Career Services

Career Guide

Writing a CV

A Curriculum Vitae provides an overview of a person’s experiences and qualifications. It should reflect you and be your passport to the world of work. It serves at convincing the recruiter to invite you for a job interview. 
It’s up to you to add your personal touch that would make your CV special. You should keep in mind, however, that it has for main objective to introduce you to a person who has no information about you. Therefore, your CV should be clear, concise and positive.  
Format and Content
A one A4 page CV is enough for a freshly graduated candidate, and therefore contains only a summary of the job seeker's employment history, qualifications and some personal information.

French CVs Main Components:

1. Personal Information:
• First name, name, postal address, telephone, e-mail, 
• Age, marital status, nationality: are optional information that we need to adapt according to the company targeted and to the information requested by the recruiter.
• Picture: In a French version of a CV that you will use for companies in Morocco, a good quality/professional picture is optional. 
While presenting this section on your CV, proceed directly by writing your full name, address, phone N° and your e-mail without putting titles such as: Name/Address/E-mail… 

2. Education (Use the French word “Formation”):

• Date of degree award, exact title of degree, institution/school/University.
3. Academic Projects (“Projets Academiques”):
• This section should include the academic projects that are most relevant to the job position you are applying for.
4. Professional Experience (Expérience Professionnelle):
• Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs…
5. Languages (“Langues”):
• It is recommended that you mention the level of proficiency. (Fluent, Beginner…)
6. Computer skills (“Compétances Informatiques”):
• Include all the computer skills you may judge relevant to the job position, to which you are applying.
7. Hobbies (“Loisirs”): 
• It reveals a lot about your personality, so do not forget to include it in the French version of your CV, especially if you are targeting the Moroccan market.
You need however to be careful not to fill your CV with extracurricular activities at the expense of other important information.
If space allows, you can include two lines introducing yourself and your career objective. If not you can do without it.

English CVs

1. Personal Information:
• First name, name, postal address, telephone, e-mail, 
• Age, marital status, nationality: Should not be included in the English version of your CV
• Picture: Should not be included
While presenting this section on your CV, proceed directly by writing your full name, address, phone N° and e-mail without putting titles such as: Name/Address/E-mail… 
2. Education:  
• Date of degree award, exact title of degree, institution/school/University.
3. Academic Projects:
• This section should include the academic projects that are most relevant to the job position you are applying for.
4. Work Experience: 
• Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs…
5.  Languages: 
• It is recommended that you mention the level of proficiency. (Fluent, Beginner…)
6. Computer skills or any additional skills:
• Include all the computer skills you may judge relevant to the job position, to which you are applying.
- The section of hobbies is not included in the English version of a CV especially when targeting companies abroad.
If space allows, you can include two lines introducing yourself and your career objective. If not you can do without it.

In order for you to easily fill the content of these components, you need to be able to answer questions such as:
1. Who am I?
2. What do I want to do?
3. What I can do/like to do?
Answering the first question will help you better value yourself and consequently more conveniently market your profile. Question two and three will help identify your professional project to better present it to your potential recruiter. So please take some time to reflect on those questions and answer them.

Writing a Cover Letter
Cover letters are brief introductions that pitch your career project. The letter articulates your motivation for the job you are applying for. It introduces you to your potential recruiter while highlighting some of the skills you have developed; the letter uses your academic background and professional experience to bridge your profile with the recruitment needs of the company. A very well written cover letter is able to create the perfect match between your profile and the candidate the company is looking for.  It is your first chance to make a good impression with a potential employer. It should be clear, short, positive and convincing.
Content and Format
An effective cover letter will state:
1. Why you are writing, why you are interested
2. How you can meet the company's needs, and
3. A follow-up course of action.

Cover Letter Outline
Opening
• Use a business-letter format.
• Write your letter to a specific person in the organization, who might not necessarily be the HR Manager. You need to find out the name of the person you are writing to. Avoid using expressions such as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”.
If you need help finding out the name of a recruiter, you can: Use the Kompass website, http://ma.kompass.com/, or Contact Al Akhawayn Career Services and ask for help with this. 
Body
• Your Letter should balance your needs with the contributions you can make to the organization you are applying to. Express your interests, but focus on your qualifications.
• Be prepared to support any information you include in the cover letter with evidence of experience, training or other. State your experience and how it may benefit the organization, but don’t exaggerate
• Communications skills are highly valued by employers. Your cover letter is an evidence of your writing skills.  Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes and carefully proofread your letter.
Al Akhawayn Career Services can help you review your cover letter and résumé (CV) through a one-on-one counseling session. Please see one-on-one counseling sessions schedule.

Interviews
Form:
The first impression is everlasting. Be on time and pay close attention to your:
• Attire
• Posture
• Non-verbal communication
Key word: Professionalism
Content:
• Be prepared with everything you can possibly know about the company the position, the department, the industry and/or the competition.
• Practice your answers to commonly asked interview questions so that you present yourself as a well-prepared candidate.
• Your interview strategy must include proofs that you have successfully completed job-relevant tasks: facts, numbers, percentages…
After Interviews :
• Send a thank you letter within two business days: It reinforces your image as a professional person and serves as a reminder for the recruiter of your good communication skills (One of the skills that are most highly valued by recruiters). 
Important:
• If ever you are obliged to cancel an interview, you need to send your interviewer an e-mail to apologize and explain the reason of your interview cancellation.  
• It shows again your professionalism and might allow you to get opportunities to be interviewed in the future.

Please click here to download a sample of Resume and Cover letter both in French and English

Some useful web resources on CVs, Cover Letters and Interviews


CV writing :
http://www.polymtl.ca/sp/etudiant/rliberte/cv.php
http://placement.cmaisonneuve.qc.ca/etudiants/pdf/Protocole-CV-2008_version_juillet2009.pdf
http://www.cv.ca/avant-de-commencer-son-cv/quel-type-de-cv-choisir.aspx
http://svec.cegepsth.qc.ca/placement/pages/etudiants/curriculum.html
http://www.cegep-ste-foy.qc.ca/freesite/fileadmin/groups/27/pdf_statistique/44-52.pdf
http://www.careercc.com/resumpr.shtml
http://researchstafftraining.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/writing-an-academic-cv/
http://www.careers.salford.ac.uk/students/handouts/postgradcvsresearch_08.pdf


CVs, Cover letters and  interviews
http://www.keljob.com/
http://www.freeresumehelp.net/sample_cover_letters.html
http://www.workforcelink.com/newworkforce/js4.html
http://www.workforcelink.com/newworkforce/js4.html