The mandatory personal information in your CV is: Name, date of birth, mobile phone, e-mail. Your address is not mandatory but gives the employer information if you are too far away from the work place. Your home phone is not mandatory because your mobile phone is much more reliable and because you would probably be contacted during work hours when you are usually not at home. Your picture is placed on the CV and should be the size of a passport picture. Pictures taken on the beach or pictures from your prom or wedding mean that you don’t know proper business etiquette and do not speak well for you.
You should always start with your last place of work. You specify the name of your previous employer, address and telephone of the company, the period during which you were employed and your position. You should write what your responsibilities were. This is important because often there is a difference between the position name and the actual responsibilities.
Don’t be ashamed to state all of your work places even if some of them are not particularly prestigious. It is not shameful to write that you were a water/waitress if you are applying for the position of a manager. On the contrary this shows that you know how to communicate and can easily work with people, or that you can work under pressure. A lot of the employers think that it is a lot better to always work (even if the job isn’t perfect), than to sit at home and rely on your relatives and friends.
On the other hand you should carefully think if you should write about a job that you have had a long time ago that isn’t related to your current job, if you already have more than enough experience for the position you are applying for. It is clear that such information is unnecessary, more so if you are middle aged and you have acquired enough experience in the field you are working in.
Remember that if you don’t write about the reasons that made you leave your previous jobs you will have to answer those questions during the interview. If your work history consists of short periods of employment for different companies, you won’t make a good impression! You should have strong arguments for “job hopping”, or otherwise the employer will be suspicious.
As with the work history you first put your most recent degree. For example you first write about: P.h.d., master, bachelor, middle school etc. You don’t have to write about elementary school or any additional courses you have taken (if you don’t want to).
You specify the languages you speak and what level you are. If you have taken courses or have a certificate don’t forget to write about them.
You list all software that you can work with. Do not forget that the way you have formatted your CV also speaks of your computer skills.
Information about your hobbies and interests. Write only about the things that you think would benefit your CV. For example if you practice some sort of extreme sport it would help with your application for a position with the mountain rescue service.
Be sure to write your CV literately, by using the right words, structured in clear sentences. Too complex words and long sentences can be a bad move on your side. Remember that a good CV is that which a HR specialist can easily read and decide what is important and what isn’t. Writing a CV is not complicated but it has it’s subtleties that are very important towards getting that call for an interview.