How to: CV guide for graduates

Every graduate students needs a curriculum vitae, or CV. 

It is not uncommon nowadays for employers in Vietnam to ask for a CV in English. In general, the advice for constructing an English CV is similar to that for a Vietnamese CV. Please read our Vietnamese post for a thorough guide with details on how to look for employers’ information, how to analyse a job advert and what to include in your CV.

Here are a few formatting pointers to keep in mind:

– There is no single best format. Craft your CV to best reflect you and your unique accomplishments.

– There is no page limit. However, your CV may get no more than 30s of the reader’s attention, so ensure the most important information stands out. Keep it concise and relevant!

– Be strategic in how you order and entitle your categories. The most important information should be on the first page. Within each category, list items in reversed chronological order. Category headings influence how readers perceive you. The same experience could belong in a category entitled: “Service to the Field”, “Conferences Organised”, or “Relevant Professional Experience”.

– Use action verbs and use sentence fragments, no full sentences, to describe your experiences. Avoid using pronouns (e.g. I or we) and articles (e.g. a, an, the).

– Stick to a common font such as Times New Roman, using a font size of 10 to 12 point. Use highlighting judiciously, favouring bold, ALL CAPS and white space to create a crisp professional style. Avoid text boxes, underlining, and shading. Italics can be used in moderation. Margins should be equal on all four sides, and be 2 to 2.5 cm.

Tailor your CV to the position, purpose or audience

Your CV has to be able to provide answers to the question “Why should we select YOU?”. Craft your CV to convince the reader that you have the skill, experience and knowledge they seek. Depending on the purpose, you might place more or less emphasis on a particular skill that you have developed. Remember to provide evidence for the skills you claim you have, and make sure such skills are relevant to the role you are applying for.


Achievement Administrative Communication Creative Financial Help/Teach
Accelerated Arranged Addressed Authored Allocated Advised
Accomplished Channeled Arbitrated Changed Analysed Clarified
Achieved Charted Articulated Conceived Appraised Coached
Activated Collated Briefed Constructed Audited Collaborated
Attained Collected Communicated Created Balanced Conducted
Competed Coordinated Conducted Developed Budgeted Consulted
Earned Dispensed Contacted Devised Calculated Counseled
Effected Distributed Conveyed Drafted Compiled Demonstrated
Elicited Established Corresponded Established Computed Directed
Executed Executed Delivered Formulated Controlled Educated
Exercised Implemented Demonstrated Founded Disbursed Explained
Expanded Installed Edited Illustrated Estimated Facilitated
Expedited Maintained Entertained Influenced Figured Guided
Generated Offered Interviewed Introduced Financed Helped
Improved Ordered Informed Invented Forecasted Illustrated
Increased Outlined Lectured Launched Projected Instructed
Insured Performed Mediated Originated Reconciled Managed
Marketed Prepared Negotiated Revamped Tabulated Modeled
Mastered Processed Persuaded Revised Research Organised
Obtained Provided Presented Staged Assessed Participated
Produced Purchased Promoted Updated Compared Performed
Reduced Recorded Proposed Visualised Critiqued Presented
Reorganised Rendered Publicised Plan/Organise Defined Taught
Reproduced Served Reported Allocated Derived Trained
Restructured Serviced Represented Anticipated Despatched Tutored
Simplified Sourced Responded Arranged Detected Lead/Manage
Sold Supported Suggested Catalogued Determined Acquired
Solicited Improvement Translated Categorised Discovered Administered
Streamlined Broadened Wrote Classified Distributed Approved
Succeeded Combined Technical Collected Evaluated Assigned
Upgrade Consolidated Adapted Consolidated Examined Chaired
Set up Converted Adjusted Convened Expanded Conducted
Composed Decreased Applied Edited Explored Contracted
Conceived Developed Built Eliminated Found Controlled
Created Devised Computed Employed Generated Coordinated
Designed Doubled Constructed Gathered Inspected Decided
Developed Edited Designed Grouped Interpreted Delegated
Devised Eliminated Diagnosed Monitored Investigated Directed
Established Expanded Engineered Organised Launched Enlisted
Founded Increased Experimented Planned Located Governed
Generated Innovated Maintained Regulated Measured Handled
Implemented Minimised Modified Scheduled Observed Headed
Initiated Modernised Operated Structured Predicted Initiated
Instituted Recommended Prescribed Summarised Presented Instilled
Introduced Redesigned Programmed Targeted Processed Instituted
Invented Reduced Proved Delivered Produced Managed
Launched Refined Reinforced Dispatched Promoted Motivated
Opened Reorganised Repaired Distributed Provided Represented
Pioneered Resolved Resolved Expanded Rated Supervised
Restructured Restored Generated Recommended
Revised Solved Launched Researched
Saved Specified Presented Reviewed
Serviced Systematised Processed Searched
Solved Tested Produced Served
Streamlined United Promoted Studied
Strengthened Provided Surveyed
Transformed Served Transferred
Uncovered Transferred Verified



one page cv

Click to view One-page CV example

skill cv

Click to view Skill CV example.


How to: CV guide for graduates

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