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Curriculum Vitae

Nowadays many young graduates decide to go abroad and make a living in a foreign country. In order to get a fulfilling job it is essential to prepare proper documents such as CV and a cover letter. You should be aware of the fact that in Anglophone countries applications more or less differ from Polish equivalents.

Curriculum Vitae is an outline of your educational and professional history. It is usually written on a A4 page (or pages). As it is an official document, it should be neat and readable. Consistent font and layout is a must. Keep your CV brief. Use short and informative sentences in standard English. Use bold type/ bullet points to highlight key information. Update your CV regularly.

Sample of CV:

Common CV written in English consists of a few essential parts. Below you can find some writing tips.

1. Personal/ contact details:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • E-mail address
  • Date and place of birth

All information should be typed carefully. Avoid literal errors and other mistakes. Make sure your e-mail address is neutral and includes your name(avoid silly words and names, they make improper connotations and may reject your further application). The prospective employer should identify your offer easily.

2. Professional experience/ Employment history

Here you include information concerning your employment. Write your previous workplace as well as position, responsibilities and period of time (months and years, on the left side). Insert such details which clearly determine your duties.

3. Education

Type dates, majors and details of your degrees. Remember to put notes about name and place of the institution, faculty and your final degree.

4. Skills and certificates

Write about additional skills you have, for instance, language, computer or graphic ones. Try to avoid clichés, i. e. „good organisational skills”. The more certificates you have, the better you present when applying for a job.

5. Personal interests

Include additional note on your interests. Put it concisely.

6. References

Usually they are not included in CV, only „References available upon request” is mentioned here. However, in Anglophone countries they are important part of your application. References are exact but detailed information confirming your duties and responsibilities taken from previous employer, supervisor, co-worker, colleague etc. Mostly, they are written in form of a letter. Take care of them because they are essential in your new job. Try to create a separate document/ file with all references beforehand.

This is a basic structure of references:

  • Addressee name and address if known
  • Date
  • Salutation ('To whom it may concern', or 'Dear Sir or Madam', or 'Dear')
  • Confirm dates, job title(s) capacity, and salary and benefits details if required/appropriate
  • Confirm that the person's performance and attitude was (at all times) satisfactory/exceeded expectations or standards
  • Briefly explain the person's responsibilities (optional)
  • Brieflydescribetheirskills/qualifications/strengths/characteristics (optional)
  • State that you would willingly re-employ the person if the opportunity arose (optional, and very re-assuring for the reader)
  • Offer to provide more information if required (optional)
  • Yours faithfully (or 'Yours sincerely' if writing to a named addressee)

Source: http://www.businessballs.com/referencesletterssamples.htm

Below you can find a template of references:


To whom it may concern/Dear Sir or Madam,

I confirm that Mr X was employed as (position) with this organisation from (date) to (date), and was paid (salary, plus bonus and benefits as applicable).

Their job of (position) carries the following responsibilities (describe briefly the job). Mr X is skilled in (details of skills) and is also (characteristics – e.g. reliable dependable, a good communicators, etc).

I would happily re-employ Mr X as I consider him to be a valuable member of the team, who consistently achieved good results and delivers all expectations.

Yours faithfully,

Optional information

Apart from basic points mentioned above, there are also other elements that can be included in CV. One of them is personal summary. This is a short information about your personality and overall performance. Another is job objective. It involves your individual expectations of a further job.

Remember that details above are crucial for general Curriculum Vitae. Your CV should target on a particular job offer. When applying for a particular job post, check it again and decide whether some information is useful or not. Insert other details that can be relevant to the job offer. You can also add the name of the position you are applying for.

You can find templates of CVs here:




the UK vs. the USA

Applying for a job in different places in the world be aware that there might be differences in documents too. Below you can find main diversities between Great Britain and the USA:

  • Great Britain – a CV is send here, it is an in-depth document, it is laid-out over 2 or more pages, it usually covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honours etc.
  • the USA – resume (or résumé) is a brief and concise document, it is usually laid out on one A4 page, it covers your experience and skills.