You must be clear on your career direction. Without a career
direction in mind, it is not possible to write an effective curriculum Vitae that reflects
your past and also relates to where you are going with regard to a job on offer. Put
yourself in place of the employer and ask "would I hire this person for the job that
he/she has applied for?". Consider:
Your Education - Does the area of work to which you
aspire require a formal qualification? Can you demonstrate relevant training or work
experience in this area?
Further Training - There are many training courses
available on just about every topic imaginable. Why not enrol on a course to
demonstrate your positive interest in a particular discipline.
Jobs Held - Think back over your career history. In
your current or past jobs, did you carry out tasks or projects that gave you experience in
a relevant area.
Your Personality Type - The kind of person you are, will
directly affect the job satisfaction element of any job you may hold. Job satisfaction is
achieved by having the kind of work you enjoy, being busy, having responsibility and being
of a compatible personality type to the job requirement.
A very basic exercise is to look at the main traits of your responsibility
and relate them to job requirement. Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you a leader - do you like to take control? or the opposite;
Are you outgoing - an extrovert? or the opposite;
Are you stable/patient in a work environment? or the opposite;
Are you compliant within work guidelines? or the opposite.
Honest answers to above questions and common sense will give you a picture
of your main personality traits.
- Use a font that is easy to read and avoid too many underlining or boldface lettering.
- Use bullet points whenever possible. Bullet points are preferable to paragraphs.
- Always check the spelling and grammar.
- List your work history in chronological order, beginning with the most recent position
- The work history should contain the time period during which you held this job, the job
title, the company, your responsibilities and any relevant accomplishments and technical
- In the work history highlight what you consider most substantial or important to the
position you are applying for.
- You must include your education history. You do not need to include all of your
education history, rather, include only relevant educational background.
- Include with dates any additional courses and training that you attended.
- Make sure that your CV is E-mail friendly. Either send it as a Rich Text File or
find out what format a release the recipient is using. Always put a copy in the post
- Whether posting or e-mailing your CV, always make sure that you include a covering
letter, clearly stating the position you are applying for.
- Make sure that you have:
- emphasised your skills, abilities and achievements;
- used active words and
phrases to show how you have demonstrated your skills and
- quantified your achievements where possible;
- shown an employer that you have demonstrated an ability to do the job that you are
Your CV is what you say about yourself and your reference is what someone else says
about you. Obviously they both are very important - the CV might get you the
interview, references will get the job offer.
- Use colleagues who can comment on your skills, work habits and personality. Do not use
relatives, as companies would like to talk to your colleagues and line managers.
- Do not use high level people in the organisation, unless they know you very well.
These people are hard to reach, and if they don't know you very well, their reference
might not be as good as you hope.
- Ask their permission, and make sure that they are not going away a week or two after
- Let them know what job you are interviewing for so they are prepared for the call.
- Do thank them if you get an offer.