How (Not) to Write A CV

When you search the internet for ‘how to write a CV’, you’ll get an overwhelming amount of information that you’d actually get exhausted trying to gather what will be suitable or convenient for you. There are too many resources on how to write a CV, with others even offering to do the CV writing for you, that we choose not to add to the list. Instead, we choose to add to the much shorter list of how not to write your CV.

First, don’t publish a newspaper for a CV. Please?

What this means is; don’t have a CV 20 pages long. We understand that the corporate world is too competitive, but who says having 20 pages of experience will guarantee you standing out from the rest? Oh yes you’ll stand out; but in a way I’m sure you don’t want to. Your CV will probably be a laughing stock, with employers using it as an example of a mistake others shouldn’t make. Employers only need what’s relevant. Much as relevant experience is needed, that much is definitely a turn off for your CV. Just have enough. About 2-3 pages? 4 tops maybe? Like tops tops tops! If it really has to be 4 pages. Like really really! (In short just have it less than 4 pages long☺)

Then, don’t write your CV in paragraph form

Don’t have your CV in paragraphs. It is actually easier reading and taking note of the contents of a CV, or anything else for that matter, if they’re in point form (see; even for blogs we’re trying. Or not). Yes you may have some experiences or skills gained doing some job that you’d want to explain, but even that preferably in as few words as possible that encompass the whole message. It is not the story of your life. