by: Allan Hoffman

Turning your American-style resume into a CV should not be a much-dreaded ordeal. The changes may simply be a matter of expanding job descriptions, adding personal details and including a summary of your skills and experience. Refer to our sample CV as you revise your resume. Here is a how-to guide to help you in the process:

1. At the start of your CV (along with your address and contact information., include personal details typically left out of a resume — namely, your marital status and nationality.

2. Write a summary of your skills and experience as an “introduction” to potential employers. Our sample CV accomplishes this with a list of positions held and an overview of the applicant’s previous responsibilities, accomplishments and skills. Think of this information, along with the other details in the first one or two pages of your CV, as a quick guide to the more in-depth descriptions that follow.

3. Add considerable detail to job descriptions. A American-style resume emphasizes brevity; a CV does not. In a CV, job descriptions, rather than telegraphing details, should explain employment in depth, with references to specific projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. Consider the differences between the following two job descriptions. The first describes the position adequately for a resume, but the second (for the CV) enhances the description, giving the potential employer a much deeper sense of the applicant’s work experience.

Resume-style:
Ecco Software Enterprises, Inc. (Feb. 1997 to March 1999)
Software Developer
Created Java applications for client Web sites, including database-driven programs to allow clients to update Web pages. Worked with project manager to assure quick response to client-requested updates.

CV-style:
Ecco Software Enterprises, Inc. (Feb. 1997 to March 1999)
Software Developer
Served as lead developer on a six-person team charged with building a suite of Web applications for use by Ecco clients. Ecco provides its clients, including several Fortune 500 companies, with high-end Internet tools, consulting and services for maintaining and updating Web sites. As lead developer, tasks included working with the project manager to assess goals, interpret client requests and construct a plan for meeting deadlines. Project included the use of Java, DHTML, SQL Server and JavaScript.Managed prelaunch testing with nontechnical end-users at Fortune 500 financial company. Project delivered two weeks in advance of deadline. Following project delivery, work continued on fine-tuning application and testing with additional clients. Delivered presentations to small groups of end-users on use of application.

4. Consider including a section with publications, speeches, training courses and other accomplishments. Depending on your field — and your accomplishments — this section can be crucial in giving a potential employer a sense of your qualifications. If you have given six speeches at conferences, for instance, provide the topics, the locations and brief descriptions of each. The same goes for publications and courses you have completed.

5. Include details about any other special skills, interests and hobbies. You need not limit yourself to a single line outlining personal interests. Describe interests in detail, especially if they have some relevance to your potential success in an international position.

Categories: Resume Help