The first thing to remember is that we are not writing an essay. We need to convey as much relevant information as possible and not exceed 3 to 4 pages. Your CV should cover the following:

Your personal information:

Name and surname
Phone number
Email address
Physical address
Postal address
Driver’s license (only if you have it)

Points to remember: It is essential that your cellphone needs to be on in case anyone phone. Make sure that you have a professonal message on your phone in case you miss a call. If you only have a home phone number then everyone living with you need to be aware of the fact that you are waiting for a call. Place a pen and paper next to the phone in casy there is a message. Do not give your spouse’s cellphone number unless you will be able to speak to the caller immediately. Is your email up and running? Does the P O Box belong to you or someone else? If it belongs to (e.g.) your parents they need to be aware that you might get important information. It is not necessary to disclose your age, gender, height, weight, marital status or religion. If you do not have an email address then set one up through Hotmail or Yahoo. And as tempting as what it might do not have your macho_man@hotmail.com address on your CV. Try and register one with your name and surname only.

Educational information:

Start with the most recent achievement / qualification and work your way back. List the degree, diploma, matriculation or standard achieved as well as the year and institution. Then move on the one just before that (e.g. first your degree and then matric). There is no need to list all the subjects you took (unless it is relevant). However, it is crucial to list all your qualifications – whether they were from academic institutions or not.

It is important to list all of your achievements while studying, e.g. competitions won, awards received, provincial colours achieved, orders of merit.

List all the leadership positions you served in, e.g. class prefect, captain of a team, chairperson of a committee.

End this section of with your extracurricular activities that you participated in, e.g. sport, hobbies.

Points to remember: The older you are the less important your school information will become. For instance: You might only want to mention that you matriculated, where and when and one or two major achievements. It is also not necessary to show your grades or marks achieed. It is also best to leave out any information on political activities or other controversial topics. However, if you know that the recruiter is looking for someone who participated in certain political groups then you might want to mention it.

Work experience:

Start with the most recent position and work your way back. List the title of the position, the name of the company and your length of service. Below this you can give a description of your duties (in bullet-point format). It is also important to list any projects that you worked on. Be specific and use numbers where possible, e.g. Managed 32 staff members and a R1 million budget.

It is again important to list all of your achievements while working, e.g. competitions won, awards received.

List all the leadership positions you served in, e.g. managerial or supervisory roles, chairperson of a committee.

End this section of with any additional things that you use to do for the company, e.g. editor of the company newsletter, organiser of the year end function.

Points to remember: Always look at the information and ask whether it is relevant. There is no need to supply the contact details of previous employers nor the reason why you left their employment.

Computer skills:

The ability to work on a computer has developed into a key skill. List all the programs that you are able to work with as well as your proficiency level.


List all the courses, workshops, seminars, etc that you attended only if it is relevant to the position you are applying for and if you haven’t mentioned it before. It is always a good idea to list the topic, institution, facilitator / guest speaker and date.

Activities and Interests:

Remember that most people enjoy listening to music, going to the movies, socialising with friends, reading, etc. Unless you do someting special, or relevant to the position, rather leave this section out.


Mention that “References are available on request”. It is important that your references are aware of the fact that they might be contacted.

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