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How to prepare your CV. PDF Print E-mail

preparation is keyIntroduction
The internet has numerous websites and articles dedicated to the writing of CVs and Resumes and our intention in this brief article is to outline some of the basic rules to be followed in drawing up a CV, rather than to review all the available literature. The primary function of the CV is to initiate an interview. Once this has been achieved, the CV’s importance is diminished, although the interviewer may use the CV to structure parts of the interview. We outline below our thoughts on this subject by highlighting the more important issues.

Basic Rules
1. The first rule is that there are no fixed rules to the compilation of a CV. Each person is unique and this allows each CV to be unique. As such, a good CV should capture the essence, character and individuality of the person.

2. The CV should be:

a. Without spelling or grammatical errors
b. Visually pleasing and neatly laid out
c. Easy to scan at a glance
d. Without long-winded paragraphs of text
e. Specific to each job application, rather than generic
f. Up to date

3. Personal Profile

a. Include as much information as you are comfortable to reveal
b. Current trends suggests that we should not disclose our gender, age, marital status, nationality, etc., however, such omissions only serve to lengthen the recruitment process and the disadvantages might often outweigh the advantages
c. Current contact information is essential

4. Education Profile

a. List your secondary school and educational institutes attended in chronological order
b. Outline your educational qualifications in chronological order
c. Do not list all the subjects comprising your qualifications, unless this is of special relevance to the particular application being made. Titles of theses completed, publications, etc. may be included
d. Include details of any present studies being undertaken with projected time frames

5. Employment Profile

a. List your employment details in reverse chronological order; include the names of organisations, positions held, and dates
b. A short paragraph, or set of key words, can be included to highlight job functions undertaken in the specific positions held

6. Achievements

a. Short paragraphs or sets of points, with dates, can be used to detail noteworthy achievements. This information can be incorporated into the relevant sections of the CV, or it can form its own section.

7. Other

a. Include any other details such as memberships, hobbies, clubs, sport, etc. which you feel may add value and interest to the application

8. Referees

a. Include the names of at least two referees with current contact information
b. Never include your current employer as a referee, unless this has been pre-arranged

9. Key Words

a. Make a list of Key Words that describe who and what you are, your experiences, skills, abilities, knowledge and job functions, include the names of industries and environments to which you have been exposed, and ensure that these words are incorporated into the CV
b. Human resource and recruitment software is designed to scan for such key words

The evolution of computer technology and software has changed the way in which the CV is prepared and the manner in which the application is submitted. Word processing software, in particular, has equipped the individual with the ability to create their own CV. As a consequence, the CV is beginning to evolve from a standard, neatly typed document into an interactive presentation file with imbedded promotional video clips, scanned identification documentation, reference letters and certificates of educational qualifications, photo galleries, and hyperlinks to personal websites and social networks.

Ensure, however, that your CV conforms to the technological sophistication of the organisation requesting the CV.

Compiled by CV People Africa a recruitment specialist for Africa and its Diaspora.

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