How to: Writing a good CV

A good CV is an essential tool for job hunting, especially when there is stiff competition for the same position. How then should you write it?

Well, there is no predefined template for writing good one. In general, your CV should be neatly and clearly formatted for a recruiter to scan and understand it quickly. Additionally, it should be easy to point out your key skills and work experience in order to determine whether you’re appropriate for the job.

Want to get started? Below are some basic guidelines to follow in order to write a good CV.

The Information to include on your CV

Personal Details – It may sound weird but it’s not a surprise that many people forget to include their name, email, phone number, and address. This information should be placed at the very top position of your CV.

Personal Statement – This is perceived as optional, but it’s a good opportunity to inform your prospective employer of how you’re suited for the job.

When read, this statement should demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the role and the company. Remember to keep it short and sweet.

Work Experience – As the name suggests, this section contains any work experience that you’ve in the field of your target job.

When listing these work experiences, do so in a reverse chronological order, i.e. the most recent role first. Additionally, as single list entry should include your job title, the name of your organisation, time in the post and responsibilities.

Achievements – List the relevant achievements from your previous job roles, backing up with clear and practical examples of how you would apply these to your new job.

Education – This section includes all your formal qualifications and any training and development undertaken, either independently or with your previous employers. Do the listing in a reverse chronological order.

Hobbies and Interests – It’s unfortunate that many people don’t understand the role played by this section in a CV. Simply, include the things that are relevant for the job you are targeting. There’s no point of listing that you’re sociable or that you enjoy going on picnics for the sake of it.

Note: Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history should be added as required.

The presentation of your CV

Recruiters see your CV is a direct reflection of yourself, so it’s important to lay it out well and make it look professional. Here are a few points to ponder:

  • Keep it short enough for recruiters to scan through quickly – ideally no more than two pages (two sides of A4)
  • Use a clear, professional font to enhance readability of your CV – just to mention a few; Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS
  • Make your CV layout logical, with sufficient spacing and clear section headings
  • Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes at all costs. Read through your CV sufficient number of times as you check for errors. You can also ask someone else to do proof read.
  • List your work experiences and education in a reverse chronological order. This enables you to highlight your most recent experience and achievements.


You’re happy with how your CV looks? Yes. You’re happy with its content? Not sure. Okay, ensure you highlight that you’re the right match for the job in question by putting emphasis on the following:

  • Specific skills you have for the role
  • Experience you have in the specific field
  • Appropriate personal qualities for the target role
  • Show an understanding of the requirements for the job

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