7 Tips for the “Education” section of your CV

In this article, GRN Team will answer to the most frequently asked questions about the “Education” section of your CV. keep-calm-and-update-your-cv-7

Questions like:

  • Where should I place “Education” in my CV?
  • What should I include in the “Education” section?
  • What format should I follow?
  • How long should the “Education” section be?
  • How should I list “Honors” and “Activities”?

Here are some tips answering these questions that will help you to improve your CV.

#1. Most people list educational background at the end of their resume, which is perfectly fine. But the best placement depends on what are you trying to emphasize. You can place education before experience: if you are a recent graduate or you don’t have so many years of work experience;
you can place it after “Experience”: if you completed your studies at least two years ago, or if you have already a couple years of work experience. Be strategic! Like everything else on your resume, it should work for you, not against you.

#2. List your education background in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent studies. If you are holding a Bachelor’s degree, or if you achieved a higher level education, don’t mention where you went to high school. It should look like this:

Year – Year             University Name             City, Country
Diploma / Certificate / Degree / Major
Details of education completed: Final grade (underline if you’ve had a good one) and other achievements

N.b: Double space between each school listing

#3. You don’t need a separate section for “Honors” received or Academic-related activities. Create these sections just if they are very extensive and especially if you think they are strictly-related to the job you’re applying for .

Hint: to save some space on the CV, it’s clever to include them by the related school/university experience.

#4. Once you have at least two or three years of work experience, you should drop the school-related activities/accomplishments from your CV and focus mainly on the “Work Experience” section and its accomplishments.

#5. We suggest that the length of your education section should be max a third of a page.

#6. Be careful with using appropriate terminology. Nothing is worse than grammar mistakes in your CV.

#7. If you don’t have qualifications required for a particular job, don’t fake them. Companies may check your qualifications and you will never have a chance to get a job in the same company also in the future. You can try to compensate your lack of qualifications with personal skills or interests.

Written by Pasquale Di Benedetto (Project Coordinator)

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We hope you found this article helpful! If you feel like sharing your personal opinion about the topic, please leave us a comment!

GRN Czech Team

GRN CV Tips, part II: Don’t wait for a job search to update your CV – do it today!

keep-calm-and-update-your-cv-7The majority of people only go to revise their CV when they are looking for a new job or when they are worried about the current one. Although you enjoy your work and you have no intention to quit, you may need to think about your “old” CV and bring it “alive” today, rather than waiting until its urgent. Why?

Recent studies stress the importance of updating your CV regularly, NOT only when you are planning to quit a job or when you are already looking for a new one. Some very forward thinking companies even go so far as to check once per year if their employees have updated their CV. Sounds silly?

Well, Business Insider provides several good reasons, why you should sit down and update your CV right NOW. At GRN we agree with most of these and provide you with our insights as well.

  1. Remind yourself of your accomplishments

It’s sometimes necessary to sit down and think what did you actually achieve at your last job. Your CV contains information about the skills you’ve learned, but it should also give the picture of change you’ve made in your career path. It will help you to make your own plans for the near future, as well as for the long-term. We all want to present ourselves as impressively as possible, and with a fresh mind it’s much easier 🙂

  1. Track your personal progress

Many of us are very busy at work. That’s why we often forget what kind of progress we’ve made from the last job to the current one and in which areas we’ve developed. If you update your CV only once every few years, you are likely to forget or overlook some important changes that have happened in your career and which new skills you’ve acquired.

Reviewing your CV more often will help you understand yourself better, better track your career journey, and analyze your passions, values, and preferences. Every role is a reflection of who you are.

  1. Stressed time is not a good time

When you are looking for a new job or you are worried that a layoff may be coming, you naturally feel stressed out. This might not be the right time for refreshing your CV because you are not in the mindset of thinking about your successes and goals. Moreover, you are maybe under time pressure, so you might want to use your time for other things rather than refreshing your CV.

  1. Be prepared for the bad times too

The job market today is changing every day and sadly we have to be prepared for everything. You never know when your CV might come in handy and if you have a freshly revised CV, you can react quickly. Having an up-to-date CV can increase your chances of landing that new job, thus maximizing your potential in the job market. As the saying goes “Luck comes to those who are prepared.”

So, we recommend updating your CV after each new project while details are still fresh in your mind and it’s easy to explain what you’ve learned or accomplished. What may have seemed a small thing in your current job, may actually make the difference of a potential new employer offering you that new job.

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This might not work!

Although updating your CV might seem a bit time-consuming and tiring, in the end it will save you a lot of time and energy. Your

CV is a marketing tool to show your strengths, so make sure yours is as powerful as it can be and most up-to-date. Plus, revisiting your accomplishments will help you develop confidence and clearer direction in your career.

So, when was the last time you looked at your CV? Are you ready to refresh it NOW? 🙂

Prepared by Júlia Švandová, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech

GRN CV Tips, part I: Include a picture or not?

Shall I include my picture into the CV? Does it help or hurt? If you are asking yourself these questions and you hear various arguments for and against, hopefully our GRN tips will help you to get the answer. This article is a part of series in which GRN Czech shares its secrets on how to polish one’s CV.

Hire me, eh?

Hire me, eh?

You can find tons of articles online, which discuss whether it’s good or bad to include a picture in your CV.  Well, we have to say that the majority opinion is that the picture should not be part of your CV.  At GRN we agree with this statement and below is our explanation why.

First of all, the Headhunter/Recruiter or Hiring Manager that you send your CV to,  spends only a few seconds screening a CV. That means, a picture might take too much attention and time which could be better spent reading your accomplishments and achievements. Help the reader focus, because these allow the reader to better “see” the successful you.

Secondly, if a photo is not specifically required in the job description (e.g. for some jobs, like for a  Model it is important), then it’s irrelevant to include it. Simply for the reason that it does not matter how you look. According to BusinessInsider, the only thing which might happen, is that it can lead to discrimination. And no one wants that.

The research conducted by HRMorning revealed that CVs that include a photo are one of the 8 top reasons for automatically not considering a potential candidate. So, that’s a good reason for NOT including your picture in the CV, right?

Moreover, what happens many times is that candidates put an unflattering or unprofessional photo of themselves in their CV. So, IF you do decide to include a photo, make 100% sure it’s a photo that is professional and a good quality resolution (also when printing it out). Also, make sure it is also a relatively recent photo, not one from when you were 10 years younger and 15kg lighter… 🙂

Not for CV, either 🙂

We can say that the trend of including a picture in CV varies between countries. While in the U.S. and U.K. it’s not very common, in Europe it’s still popular. However, based on our experience here in GRN, we can say that more often than not, the picture can hurt more than it helps. Not including your photo won’t harm nor decrease your chance to get the job. On the other hand, including a picture might cause some bias and prejudice, which can cut your chances of being considered significantly.

To conclude, at GRN we discourage our candidates from including their photo in their CV.  However, it’s your decision in the end. 🙂

Prepared by Júlia Švandová, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech