Writing a good CV may be crucial for getting the job you want. We give you some pointers to make sure your CV lands you an invitation for a interview.

Your CV is your stats and accomplishments and is one of the first things an employer or recruitment agency will look at. The form and the way you present yourself will have a key role in your employment. Surveys show that employers spend less than 18 seconds on each CV, so it is important to have a tidy and clean CV resume.

best cv tips
When seconds matter, a simple spelling error, can get your CV in the trash bin.

We’ve gone through many résumés and will share both our collected experience, and feedback from employers.


So what is a CV and what does it mean?

CV is a short acronym of curriculum vitae, in Latin, and is used along with curricula vitarum, each of which is debated as being more grammatically correct than the other. It means “course of life”, often shortened as CV or vita (plural vitae), is a written overview of someone’s life’s work (academic formation, publications, qualifications, etc.). Vitae often aim to be a complete record of someone’s career, and can be extensive. They are different from a résumé, which is typically a brief 1–2 page summary of qualifications and work experience for the purposes of employment, and often only presents recent highlights.

How to write a great CV

A CV is a brief and straightforward composition of what you have accomplished through school, work, courses and your career.

It gives a detailed overview of your background and your qualifications. In short an idea of why you are or are not qualified for a position.

However a CV is not a comprehensive autobiography. On the contrary, it is crucial that it is relevant, and to the point, while keeping the content relevantt for the position you are applying for.


What to include in a CV

There are unwritten laws and expectancy for what a CV should contain and cover.
Stick to the standard setup, unless you have enough experience to make your own.
An employer will appreciate a format they are accustomed to, and will understand the contents more easily.

A standard CV should consist of the following.

  • Full name, birth date, marital status
  • Updated contact information
  • Key qualifications
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Past positions
  • Course and Certifications
  • Language proficiency
  • Relevant talents
  • References or information on references

A CV should NOT contain information on

  • Religious beliefs
  • Information about family
  • Your pets
  • Alcohol or smoking habits
  • Political views
  • Your criminal records


  • Begin with your most recent education.
  • Your vocation and/or the name of the faculty/field in which you studied should be included. The name of the educational institution, when your studies began and when you graduated.

Work experience and vocational history

  • Start with your most recent job. List the position/title and the duration of your work in that position or job. You can also list your work tasks and areas of responsibility as keywords.

Courses, workshops, certifications and appointments

  • List any courses you attended that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Positions of trust, honorary offices or posts at schools, sports clubs, housing cooperatives or similar organizations indicate that you ready for responsibility, and that you are extroverted and committed.


  • List the languages you speak, and state fluency and oral and written proficiency.

IT skills

  • List relevant software and computer programs that you have mastered, and state your skill level.

Experience with projects

  • List the projects that you have participated in, and what role you had.

Leisure interests and hobbies

  • Leisure activities tell potential employers something about your personality.

Diplomas, certificates of completion and letters of reference

  • You can also write this on the application: “I will send diplomas and letters of reference etc. upon request”. Never send original documents.

You will have to provide copies of diplomas and certificate etc. as true copy (a true copy with stamp and signature that verifies the authenticity of the document) if the employer requires this.


Tailor your CV to match job type and description

Tailoring a CV to match job type

Using the same identical CV for all job types and positions is a classic pitfall.
Instead, a CV should be tailored to match each application, by keeping what is relevant and removing what is not.

Getting your CV to match the requirements, and matching the job description is vital.
Do remember to not exaggerate and most important of all, do not lie.

Read the job description thoroughly and try to understand what the employer is looking for.

Keep in mind that a hireling is a two way street, and as much as you want the job, the employer wants the best candidate.

When you go on an interview, you are not the only person being interviewed, the employer is also being interviewed by YOU.

Understand what the need and qualifications they are looking for. Do your research before the interview. Check the companies website, news related to them, their values and their views. The larger the company, the more info you will find.

Make certain that you have the competencies and experience they are searching for in your CV. Your application should reflect a cognizance about position and this will increase the possibility of you being invited for an interview.

Your CV should have optimized keywords matching the ad. If you send or add your CV electronically, there is always a possibility that the CVs may be scanned for negative words and keywords in your CV.

By being aware of the key phrases critical for the position, you may very well get the edge on your competitive candidates.


Length, layout and format of your CV

  • Limit your CV to one or two pages.
  • Use a white A4 sheet of paper (or a digital format of that size).
  • Use normal font types and sizes.
  • Use the same font type on the CV as you used on the application.
  • Use PDF or Rich-text formats.
  • Avoid external links on the CV (scammers include viruses, malicious software on links)
1. March 2020