write CV

Photo of boy writing a CV

Write a CV

The purpose of the CV is to demonstrate to a potential employer that you are the right person for the job. The CV is a summary of your education, work experience, and skills that are relevant to a job for which you are applying. Therefore, it is important to know what to include, what not to include as well as what to emphasise. Examine the job requirements for the position, and make sure that your resume shows that you meet them.

Before starting

Before starting

  • Keep your CV updated and error-free.
  • Make the CV neat and easy to read, with clear sections. Let the hiring manager be able to see, at a glance, how you are qualified for the job.
  • Keep the CV within two pages. You can also write a one-page version to bring along to careers fairs.
  • You should always customise your CV to the particular position and the company as far as it is possible. Be sure to emphasise what is most relevant for the position you are applying for.
  • Examine the job requirements for the position, and make sure that your CV describes how you meet them.
  • Ask for permission to use someone as a reference in advance before you give out the person's name.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about everything you write in your CV if you get a job interview.
  • Write the CV in the same language as the job advertisement.

Contents and layout

Contents and layout

  1. Write in reverse chronological order, with your most recent experiences first.
  2. If you are a student, you will probably want to list your education first in your CV. An exception is if your work experiences are more relevant for the position.
  3. The order of the remaining sections depends on relevance. Whether it is computer, language skills or skills from volunteering or courses, place the most relevant experiences as early as possible in the resume.
  4. Place references at the end.

Name and address

First name  Last name


phone number, and e-mail 


Tips to name and address


Make your name stand out by using a larger font than you use for the other major headings. Do not include “Curriculum Vitae”, the employer understands what this is.


It has become more common to include a picture of yourself, but this is not mandatory. However, if you do include a picture, a professional looking picture is preferable.

Contact information and birthdate 

Include your address, phone number, e-mail and birthdate. Consider including link to your LinkedIn profile. The employer may check it out, so be sure to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile.

Key skills /objectives

Key skills /objectives

  1. You can include a short, specific, clear objective statement. Though the objective statement is not strictly necessary, it can be helpful. Specifically, the objective statement lets you sum up as the skills and experience that are most relevant for the position.
  2. Be specific; a generic objective is worthless. Target it to the specific position you are interested in.


  • Programmer position in educational software development
  • Experience of teamwork in IT company
  • Have used VMware virtual network in my work with network infrastructure


  • High-level knowledge in Excel and BI systems
  • Experience in budgeting and writing reports
  • Managed sales staff of 5; hiring, training and scheduling


  • Experience in writing minutes of meetings
  • Arranged and held lectures for large groups
  • Fluent speaker in English and is currently studying Norwegian



year - year       Degree and study program, name of educational institution

                        Specialisation. A short description of what you have learned that is relevant for the position.
                        Title and/or the theme of a project or your bachelor / master thesis. Exchange studies in other countries.              


Describe what you have learned from your studies in 2-3 sentences. Read the learning outcomes for your study programme. Highlight what is most relevant from your specialisation and/ or transferable skills. Present your competence for different positions in different ways, depending the specifications in the job advertisement.

Education high school

Year-year                 Name of high school

Program / specialisation. If you took part of the high school study in another country.


Tips vgs

Some employers want to see when you graduated from high school. If you have a gap before starting higher education, be sure to provide information about this later in the CV. Completing all or part of the high school program abroad can provide information about your language skills and intercultural understanding.

Work experience

Work experience

Month. year – month. year      Job title, Working place

Part-time (how much in percent) or full-time. Describe briefly the responsibilities and duties. Consider if you want to include specific achievements. Try to describe this in a way that it appears understandable and relevant for the employer in question.


Tips Work experience

1: This includes paid work. If you have a lot of work experience, you might want to use the headline Relevant work experience. If so, consider if it is necessary to include another section called Other work experiences.

2: Instead of listing what the work place («we») did, describe what your duties and responsibilities were.

