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Basic Tips for Writing A Better CV

Curriculum Vitae

  • Surname should be distinguishable from other name(s): Surname should be in capital block letter while the first and/or middle name should be in small letter E.g. “ADEDAYO Goodness Esther” or differentiate the surname from other name(s) using comma “ADEDAYO, GOODNESS ESTHER”.
  • Arrangement of CV Content: List relevant information that stands you out on the job. List in order such as Name at the very top along with Contact Details(address, phone number and email address) followed by Career Profile/Summary/Objective, next is  Skill Summary/Areas of Expertise then Work Experience, Education, Certifications and Professional Affiliation and Training, Personal details and Hobbies.
  • Personal Information such as Date of Birth, Nationality and sex should come after Education and Training. The first step in writing a winning CV requires you to define the position or type of position you are looking for and assess your top qualifications. The importance of your CV is to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the job. Make sure the first page or half sells your strength.
  • Career Profile/Summary: When preparing your CV, write your profile summary first. This statement should be concise, focused and compelling.  If you are not limiting yourself to a particular job position/industry, and with your years of experience, it is advisable you use a profile summary instead of objective. Avoid self-serving statements such as “I did …”.
  • Skills Summary/Areas of Expertise: Your skills represent the tools you bring to a prospective employer. They signify your core competencies, key strengths and unique abilities. It is your combination of skills and ability to use them that represent your qualifications for a given position. This should be concise listing with bullet points.
  • Reported Experience: The most persuasive experience section includes a bulleted list of your major responsibilities followed by your accomplishments within this position, which demonstrates your ability to produce results in this role. Employers are not interested in job duties rather search for candidates that can communicate not only what tasks they can perform, but how their performance can be translated into measurable results. An Action-Benefit Statement is best used to give a strong and clear description of an action you took, which resulted in a tangible, measurable benefit to your organization.
  • Wrong use of tense: Present job responsibilities should be reported in present continuous tense while past responsibilities in previous positions should be reported in past tense.
  • Formatting style: Special formatting styles such as indents, tables and shapes should be left out of a CV. The acceptable margins are Normal, Moderate or Narrow which should be used depending on your preference. Any Indent beyond these margin sizes is not acceptable.
  • Reference section not needed. Most employers today will assume you can provide references if they are requested. Therefore, you do not have to include references on your CV.
  • Achievements: They are the results that you personally bring about while fulfilling a certain role. It is not the same as duties that you perform as listed in your job description. It might be a process you improved in the company or anything that you did that led a tangible benefit. This does not apply to fresh graduates but persons with 3 or more years of experience



Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell