Writing a good CV

Your CV tells potential employers who you are, what you have done in life, and provides them with information about your education and work experience.

You need to determine what information would be most important to potential employers with whom you are seeking work. The main goal of a CV is to provide potential employers with information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. 

That means you need to alter your CV occasionally by removing some sentences and adding new ones in relation to the job you are applying for. Provide concise and clear information about previous jobs and work experience that will be relevant to the job application at hand; use examples and active language.

You will often be required to submit or register a digital CV (e.g. Webcruiter, Easycruit) when applying for a job. You can also attach your CV to the digital application; many employers appreciate that.

Tips on how to design your CV

Length, layout and format

  • Limit your CV to one or two pages.
  • Use a white A4 sheet of paper (or a digital format of that size).
  • Use normal font types and sizes.
  • Use the same font type on the CV as you used on the application.
  • Use MSWord or PDF formats.

 Personal information

  • Name, address, email address, cell phone
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status and children

Key qualifications

Some people prefer to describe their key qualifications at the top of the CV, such as:

  • 3 years of marketing experience, and responsibility for a customer portfolio of 200 customers
  • 8 years of experience as a volunteer visitor for the Red Cross
  • graduated as a sociologist with great commitment to my vocation

Education

  • Begin with your most recent education.
  • Your vocation and/or the name of the faculty/field in which you studied should be included. The name of the educational institution, when your studies began and when you graduated.         

Work experience and vocational history

  • Start with your most recent job. List the position/title and the duration of your work in that position or job. You can also  list your work tasks and areas of responsibility as keywords.         

Courses, workshops, certifications and appointments

  • List any courses you attended that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Positions of trust, honorary offices or posts at schools, sports clubs, housing cooperatives or similar organizations indicate that you ready for responsibility, and that you are extroverted and committed.         

Languages

  • List the languages you speak, and state fluency and oral and written proficiency.

IT skills

  • List relevant software and computer programs that you have mastered, and state your skill level.

Experience with projects

  • List the projects that you have participated in, and what role you had.

Leisure interests and hobbies

  • Leisure activities tell potential employers something about your personality.

Diplomas, certificates of completion and letters of reference

  • You can also write this on the application: "I will send diplomas and letters of reference etc. upon request". Never send original documents.         
  • You will have to provide copies of diplomas and certificate etc. as rett kopi (a true copy with stamp and signature that verifies the authenticity of the document) if the employer requires this.         

References

Most employers want references from previous employers or from other people who know you. A former employer or reference person should be able to confirm the information stated on your CV and on the job application. You can choose to name References on the CV itself, on the application form, or state that you will provide references if needed and upon request. You can also provide a list of references or reference letters during the job interview.      

Reference persons may include previous/present employers, colleagues, trade union representatives, members of an organization of which you are a member, teachers, and people who have trained you. You should not use friends as references unless you have no other choice.      

You should always ask whether that person is willing to provide a reference for you. You can also ask what they plan to say about you. Be somewhat critical about whom you list as a reference. It is essential to select reference persons who are familiar with your work history and who intend to say something positive about you.      

  • List reference persons by name; include their job title and telephone number.
  • You should always provide at least two references.
  • Employers are most interested in references from recent jobs or positions.
  • The employer usually contacts references after the job interview is completed.
  • You should always inform the reference persons that you have completed the interview, and inform them about the job or position you are applying for so they are prepared when the potential employer calls.         

Europass

Would you like to work in another country somewhere in Europe? The Europass CV is a standardized document that presents Your skills and qualifications in a uniform format that is easy to understand in any European country. Read more about Europass at: siu.no/Europass.

Tips and templates

These links can be helpful