5 Tips for Mastering Your CV

So you have completed your studies, and now you want to move on to the next step in your life – getting a job.

Before you can get a job, however, you will need to write up your CV.

A CV provides prospective employers with all the information they need about possible candidates for the job. This includes personal details, education, as well as previous work experience.

It is very important that your CV looks good, because this is the first impression that an employer gets of you. Think of it as a shop window – if at first glance you see a disorganised, messy shop, will you want to go inside? Unlikely! You will walk right past and go into the next shop that catches your eye.

It is the same with your CV – if an employer is not impressed by your CV, they will simply toss it aside, and move on to the next one. This sounds harsh, but it is a reality – which is why you need to make sure that your CV stands out from the rest of the applicants’.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing your CV:

  1. Keep your CV to the point.

Studies have shown that, on average, employers spend about 8 seconds scanning through a CV. So make sure you keep it brief. If employers are overwhelmed by an unnecessary overload of information, they will most likely move on to the next applicant’s CV.

  1. Include a personal introduction.

It is helpful to start off your CV with a personal introduction, stating why you think you are ideal for the position that you are applying for. You can communicate what makes you unique, and how you would be an asset for the company. Remember, however, to be modest about it – being too boastful does not create a good impression.

  1. Take time to improve the layout of your CV.

A carefully laid out CV makes for easy reading. Remember to include headings for each section, put main headings in bold, and leave spaces between different sections so that the person reading your CV can easily scan through your CV. Using bullet points also makes for easy and digestible reading.

  1. Check (and re-check!) for spelling and grammar errors.

Even if you are not applying for a job that requires impeccable language skills, CVs that contain spelling and grammar errors will still often get tossed aside. If you cannot take the time and effort to check for mistakes in your CV, it creates the impression that you do not take pride in your work – and why would an employer want to employ someone like that? It is a good idea to get someone to read through your CV before you submit it, because it is easy to overlook our own errors.

  1. Modify your CV for each job that you apply for.

Don’t simply use the same CV for each job application. Tailor it so that it is suited for the specific job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a secretarial job, you should put more emphasis on your secretarial and office-related qualifications and experience, as opposed to your waitering/waitressing experience. The employer will be more interested in job-related education and experience, so make sure that you don’t put the focus on the wrong information.

Your CV is the gateway to getting a job – so don’t be afraid to ask others for help. There are also various websites that provide examples of CVs that you can use as a guide.

All the best!

Want more career tips and guidance? Click here for more career information.

Career advice, oh sweet career advice

I was given the task of covering the topic “Career Advice” for one of our websites. I was surprised at what I found, because when I embarked on my career journey, career advice was scarce. Now there are web pages filled with tips!

To be honest, I felt somewhat cheated while I was reading all of these tips – as if I missed out on a secret meeting where career advice was handed out to those who attended.

So, I have decided to share what I have learned while conducting my research, so that you don’t have to miss out as well.

Like a pair of pants from a factory store, career advice is not one-size-fits-all. What works for one person might not work for another. However, here are some general tips that might aid you in your personal career journey.

Tip One: Plotting your career path

  • Take stock and evaluate – write down what you currently do, and what you would like to do in the future. This will give you an idea of whether you are on the right path or not.
  • Take notes and build your career plan – research the jobs you are interested in, and speak to people who work in your desired position or line of work.
  • Take action and make your move – once you have done your research and evaluated your options, you have created your personalised career map.

Which way will you choose?

Tip Two: Think of your career as a series of experiences

  • In order to make an impact, succeed and feel accomplished, the key is to be a lifelong learner. Your experiences expand your worldview, give you new perspectives, and make you a more interesting person.

Tip Three: Don’t settle for a job that you are not passionate about

  • Because there is so much focus placed on earning a lot of money and paying the bills, you are encouraged to find a job that will help you to do just that. This is the worst career advice ever, because according to many studies, you won’t last long in a job that is merely a means to pay the bills. On the other hand, if you have a job that you’re passionate about, you’ll be excited each day, you will be willing to work longer hours, and you will end up accomplishing a lot more.

Tip Four: Start your own website to centralise your work profile

  • A great idea, especially with modern technology becoming more and more popular in the working world, is to create a website under your name (yourfullname.com).
  • As you grow and develop your career, you can add new projects, education, skills and examples of your work to your website. Your website will serve as a growing portfolio of your skills and your work.

Tip Five: Be good to yourself

  • Building a career can be tricky, so be good to yourself. Make time to have fun and to do things that make you feel good.
  • Start a journal documenting all the things that you do well, and when negative self-talk is holding you back, come up with a positive affirmation that can help build you up again.

If you are still in the beginning stages of your career journey, and are still trying to figure out what you should studyfear not! This information is just a click away.

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” – James M. Barrie