3: You might think that you have no relevant work experience. However, you probably have skills that are transferable to any job. So describe your experiences smart! For example, if you have experience of working in a café, making sandwiches might not be relevant for the current job application. However, your experience with customer relations can be useful. If you were responsible for balancing the cash register, it will show that you were trusted by your employer. If you have experience with telemarketing, you might have achieved good communication skills. Have previous work experiences given you management skills, skills to handle stressful situations well or cooperate with others?

4: A few students have already had many different summer jobs from a young age, and wonder if they should include everything. The rule of thumb is if the job is relevant, you can include experiences 10 years back in time. Include 5 years if the experience is not relevant. However, there is no right or wrong answer here.

  1. Waiter at Lolo’s restaurant: Responsibility for training of new staff and supply orders. Maintained good customer relations and worked cash register.
  2. Student worker at Lovely University: Responsibility for planning and leading arrangement for new students at my department.
  3. Assistant at a kindergarten: Caretaking of 20 children in the age of 2-5. Participating in conducting parent- teacher conferences.

Volunteer experience

Volunteer experience

Month. year – month. year: Job title, Organisation

Identify time commitment. Describe briefly the type of organization. List your responsibilities and duties.

IT skills

IT skills

Nowadays, many includes a separate section for IT skills. We recommend that you do not grade your knowledge, but list with what software, operating systems, languages or analytical tools you are familiar.

Courses and certifications

Month. Year   Course title, Course organiser.

Content of extracurricular courses, certifications


List languages you know and degree of proficiency (good, fair, excellent, near-native, native).

Additional information

Additional information

Tips Additional information

1. If you have little or no courses or experience from volunteering, you can skip their individual sections, and present it here.

2. You can include leisure activities here if you want, e.g. sports, creative activities, travelling.

3. If you have a driving license, and it is relevant for the job.

4. Mandatory military service, maternity leave or care leave. Remember dates for this.



First name, Last name, job title, workplace, phone number.

Tips References

References are persons who can talk about your work experience, work habits, character and skills. 

1. Ask your references in advance before you give out their names.

2. Provide 2-3 references that will say good things about you, preferably concerning your skills relevant to the position.

3. If not requested when you apply, you can write "references are available upon request" in your CV. However, ensure you have the list of references prepared going to an interview. Employers may call your references right after talking to you.

4. Tell your references when you go to an interview, and for what position. Then they are prepared and can highlight your most relevant qualities.

5. It is most common to use a former job manager as a reference. You can also ask your thesis supervisor, colleagues, teachers or others that can provide information relevant to the position.

Examples of what hiring mangers ask when they call your references:

  • What was NN’s responsibilities working for/with you?

  • How did NN handle these responsibilities?

  • How will you describe NN personality and social skills in the workplace?

  • What role did NN play in team situations?

  • How did NN get along with co-workers, management or employees that NN supervised?

  • Did NN work well independently? Did NN often seek advise from others?

  • How did NN handle pressure or stress?

  • Did NN’s work responsibilities change when working for/with you? How did NN handle the changes?

  • If you had the opportunity, would you re-hire this job candidate? Why or why not?

Jobs in Norway

Jobs in Norway

Whether you want an internship, part-time job or a full-time job, you might find English speaking opportunities in Norway here:

Part-time job: To find a part time job as a non-Norwegian speaking student in Norway might be challenging, but possible. Set realistic expectations for your chances in the local job market. Norwegian language or another Scandinavian language is often a prerequisite for obtaining a job. However, for some positions they accept that you only speak English. That is for example in the hotel, restaurant and tourist industry as well as some positions at the university. Yet, even basic language skills in Norwegian may improve your options!

More information:
Work in Norway. The official Guide
Work permit (UDI)

Write a cover letter

E-course CV


How to write a CV in Norway

Texting in English

Counselling for NTNU students

Career counselling

via video, phone or e-mail.

For current students, applicants and recent NTNU graduates

Book counselling for:

  • Feedback on CV/cover letter
  • How to describe your skills
  • Career advises 


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