Leiden University Career Zone
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Make a good first impression!
Employers need only a maximum of five seconds to gain a first impression and form an opinion on the basis of your CV. A well-structured CV provides an employer, at a glance, with a clear, logical and appealing picture of you. Make the most of this opportunity!
Watch the video below to learn more.
CV DO's & DON’ts
- Use max. 2 sides of A4
- Use the active voice and present tense
- Use a clear and easy-to-read layout and style
- Ensure unity of style and structure throughout
- Use the same font as in your cover letter
- Add a footer: Curriculum Vitae [your name]
- Use page numbers
- Use long sentences
- Make spelling mistakes
- Use unclear abbreviations or jargon
- Use the third person to write about yourself
- Use too many different fonts
Easy to read
- A common, easy-to-read layout for your CV is a follows:
- Left: a column providing dates
- Right: information about the activity
- CVs are usually written in reverse chronologic order, i.e. the most recent activity at the top and working backwards from there. This ensures that relevant and interesting activities stand out better.
Read more about categories on CV.
Examples of Dutch CV's:
Here are some sample CVs for inspiration on how to write a CV. They contain the required sections and follow the most common order. The format of the CVs varies from simple to colourful. Assess what suits you and what you think is suitable to send to the company you are applying to. Perhaps a colourful, personalised CV would suit a creative position, a start-up or small organisation, while the more standard CV would suit a larger, established company or organisation. There is no right or wrong. Make it your own CV.
You can find (free) professional CV templates online.
It is becoming increasingly popular for employers to request a CV in video format. When creating your video CV, it’s important to keep your story short and punchy. State the following in short sentences:
- What you studied
- The knowledge and skills you can bring to the organisation
- Your best qualities
- Your motivation for the job
- The relevant (work) experience you have in terms of this particular job
Make sure the sound and picture quality are good and the background is neutral.
You can find more information and tips on video job applications in this video of Careercake.