists of educational achievements and previous positions. Today, you should include the following information (if relevant to the job you’re applying for):
- Your past area(s) of responsibility
- Working methods you’ve used
- What you’ve achieved in past jobs; in other words, any results you can refer to
Meinert also feels that you should always include your key qualifications whether you’re a student, recent graduate or experienced employee. – It’s a unique opportunity to show your most important skills. This is where you should demonstrate that you’re truly qualified for the job you’re applying for. You can construct this section in the following way:
- Start by writing two lines showing the professional skills you have that correspond best with those listed in the job posting.
- Then set up what I often call administrative skills. These might be that you have experience with communication or being a leader of a student organization, or have done other things that aren’t strictly academic. Although this type of information often gets left out, it’s just as important to include as your schoolwork if you want to stand out from the crowd.
- You should then round it off by writing a few words about your personal qualities. What do people say about you? Are you easy to work with, is your work style organized, do you function best by diving into work-related issues, and are you always looking for facts to base your answers one, etc.
- Remember that you should back up whatever you write in this section when creating your cover letter. You can also include here what it is that’s made you a good communicator and what kind of feedback you’ve gotten from others. These documents (your CV and cover letter) should always complement one another.
Tekna can help you in many ways
As a Tekna member, if you want more help creating your CV and writing a cover letter, you have several helpful tools at your disposal.
– You’ll find a lot of tips on our webpages about how to create a CV and write a cover letter. We have a jobseeker site with tons of useful information, too. You’ll also find tips about job interviews there. And as mentioned above, we also have a digital CV Builder where you can create a CV from scratch. We’ve included several prompts (writing examples) to help you through this process, and you can make several versions.
– Of course, you can also write your cover letter on this platform. You can use CV Builder to send your CV and cover letter in for review and get feedback on it from one of Tekna’s advisors, concludes Meinert.
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