How to write a successful CV & download CV templates

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CV templates

Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume is a concise and brief written account of the major achievements and contributions of your life. It contains key information with regard to yourself, your academic and professional education, your employment experience and other important events.

It’s a resume or summary of all the very important events of your life useful for getting a job you want.

Contents of CV

According to Prof. Henerath H D N P Opatha of Department of Human Resource Management at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, your CV should include following contents:

1. Identification information: Your name, permanent address, corresponding address, telephone number and email address.

2. Educational Information: names of qualifications, years of obtaining, institutions or universities, and major relevant course. Your can list these according to chronological order, with most recent qualification first or skill based order (see three types of CV formats below)

3. Training Information: nature of trainings received, durations, organizations and special assignments done.

4. Employment Information: job tiles, relevant major dates, relevant times, organizations and job performance ratings if available.

5. Information about interests: hobbies and leisure activities

6. References: two names o f non relatives who can give recommendations about you, their positions, their addresses, contact numbers and e-mails.

7 Tips for writing successful CV

Be truthful-states only your abilities
Target audience-relevant skills and experience
Keep it brief-limit to 1-2 pages, fewer words for easy scan
Write and rewrite-before it get right
Be professional-good quality paper/printing
Be accurate-proofread with friend
Follow up-call or write to restate your interest

Types of CVs (resumes)

There are three (3) basic types used worldwide


Chronological Resume

Present information in timeline approach
Most recent work/educational experience first
Shows how progress made in career
Easy for employers to scan
Best if you have relevant experience in desired career field
Used by job seekers with steady experience


Preferred by employers
Easy to scan
Straightforward history of work experience


Can demonstrate lack of experience
Show career gaps

Functional resume

Highlight relevant skills
Ideal for students with minimal experience or unrelated work experience
Can use when there’s career gaps
Suitable for diverse experience/skills


Flexible approach
De-emphasize lack of experience
Minimize age discrimination


Employers may expect chronological

Combination or Hybrid Resume

Merge of chronological and functional types
Highlights skills and experience
Present knowledge/skills/experience in reverse-chronological order
Suit if careers are changed


Provide employers with chronological format
Highlight skills


Can be longer than other two types

Important Points for preparing a successful CV

Complete sentences are not necessary. Use action verbs
1” margin and balance of content
Be consistent in font and styles
Use a readable font rather than decorative
Font size 10-14
Avoid unnecessary graphics
Use white paper and quality printing


Controversial items-political affiliations, religious believes
Personal information – height, weight, race, ethnicity
Salary requirement
Errors-correct use of grammar and spelling

Cover Letter

Another letter called cover letter needs to be prepared and attached on the CV. To introduce you and inform your purpose are the objectives of the cover letter. It should be brief and needs to be addressed to a particular responsible person such as Human Resource Manager or Head of the relevant company.

If you are sending your CV by email, remember to put cover letter text in the email body and attaché the CV to the e-mail message.

Download CV templates

Chronological CV templates – MS Word and pdf files
Chronological CV in the field of IT (Software) of Salika Wijewardana (External Internet Link)

Functional CV templates – MS Word and pdf files
Cover Letter for Job CV for graduate (pdf)

University of Colombo Career Guidance Resources contains advice of preparing CVs

Based on the presentation by Kalana Tennakoon B. Sc. (Hons), ACMA, CGMA, CPA (Aus), MBA (UK) at the seminar organized by in Colombo in 2013.

See other Career options on this website:

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CVs, cover letters and Example CVs from External websties

Graduate Prospects Ltd, UK website contains Example CVs and cover letters on Traditional CV, Skill based CV and Academic CVs

University of Monash, Austraila contains sample CVs (resumes) for graduates according to different fields: Arts, Business and Economics, Engineering, Information Technology, Science, Education etc.

This video teaches you how to write a powerful CV.

Writing a good CV or resume is your opportunity to make a personal impression and connection. A résumé is just a list of facts about you, but the cover letter gives a hiring agent insight into your personality. Companies hire people, not résumés. Avoid copying common templates listed here which are downloaded by many others, highlight unique elements of your personal brand.

We hope you will find a excellent job in a great company!



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1 Comment

  1. Asitha August 17, 2016 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Great article. I downloaded CV templates from here. Thanks

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