How to write a CV - TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME WORK-SEEKERS

Your CV (short for Curriculum Vitae – Latin for “the course of my life”) is a written overview of your experience and qualifications and it speaks to the employer when you’re not there to do it yourself, so make sure it speaks clearly.

 

1.     Never lie. Don’t even exaggerate. The truth always comes out and when it does you’ll lose credibility. This does not mean that you need to include every detail of your life – you will always focus on the good and positive elements – just don’t get carried away!

 

2.     Use proper English, not the abbreviations you use on SMS and Whatsapp with your friends. Don’t use slang. Check your spelling, especially the spelling of names of companies and ex-bosses. Have someone else read and check yourCV and make sure that it flows easily and makes sense.

 

3.     Keep it short and to the point. Spend more time on checking the quality of your language and making your CV look good than on telling long stories.

 

4.     Keep it clean.Don’t give out grubby or torn pages.

 

5.     Don’t be put off by the fact that you have no work experience. Mention any leadership or volunteer roles you’ve had, e.g., with the church, a sports club or community organisation.  Even if your leadership role has been looking after younger children in your family or captaining an informal sports team,mention it.

 

6.     Order your information clearly and logically as follows:

 

 

  • Your full name.
  • Date of birth / ID Number
  • Address.
  • Phone number  – and say if it’s not your own phone (and tell that person you’re using their number).
  • Email address if you have one.
  • Education – list the most recent first, say what standard, diploma or degree you completed, where and when.
  • Work experience – list the latest first. List the employer’s name, your dates of employment, your job title and say what your job involved. Include experience you have as a volunteer.
  • List all sporting achievements.
  • List no more than three references with name, phone, email and their connection to you. Your church leaders, schoolteachers and lecturers can all act as referees but get their permission first so they’re prepared.
  • Include any written references and certificates you have.
  • You can list hobbies and interests but do not include too much information.


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