June 4, 2012 Candidates

Professional CV’s

Your CV needs to make a good impression. If it does not, there is a remote chance that you will ruin the possibility of securing an interview; merely because of a sloppy, disorganized, inconsistent and incomplete document.   Recruiters receive an average of between 200 to 400 CV’s daily – all CV’s lack information necessary to make the recruitment decision.  Imagine trying to read 200 – 400 CV’s, calling each candidate and spending roughly 20 minutes on each call. Not only is it a costly exercise, it takes up a lot of time; time the recruiter feels should be invested by the one seeking employment. Any lack of information, thus ensures that your CV lands in file 13 and the recruiter is not given the opportunity to get to know the gem behind the title.

The purpose of submitting your CV is to project a positive image of yourself.   Never assume that the interviewer will get to know more about you once you are invited for an interview.  During the interview, an employer will test the accuracy of the CV and establish whether you perfect match for their current culture. The recruiter reads through the CV first and forms an impression of the person applying. Here are some tools to help you make a good impression:

  1. Parts of your CV need to change and should be adjusted to best match the requirements of the position; only focusing on your skills, experience, qualifications and background relevant to the job. All other details that not relevant can be summarized.
  2. Many applicants who submit CV’s often make the mistake of omitting adequate contact details. If you cannot be reached, your CV will be discarded.
  3. Do not use fancy fonts.  the correct font to use is an Arial font, size 11.
  4. Ensure adequate spacing between subjects.
  5. Always proof read for spelling mistakes.
  6. The recruiter has never worked with you and even though they have a generic understanding of what the job might entail, it is your responsibility to advise them in detail on what your daily tasks are.  Many candidates often list only 5 – 6 duties, if any. It creates an impression that you did not enjoy your job much or possibly that you were not a top performer then.
  7. Wherever multiple items are included, list these in point form using the round bullet.
  8. To ensure that your CV complies with the standard format requirements and has all the relevant information, set up the template as follows:



This section of the  CV should contain the following information – name(s) and surname(s),  ID number, citizenship, language(s), driver’s license code, physical address(es), work telephone number, cellphone number(s), Home telephone number(s), email address(es), an alternative contact number and name of person to be contacted, position applying for, employment type (permanent/temporary/both), work area(s) preferred, Last gross remuneration (Provide a copy of your last salary slip as proof), required salary (normally 25 – 30% more than what you were on).



This section acts as a portfolio of evidence and the recruiter is able to access your ability at a glance. This is where the point systems work brilliantly.  The content includes the following in the exact order: – computer skills, accreditation, work achievements, work skills, industry expertise and work related behavioral competencies.



Information under this heading should be in the exact date of completion order. Never add courses that were not completed, it may just create the impression that you leave things undone.  Details listed in the following order:

  • Secondary education – School attended, highest grade passed, year completed, subjects.
  • Tertiary Qualification – Institution, qualification (state whether it was a diploma, degree, certificate (E.g. diploma: Human Resource Management).
  • Other courses attended – This will be listed in bullet form and may include any in-house or brief courses.



This category should be done in tabular format and should start with your most recent position first, providing the exact months and years of employment under this area. It is critical that you list all your positions since you started working, e.g.

Name of company                          Position/s Held                             Dates employed

Company ABC                                  Project Manager                          Mar 2008 – date

Company XYZ                                  Trainer                                          Jan 1995 – Jan 2008



Start by documenting the most recent position in descending order; only listing the companies relevant to the positions requirements, for example, if you have secretarial experience and are applying for secretarial positions; only the companies where you have worked as a secretary need to be listed. The content in this section should contain the following in the exact order.

Company, Industry, Position/s held, Dates employed, Reason for leaving and duties.

The duties should be in bullet form. Start with a verb in every sentence, branching out to what you did this on e.g.

  • Providing [Doing] secretarial support [what]  to Financial Director  and CEO [for whom] daily [how often]



Provide at least 3 of your most recent references, excluding the current company at which you are employed.  Some candidates give their current employment as reference and this creates a form of suspicion in the mind of the recruiter.  Details under this section should include: company, name of referee, job title, land line number (cell phone numbers are not permitted- as the referees positions cannot be confirmed this way- unless of course the recruiter requests this) .

In conclusion do not bother to do a cover letter. It is never read anyway and should not be necessary if your CV is of the highest quality.

We would like to wish you well with your job search and thank you for the opportunity to assist you in doing so.

-CANDACE GANI, Director at Omnistaff

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