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How to write a great CV

Your CV and cover letter combined should create a picture of you and your career to-date; and illustrate why you are different from the competition! It’s the first step in the recruitment process so spend some time getting it right.


Personal Details

List your full name and all useable contact details. Avoid superfluous details such as religious affiliation, children’s names etc. Include language skills and professional memberships.

Education and Professional Qualifications

Include names of institutions and dates attended, in reverse order, beginning with your tertiary qualifications. List secondary school results (these details will matter more if you have recently entered the job market). Include computer skills and any other recent training / development relevant to the role you are applying for. Mention time spent abroad or work placements attended as part of your degree or diploma.

Career Details / Core Strengths and Skills

Briefly specify what you are looking for in your next career move. Position type (contract or permanent), last / current salary, availability and career objectives. Include a list of your core strengths and skills.

Work Experience

The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological CV. Career history is presented in reverse date order starting with your most recent position. Achievements and responsibilities are listed against each role. More emphasis / information should be put on more recent jobs. A functional CV can sometimes be more appropriate, for example if you have held a number of unrelated jobs. This format emphasises key skills grouped together under suitable headings. However, career progression and the nature of jobs held can be unclear with this type of CV. In both cases, identify the contribution you made. Rather than just listing your duties, think of ways to demonstrate success in a particular role. For example rather than writing, “designed company’s website,” you could say, “designed company’s website, which increased company’s overall product sales by 50 percent.”


References can be listed or simply be ‘Available on Request’.

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