What is the right structure for a CV?

Drafting a CV might appear to be an easy job, but that is absolutely not the case. For example, it is not only important that you mention in your CV all the things that are important for potential employers, it is also necessary that your CV be complete, contain no errors and have a clear layout. 

In addition, a good CV has to satisfy a whole range of requirements, such as being well-structured. 

Are you going to draft a CV and want to know which structure is most frequently used in preparing one? 

Then read more in this article about the proper structure for creating a CV.

Personal details

You put down your personal details right at the top of your CV. You do so by putting a ´personal details´ heading on your CV and listing personal data there such as your (full) name, address and postal code, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth and nationality. The data that you place under personal details are merely an enumeration, thus it is not desired here to put down a long story with a description of yourself as a person.

Education and work experience

The two most important parts of your CV are "education" and "work experience". A CV with a good structure puts the ´education´ section first, in order to then under this text mention more about the studies you pursued and the periods in which you did so. If you have earned a degree, then also mention the official name of the degree here. After a description of your studies comes a ´work experience´ section where you describe not only where you worked, but also what position you held in each company. And specifying your tasks and responsibilities (with bullet points, for example) also immediately gives the recipient of your CV a clear picture of your skills. 


Under "work experience" comes a section headed ´languages´. You only add ´languages´ to your CV if you speak at least one foreign language reasonably well or fluently. If you speak several foreign languages reasonably well or fluently, then be sure to write up all of these languages. In so doing, also indicate your (written and oral) proficiency level for these languages.


Then comes a part named “competencies” under which you indicate what your strong points are, such as flexibility and independence. Writing up around five competencies should be enough to give the recipient of your CV a clear picture of your personality.


The last part of your CV consists of a short text under the word ´other´. In this part you can mention everything that you can´t put somewhere else on your CV, such as your hobbies, specific skills you have and volunteer work you have done.

Always stick with the right CV structure

It´s not for nothing that a fixed structure is used for a CV, since this fixed structure enables employers to scan through a CV easily, without having to search endlessly for specific information. Because there are a lot of people interested in certain job openings, it’s important that your CV stand out and have a fixed structure. If you use a different structure, there’s a chance that employers will lose interest in deciphering your CV. So opt for the fixed CV structure, unless yours genuinely looks better with an alternative organisation.  

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