The term curriculum vitae is derived from classical Latin and roughly means ‘the path of my life’. In the UK it is usually referred to by its shorter acronym ‘CV’, whilst in the United States it is called a resume. No matter what it is called it’s core objective is the same, to impress a prospective employer enough to get you invited to a job interview.

A CV gives a brief overview of a job applicants life, in particular their career history, work experience and academic qualifications. It may also contain a brief statement (called a personal summary or a career statement) in which the candidate will explain why they feel they are the best candidate for the job.

There are three main ways to apply for a job; fill in a application form, send in a letter of introduction, or submit a curriculum vitae. Whilst all three methods are acceptable and widely used, the most successful approach has to be submitting a CV. This is because a CV allows you more freedom that the other two options to explain in your own terms how a employer can benefit from your abilities.


What is the purpose of a Curriculum vitae
The aim of a CV is solely to get the applicant invited to a job interview and should be written with this in mind. It should not be viewed as a document on which to list your entire career history. Instead it should be a brief document that highlights only RELEVANT skills which are related to the job you are applying for.

A typical Curriculum Vitae template layout:


Personal profile:
These should be at the beginning of your CV and are probably the first thing a hiring manager will see. Therefore they must quickly grab the readers attention and get them interested enough in you to keep reading your CV. Use this prime spot in your curriculum vitae to create a instant positive image with the reader.

Career history

Areas of expertise

Academic qualifications



Relevant links:

Cover letter examples

Curriculum vitae

CV template examples

How to write a CV

Job interview questions and answers