How to write a comprehensive CV - Navy and green banner with CV and reports and wording "CV MADE EASY"

Applying for a new job can be a daunting task. Maybe, it’s your first time or maybe you need some advice to stand out and get noticed. Writing a comprehensive CV can significantly influence whether the job is yours! 

Quick Tips   

Keep it Short and Concise 

A CV should in most cases be short and to the point, nobody wants to read a mini thesis on a stranger’s life story. Keep it concise, only sticking to the most important aspects. Try keeping to a 2 page CV for optimum impact, without boring your audience. 

Start with your skills set  

Skills are your best friend! In this part of your CV, you want to really capture what it is about yourself that brings something different to the business. Highlight your skills set at the top of your CV in order for the reader to see this first. Allow more technical skills to be at the forefront and soft skills like team work to take a backseat. Based on your skills, they may contact you sooner than you think. 

Clearly indicate your Education

Education is key, you want this indicated clearly so that the reader can see you are qualified for the work you are applying for. Most companies need you to have a qualification for the work you are applying for. Look into studying a short course or certificate in order to up-skill yourself so you can land that dream job. 

List your Work Experience and what your Role Entailed

Over and above education, people look for experience in a certain role when hiring people. Make sure to highlight your wok experience and what duties you performed in that role. Try and make clear distinctions between what you have done and how that fits into what you are applying for. 

Formatting your CV, PDF or Word Doc?

There is a huge debate on the correct formatting method to use when submitting a CV. Truth is, both have their own pros and cons. 

PDF Format

PDF files are wildly popular among recruiters and are encouraged to be used by the public. PDF’ing your file, will allow the receiver thereof not to make any changes and will keep the integrity of the file as you intended. 

Word Format

Word Documents gets a bad wrap, but are easier for recruitment scanning tools to read. Some people have a notion that submitting a CV in the form that it was created in, is a taboo practice. You can easily get away with this, by simply reading what the job ad says and following their instructions. 

Spell Checking 

All reasonably competent people are able to spell, and displaying this in your CV sets you apart. An employer will look closely for any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. They will want to employ someone that pays close attention to details, this is a quality most employers seek in their candidates. 

Ways to avoid spelling mistakes

Step 1 – Firstly, start with scanning over it, and identifying any mistakes yourself. Once you’re done, this action should have corrected 50% of the mistakes 

Step 2 – Leverage a proofreader to check your work, try a close friend or family member. Once they read over your document, you should be left with very little mistakes. 

Step 3 – Run a spellcheck on the document. A user friendly recommendation is Grammarly. This system is easy to navigate and will identify all grammar and spelling errors for you to correct. 

Write an Awesome Cover Letter

If you’re serious about landing a job, then writing a good cover letter is crucial to the success of your application. A cover letter entails all the fancy details that either are left out of your CV or reiterates information that already exists. 

What to include in your cover letter

  1. Formal Greeting
  2. Personal Info
  3. Details on the Company you’re applying too
  4. Introduction to your skills and education
  5. Reasons why you’d be perfect for the job

Once you’ve completed updating your CV, you might want to read “
How to Enter the Job Market” for tips on how to land your dream job!

Try searching Careers24 for job opportunities near you. 

Happy Job Hunting!

Author: Cindy N Pieters
Date Published: September 10, 2020