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Learn to Create the Ideal Curriculum Vitae Format

Applying for a new job is challenging and exciting at the same time. There is so much information that you wish to be relayed to the employer. This requires you to have the perfect CV to form a great first impression and move ahead with the employment procedure. All the Interview Preparation courses that you took can only be put to use if your CV gets picked up by the employer. But what is a CV? How long should it be? What are the essential components that you should not miss out on? Read on to find out.

What is Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

Curriculum Vitae (also commonly known as a CV) is a professional document that provides an overview of a person’s accomplishments and experience. It provides information about employment history, educational qualifications, skills, awards, scholarship, research experience, etc.

A CV is a fundamental part of any job application. Since it is a way of conveying your achievements and qualifications, the document has to be extremely well-rounded and articulate. This curriculum vitae (CV) format guide will help you through the process of creating and formatting the perfect CV for your job application.

Why do you need it?

While a CV is required for any job that you apply for, it is absolutely critical for people in academia, research, medicine, law, etc. A properly drafted and formatted CV can successfully convey your skills and abilities to a potential employer. This is why you need to get the hang of how to write curriculum vitae format to get the dream job that you have been waiting for.

Difference between CV & Resume

A doubt that most people have is how a CV is different from a resume? The answer to this is that it is as different as football is from soccer. There is no distinction between the two. When you are applying to any European company, you require to send out a CV while an American hirer would be looking for a resume.

Some people prefer keeping their CVs a little longer than their resume and provide a more detailed description of their academic achievements in a CV.

CV format category

The information to be included in a CV has to follow a particular order. This order could be any of the following types:

  • Chronological: This is the most commonly used formatting order. This type of CV starts with your contact information, followed by a list of all your academic qualifications and professional experience. Chronological CV works best for candidates who have had consistent employment in an industry and have work experience to back the position that they are applying for. The order to be followed in a chronological CV is:
  1. Contact information
  2. Academic history
  3. Professional experience
  4. Qualifications and skills
  5. Awards and honors
  6. Publications and presentations
  7. Grants and scholarships
  8. Licenses and certifications
  9. Professional associations
  • Functional: This type of CV better portrays your skillset. The contact information is followed by your qualifications, skills, awards, and honors. This focuses less on the professional experience and thus is the most suitable for people who have graduated recently or those who have a gap in their employment. If you are changing careers, you should stick with a functional CV. The order of a functional CV is as follows:
  1. Contact information
  2. Qualifications and skills
  3. Awards and honors
  4. Academic history
  5. Professional experience
  6. Publications and presentations
  7. Grants and scholarships
  8. Licenses and certifications
  9. Professional associations
  • Combination: A combination CV provides you the flexibility of choosing the order depending on the applied position.

You can either list your experience or skills first, depending on their relevance to the position.

What should I incorporate into a CV?

The most critical components of a CV include-

  • Contact details
  • Profile overview
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills
  • Achievements

CV format sections

If you are wondering how to make curriculum vitae format, refer to the following information on sections that have to be included in the CV.

  • Contact Information: Your contact information has to come first. Include your full name, professional title, email address, phone number, link to your LinkedIn profile, and your home address.
  • Personal Statement: A personal statement (or a summary/objective) is a short paragraph that provides an overview of the entire CV. Include keywords that align with the position. If you have enough industry experience, highlight it in the personal statement. If not, list out your skills and qualifications in this paragraph.

“Target-oriented sales executive with 15 years of experience. Helped grow the client base of <company name=""> from <number> to <number> within one year. capable of quickly identifying the needs of the client and provide tailored services to meet the company’s operational objectives.” </number></number></company>

  • Professional Experience: You should start with listing your most recent job and then list the previous jobs in descending order. Include the job title, the name of the organization, and the time period that you worked there. Also, add your responsibilities in five bullet points under each employment.
  • Academic History: Be the most descriptive of your highest educational qualification. Avoid mentioning your high school unless it is your highest educational degree. The format that you should follow for mentioning your academic history is:
  1. Year of graduation
  2. Degree
  3. Name of the institution
  4. Any sub honors
  • Honors and Awards: This section should have all the departmental awards, scholarships, honors association membership, or any other fellowship that you may have recieved.
  • Research Experience: List out all the details of any research project that you were a part of- what was it, when did you work on it, and who did you work with.
  • Key Skills and Qualifications: Include any relevant hard and soft skills that you have in this section. This could include any language that you are proficient in, computer or administrative skills, etc.
  • Industry Awards: Add the name of the organization, year received, and any other information associated with any industry awards that you may have received.
  • Professional Certifications: All the licenses and certifications that you have earned come under this category. Make sure that you add the date of receiving the certification.
  • Publications: If you have any publications from your research work, include them in this section. This can include anything you have written, co-written, or contributed to.
  • Professional Affiliations: Mention the name and position if you had any professional memberships such as a member of the board etc.
  • Conferences Attended: If you have presented your papers at any conference, include its name, date, and location.
  • Additional Training: Any other training that you have undergone which does not fit in the above-mentioned categories can be added to this section.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Any service or volunteer work that you did comes here. Include the names of clubs and organizations that you joined.

