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A curriculum vitae (CV) translates roughly as “the course of your life”, so this document should give anyone who is looking at this document a fair idea of what work and study you have done throughout your life up to that point.  It should also give a fair idea of what key skills you have.

Like the essays, we receive some good CVs and some not-so-good CVs.  While we’re not expecting a thousand page document, we do expect something of substance within the document that lets us know what you have been doing in the years previous to applying to us.

According to Wikipedia, some of the areas in your CV should include:

  • Your current personal details;
  • A personal statement;
  • A list of your key skills and attributes;
  • A reverse chronological work history with achievements and role duties;
  • A reverse chronological educational history with academic and professional qualifications received;
  • Your hobbies and interests are optional.

In each of the areas, here are some of the things we are looking for:

Current Personal Details and Your Personal Statement

For your personal details, please include:

  • Full legal name (first, middle and last names)
  • Your current address
  • Your landline number
  • Your cellular phone number
  • Your email address

This is usually located at the top of your CV.

Your personal statement is usually a paragraph focussing on you.  As per the Wikipedia article, it would be best to remain objective (“Scott Fack has worked in academic, administrative and customer service roles…”) instead of subjective (“Scott Fack is the bestest, highest qualified person to work in academia…”).

List of Key Skills and Attributes
You provide a bullet-pointed list with skills and other things you have picked up over the years.

For example, a key skills and attributes list on my CV might read like:

  • Can type approximately 90 words per minute
  • Helped write and implement a quality management system consistently called “a strong document” by auditors from New Zealand and overseas
  • And so on… 

Your Work History
You should list your employment history, including where you worked, how long you worked there for, approximate dates and duties and key points.  You should do this starting with your most current job first.

An example:

Retail Assistant
ABC Hardware Store, Papanui, Christchurch
July 2007 – May 2009
Responsibilities included:

  • Stock control
  • Assisting customers with purchases
  • Et cetera

While some CV sites encourage you to list your entire work history, we would encourage you to use common sense when making your CV.  This does not mean omitting jobs you didn’t like or stayed a short while at; however, it does mean that jobs before a certain time (say ten or twenty years) may not be relevant.

We leave this decision up to you.

One warning: If there are gaps in the history, we will be asking you questions.  You are obligated under various rules, regulations and laws to tell us the truth.

Your Educational History
This is a very similar format to your employment history.  An example:

XYZ School of Hardware, Merivale, Christchurch
Diploma in Hardware Sales (Level 5)
January 2006 – December 2006
Further information:

  • Gained the Diploma in Hardware Sales (Level 5)
  • Gained 80% overall score

Subjects learned:

  • Sales
  • Hardware tools
  • Et cetera

Make sure you are telling the truth in your CV with regards to educational history.  Under the way the current law works, we have the right to request information from the NZQA and other providers on whether or not you have completed your study with those providers, and they are obligated to let us know this.

Overall, though, we would like to take your word for it, so please be honest.

So, overall, your CV should be a comprehensive yet focussed guide to show others, like us, your history and goals to help us gain a better picture of where you are coming from and how we can assist you in achieving your goals.

As always, if you have any questions about your CV, the application and interview processes or anything else, please feel free to contact us during our office hours, and we will endeavour to assist as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.