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How To Write Your CV: A 10-Step Guide
Your CV is an overview or summary of your qualifications and life experiences.
It is essentially your personal marketing tool to make a good first impression on your potential employer. Because employers may receive hundreds of CVs a day, it is all the more essential to ensure that your CV stands out from the rest.
Some Dos and Don’ts for Writing a CV
- Ensure your CV is updated and the facts are correct
- Use bulleted lists
- Use wide-spaced margins and clear fonts
- Keep your CV within two pages
- Allow spelling or grammatical errors
- Write in lengthy paragraphs
- Send in handwritten CVs (unless explicitly asked to)
- Use inferior quality paper
Covering All Bases
Here is a 10-step guide on how to write a proper CV:
- Write your name at the top of each page in bold font so it is easily recognisable.
- Write your full name and correspondence address so that the potential employers will know how to address you.
- Include other important contact information so that you can be easily reachable. Ensure that the phone numbers are correct as employers tend to call instead of email to make interview appointments.
- Your education and qualifications should come next. Always start with the highest qualification obtained and work your way backwards. It is also good to include your secondary school results if you are a fresh graduate.
- Be sure to include any academic achievements in your CV. They serve as reinforcements of your aptitude and ability.
- Emphasise the most valuable skills for the job you’re applying for. Use tables and rating scales for things like computer skills and language literacy.
- Detail your work experience. Again, start with the most recent and then work your way backwards chronologically. Emphasise the achievements in addition to listing the tasks you were involved in. This improves your employability.
- List down all notable interests and activities, especially those that you are passionate about. Highlight any leadership roles you have previously held.
- It is also good to add any additional skills which are not directly related to the job requirements, but are just as important, such as language proficiency and type of driving licence.
- Ideally, you should have one work-related referee and one academic referee. However, ensure that you have their permission to include them as your referees and that you are on the lookout for a job so you don’t spring any surprises on them.
A well written CV and covering letter that addresses every point made in the job advertisement or position description is what you should strive for if you’re serious about a getting the job that you want.
- Arrange your details in reverse chronological order, ie list the most recent (usually the highest) qualifications or work experience first and work your way backwards
- Use bulleted lists rather than paragraphs so that employers can quickly see your relevant qualifications
- Ask a friend to go through your CV to ensure there are no mistakes in spelling, grammar, choice of words or punctuation
- Check and double-check your details one last time before you submit it.