Module 4: Employment and work life

More on employment: Writing CVs

In this lesson, let's talk about the curriculum vitae that tells, in a synthetic way, your personal story about the skills acquired at school, in the workplace, through your hobbies. It is the most widely used form of communication with companies, that is why we are trying to explain you, synthetically, how to set it up using a standard format recognized at European level. To complete your CV you need to know yourself well enough to know which are your skills, interests, and abilities, but for this purpose, you will need another lesson.

Lesson time foreseen

1 hours for reading the lesson
1 hours for implementation (added links, videos, test)

Lesson Content

The CV is:

  • A source of information about who you are and what you can do
  • A summary of some of your personal data and a list of your study and work experience
  • The tool with which to propose your application to the company that might decide to hire you
  • An open (because you need to change and update it all the time) and dynamic document

There are no “best ways” to construct a curriculum but there are some basics that you have to follow, In fact to attract interest the curriculum must

  • transfer an idea of order and simplicity
  • describe as accurately and precisely as possible your skills and competences
  • reflect the style of communication and interaction
  • be correct in the layout and complete in content
  • be targeted on the ongoing job research

The Curriculum Vitae must therefore follow content rules: it must be complete and exhaustive; synthetic and essential; sincere (the news must be true and verifiable) and layout rules: the information should be displayed in reverse chronological order; the graphic aspect must be legible and clear; the information divided into paragraphs by topic.

The structure of Curriculum Vitae :

  1. Personal information
  2. Professional/work Experiences
  3. Education and training
  4. Personal skills (Linguistic Knowledge – communication knowledge – digital competences…)
  5. Professional Objectives/personal statements
  6. Other information/competences

1. Personal information

  • Name and surname
  • Place and date of birth
  • Nationality (if different from the country where you are looking for a job)
  • Residence and / or domicile (both only if different)
  • Phone (mobile and fixed)
  • E-mail (pay attention not to use too "informal" accounts)
  • Civil status
  • Driving permission(s) owned
  • Availability of own car or vehicle
  • Whether belonging to specific categories and which one

2. Professional/work Experiences
Highlight the activities and the skills gained by placing them in reverse chronological order
For each work experience you should indicate:

  • Period (from month / year to month / year)
  • Company / organization name
  • Type of business or business sector
  • Place of work
  • Role or position covered
  • Main activities carried out

3. Education and training
Indicate, always in reverse chronological order:

  • Title (s): Secondary school diploma (only if it is the only title you have) / Diploma / Degree
  • Obtained or expected Date
  • Name of the institutes from which they were obtained

You can also add:

  • Specialization or training courses attended (only if you can indicate date, duration, institution where it was attended and certificate obtained)
  • Scholarships (with year, place, venue and subject of the scholarship)

4. Personal skills (Linguistic Knowledge – communication knowledge – digital competences…)

Language skills:
You will need to differentiated between

Type of capacity and Level
Reading/listening   mother tongue
Writing   basic user
Spoken interaction/production   independent user
    Proficient user


And any recognized language exams (eg Toefl) and the marks or credits obtained as well as significant stays abroad attesting to language learning. You can find a self-assessment guide here

Digital competences:

  • operating systems Known (eg Windows 98, Macintosh, Linux ...)
  • Programs (eg: Word, Excel, Access, Power Point ...) and for each the LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE (excellent, good, sufficient)
  • Specific applications related to the profession carried out (Cad 2D, As400, Exact, Passepartout, Cam ...) and for each the level of knowledge (excellent, good, sufficient)
  • As well as any computer courses attended and the marks obtained

5. Professional Objectives/personal statements

That is, a short paragraph describing professional skills, professional interests, attitudes and availability that characterize you.
It is useful ONLY if it is specific, oriented to the needs of the company and formulated with a view to expose the "contributions I can bring" (and not what I expect ...)
Also be careful not to restrict the scope (it might in fact make you excluded from other interesting opportunities in the company...)

6. Other information/competences

  • Any professional knowledge related to machinery / tools or procedures (retractor use, knowledge of measuring instruments such as caliber ...)
  • Any licenses / permissions (driving license, driving license for toxic gas ...)

Here you can find a guide to develop your curricula as well as the predefined templates in word or odf version in EU languages

Here are some general tips of writing a CV

  1. Include the basic information (remember phone number)
  2. Layout is clean and well structured
  3. Content is clear and concise (10 pages are not easy readable)
  4. Sufficient details are included in work experience description
  5. Tailor the CV to the role and the company you send to
  6. List the skills that differentiate you from the others
  7. Include personal interests that are relevant to the company and the position
  8. Include references
  9. Update contents periodically

Here some other interesting content and tips



For this lesson we just used on line resources (see list of links above) and lessons developed by Cramars teachers. 

Tips and rules for writing a CV 


Final Test