Create a killer CV

It is important that you know how to write a CV that is irresistible. Remember, your CV gives the first impression of who you are. Impress through your CV

CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. It is Latin for – course of life. So basically a CV gives details about your life. Therefore, first impressions are crucial. This is because a CV represents you as a person. This is why you should give a lot of thought when you write your CV. 

What Are Employers Looking For In A CV?

Here is what employers look for in  a CV: 

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Results and achievements
  • Education

Roles And Responsibilities

The employer is looking for the roles and responsibilities that you had in your previous jobs. Your roles and responsibilities should match what the employer is looking for. It is therefore important to tailor your CV to the roles and responsibilities that the employer is looking for.

Experience

The employer is also looking for the kind of work experience that you have. What you must ensure is that your experience in the jobs that you have had are consistent and relevant to the job that you are applying for. The key word here is relevant. 

There is no point in writing the roles and responsibilities of a job that is not relevant. 

Skills

Ensure you include all relevant skills gained and required of you in previous roles. Your skills will complement your experience and can determine your suitability for the job. The skills that you have are an important part of your CV.

Results And Achievements

Employers like to see results. It is therefore important to mention your achievements. That is, what you achieved in your previous employment so if you achieved above your target as a Sales Manager, for example, make sure you state your targets as amounts or percentages and demonstrate how you overachieved.

Education

Highlight relevant educational certificates. This is important, especially when they have been listed as essential or desirable on the selection criteria. If you possess the relevant qualifications, it is a plus on your side.

How Do I Make A CV?

Here are the (5) five steps to help you write your CV:

  • Plan the CV – In the planning stages of your CV, make sure you have all the relevant information that you would like to include in the CV. this includes the following:
    • Personal information – Your name, contact details and contact number
    • Experience – State your experience, starting with your most recent job
    • Education – List your qualifications, starting with the most recent. Make sure you mention the dates that you acquired your qualifications.
    • Skills – Write down the necessary skills that you acquired in your previous employment
    • Results and achievements – List any achievements, awards or certifications that you have achieved   
  • Design your CV – In designing your CV, here is what you can do:
    • Use online CV creators
    • Choose your own template
    • Use a Word document to design your own
  • Write your cover letter –  A cover letter is important for every job that you apply for. In your cover letter, write in such a way that you give the reader an idea of what you are capable of. The contents of your cover letter should match the requirements of the job.
  • Review your CV  – Review your CV. here is what to consider when reviewing:
    • Do not include unnecessary information
    • Be creative
    • Be credible
    • Each job should have its own suitable CV
    • Finalise your CV 
    • Present an error-free CV
    • Choose a readable font
    • Make the design stand out
    • Include everything that is important
    • Be contactable – include phone and email address
  • Finalise your CV – Here is the check-list that you can use to review your CV:
    • Roles and responsibilities
    • Experience
    • Skills
    • Results and achievements
    • Education
    • My references
    • Cover letter 
    • Design 
    • Font
    • line spacing 
    • Graphics 
    • Contact details 

What Is The Best CV Format?

This can be the best format for your CV:

How Do I Make My CV Irresistible?

Here is how you can make your CV stand out:

  • Keywords –  Using the right keywords will help your CV irresistible. Keywords are those words mentioned frequently in the job description.
  • Design – A polished CV that uses white space and bullet points will create an attention-grabbing design that’s easy to read
  • Action Words – Action words will paint a picture of what you have done. Here are examples of action words:
    • Writing
    • Selling
    • Designing
    • Working
    • Analysing 
  • Employer-focused – Show why you are an asset that the employer needs to hire
  • Customised – Customise every resume for the job that you are applying for. Do not use the same CV over and over again. A CV should be tailor-made to the job that you are applying for.
  • Contact information – If an employer cannot find your contact information, they will not contact you.
  • Online presence – Include links to your web presence/portfolio/LinkedIn so that employers can learn more about you. That is, if they choose to do that.
  • Results – Use quantifiable data and hard facts to show what you have accomplished
  • Update regularly – Ensure that your resume is updated regularly
  • Proofread – A single typo error can ruin your chances of landing the job. Proofread your CV, to make sure that the grammar and spellings are correct  
  • Easy to read – Your CV should be easy to read. This means that the font should be appropriate and reader-friendly 
  • No inconsistencies – Make sure that there are no inconsistencies in your CV. The dates that you were employed should be in chronological order, starting with your most recent. Indicate periods that you were not gainfully employed.
  • Relevant language – Use the relevant language. Use the language that is used in your particular field. This shows the employer that you are no stranger in the industry. 

What Are The Examples Of Skills In A CV?

Skills give an employer an idea of what you can do. They are developed through life and work experiences. Skills can also be learned through studying. Some skills can also be measured. Here are some examples of skills that can be included in a CV:

  • Verbal communication skills
  • Non-verbal communication skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Persuasion skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Technical skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Accounting skills
  • Finance skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Interviewing skills
  • Reporting skills
  • Time management skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity skills
  • Computer skills

How Many Pages Should A CV Be?

A CV should be between one and three pages long. This depends on your relevant professional experience, career level, and skills. One-page CVs are most common internationally. Your CV should be as short as it can be while still demonstrating your value. 

It is not the word count that gets you the interview, it is the quality of content. 

Why Is A Cover Letter Important?

A cover letter is important. Here is what you can use a cover letter for:

  • Impress the employer
  • Show your personality
  • Demonstrate your suitability for the job
  • Showcase your passion for the role
  • Build a relationship with the employer
  • Showcase your writing skills
  • Demonstrate your ability to follow instructions

How Do I Write A CV For My First Job?

When you are writing a CV for your first job and since you will be having no job experience, focus on the following:

  • Internships
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Projects that you will have done

Should I Attach My Matric Certificate To My CV?

No, there is no need to attach your Matric Certificate, or any attachments for that matter, when you are applying for your first job. Only, attach your certificate if there are specific instructions that you must do so.

What's The Difference Between CV And Resume?

A CV is a  in-depth document that describes your career journey step-by-step. It includes all your personal information. A CV is a comprehensive description of everything you have done, including achievements and all the publications that bear your name.

A resume is short. In most cases, a resume is one (1) page. It concentrates on the skills and experience only. If you believe that the extra information you can mention can add value to your application, you can make it 2 pages.

Author: Collin Wilbesi
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: June 23, 2022