The Curriculum Vitae: everything you need to know

Did you know that recruiters take an average of 31 seconds to figure out if a resume is valid or not?

An experienced recruiter knows exactly where to focus attention to identify relevant information. For this reason, write an effective CV, which has a good layout, a structured and coherent overview and a profile solid, which can make a real difference in your job search.

To help you in this task we have written this complete guide: here you will find everything you need to know to write a perfect curriculum vitae.

How to write the perfect curriculum vitae: 10 rules to follow

In looking for a professional opportunity, applying for a job position is often synonymous with stress and endless hours spent in front of the computer. Therefore, obtaining a successful resume is not an easy task, especially if you are a beginner: in this regard, we have already summarized many tips in the article “How to write a resume: the guidelines for an effective CV “.

Thanks to our experience in the field of recruitment and selection of personnel, we will show you all the tips on how to write a perfect curriculum vitae, which allows you to present your professional figure at its best.

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Here are all the useful tips :

1. How to choose the photo for the curriculum vitae?

When writing your CV, the first element to consider is your own photograph: very often underestimated, it is actually fundamental because it allows you to establish the first contact with the recruiter and helps to give a clearer and more detailed picture of you.

Attaching any photo to your CV is a mistake to avoid: you must choose a photo that respects a series of characteristics and is, therefore:

  • professional, avoiding informal photos or with too casual an outfit;
  • high quality, which has the right size and the right format and which is bright and not grainy;
  • updated, choosing a photo in which you are recognizable and discarding the dated and old ones;
  • natural, opting for an image always in a professional context, but relaxed and casual.

If you want to know more about the photo to be included in the CV, read this article: “Photo curriculum: how, why and when to insert it in the CV”.

2. How to start with an excellent presentation of yourself in your curriculum vitae?

The CV is the first opportunity to present yourself, your skills and intentions. There are two key elements to consider to include an excellent description within the CV:

  • honesty in reporting only the skills and experiences that characterize you;
  • precision in entering only key information that does not emerge from the rest of the curriculum.

In addition to a short presentation of yourself, which can be included in the initial part of the curriculum, there is a second document that can be attached to your CV with the same purpose: a cover letter.

Known in English as a “cover letter”, the cover letter allows you to communicate in a discursive way, not only your skills but above all your motivation to undertake a specific career path. The important thing in both cases is to bring out your voice e clarify skills, aspirations and personality traits to make a difference.

3. Curriculum vitae: where to include education and training?

This section is one of the most important in a CV, especially if you are taking your first steps in the world of work. Regardless of the type of curriculum used or the level of professional experience, education and training cannot be missing. This section can be inserted in two ways in the CV:

  • in the initial part, in particular, if it is an internship or a first application;
  • after work experience, if you are already an established professional.

A common mistake is to forget to insert the latest training courses or update: always remember that education will remain fundamental in the course of your entire career.

4. Curriculum vitae: work experiences and how to enhance them

When writing your curriculum vitae, one of the most relevant sections is undoubtedly the one dedicated to work experiences. To make the most of them, it is essential to be as concise and precise as possible, in order to organize them effectively and create a structured CV and lean.

The first step is to consider the position you are applying for and orient your resume accordingly. It indicates the experiences from the most to the least recent, reporting clearly and schematically:

  • the position held ;
  • the time period ;
  • the name of the company/organization where you carried out the experience.

If you have a lot of work experience, it is better to leave out the less relevant and not recent ones, selecting only those that highlight your profile.

5. Curriculum vitae: what happens if we have no work experience?

Work experiences must never be lacking because they form the central part of the curriculum vitae. It is a very serious mistake to leave this section blank or omit it entirely, just because you are looking for your first job and have no professional experience. In this case, you can enter volunteer experiences, short internships, academic projects, part-time jobs: the important thing is to communicate to the recruiter that through those activities you have acquired skills and skills also useful for the position you are applying for.

6. Soft skills in the curriculum vitae: interpersonal skills and competences

Soft skills, or transversal skills, are personal and specific skills of each individual, which help to manage different situations working and non-working.

Nowadays soft skills are more and more requested in the curricula since they are skills that depend a lot on one’s nature and on one’s experience. The major obstacle is that they are difficult to report in a resume, but on the contrary, during an interview, they are perhaps the first to emerge.

