Category Archives: Advice

Tips on how to compile a winning CV!

Your CV should be a coherent synopsis of your personal background, academic qualifications / achievement and work experience.

The Rules of CV Writing

Compile a basic CV which you are able to update as necessary in order to include additional qualifications or new positions.

It is very important to adjust your CV, highlighting the relevant experience requir…ed by the specific position you are applying for.

Your CV should “sell” you to a specific company and should be to the point and easy to understand.

Do not be hesitant to list your achievements and positive attributes in order to attract the reader’s attention, but be truthful and avoid exaggerating.

Your CV should leave a professional impression and should therefore be typed and formatted correctly, with no spelling or grammatical errors.

Inform previous employers that you will list their details on your CV and confirm that they are willing to provide references.  Include the reference details, paying particular attention to the correct names and contact numbers. Exclude family, friends or co-workers who were employed on the same level as you.  The relevant references to include is that of your previous manager or the person you reported directly to.  Provide the name, company, designation and contact details of at least 3 references on your CV.

If you are a recent matriculant / graduate and you have not gained any formal working experience, include the details of a person that knows you, example: your school principal, teacher/lecturer or pastor.

Always include copies of your matric certificate / tertiary qualifications and statement of results.

Your CV should always contain the following information:

Personal Information:

Surname

Name

Residential Address

Postal Address

Contact Telephone Numbers (as many as possible!)

E-mail address

Marital status

Date of birth:

Nationality:

Driver’s license:

List your education background, by starting with the most recent qualification you completed. Remember to include all qualifications and attach certificates thereof to your CV.

Example:

Secondary Education

Last school attended

Highest grade passed

Year

Tertiary Education

Degree / Diploma

Institution

Duration of studies

Subject completed

Work Experience

Prospective employers will decide, based on this section of your CV, if you are suitably experienced for their vacancy.  Include details of positions held during the last 10 years and start with your current / most recent position.   It is very important to include as much detail as possible regarding your duties in each position. 

Example:

Position

Company Name (Employer)

Start date and end date of employment

Responsibilities

Training received

Your reason for leaving

Include a section on your CV where you provide particulars of skills obtained during your career i.e. client liaison, specific computer packages, managerial skills etc.

Important Interview Tips

Turn off your cellphone or switch it to silent

Ensure that you are suitably dressed, complying with the company’s specific dress code

Use the name of the person who is interviewing you

Listen attentively in order to answer questions appropriately

Take concise notes on important information

Focus on answering all questions directly and do not pause for too long between sentences

The purpose of the interview is to share exactly what in your work history qualifies you for the position you are being interviewed for.  You should communicate clearly the correlation between your own background the position’s requirements and functions.

At the end of the interview THANK them for their time, shake their hands and ask if they have any questions or concerns about whether or not you will be able to do the job.  If they do, discuss it there and then & share with them that you are interested in the position and positive that you would be able to contribute to their team.

How to dress for an interview

A first impression is made in the first 30 seconds.  The golden rule is to be tidy, smart, relatively conservative and understated.

When deciding how to dress for an interview it is always best to know what the …company’s dress code is.  If dressed inappropriately you can damage your chances of being successful.

Pay attention to the detail – your nails, accessories and shoes.

Consider the personality and behaviour required in the position you are considered for i.e. is the position requiring an extrovert, a detailed or innovative or creative person?

If you are going through a recruiter ask them the dress code and what you should expect.

Remember you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.