I am grateful that I learnt some key things about curriculum Vitae very early but also wish I had known more. I can’t particularly recall any adult sitting me down to inform me about the importance of curriculum Vitae. Maybe it’s because most people feel it is not really looked at in Nigeria especially if it is not accompanied by a Politician’s Stamp. In this continent, a CV and a resume are used interchangeably but the truth is they do not refer to the same document. The resume is a shorter (about 1 page long), highly flexible (it is adapted to each post you are applying for) and contains about three main categories (Bio-data, Educational background and Work Experience).The curriculum vitae which is a Latin word for course of life is a more detailed document (may be as long as 500 pages), static (you usually have a just a C.V that you use for any application) and contains more categories.

The C.V tends to be used more in an academic setting since it allows graduate students to include a lot of publications and research work. The contents also tend to be arranged in reverse chronological order so that your course of life can be followed.The resume is typically work related especially in the United States since it focuses solely on education, work and probably work related skills. A resume does not have to follow any particular chronological order. In this country and a number of others, it doesn’t really matter since both words are assumed to refer to the same course of life. However, irrespective of what is true or not there are a few things I have learnt.

    •         Let your C.V be in your subconscious. It is like your headlight. It will be seen before you are seen.
    •         Your C.V should be dynamic. You have to keep updating by adding and removing from it as necessary.
    •         Your C.V should be detailed.
    •         Your C.V serves as a report of the person you are and the attributes you have built but it is important to know that you should not also partake in things just so you can build a C.V. It doesn’t work like that
    •         A human Resource personnel reads your CV for 30 seconds to 1 minute tops hence you must state the important things first.
    •         Your C.V should be written in reverse chronological order that is the most recent qualifications are written first.
    •         It is easier to relate with numbers than words i.e try to portray your performance in percentages and not just spelling it out.
    •         Your C.V should contain your Bio-data, Educational qualification, Awards and Honours, Leadership Experience, Work Experience including Volunteering, Hobbies and Interest, Research, Publications, Professional Membership, Presentations and Referees as applicable.
    •         Your C.V should be aesthetically pleasing, neat, not boring and not too fanciful.
  •         Your C.V should portray the kind of person you will accept if you were in charge.

Next : Bio-data