Once you have become a nurse and want to search for a job, you will need to write a good CV and probably answer to job offers in English.
A Currículum Vitae (CV for short and latin for “the story of your life”) is a detailed summary of your past experience. A good CV when searching for a job can improve your chances of getting an interview. Its purpose is to set out your details in a precise, factual and interesting manner. It allows you to tell an employer what you can do and what skills you have, letting him know quickly and easily whether or not you have something to offer each other.
Many people consider a CV and a “resumé” to be the same thing. However, we can say that a “resumé” is not a summary of your life but rather a single paper summary of your total job application (what you want from the job and why you should have it). The emphasis on a resumé is on your career objective so the experience you list in it should be relevant and supportive of your goal.
In the lines that follow we are going to learn how to write a common CV and a cover letter that is always important when applying for a job.
First of all, we signal some crucial data that should always be included in your CV, and then we offer some practical examples of how to organize them in a clear way so that they make a good CV.
A) Information that should be included:
These should include your full name, address, date and place of birth, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and any other details you wish to include, eg. marital status, nationality.
EDUCATION, QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING:
As well as schools and any exams passed, mention any part-time courses you have been on. Accurate dates are very important. You can also include here the information concerning grants or awards you may have obtained during your academic life.
WORK EXPERIENCE (includes school work experience, part-time work, and voluntary work)
Put these in order starting with the first or last job you had. Say where the job was, give the job title and say briefly what you did. If you had any gaps, eg. because of unemployment or bringing up a family, include them. Try to highlight the experience you have had and try to be positive.
This can be, for some people, a very important section because it tells the employer what you have learned from past experiences and what you can bring to the new job.
In this section you should list the languages you know and how well you know them. As a guide, you can use the following scale in order to rate your knowledge of those languages: basic, average, fluent, native.
Example: Spanish: native, English: fluent, French: basic.
This area is important because it says a lot about the type of person you are. Try to include one where you mix with others.
Always ask a person´s permission to use his/her name. You usually need to supply two names, preferably including one who has known you in a work setting. Give their job titles and full address and telephone number.
B) Some tips:
WHAT MAKES A GOOD CV?
- Don´t write the word CV at the beginning of the page, simply type your full name, since in this way it can serve either as a CV or as a resumé and the employer will know perfectly the type of document you are presenting.
- It should be neat, preferably typed
- It should be short- one to two sides of A4 size paper (on separate pages, not back to back)
- It should be clearly and carefully laid out as appearance counts for a lot
- Check details – spellings, postcodes, etc. Be consistent: 2 September 1998-3 January 2000, and not 2nd September 1998- 3/1/00. Be careful to include everything
- Be positive and to the point.
- Remember it is your personal CV so emphasize your strengths.
- Don´t forget to include a good and recent photograph
THE EUROPASS CV
In March 2002 the European Commission adopted a recommendation on the European Curriculum vitae format (CV). The format was designed in conjunction with Member States and the social partners in the context o f the European Forum on transparency of Vocational qualifications.
The European CV offered European citizens an original format giving a comprehensive overview of their skills and qualifications. The European cv proved a considerable success: more than 160000 people downloaded the CV format from the Cedefop website since it became accessible online in April 2002.
What is it?
Anyone who wants to use Europass can start by completing the Europass CV. The Europass CV enables you to make your skills and qualifications visible, and other Europass documents can be attached to the CV.
The Europass cv replaces the European cv, launched in 2002.
For more information please refer to the official Europass web page:
There you can download the template to fill in your own CV and also have access to different examples of CVs in various languages.
A cover letter is a letter of introduction normally attached to a CV or a resumé in which a candidate searching for a job specifies his or her suitability for the job advertised. Some employers look for individualized written cover letters as a way of screening out applicants who are not interested enough in the position or who lack basic skills for the post.
In the following web page you can find some indications of the different types of cover letters that exist and the basic information that should be contained in each. Besides, you can have a look at some format guidelines:
In this other web page, you can find information specifically related to nursing cover letters: