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Tips for compiling a professional cv

Although there is no substitute for sound knowledge and experience, first impressions are highly important and more so a curriculum vitae as fist contact with prospective employers. A badly compiled cv can destroy one's chances to get a foot in the door of a prospective employer for an interview!

All CVs are divided int section i.e. Personal Information, Educational Information, Employment History and References. To make a good fist impression there is some universal information that must appear on any cv. All CVs must have a title announcing or introducing the owner of the cv, followed by personal information such as date of birth, contact telephone no and an e-mail address, where you can be contacted should the need arise. One can also include current notice period or availability. Should you opt for a photo to acompany your cv ensure that it is an id size head and shoulders photo of yourself in formal or semi formal atire depending on the type of work you do.

The next section is the education information and should include both secondary and tertiary education as well as self-improvement short courses. Of equal importance is computer literacy and important skills that one might want to highlight or bring to the attention of the reader. A key achievement for both tertiary and secondary education can also be highlighted.

Employment history is the next section on a cv and highlights one's employment history or career starting off with the most recent employer descending to the very fist employer. Important information to include is the job title, period of employment and the reason for leaving. Include a brief description of duties and responsibilities for each employer as well. any key achievements.

The last section on any cv should be the references and here it is important to have contactable references from the last three employers prior to the current or most recent employer. As a rule, it is also good to request a written reference from one's direct supervisor or manager when leaving employers employ. People move away, get older and memories fail and become difficult to track down for references.

A good cv will

  • Enable an employer to evaluate your resume within 15 seconds
  • Makes a good first impression
  • Is concise without omitting important information 
  • Presents all the relevant facts
  • Is clear and easy to read
  • Leaves the reader without uncertainties 
  • Convinces an employer that you have the qualities they require