How to write a good CV – Some practical tips

By: ZOE HARRISON


posted on: October 27th, 2017

Having a good CV is very helpful when trying to find a job. A good CV will make you stand out from other people competing for a job. It may help you secure a job, and at the very least it will increase your chances of being interviewed. Writing a CV can be easy if you know how to approach it. However it is important to remember that there is more than one way to write a good CV. Here are some tips:

Length

CVs should be between 1 and 2 pages. In some countries such as South Africa, employers often prefer shorter CVs so it may be better to keep it to 1 page. In other countries, for example Ghana, the employers often expect a CV that it a bit longer than 1 page. The length of a CV often isn’t too important as different employers will expect different things. As long as you include all essential information, and don’t include irrelevant information, the length isn’t something to worry about, so long as it isn’t longer than 2 pages.

Aim

The aim of your CV is to show to an employer why you would be suitable for a job. When writing, show how all of your past experience and interests could make you better at the job you are applying for. For example; “I have spent years selling fruit in the market. This gives me experience handling money and negotiating with customers, necessary skills for this job.” Or “I love playing football, which shows that I have experience working with a team.”

Personal and Contact information

At the start of your CV put your personal details. These include your name, date of birth, address and phone number and email address if you have them.

Education

If you have received any education, list the names of the schools you went to in reverse order starting with the most recent. Also include the dates you were at the school. If you received any certificates or qualifications, list them and the subject they were in. For example;

“Education: Osino Senior Secondary- 2010-2013; Qualifications- IGCSEs in; Maths., Science, History, Geography

-Osino Junior Secondary School- 2007- 2010; Qualifications- Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE)

– Aboasu Local Primary School- 2001-2007”

Work experience

List all of the jobs and work experience you’ve had in the past. Write about the responsibilities you had, and the skills you developed from the job. List them in reverse order starting with the most recent, and put the dates you had the job for. For example;

“Work Experience: – Working on a Cocoa Plantation- 2013-2016; This taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. It also showed me how important it is to keep a positive attitude even after long hours of tough work. –Selling fruit at the market- 2006- 2013; This gave me experience handling money and also taught me about working with others, especially customers.”

Hobbies and interests

List some of your hobbies and interests so employers get a bit of an idea about what you’re like as a person.

Referees

Referees are people who could be contacted by the employer, and who can vouch for you. These people could be for example past employers, colleagues, or teachers. They are people who can say why you would be good at the job being applied for. If possible, include one or two referees. List their names, and contact information.

General tips

Your CV is a way of selling yourself. You need to do what you can to make yourself seem like the best candidate for the job. However it is important not to lie on a CV. Try to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Present your CV in a clear structure, with headings for the separate sections.

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