How to format a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

After you are aware of how to write a curriculum vitae (CV), you need to learn how to format it into an easy to understand document properly.

  • The Curriculum Vitae CV Length should not be more than two A4 sized pages.
  • The font size and family that you choose should be eye-soothing and easily readable. Sans serif fonts are easier to read. Keep the font size between 10-12.
  • Set one-inch margins on all four sides.
  • Set line spacing between 1.0-1.15.
  • Use a professional CV Header for listing your details.
  • Use bulleted points to make the CV easier to read and the whole document to appear more crafted.
  • Use bolded words to highlight important information, such as your name and job title.
  • Create clear subheadings to make your CV appear concise and well-drafted. The headings should be larger than the subtext.
  • Always save your CV as a PDF to ensure that the formatting doesn’t change.
  • Before sending the CV to potential employers, always take out time to properly proofread it avoid any syntactical, grammatical, or formatting errors.

Few CV formats

Creating the perfect CV can be challenging and requires a lot of time and effort. This is why you can use these already set formats provided by the curriculum vitae CV format guide that will take care of the formatting for you. Some examples of the popular formats that are available include:

  1. Nanica- This type works best for corporate jobs. All the information is visible at first glance, which leaves out a lot of white space, improving the readability for the recruiter.
  2. Primo- This involves placing a timeline on the left to make the recruiter get an idea of your employment history. This one page CV has a specific column dedicated to your skills. The header consists of your initials, which works as a branding option.  
  3. Cubic- This is an extremely neat CV format with a header for your name and title. A side column lists out your contact information, skills, and any other extra information. The main area is dedicated to all your work experience and education qualifications.  
  4. Diamond- One of the most elegant CV formats, the Diamond format uses some dark elements to create a visual impression in front of the employer. You can also add different colors to increase the visual appeal of the CV.
  5. Newcast- This is a minimalist version of a CV that follows a traditional layout. This CV type can work for people of any level of experience.

If you aspire to learn how to make curriculum vitae format, there are several other layouts that can be accessed from the internet and help you create the best possible CV for you.

Ready-to-Use Layouts and Templates + with examples  

If you are looking for how to write a curriculum vitae example, here are some templates and examples to help you create a CV easily.


a) Contact Information
Your name
Cell Phone

b) Employment History
Work History
Academic Positions
Research and Training

c) Education
Post-Doctoral Training
Graduate School
High School  

d) Professional Qualifications

e) Computer Skills

f) Awards

g) Publications

h) Professional Affiliations

i) Interests

Other CV Formatting Tips & Ideas

  • Keep the CV as brief and to the point that you can.
  • Do not include your photo in the CV unless you are specifically asked to do so. Even in that case, choose an extremely professional photograph to go on your CV.
  • White space is important. Make the CV easy on the eyes of the recruiter and stay away from cramming.
  • A piece of important career advice that you should keep in mind is to modify the CV according to the company that you are applying to.
  • Make sure that you have a consistent layout throughout the document.
  • If you are using dates, make sure that you stick to a single format.
  • Use power words to make the CV more impactful.
  • You do not require to put the term Curriculum Vitae on the top of the page.

Free CV formatting sites

If you think that learning how to write curriculum vitae format is too much to take in all at once, you can sit back and let these sites do the job for you. Some free CV formatting sites are:

  • Kickresume
  • Canva
  • Novoresume

There are several other websites that provide templates and formatting options to help you make the most impactful CV.

In conclusion

Learning how to write a curriculum vitae example can go a long way in helping you grasp your dream employment opportunity. Tailor your CV as per the position that you are applying for and keep it as concise and relevant as possible.

Last updated on: 
October 26, 2023

Abhinav Rawat

Product Manager @ Interview Kickstart | Ex-upGrad | BITS Pilani. Working with hiring managers from top companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon etc to build structured interview process BootCamps across domains

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