Among the transversal skills most requested in the workplace we have:

  • Problem-solving
  • Communication and relational skills
  • Time Management
  • Creativity and proactivity

If you want to learn more about the subject, we suggest these articles: “Soft skills: what they are and how to indicate them in your CV” and “Soft skills in your curriculum vitae: why insert them and how to enhance them”.

7. Hard skills in the curriculum vitae: technical and IT skills

Hard skills, on the other hand, indicate a range of technical skills, which can be acquired through a course of study or in the workplace. Easily quantified, hard skills are often included in the CV as part of the training experiences. Among the most requested hard skills in the world of work, there are undoubtedly the knowledge of one or more foreign languages ​​ and the use of computer programs or tools, essential for accessing specific job positions.

In particular, IT skills must always be present in a CV and if you do not have them, it is better to develop them as soon as possible: today more than ever you must be open to the use of new technologies.

8. Curriculum vitae: where to insert certificates and certifications?

Certifications and certificates represent added value for your CV because they underline a continuous willingness to learn and improve. As with other curricular items, it is best to only enter them if they are relevant to the position and have been recently obtained. Usually, these documents are reported in the curriculum in the education and training section, indicating the final grade, if any.

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9. GDPR and privacy law for the curriculum vitae: which one to refer to?

In drafting your CV it is important to take into account the new European GDPR legislation on Privacy: authorizing the processing of personal data is essential to ensure that your CV is examined by the selectors. To avoid any problem, it is necessary to insert one of the following 3 entries, which all have the same meaning:

  • I authorize the processing of my personal data in the CV pursuant to Legislative Decree 30 June 2003, n. 196 “Code regarding the protection of personal data” and the GDPR (EU Regulation 2016/679);
  • I authorize the processing of personal data contained in my curriculum vitae on the basis of art. 13 of Legislative Decree 196/2003 and art. 13 GDPR 679/16;
  • I authorize the processing of my personal data pursuant to Legislative Decree 196 of 30 June 2003 and art. 13 GDPR (EU Regulation 2016/679) for the purposes of personnel search and selection.

10. Should the curriculum vitae be signed?

A very common mistake when writing a resume is to leave no signature. Being a formal document, the CV must be dated and signed both in the lower part and in the section where the authorization to process data is indicated.

Here are the 10 golden rules to follow to create an excellent CV for your dream job. If you want to learn more about the topic, browse the article “The perfect Curriculum Vitae to find a job”! You will also find a paragraph dedicated to the curriculum for the insurance sector.

The curriculum vitae in European format

Many companies operating abroad often require applicants to send their curriculum vitae in European format, better known as Europass. This is a standard CV template, which serves to standardize applications: this lack of customization, due to a unique layout, allows you to compare in a simpler way different skills between candidates, present on the European territory.

Launched by the European Commission in 2002, this type of resume is however considered obsolete: such standardized formatting definitely does not help you stand out among an endless pile of CVs.

The key feature of a curriculum is in fact practicality, the ability to communicate essential information in the shortest possible time and space: you need to be noticed thanks to conciseness, clarity, and relevant and relevant content, but the Europass model does not seem to be functional enough for this purpose.

But what if you don’t have enough graphic skills to create a CV layout from scratch? Let’s see it together.

How to make a professional curriculum vitae in Word?

For the drafting of a CV, we can rely on a simple tool, which we all have on our PCs: Word. In addition to the numerous formats that can be downloaded from the web, Word offers several pre-set curriculum vitae templates, which can be easily modified and adapted to the most diverse needs.

To be truly effective, even this type of curriculum must be treated in detail, paying attention to different elements :

  • structure, which must include all the sections required by the traditional CV;
  • consistency of information, which must be precise and well organized within the different paragraphs;
  • uniform use of fonts, which must be used in order to ensure a harmonious style to the CV, opting for a maximum of two different fonts;
  • spacing and paragraphing, necessary to respect so that your resume does not look like a blur of information.

If you want to know in detail how to correctly fill out a CV in European format, we recommend this article: “European Curriculum Vitae: how to use it”.

How to make the video curriculum

Often requested for specific job positions, the video curriculum is a multimedia presentation of yourself, which allows you to integrate the traditional curriculum vitae. This application format is increasingly in demand, as it allows you to present your personal qualities immediately and effectively.

