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The Perfect CV – Create the perfect impression


The Perfect CV – Create the perfect impression

You may decide to rather enter into the workforce than enroll into varsity and there is nothing wrong with that. But, you do need to make a great first impression when you submit your CV to secure a job interview.
“A CV is a written representation of yourself and the effort you put in and the quality of your application will reflect the type of employee you are and likely to be,” says Angelique Robbertse, Product and Marketing Manager for Job Mail.
Recruiters are inundated with job applications and they often only scan the first page of every CV they receive and spend less than one minute on each application, it’s therefore important to capture the essence of your work experience in the first few paragraphs.
Here are ten tips to help you perfect your CV:


  • Convincing covering letter: Your covering letter has to be well written, short, concise and convincing. This letter confirms your application, where you’ve learned about the position, why you’re applying and what you can offer the company.
  • Top heavy: Include the most important and relevant information at the top so that you can catch the recruiter’s attention. Start with your most recent job experience first if it’s relevant.
  • Keep it short: Don’t make it longer than two pages. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs where possible. Shorter descriptions are easier to scan and quicker to read.
  • Highlight your achievements: Don’t just list your education and work history, highlight your capabilities, strengths and the results you’ve achieved. Write from the employer’s perspective when compiling your CV so that it becomes obvious why you’re the perfect candidate for the position and why the company should consider hiring you.
  • Tailor your CV: Edit your CV to reflect your most recent experience or the most relevant. Keep in mind that your most recent experience may not be the most relevant, so tailor your CV to suit the job you’re applying for. Use the job specifications stipulated in the ad as a guideline of what aspects of your work experience to include.
  • Use the right language: The recruitment ad will use descriptive words to explain the job and candidate the employer’s after. Use these buzzwords in your CV where they relate to your experience, for example if the ad says they’re looking for someone who is detailed orientated, briefly explain how you were entrusted with tasks that required attention to detail.
  • Explain the gaps: Don’t leave gaps in your education and work history as this may give the recruiter an excuse to pass over your CV. Rather explain the gap in a professional manner and what you’ve been doing during this period.
  • Update your professional online profile: Reflect your latest job and update your professional network on sites such as LinkedIn and Who’s Who Southern Africa. Include links to these profiles in your CV. Recruiters are actively looking for potential candidates on these sites so make sure you’re constantly connecting with new professionals to expand your network.
  • Research: Find out about the organisation you’re applying to and its people, what are they passionate about, what drives them and what do they say about their colleagues. If you have similar skills or share common interests, share these in your CV where relevant. Thorough research will also help you to become familiar with the company and will help you if you’re invited for an interview.
  • Contact details: Include your contact details and steer away from quirky personal email addresses. If possible, include the details of at least three references and ensure that you have the latest contact details for them.


“Your CV has to highlight you as someone who can add value to the company with your unique set of skills and experiences. Take the time to compile an exceptional CV as you only have one chance to make a good impression,” says Angelique.
Job seekers registering on the Job Mail site will have access to a dashboard that is designed to manage their job applications and profile and from here they can download the guide as a free e-book. The guide is available in different formats allowing those in the market for a new job to download it onto their desktop, tablet or phone.
For more information visit Job Mail or follow it on Twitter for regular updates on new positions Visit Job Mail’s blog for helpful career advice

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