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How to Write an Introduction for a CV

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Your curriculum vitae, or CV, as it is usually called, is the tool you use in your job search to score an interview. The information you put into it should be designed for the specific job you seek and should not be a generic biography. The introduction of your CV, also called a summary or objective, is not required, but it can help frame what the employer will see to your advantage. It should be brief and specific-––50-75 words is ideal. A CV differs from a resume only in that it can be more comprehensive and, thus, longer.

Examine the position description of the job you are applying for and make a list of qualities that the employer requires. Some will be obvious, such as a proven sales record; others may not be stated explicitly. For example, if you will be part of a team, good interpersonal skills will be required, though it may not be noted in the brief job listing.

Make a list of your career goals and achievements. Match up your goals and accomplishments with the list of what the employer is seeking, finding as much alignment between them as you can. If you find that difficult, you may want to reconsider applying for this particular job.

Write the introduction by listing concrete accomplishments from current or prior positions, using concise sentences in the active voice. Remember, the purpose of the CV is to get the interview, and you do that by showing what you can do for the employer. Keep in mind, as well, that your career path should appear to be a natural fit for the job, so the employer will feel that you have commitment and won't be leaving at the earliest opportunity.

Finish up your introduction with a brief mention of other qualities you will bring to the job. Again, focus on the employer's needs as much as possible. This gives you the chance to list talents and abilities (such as technical or specific communications experience) that may not be highlighted in the rest of the CV.