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Nethra Pandher

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…until you actually sit down to make a CV. That’s when questions begin mounting, until you no longer have the faintest idea what you’re supposed to do.

Today, we’ll answer all of those questions—and then some. Time to learn exactly how to write a CV the right way!

This guide will show you:

Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ CV templates and create your CV here.

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Sample CV made with our builder—See more templates and create your CV here.

Impressive, right?

Now, here’s how to make a CV of your own that’s just as good:

Picture yourself landing an interview for that job you want. Would you dress up in your best outfit, hoping it will convey your professionalism? Or would you arrive in a t-shirt, assuming recruiters will gather you’re the perfect candidate from your answers?


It’s the same with your CV: even a perfectly written document won’t get a chance if it doesn’t look the part.

So, before we get to writing, here’s how to format your CV to make the perfect first impression:

Plan enough space for the following CV sections:

When you’re done editing your CV, save it as an editable document (like a Word file), but also create a PDF copy to submit to recruiters. The PDF format is reliable and universal: your CV will look the same on every device.

With the document ready, we can now move on to writing your CV!

Read more: What is a CV in India? Curriculum Vitae Definition & Example

Even though your CV profile appears first on the page, let’s start by writing your work history section instead. The profile is a compilation of the best bits of your CV, so it makes sense to write it last.

Now then—

Your work experience is arguably the most important part of your CV, so make sure to spend plenty of time perfecting it. Chances are, if the recruiter reads just one part of your CV, it’ll be this one.

Here’s how to get it right:

That’s enough theory—

Let’s practice on some CV writing examples:

Isn’t that far more convincing than a long, overly detailed description of every little thing this person was responsible for? This is what your CV will look like if you stick to achievements over duties!

Meanwhile, this is how not to do it:

This is not terrible… But we already know it could be made miles better with just a bit more effort. The wrong example tells us what the candidate did, but it doesn’t prove that they actually did it well, does it? The numbers, the context, and the active verbs make all the difference.

But what if you don’t have that much experience?

Don’t worry: the same techniques can be applied to fresher CVs with equal success. Observe:

This candidate didn’t do or achieve anything extraordinary—all of these bullet points are pretty typical for this role. But the way they’ve described their experience using active verbs suggests they were proactive and efficient.

Unlike this candidate:


Boring and unimpressive, right?

Note that the experience and tasks are exactly the same in both examples—it’s just that the first one does a much better job picking the right words to describe it.

And now you know how to do the same on your CV, too!

When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional CV template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s CV maker will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Would you believe that the hardest part is already behind you?

It’s true!

If you’ve finished polishing your work experience section, all that’s left to do now is to fill in the blanks—

Starting with your education section.

Even if you have lots of experience or your job doesn’t require formal education, it would still look unprofessional to completely skip this part. So, here’s how to go about it:

If you have a few years of relevant experience, include only:

Here’s an example of how to format your entry:

Pretty simple, right?

Things get a bit more complex, however, if you have little to no professional experience. In such cases, it’s worth boosting your education section with extra information—

This can help to show off your skills and talents, as well as bulk out your CV a bit. You don’t want to send in a half-empty page, after all!

So, consider adding things such as:

Lastly, if you’re still in the process of obtaining your degree or you have nothing to put on your CV apart from your education, add your earlier schooling (10th & 12th class).

Let’s take a look at a fresher education section example:

Pro tip: What about internships? If you have no experience at all other than the internship, list it as your work experience. If you have had other jobs, mention your internship(s) in your education section.

The more skills you put on your CV, the better, right?


Overstuffing your application with buzzwords won’t get you far. Instead, a targeted approach is a much smarter alternative.

5 to 10 skills on your CV will be enough, and here’s how to pick them:

First, make a list of all your professional skills. Remember to include:

Done? Alright—

Now, take another look at the job advertisement to which you want to apply. Read it again carefully, looking for keywords and specific skills.

Lastly—you guessed it—compare your list with the skills from the ad. There are bound to be some matches! Pick 5–10 of the most relevant ones, and put those on your CV.

This may feel like a lot of messing around, sure—but it’ll get easier with time. Now that you’re aware of all your skills, tailoring your CV to each job ad will be much quicker!

This isn’t just done for the recruiter’s benefit, either: companies use software that scans job applications, looking for keywords pertinent to the ad. So, the more of those keywords you include (within reason, of course), the better your chances of getting the green light from Applicant Tracking Systems.

Are there any universal skills that will work for every CV, though? Yes, to an extent—

According to research from Rasmussen University, the top skills employers look for include communication, time management, critical thinking and problem-solving, teamwork, emotional intelligence, digital literacy, and initiative. It goes without saying that these would look great on your CV, mixed with some hard skills specific to your profession.

Like so:

Pro tip: Got some skills that didn’t make the list, but should still be included? No problem: you should be weaving your key skills into the other sections of your CV, anyway! Mention them in your profile and job descriptions.

Okay, there’s your experience and your education… but there’s so much more that didn’t make the cut! What about your certificates, projects, volunteer work?!

Don’t worry.

That’s where bonus sections come in.

Consider adding the following to your CV:

Here’s what these bonus sections can look like on a finished CV:

None of these sections are strictly mandatory, but as you can see, when done correctly they can really boost the value of your CV. There’s one key rule, though:

Everything you include must be relevant to the job in some way. Otherwise, it’ll just take up space that you could use for something more impactful.

Struggling to fit everything onto one page? A template can help! Read more: 20 CV Templates to Download & Use for Free

Remember how we left writing your CV profile for last? Well, last has come—

Let’s start with some definitions, just to make sure we’re on the same page:

A CV profile is a short paragraph located at the top of the page, just below your CV header. Its purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and immediately show that you’d bring value to the company if hired. Basically, it highlights the best bits of your career or proves your potential. Now—

There are two types of CV profiles: a summary and an objective.

A CV summary is best for candidates with 2+ years of experience. Here’s how to write yours:

Neat formula, right? Let’s see it in action:

Notice how those numbers stand out! This candidate managed to squeeze in two big achievements and four key skills into just four sentences, without compromising on readability. The targeted offer at the end leaves the reader with the immediate impression that this person knows the company well and is ready to bring immediate value.

Unlike in this example:

You’re thinking it too—

Who cares?

With almost the same word count as the right example, the wrong summary fails to convey a single concrete reason why this person should get the job. Anyone can say they’re good at forecasting—the key is to prove it with a measurable achievement from previous experience.

Speaking of previous experience—

What about fresher candidates, who don’t have career accomplishments to share yet?

This is where the CV objective comes in. Let’s see what it looks like, done well… and not so well:


Even with no experience outside school, it’s possible to write an eye-catching objective. The key is to show your passion and weave in proof that you have the right skills for the job.

Unlike this candidate:

That’s nice—

What’s in it for the company, though? And what’s there to prove that this person really can use Python and R?

As you can see, the formula for a great CV objective is the same as for a summary, except that you’ll need to substitute professional achievements for academic ones and focus on showing your enthusiasm and motivation.

An objective is also the profile of choice for career-change CVs, by the way. If you’re writing one of those, just rely on your transferable skills and experience (i.e. things you’ve done and learnt in your previous career that can also be helpful in your new job).

And that’s it!

…for your CV. There’s still a cover letter to write.

Yes—no one likes writing cover letters, we know. But they really are necessary. Think about it:

Will a recruiter believe that you truly care about getting the job if you couldn’t even be bothered to spend an hour writing a short cover letter?

A cover letter is your chance to convince the hiring manager to give you a call, so it really makes no sense to waste the opportunity.

Convinced? Good—

Here’s a quick breakdown of how to write a cover letter for your CV:

Done right, a cover letter should be no more than four paragraphs and fit on one page. So it’s not that hard, after all!

Still at school? Don’t have experience? Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship in India

A great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Here’s a recap of how to make a CV:

That’s it! Now, we’d love to hear from you:

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