Must-haves in a winning CV

Friday April 26 2019

Career. Proofread your CV before submitting,

Career. Proofread your CV before submitting, and print copies for people you trust to also review it. File photo 

By Desire Mbabaali

Many job opportunities you will see will often require one to write a Curriculum Vitae. This document helps profile who you are, but also helps the potential employer to know whether you are the best person, with the best competences they are looking for. This, in other wards means that your CV will introduce and speak for you, before you probably meet your employer in person, so give it your best.
Faridah Nazziwa, a human resource specialist, shares how you can pull off writing the best CV.

Nazziwa cautions that when writing a CV or any such document, one should be truthful. “Don’t try to beef up your CV with lies simply because you want it to look pretty. Being truthful is an ethic every employer is looking for, so give them that.

Additionally, do not make your CV too wordy because no one has the time to go through a wordy CV with a pile of other CVs waiting,” she says.
She goes on to break down the most important parts you need not forget and give attention to in a CV.

Personal Information
Like the word suggests, this part of the CV, which should also be the first should include your personal details. “Here, you are introducing yourself in a little more detail for the hiring person to know you more. Include information like: name, nationality, age, sex, marital status, date of birth, address, phone contact, email address, Linked in address or other social media handles that may be relevant to the job. It is common for people to use the word ‘Curriculum Vitae’ as their title, but in this present day and era, just use your name as the title,” she explains.

Information about your profession
Nazziwa says under this, the applicant writes their professional title and a few more lines about what their career objectives are. “Under career objectives, you can write about what you look forward to achieving in your career while working the job you are applying for. One can also write about what motivates them in their career and how they intend to use this on the job,” she adds explaining that this gives your potential employer understanding that you also have goals and objectives in your career because no one wants to work with someone who has no objective.

Work history
This part will include history since you started working. “However, if you have worked various jobs or professions, try to include what is relevant to the current job position you are applying for so that you keep things short. Do not forget to write previous job title(s) or position held, employer(s), and years from the most recent downwards in their order. Also mention awards/ honours and experiences from your work history for example internships, fellowships, or volunteer opportunities under this or under a different subtitle,” says Nazziwa.

Education background
In your education background, start with the most recent downwards including the academic level, education institution, years and award received.

Skills possessed
“Which skills, knowledge or know how do you possess and are useful to the current job position? Include these,” Nazziwa encourages. Under a different subtitle, also include the different languages you are conversant with, rating your self in spoken and written.

Hobbies and interests
She cautions applicants not to include weird and useless hobbies such as sleeping, clubbing and the like. “You want to be taken serious, so include serious hobbies and interests as well. This is not to mean lying about what those are, but focus on the ones that don’t make you look unserious,” she notes.

Lastly, are the referees. These are the go-to people if your potential employer wants to learn more about you. “Don’t put your grandmother who barely knows about what you even do or friends that are clueless about your career. Though it is important to include someone who knows you at a personal level, it is important that your referees are people who can ably comment about your previous work ethic, strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, make your referees know that you have listed them as such for a job application so that they are not taken unawares in case the potential employer contacts them,” says Nazziwa.

Additionally, Andrew Muhwezi, a career coach, advises that a CV should not go beyond two pages. “You can either use subtitles or tabulate your information in a clear and organised way to avoid any confusion. For titles and subtitles, use bold block letters for emphasis,” he advises.
He adds that your words should be in a clear font and size that is readable for example between font size 11-14.

“I cannot over emphasise the need for proofreading to check spellings, grammar and accuracy where years and numbers are used. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone more knowledgeable about CV writing to read your CV and guide you before you send it through,” Muhwezi says. That way, you are at a better place to avoid mistakes.