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What To Include In A CV – Best CV Formats 2023

A CV, or a curriculum vitae is the most important piece of information when you apply for a job. Needless to say, a CV represents your skills, experience, and educational background. The best CV format in Sri Lanka has one thing for certain, clarity. You should be able to distinguish between what’s important and not and include only what’s necessary. You should also be able to target the key points of what your employer looks for. Some might think a common CV might be sufficient to apply for jobs, but it is not. Although, if you have the CV format for any job, you can edit as needed. You should also provide a good cover letter with your interest in applying for this job. 

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a piece of information consisting of your education, work experience, skills, and qualifications. Your CV lays out every key milestone in your education and career pathway. Meanwhile, your extracurricular activities, notable achievements and anything you’re proud of can be included in a CV. It’s one of the most important aspects when you prepare for a job interview. 

CV vs Resume – What is the difference?

While a CV lays out every detail of work, education, and skills, a resume only provides information related to the position you apply for. Therefore, a CV can be quite lengthy in comparison to a resume. When you prepare a CV format for any job, you can narrow the details down to turn it into a resume related to your desired position. 

What to Include in a CV?

You might have a vague idea of what to include in your CV, but for you to get it right, this guide will be helpful. This includes your contact information, personal profile or statement, professional experience, education, skills, and references.  

Contact Information

Your contact information can include your full name and NIC first. You can also mention your date of birth, address, phone number, and email address. In addition to this information, you can include your social media handles, your LinkedIn profile link, and your website if applicable. Any other useful links such as your Medium or GitHub profile can also be attached. 

Personal Profile/ Statement 

Your personal profile or personal statement includes key information about yourself, such as your characteristics and skills that make you the right fit for the job. For example, if you’re applying for a digital marketing position, you can mention your passion for Social Media trends, and your knack for writing and content creation. You can also mention how your hard-working and leadership skills make you stand out from the rest. 

Professional Experience

Professional experience is the most crucial part of a CV. This is how your employer determines your level of qualification for the job. The best CV formats include professional experience in an organized manner that is easily readable for humans or machines. Always start listing down the work experience from the most recent. When you list down your work experience, the best format to follow goes as;

  1. Designation | Company: Make sure to accurately mention your designation and the company you worked for.
  2. Tasks and achievements: Highlight the most important tasks carried out by you. Do not list down the duties and responsibilities given to you in your employment letter. Instead, list down each notable task and achievement in one sentence. 
  3. Duration: Mention the duration of your experience, from which date to which you have worked in the given company, and the designation.

Most importantly, include keywords related to your job application, so that automated screening can also shortlist your CV. This CV format in Sri Lanka can give you maximum exposure in the screening process as you have clearly mentioned the relevant experience along with the keywords your employer might be looking for. 

You might wonder if you should include your internships in your CV. If you do not have a lot of professional experience, then yes. If not, you can leave them out. However, if your internship was from a reputed company related to your future employer, it’s best to include the internship as well. 


Your education is the second most important qualification that can be beneficial to you. When you look at the CV format for any job, you can see that the educational qualifications are in reverse-chronological order. Which means your highest qualification must come first. For example, if you have pursued an M.Sc. and B.Sc. along with a certificate course, your educational qualifications should be listed in the order of M.Sc, B.Sc, followed by the certificate course. The format to list your education is as follows;

  1. Qualification: Specify your qualification as mentioned in your certificate.
  2. Institute: Mention the name of your university, college, school, or any other institution you received the qualification from.
  3. Year: State the year you obtained your qualification, or mention the duration of your studies. 
  4. Notable achievements: You can mention your class, GPA, or the awards and achievements you have received during these studies. 

You can choose to either mention or not mention any irrelevant educational qualifications which might not interest your employer, however, it is best to mention everything to minimize the suspicions of a study gap.


Your skills are another important factor for your employer. In a highly recommended CV format in Sri Lanka, you see the skills listed down as mere bullet points, but that is not clear enough. You need to specify your level of competence in the stated skill. For example, if you have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills, you need to mention if you have beginner, intermediate, or advanced knowledge in it. Some people use color bars or percentage bars to show their level of competence which is also acceptable in the best CV formats. 


Your references can be any non-related personnel holding a position relevant to your education or professional background. This can be a previous employer, academic staff from your university, or any non-related personnel who can recommend you for the job. Your future employer might contact these references for recommendations, therefore keep them informed. You can mention their name, designation, company, or institution, along with their contact details such as their mobile number and email address. 

How Long Should a CV Be?

A CV can be as long as it needs to be if it only contains the information that is necessary for your employer. Do not include unnecessary information which will not help you get the job, and mislead the employer to believe that you’re exaggerating. Keep everything minimal and concise. You should keep in mind that a CV only needs to appear clean and professional, it does not need to be colorful and vibrant. When you select a CV format for any job, make sure the format looks professional and the key areas are organized. 

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to compile a CV format in Sri Lanka, go ahead and try to create one on your own. Do not forget the cover letter when you apply. For some jobs, it is good to include a portfolio as well. Prepare for a job interview in your leisure time for when you get shortlisted. If you’re ready with your CV and want to apply for jobs, we recommend you have a look at ikmanJOBS for a wide selection of jobs in Sri Lanka.  You will be able to find more than 10,000 job ads with vacancies for bankers, drivers, sales executives, packing officers, office assistants, and much more! We wish you the best of luck in achieving the job of your dreams. 

Download some great CV formats from here.

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