How-to: Prepare a Winning CV

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In business presentation is everything. You may have all the things human resources managers love: superior education, take initiative, a sensible respect for rules and corporate hierarchy and suitable experience. But If your calling card and the first way you present your strong points and how much of an asset you will be to the organisation is not appealing, you lose out on an interview and maybe a good job.

What is a CV?

A curriculum Vitae is a document outlining an individual's educational and employment background. It is used to apply for advertised positions. A CV is comprised of personal, education and employment details. The document is put together to market you and inform the hiring person of all your strong points.

Personal Information:

This section will contain your name, identity number, contact details, gender, race and nationality, which is required information for human resources officials because of employment equity and BEE. This also makes it simple for potential employers to do a background and credit check.

Education and Interests:

For most employers qualifications are everything, include any short courses you have completed over and above your degree/diploma that give you an edge. Few employers will be willing to overlook a lack of qualifications if you show initiative.  In my opinion a person that has planned over a dozen events for an overall number of about 650 people applying for an entry level position at an events company is a better bet that a final year marketing and events student.

Your interests can work in your favour. If you keep a blog that tracks the industry, a blog comprised of case studies about the industry you're wanting to go into. Even an active Bizcommunity account -- opinion pieces and reviews --will show a potential employer that you care about what they do and the industry in general.

Employment History:

This will include where you've worked, what your responsibilities were and previous employer or supervisor testimony to show just how much of a trooper you are. Include experience that shows initiative. Be it projects you led or volunteering.

Though winning the lead role to in a play for an orphanage is an achievement it's not going to appeal to a marketing company as much as you marketing and organising sponsorship for the event.

Quick tips:

  1. Read the job description and requirements;
  2. Tailor your CV and covering letter to every post/ human resources office;
  3. Absolutely no colour paper;
  4. Use a simple font at a between 12  (for main text) and 14 (for headings);
  5. Remember to use action words (planned, led, organised); and
  6. Put your best foot forward.
Here is an interesting CV:
Good luck to all you Corporate Climbers in the making, go get them!


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