May 2019 2nd Edition

How to draft a winning CV

Written by More Matshediso

Your CV is your ticket to employment and its importance should not be underestimated.

Most job-seekers struggle to put a good curriculum vitae (CV) or resume together, and this sometimes lessens their chances of getting shortlisted and being invited for job interviews.

Vuk’uzenzele contacted the Youth Employment Service (YES) for tips on how to write a good CV.

YES is a joint initiative established by government, labour and business to prepare young people for employment and provide them with the technical skills needed to underpin the industrialisation of the economy.

It seeks to offer paid work experiences for at least one year to one million South African youth.

Research undertaken by stakeholders indicates that one year of work experience on a CV, with a reference letter, increases a young person’s chance of finding employment threefold.

YES explained that ‘CV’ is a Latin expression that means ‘The course of life’.

“In your CV, you are trying to capture what course or journey your life has been on so far… within six seconds of reading your CV, a recruiter knows whether or not you are right for the job,” the organisation said.

Top tips

  • Use good English to write your CV. Have it proofread by someone. Spelling mistakes will be picked up.
  • Make it short and sweet – minimum of two and maximum of three pages.
  • Type it up professionally.
  • Have a printed version of it and a computerised version as well because many companies only accept computerised CVs.

In summary, YES said your CV should say who you are, what you currently do, what you want to do or the job you are looking for. It should also include your contact details, educational qualifications, work experience and interests or hobbies.

It is also important to highlight why the employer should be interested in you.

According to job portal, you must ensure you have the right qualifications and skills for the job you are applying for.

Also, do not submit exactly the same CV for different positions. Instead, tailor your CV for every position that you apply for by editing your personal statement and leaving out or adding in certain information.

Share this page