How to Make a CV for Free

By Joshua Laud

A curriculum vitae (CV), sometimes known as a resume, is Latin for "course of life." You put your qualifications, career history and other important personal information in it. You use a CV when applying for jobs and other positions that require a summary of your experience. Essentially, a CV is just a typed document containing the relevant information, though certain formatting is expected for ease of reading and aesthetics. Most word-processing applications have preset CV wizards or templates that you can follow. The standard word-processing application, Microsoft Word, has many templates to follow.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word and click "File" and then "Project Gallery" or "New From Template" (depending on version). Click "Resumes" to show the built-in templates.

Step 2

Choose a template. Each template is slightly different, and you can see a preview of each one before you choose. Once you are happy with your choice, double-click it to open.

Step 3

Edit each field insides the hard brackets. For example, change "[Street Address]" and "[City]" with your corresponding address.

Step 4

Edit the fields that follow. You may not wish to include all sections, so delete where appropriate. The most important fields are "Experience" and "Education."

Step 5

Edit the "Experience" section so the "[Insert Dates]" field shows the years you spent in that role. Change the emboldened title text to the name of your employer. In the bullet-pointed parts, enter your key skills, responsibilities and any other information that shows your skills and talent. The idea of this section is to promote yourself and convince the potential employer that you are best suited for the job, so show your most wide-ranging abilities and brief examples of how you used them. Do this for each job you've had that's relevant to the job you're applying for.

Step 6

Edit the "Education" section. As with the "Experience" section, you will need to put in dates; the name of the university, college and other schools you went to; and degrees you earned.

Step 7

Edit the "Skills" section to show other skills you have that aren't already covered in the "Experience" section. Remember that you are trying to promote yourself as well as possible, so include anything you can think of, giving examples where necessary of your skills and talents.

Step 8

Edit the "Personal" or "Objective" sections. It is up to you how you fill out these sections. Depending on the job, the potential employer might need to know certain attributes or hobbies you have. Make yourself sound interesting so you do not seem entirely academic or work-focused. An employer is looking for a well-rounded character.

Step 9

Print out your CV and proofread the hard copy. The presentation is important, and it's good to see how it looks on paper before you print lots of copies to send to employers. Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical mistakes; misalignments; or contrasting fonts.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can download more templates from the Microsoft Office Online website (see Resources) if you do not like the templates that come with Word.