To best present your professional profile, this dynamic business card must be made according to specific criteria, so as not to seem rough and amateurish. To create a good video resume it is essential:

  • have the right recording tools, which allow you to make a movie of a certain quality;
  • get an editing program, which allows you to edit the video;
  • be professional and creative, structuring a linear yet original presentation;
  • don’t be verbose, so that you stay within the maximum duration of two minutes.

If you want to find out everything there is to know about the video resume, read the article: “Creating a video resume: how to do it and what to say”.

The curriculum vitae in English: language skills and international experiences

Having a well-written CV in English has become fundamental in today’s business world: in fact, more and more companies, even in Italy, are requesting it. When drafting a curriculum in English, two pieces of information are taken for granted and, therefore, often overlooked: language skills and international experiences.

In the CV in English it is essential to indicate the “ mother tongue ”, that is the mother tongue, which for some positions can prove to be an added value, if not a winning one, to get the job. For other languages, ​​ it is advisable to start with the ones we know best and avoid inserting those we hardly speak. Here is a simple example table to indicate in an orderly way the different languages ​​and the level of knowledge:

Finally, whether it is an Erasmus or a language study stay, don’t forget your experiences abroad: they represent added value and further proof of your language skills.

Although the curriculum vitae in English generally follows the traditional one, it cannot be limited to a mere translation of the CV into Italian: there are guidelines to keep in mind. If you want to know how to write a good resume in English, we suggest this article: “CV in English: how to write it in a few steps”.

Send your curriculum vitae

Now that you’ve finished your curriculum vitae, it’s time to get involved and proceed with sending your application. Before starting, however, it is advisable to keep in mind some useful tips :

  • don’t forget the cover letter to attach with your CV;
  • pay attention to the subject of the e-mail, which absolutely must not be missing, if you want your CV to be actually viewed;
  • briefly presented in the text of the e-mail, showing that you are interested in that specific position.

Once this is done, all you have to do is wait for a response and prepare for the next step: the job interview. The last stage of this journey to enter the world of work, the interview is a moment crucial to obtain the long-desired position!

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CV, social recruiting and digital reputation

With the advent of social networks and the evolution of the web, the methods of research and selection of personnel have totally changed: social recruiting refers, in fact, to the use of social networks to identifying possible candidates, thus transforming the ways in which job supply and demand meet.

For this reason, careful use of social networks has become a strategic element in the job search in recent years. In such a context, it is crucial to take care of the digital reputation. But what is it about? Even online, as in real life, each of us has a reputation, which conditions the relationships we establish: in summary, digital reputation is the image we communicate to others on our digital channels.

Your online curriculum vitae: LinkedIn and more

Since almost every recruiter nowadays verifies the relevance of your profile even on social networks, it is increasingly important to use these platforms from a professional perspective and to build your personal branding.

A common mistake is not to pay attention to all social networks, especially those usually used for recreational purposes. To ensure that the recruiter does not encounter ambiguous or bad taste content, it is good to have an eye also for the Facebook profile and Instagram.

However, among the ecosystem of social networks on the web, LinkedIn is the main tool used by companies for the search and selection of personnel. Considered the “digital CV” par excellence, it is clear that to be competitive in the world of work you need to take care of your profile on this social network for professionals.

If you want to know all the steps for creating an effective LinkedIn profile, we recommend this article: “LinkedIn Curriculum Vitae: how to make a perfect profile”.

The CV of the insurance consultant

We have repeated it several times: the curriculum vitae is not the same for all job positions and must be modified according to the application of interest. In fact, if you aspire to become an insurance consultant, the first step is to curate your CV so that your skills and willingness to fill this position clearly emerge.

Being an insurance consultant in Alleanza Assicurazioni means not only selling a range of insurance products but always being by the customer’s side, in order to build his future projects.

To have, therefore, a curriculum vitae suitable for this position you need:

  • have an adequate study path, which allows you to acquire the hard skills necessary to be an insurance consultant;
  • be ready to continuously learn and improve also in the workplace;
  • have the soft skills essential to establish a relationship of trust with client families, including listening skills, organizational and communication skills, good stress management and skills of negotiation, etc.
  • have a penchant for digital tools, in order to stay up to date and open to news.

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