Having a well-written CV filled with all the right information is essential in getting you a job after you graduate. That may sound simple. Everyone can write a CV, right? But you would be shocked to know how many shoddy CVs pop into the email inboxes of bosses, team leaders and hiring managers across South Africa. A quality CV will literally put you several steps in front of your peers. All you need to know are some simple dos and don’ts, and you’ll have responses in no time at all. First things first, your CV needs to include these sections:
  • Personal details
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Employment history
  • References
Give all the details of your past experience Where applicable, include details of your past work experience. But don’t include everything - it is about including the right things. Your schooling years of waitressing experience aren’t relevant 10 years later. Your time handing out pamphlets at street lights will not help you land a job as a lawyer. Add specific details and facts to describe your achievements at each previous, relevant workplace. Three bullet points is usually enough. A potential employer needs to know that you’ve completed computer courses and have experience in the field. They don’t need to know about your interest in fashion and cats. Explain why you’re qualified for the job Too many people think they should take a chance by applying for every position they come across. They think they can sweet talk their way into a position. But it soon becomes obvious that they don’t have the qualifications, experience and skills to do the job. If you do this, you'll just end up making yourself look bad, ensuring you’ll never be taken seriously by that company again. Rather, only apply for jobs which you’re qualified for and then take the time to explain why you’re a good fit for the job. Give details of all gaps in employment If you spent a year travelling, mention that and explain how your independence will benefit you while at work. If you spent the year caring for a sick relative, mention that and explain why your selflessness will benefit an employer. Gaps in employment will arouse the suspicion of a potential employer. They may assume you can’t be hired or begin wondering why no one else took a chance on you. Add just the right amount of personal information You don’t have to mention whether you’re in a relationship or have children. You need to make sure a potential employer knows where you live and can contact you. That’s about it; they don’t need to know every detail about your life right now. Make sure your CV is free from any spelling or grammatical errors. Ensure it isn’t too long or filled with unnecessary information. For bonus points, add clickable links to your social media profiles and portfolio.

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