So you’ve got your qualification, you want to apply for jobs but you aren’t sure what to do next. Well at 3RC we’re always trying to give you top quality over the counter advice and we thought it would be a good idea to show you how to create a CV from scratch.
We’ll take you through the process step by step and give useful tips and tricks that will help you in your search for a job. The first tip is, start building your CV today, it is a lot easier to do this while you’re still in school and not working than it is when you’re looking for a job and under stress.
So enough babbling, let’s jump straight in.
Start from the start
It is a pretty obvious statement to make but let’s talk about where to begin. First off you need to decide what your CV is going to look like. Most CV’s are submitted is PDF or Word form but don’t let that be your only option. Recently there has been a trend developing in the advertising sector where designers and writers create visual CV’s in the form of images.
These are eye catching, simple and most times, memorable. The idea behind this is that it grabs the employers attention and helps you stand out from the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of applications that go through on a daily basis. Of course having a visual CV isn’t recommended if you’re looking for a job at a law firm but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a bit more creative.
Honesty is the best policy
Never lie on your CV. Why? Well most companies conduct fraud checks (even on applicants) to ensure that their employees are who they say they are and studied where they said they studied. Be sure to check and double check your CV before sending it out to ensure all information is correct so that you aren’t slapped with a law suit.
All CV’s must contain a few basic points so that the company can get an idea of your age, where you live etc. Your CV should contain the following:
- Full Name
- Date of birth & place of birth
- Race and Gender
- Languages spoken
- Physical Address
- Driver’s License and whether you have your own transport
- Contact info
- Employment history
Pro tip #1
Include your date of birth as well your current age. This saves the person reading it from having to do the Maths. Remember, people that read your CV have read through hundreds before reading yours so you want to make sure it’s as easy as possible to read.
Pro tip #2
Your nationality is extremely important. Why? Well quite simply most South African companies only employ SA citizens but having citizenship in another country may be something that the company is looking for or find valuable so list any you may have.
Pro tip #3
Your physical address doesn’t have to be the precise address, it can be the area in which you live in. Why is it that important? Well most companies want to insure that their employees are able to get to work with minimal or no problems and the less of the distance they have to travel the less likely it is they will have problems travelling to work.
Pro tip #4
When adding in the languages you speak, it is always a good idea to give some idea of how proficient you are at speaking, reading and writing the language(s).
Pro tip #5
When including your driver’s license status don’t just put “yes” or “no”, include which code you have. This may be beneficial should the employer require another driver or need you to drive a vehicle.
Pro tip #6
When listing your employment history, be sure to keep it short and informative. List your duties while in the position and the length of time you held the position.
Pro tip #7
Contact information should include an email address that you check regularly as well as a cell number that people can contact you on at any time of day. Remember the potential employer might give the job to another person if you aren’t contactable.
Pro tip #8
Update your CV at least once a year even if employed. There is nothing worse than having to look for a new job and before you can begin the search having to check that your references are still contactable, discovering that you need to add a promotion and describe it or having to add a new qualification to your education.
Pro tip #9
References are the goldmine of your CV. But instead of having a list of references, leave it up to the potential employer to ask for it. A simple ‘references on request’ is enough. However, be sure to have those references, with a contact number ready. Only people who you know are willing to be a reference for you should be submitted.
Pro tip #10
The font you use when compiling your CV is very important. Never use a script or comic font as this makes you look like you are not to be taken seriously, also, it is hard to read. The best options are simple, easy to read fonts like Helvetica, Times New Roman or Arial. But do not let this limit your creativity, there are other ways of expressing your personality.
Pro tip #11
Once compiled, draft a cover letter that can be included. This letter should highlight the most important part of your CV as well as explain why you are the best candidate for the position you are applying for. Always tailor your cover letter to the position and company you are applying to.
Pro tip #12
Make your CV unique, add in a bit of yourself into the way it looks. Whether it is by bringing in a bit of colour, a simple border or adding a good, professional photo of yourself. Just remember that it should suite the industry you are applying for.
Now go rock the job market with your amazing CV!