Tips to CV writing

July 11th, 2019

Picture source: Gallo Images/Getty

By Rozaan Roberts 

Your CV is usually your only chance of landing a preferred job by a top employer. Within this, you stand a chance of not even being invited to an interview. Most employers work through bulk applications and spend an average of eight seconds to scan through a CV. Make sure that your CV stands out from the rest and gives you the opportunity to progress to the next stage. Below are a few ways to do so:

  • Keep to the point, but still include all relevant information: Your CV should be short and to the point. On average, most employers spend eight seconds to read a CV. Make sure that it contains only the relevant information and make it punchy. Remember to include personal information, educational background, work experience, skills and achievements. Ideally a CV should not be longer than two or three pages.
  • Tailoring: Stop using standard templates and start tailoring your CV to reflect who you are, and provide relevant and sufficient information for the organisation that you are applying for. The advertisement will provide you with cues on what they are looking for. Make sure that you provide all the relevant information that might impact on your application.
  • Include a personal statement: Include a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job. This will assist you to stand out from the other applicants and differentiate your skills and abilities. Keep it to the point.
  • Do not leave gaps: Do not make the employer wonder what you were doing for a particular period, but rather provide the information upfront. If you took a study break, be very clear about it.
  • Avoid errors and pay attention to quality: Pay attention to spelling, grammar, layout and design. Your CV is a reflection of you. You should, therefore, ensure that it contains no errors and make it easy for the employer to read. It should be structured and clear. Use headings, spacing, a readable font size and work in a chronological order. Ask someone to proofread your document before you submit your final CV.
  • Be honest: Do not include false information or exaggerate any of your qualifications or experiences. You want to start a potential working relationship on a good foot and employees use verification techniques that can have you out of a job before you even start.

Rozaan Roberts BCom (Hons) Industrial and Organisational Psychology (UJ) is a Director at PeoplePlus in Pretoria.

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