09 biography and CV

writing a CV or résumé

CV is short for the Latin term "curriculum vitae" which means "the story of your life". A CV is an outline of your education and experience. Its purpose is to get you an interview. When you send off a CV to your employer, you need a covering letter (see our chapter about correspondence).

                                      your name here
Personal details
address (incl. e-mail and telephone number)
date and place of birth

university / training
passed courses

(year) name and address of employer, their sector,
your job title

languages, IT knowledge, hobbies, publications
Kafka's 1915 passport photo
remark: photos:
http://www.thecvstore.net/ writes:
As a general rule, a photo shouldn’t be included if applying for jobs throughout the UK. The only times this rule would not apply is for candidates looking for acting / modelling / hostess jobs, etc., (specifically a position were appearance is important), or where a recruiter actually requests one.

If you do use a photo, do not use photocopied versions – either attach a small passport size photo using a paperclip or, even better, scan a copy into your computer and insert the picture onto your CV itself. The size of your photo should be somewhere around 1.5″ by 1.5″.

The choice of photo can also be important…it is best to have a picture taken looking smart.

exercise 1 -  write a real or fictitious CV. You can choose an artist or a writer or a fictitious character if you want,

website for CV templates
Why is a CV important?
 A CV is a short summary of your background and skills, and it includes your photo and your address where you can be contacted. According to e-CV.net, it is important to present a clear document because:

  • Recruiters are dealing with dozens of applications per vacancy, normally under immense time pressure as working to tight deadlines

  • They will make their first decision on your application by only scan reading your cv .

  • They are initially searching for just a few keywords in your cv .

  • They will ruthlessly discard cv s that they are finding difficult to navigate through, as their time is precious.

  • They will not give you the benefit of the doubt.

  • They don't know what you are really like & the presentation of your cv will reflect on you & the work they can expect from you.

  • CV processing is very tedious for most recruiters, so if you make their life easier they will instantly take a positive attitude towards you.

    A CV can also be used when writing about people or fictional characters because it helps you keeping the thread and understanding the background of the person.

    And do not forget, a CV is a one-page document only, and no typos, tip-ex corrections etc.

    http://www.emich.edu/english/gsp/writing.gifWriting a short biography

    Biography: a usually written history of a person's life

    Similar as a CV except that you write it as an essay and it is not intended to get you an interview.  You need to put the following information: the year and place of birth, the locations where that person was born and has lived, their profession. Aspects of their lives that you find relevant to tell - if you have new research material of your own you can add it there. If the person published or created things you need to finish with a list of their works with the publishing date. A short biography can be used to introduce a text, or a work by an artist or to tell a story of someone's life.

    You can make a biography as long or short as you want. Start with a basic "essay"-structure, three paragraphs, with introduction, conclusion and an illustration.

    exercise 2 - write a short biography of yourself or, indeed,  a real or fictitious person.
    You can use TTS to read my text.

    short Biography of Franz Kafka by zebras54
    Franz Kafka (born Prague 3.7.1883 – died Kierling near Vienna 3.6.1924) Doctorate in law, worked as a civil servant for insurance company (accidents) until early retirement in 1922,

    He published one volume of short stories (incl. Vor dem Gesetz, das Urteil, die Verwandlung were published during his life time in the press)
    Most of his work was published posthumously.
    Novels: Der Prozess (The Trial), das Schloss (The Castle),
    Short Stories: Forschungen eines Hundes (Investigations of a dog), Vor dem Gesetz (before the law), das Urteil (the Judgement), Die Verwandlung (the Metamorphosis), Der Jaeger Gracchus (Gracchus the Hunter), Ein Bericht fuer die Akademie (A report for the academy)
    Various: Memos to improve work conditions, poems (Fragments) : incl. Paradies, Aphorisms

    German speaking Franz Kafka, who also learnt French found much interest in literature, ethics and philosophy and he was fascinating by performing artists, especially those from Eastern Europe. The writers who interested him were Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard who is regarded as the founder of existentialist philosophy, the French writer Gustave Flaubert who wrote about the French middle classes and their hypocrisy as well (cf Madame Bovary), the Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannstahl who adapted Everyman, an allegory from England and called it Jederman (cf Paul Tabori: Requiem for Europe , 1942). As a person, Franz Kafka was an amicable but not very talkative and very much stepped into reality. He became very ill, suffering from insomnia and a lung disease – however, he did not get proper treatment, worse, he had to wait a long time because he was able to get retirement from his job. He was good friends with Czech language journalist Milena Jezenska but in the end she did not leave her husband for him, and married Dora Dymant. He published a small volume of short stories (Das Urteil, ein Landarzt) and Milena translated some of those in the Czech language. His novels: The Trial, The Castle amongst others were published posthumously by Max Brod. Most of his writing has been lost.

    http://www.infodesign.com.au/images/scenarios.gifThe exercise of writing short biographies is very helpful because we learn about ourselves and people. We find out what achievements we regard as important and practise our memories. When we learn foreign language or try to improve our own, we also focus on the human condition.
    It is also a very useful tool to have when writing fiction.