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Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a summary of exactly who you are and what you are able to achieve. It is your chance to market yourself and stand out in an incredibly competitive environment of hundreds of candidates that are fighting for the position that you want.

In the few minutes that it takes a potential employer to glimpse through your CV, they form an impression of how beneficial you would be to their company. A simple two or three-page document conveys your abilities and potential for growth. Many forget that while the obvious aim of any CV is to show your greatest strengths, CVS often reveal several weaknesses. Poor grammar and incorrect spelling demonstrate either poor attention to detail and/or inadequate education. A CV that is poorly laid out and untidy demonstrates unfavourable qualities such as laziness and being incapable of putting effort into their work. Failing to include, at the very least, basic information (as further discussed later) will prevent an employer from forming a favourable opinion of you. Though avoiding errors such as these will not guarantee employment, a candidate that commits them is unlikely to be taken seriously.


What to include in your CV:

  • Your full name and surname, residential address, ID number and at least one contact number (though more is preferable)
  • Details of prior and current education
  • Achievements relevant to the position you are applying for that you believe will enhance the potential employer’s perception of your abilities
  • A detailed list of your work history
  • At least two references, including their names, current position and contact details

Optional: Include a recent colour photograph of yourself. The type of picture you include will create a lasting impression, and therefore you should only include a photograph of yourself that portrays professionalism. Some companies may specifically request photographs.


Tips for creating the perfect CV:

  • CVs should be concise; CVs that are several pages long become very tedious to read. Keep the CV to a maximum of two pages.
  • Headings should always be in bold, and may also be underlined, to divide the CV into neat sections.
  • The font of the CV should be plain and legible. The main text’s font should preferably be size 12 or 14.
  • The layout of the CV should be neat. There should not be text that is misaligned to previous paragraphs or that appear to be randomly placed on the document.
  • Proofread your CV to ensure that there are NO grammar or spelling errors.
  • Tailor your CV to the position you are applying for
  • Do not include false information on your CV.

The analysis of your CV by potential employees is only the first step of several within the recruitment process. However, creating a CV displaying your most positive attributes will bring you one step closer to attaining the position you seek.