Your CV – Your first handshake with the employer

To make it easier for you to apply for various jobs/programs including ours (where a part of the application process also includes sending a CV), our committee usually dealing with CVs has written a few tips and tricks from our experience. As this is the way we meet participants, we pay a lot of attention to it to create the best summer experience for everyone!

How to write a good CV? How to be different? What skills do I have? Those are all questions you ask yourself sooner or later, some on their last college year, some even before when applying for conferences, workshops, summer schools…
Since many Cvs have gone through our hands and there are never enough tips on how to create the best CV, we have noted some of the most important things we pay attention to when accepting applications for our programs.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT DESIGN

If you are in the stage of currently creating a CV for the first time, maybe it is best if you start by taking already designed CVs from various pages you can find on Google. There are plenty of options, but keep in mind that CV should be the reflection of your personality, so try to choose one that fits you. For example, if you are a detail orientated person or perfectionist, you would probably make sure that every text box in your CV sections looks perfect. On the other side, someone that is phlegmatic would probably pick a less complex design, with minimalistic colors.

Remember: If you are not a graphic designer, CV might be one of the biggest projects you’ll ever design! Take time and do it right, because you should sell yourself.

FOCUS ON THE STRONGEST POINT YOU WANT TO SHOW

If you have no or little work experience that is not related to the job you are applying to, focus on education history. Next to the school/university overview, add achievements such as high GPA, awards, courses you passed and were interested in…
This doesn’t need to include only formal education such as a university. Include online courses, workshops, summer schools, student exchanges, scholarships that will make a statement and make you different than others with just a degree.

Remember: Even though you think education doesn’t add too much value to your CV, it is completely opposite. If you have little work experience, this is the part you should focus on. Show that you have been the student that attended extracurricular activities to gain additional skills and knowledge. Such people tend to be an asset to the company, as they will also educate themselves throughout life.

MENTION ALL OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Writing a CV especially when you have 0 work experience is really difficult, so you have to substitute that deficiency with something else – voluntary experiences, conferences, student organizations, workshops…
This is really important, as most of the employers want to hear you have been taking that extra mile and adding some other activities on top of studying and going to university. Mention you have been part of the student organization and all the tasks you have been working on, mention school projects, competitions, babysitting or anything where you have gained some extra skills and knowledge.

Remember: Employers are not interested if you have been paid or worked for free on a certain job. They are interested in having an employee that experienced work, faced problems and overcame obstacles, no matter the scale they have experienced that.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SKILLS

Read the job description carefully and adjust the skills in the CV section accordingly. If you are applying for the conference or a summer school, keep in mind that people usually like participants that are easy-going, have interpersonal skills, networking, and social skills and have respect for different nationalities. In case you don’t have that, write the ones you proudly own and make them look great – for example, great teamwork skills, creativity, responsibility…

Remember: Skills section is usually a cliche section of your CV. Try to make it different and rather add some ‘not so popular’ skill instead of writing lies when it comes to skills you are not so good at. If you are an introvert, it is better to show that through skills and not to lie instead of having it shown in the interview. Never forget to mention soft and digital skills!

WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT

The personal statement is a short intro to your CV and something that connects your CV and cover letter with the job itself. It should be right after your name and contact info and is something the employer reads first in order to see if you are the right fit for the job. Write it as the last thing on your CV when all of your skills, achievements, and info is already stated.
Write it in the third person and make it concise (<200 words) mentioning all the main bullet points in your CV focusing on your skills directly related to the job. Usually, you should answer questions: Who you are?, where do you see yourself? and what value you can bring to an organization?
If you are writing it for a conference or a summer school, it is nice if you state how this experience can help you in your future career and why you should be the candidate for that kind of experience.

Remember: This might be the only thing recruiters will read on your CV. Pick the words wisely and make it a trigger for them to start reading the rest of your CV.

These are just some of the most important things you should take into consideration when writing a CV. Many sites that offer free CV designs will also guide you through the sections of your CV but keep in mind that you have to be unique and drop your own personality and vision on the paper.

Everyone looking to join our programs is welcome to ask for assistance when writing a CV to state their interest in the program. We would be more than happy to assist and help with it!

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