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How to compile a CV

Whether you are just starting out in your career or you are a project manager earning R500 000 per annum; at some point in your life you are going to need a CV but where do you start…?

With a Microsoft Word document!

Stay away from Notepad, PDF, Excel, or any other foreign formats…

Do not even consider a border, clipart or ANY PICTURES of yourself… unless you’re applying for a modelling position, but if that were the case, you would never have found this website.

Also, do not type your entire CV in CAPITAL LETTERS, this causes great frustration.

Great! Now that we have all the “please refrain from” out of the way let’s get down to how you actually should type your CV…

It’s important to select an easy-to-read font. You want to use a font like Verdana, Arial or even Calibri and stay away from Times New Roman!

Do not use more than one font for your entire CV. Rather create distinctions between different topics with “Bold”, Underline or Italics. –even this should be used sparingly.

The trick is to make it easily readable, so select a reasonable font size. Anything between 10 – 12 points should be fine.

*Remember, you need to create a natural flow in your CV to make it an easy read for the reader!

For every position you’ve held, you need to give a reason for leaving and remember to also include a reason for leaving your current position.

STAY AWAY from reasons like:      
Career growth
Why are you not getting career growth opportunities from your current company and what growth do you want?

Greener pastures
The grass is not always greener on the other side!
Again, what is it that is lacking in your current position? – What would you like to do in a new position?

Better career opportunity
What career opportunity are you looking for that you don’t get in your current employment? 
Received a better offer from
Offers don’t just randomly fall out of the sky, so something had to entice you to go on that interview and contemplate leaving your current position? What was that?

Qualifications
Group all your qualifications together and remember to include details regarding the institution you studied at, the year you completed, and the title of the qualification you obtained.

Accomplishments/awards related to your career should be included in a separate heading. Easy to read and sum up your value to a new company.

Important things to remember is to keep your CV short.
If the accomplishments that you wish to note are not related to the position, cut them out. No-one wants to know that you sang in the primary school choir or that you were an understudy for your high school “Romeo and Juliet” play.

Keep it at 3-5 pages maximum and ensure that only the most important aspects are there!
Recognized industry terms and action words are most important.

 Your “duties and responsibilities” should reflect your worth to that company, keep it informative, but keep it short. (15 – 20 points).  We need information like projects that you worked on and implementations that you’ve done.

Refrain from writing your CV in paragraph form. Rather stick to single sentences arranged with bullets.