The curriculum vitæ - How to write a CV that stands out
Did you find an interesting internship in your dream country? Before applying for it, take the time to write a CV that will impress recruiters.
A CV must include detailed information about your work experience and academic background in a clear and direct way. Remember to pay attention to the details and to tailor the application to the internship offer.
The must-have sections to include in a CV are:
Contact information and CV summary
At the beginning of the CV, you must provide a contact section with all the essential information about you: first and last name, phone number, email address and location.
Below this section, you can sum up your previous experiences which are relevant for the internship and your motivation (why are you applying for this internship?)
It’s best to present your work experience in a reverse-chronological order, starting from the most recent job/internship and to sum them up in just a few bullet points :
Company name, location, description
Achievements and responsibilities
Try to focus not only on the responsibilities next to the position, but also on achievements and accomplishments to give an idea of how you can benefit the company.
You can distinguish between hard skills (the technical ones that can be measured and directly related to your tasks) and soft skills (your personal attributes such as leadership, communication, teamwork…).
Usually internship qualifications already include what they are looking for in terms of skills, so it would be a good idea to tailor your CV to this list.
If you haven’t any relevant work experience, it is best to mention this section first and to add more details: the full title of your degree, the university name, the year attended (optional: the GPA, honors and academic achievements). To develop this section, you can also write the title of your thesis, if it is relevant to the role and the overall grades, subjects and skills.
This is your chance to add other important sections such as the spoken languages, your certifications and awards and your personal projects.
To personalise your CV, you can talk about your passions, what you do in your free time (trying to explain why it is relevant for the internship) and your volunteer experiences, which can give great value to your CV and show your personality to the recruiter
Finally, it is always better to ask friends to read it to find possible mistakes!
Now that you have the content, the next essential step is to choose the right layout. The first thing to keep in mind is that it has to be clear and easy to read and possibly one page in length. There are a lot of websites for free that can be very useful such as Canva with a lot of original formats and Europass CV builder to create your CV in the best-known formats in Europe in different languages and to not forget any section.
Now you are ready for the job interview! Need some help? Check our articles on the Build your Future blog and on social media!