Also known as resume, your CV is representative of you as a person during an application process. Therefore, some important aspects should be considered when writing. This article will give you valuable tips on the structure and topic of your CV and will help you to write a qualified CV. A high-quality CV is characterized above all by clarity, completeness and uniqueness. Since most employers want a letter of motivation in addition to the CV, these two should be coordinated. You should choose the layout of your CV according to your industry. If you are applying for a student job or internship in the financial sector, a classic CV is more appropriate. For an application in the media sector, it can and should be a bit more creative in order to stand out from other applicants. Regardless of the layout, a CV always consists of several sections. Each one will be explained in more detail below.
Since you also send a letter of motivation with an application, this should be coordinated with your CV. Depending on the industry, there are different forms and design options for CVs. For example, if you are applying to become a product designer, your CV can be a bit more unusual and should definitely show what you can do. If you would rather get into the financial sector, a classic conservative CV is an advantage. In the marketing area, your CV can also be designed in a more modern way. No matter what industry you are interested in, every CV should be clearly laid out for the reader and of course informative.
We have therefore summarized the main components of a CV for you:
- PERSONAL DATA
Your CV should always start with your personal information. In addition to the most important data, such as your full name, address, email address and telephone number, this part should also contain your nationality and marital status, as well as your date and place of birth. If you use online portals such as LinkedIn or Xing, you are welcome to specify them as well. The question of whether you should attach a photo to your CV is a subject of critical debate in many places. While this is downright undesirable in America and England, many applicants in Switzerland use this opportunity voluntarily in order to make a better impression. Ultimately, however, it is up to you. If you decide on a photo, please make sure that it is a professional photo, otherwise the motto is “preferably no photo.
The second section deals with your previous school career. In general, it makes sense to structure this section anti-chronologically. That means you start with the most recent information at the top and consequently the oldest is at the bottom. However, you do not have to start with primary school or lower secondary school. It is sufficient if you start your list with secondary level II, i.e. high school, basic vocational training or technical school. You should add a few more details to each stage of education, such as your final grade in the Matura exam or major and study subjects.
- PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
This section is about your professional history. Here you list all your previous jobs. As in the previous section, start with the most recent and end with the oldest. In any case, you should state the name and location of the company, the exact job title and a short description so that the recruiter gets a better idea of your skills and competencies. It is important that you filter by relevance. List only those jobs that are practically relevant to your application. For a student job in the bank, a part-time job as a pizza delivery boy has no added value, so you should omit it. However, if you have already completed an internship in the financial sector, then make sure to list it!
- SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
In this section you name all your knowledge and skills. In addition to language skills, you should also demonstrate IT skills. Language skills: Here you should not only list the languages you can speak, but also at what level (oral and written). The terms used most frequently are: basic knowledge, conversational fluent, fluent, negotiating fluent and mother tongue. Alternatively, you can also test your language skills according to the European reference framework “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages”.grade from A1 to C2. Under IT skills you can indicate all programs that are relevant to your application. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) in particular is in great demand and is a standard program that most people can already handle quite well. If you are applying for an internship in online marketing, for example, existing Google Analytics or Google Adwords knowledge and Photoshop are in great demand and helpful. Soft skills should never be listed alone under the competences, but should be cleverly integrated into the CV and the letter of motivation. In general, Swiss modesty applies above all. It is well known that less is more.
In the Miscellaneous section, which is located at the end of your CV, you can list points such as hobbies, interests and social commitment in the form of honorary posts. These show willingness to take on additional responsibility and say a lot about your personality. Tip: Here you can wonderfully integrate some soft skills. When it comes to your hobbies, you should avoid or carry out run-of-the-mill information such as sports, reading or travelling. Instead of writing exercising in general, you could list your exact sport. However, it is better not to mention extreme sports such as mountaineering or parachuting, as they involve a high level of risk-taking.
An important point, especially for non-Swiss people, in contrast to a German CV, for example, a Swiss CV is not dated and signed.