How to write an CV & succeed in the South African job market.

On average an employer spends 3-5 minutes reading a CV.

When you compile a CV make sure that it is clear yet simple and easy to read the layout.  Emphasize the important facts about your employment history, your education and the skills that you can offer to a new firm.

Refrain from writing long detailed paragraphs.  Keep it short but informative.

An employer wants to know how you can save time, save money and increase their workflow, in other words what you can offer to them.

What should a CV look like to succeed in the South African Job market?

  1. Title – Curriculum Vitae followed by your Name and your Surname.
    Don’t  use any nicknames, or photo’s unless you are applying for a modelling or a sales position.
    Select an easy-to-read font like Veranda or Arial.
    Do not use more than one font in your CV; rather create distinctions with Bold or Underlining topics.
  2. Information such as your gender, race, nationality, date of birth, drivers license, own transport, disability, languages, location, marital status, dependents and notice period should be reflected next.
  3. Brief personal overview of yourself.  Keep it short and sweet but informative.  5 lines of your key attributes and skills.  This information must entice any employer to want to read further.
  4. Work experience and your career history:  Always start with your most recent position.  Start with the company’s name, your current position, date that you started at your current position and the reason for leaving; from there you start by listing your duties and responsibilities at each employer.  Always list your achievements at a specific company. If you were contracted out to clients, list the client and the sub-client contracted to, as well as a brief description of projects that you were involved in.
  5. Refrain from reasons for leaving such as – career growth, greener pastures, better career opportunity, received a better offer etc.  Offers don’t just randomly fall from the sky, so something had to entice you to go for an interview.  (Refer to interview tips and questions)
  6. Scholastic education followed by your tertiary education, diploma/certificates.  Remember to start with your highest level and work yourself backwards from there.  When listing your education start with the institute, qualification that you obtained and the year of your achievement.  Always indicate if the qualification is completed or incomplete.
  7. Skills and Skills matrix.

Example of a CV

If you currently do not have a CV, please click on the link below to download a sample CV template to use for Job hunting in South Africa.