Writing an effective CV

A CV (Curriculum vita) is a detailed document that highlights a job seeker’s career history, academic achievements and also explains their future ambitions. Job applicants write a curriculum with the aim of impressing prospective employers. A CV is essential since it provide job seekers with direct communication with prospective employers.

The essential component of a great CV is presentation. In order to compose a well presented CV, it should be carefully thought out, accurately designed, written, and revised to make a positive impact and hopefully influence potential employer’s decision to their advantage.  A carefully written curriculum vita should offer the reader a glimpse of your experiences and potential.

A great CV should contain the following aspects;

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  • A captivating outlook
  • Include experiences and skills that are most relevant to the advertised job
  • Highlight your potential and suitability to the advertised job

Importance of a CV

Apart from applying for a job, a CV is can be useful in:

  • Acting as a reminder of what individuals have achieved throughout their careers
  • Helping you point out your academic limitations, work inexperience, and inadequate skills that may decrease your chances of landing a job.
  • Allows individuals to track for achievements in their targets or set goals

Setting up a great CV requires the following:

Name, professional title and contact details

Name, professional title and contact details form the first part of the CV. Individuals should avoid including the name ‘curriculum vita’ as their title and, instead consider their name as the title. Contact details such as email and phone numbers should not be left out by all means.

Personal profile

A personal profile section gives prospective employers on overview of who you are and all the necessary information describing you. Before writing a personal profile an individual should consider addressing who you are, what you can offer the company and career ambitions. A personal profile should be short and precise and most essentially highlight your specific qualities relevant to that particular job. Additionally, you should customize your profile for each job application.

Experience and employment history

Employment history and job experience helps in outlining your previous jobs, internships, work experience, and skills gained from previous jobs. In this section, you should state your previous job title, dates and period you worked and the employer or company. You should also include your key responsibilities, skills and achievements from previous jobs. List your experiences and employment history in reverse chronological order starting with the most relevant and recent.

Education and qualifications

In the education and qualification section you should always include, name of your school, year of graduation, your major and the degree you received. It’s essential to start with the highest educational achievement. List the educational achievements in reverse chronological order. If you have several degrees, include the most relevant to the job you are applying.

Additional sections

In order to strengthen your CV, you may need to include additional sections which are:

Key skills and abilities

A skills section is the part where you list skills and abilities you posses in relevance to the advertised job. A well-formulated skills section provides the prospective employers with the opportunity to determine your suitability for the job. By highlighting relevant skills, chances of acquiring the job are significantly higher.

Hobbies and interests

Hobbies and personal interests are important since they can be used to demonstrate particular skills and competences acquired in from an individual’s hobbies and interests. It gives your employers clues or a glimpse of your personality. Your hobbies and interests should only be included if they are relevant.

It’s important to keep your CV updated. Modify it by including new skills and experiences you have gained through your career life. The key to having an exceptional CV is customizing it each time to ensure relevance to your job applications.


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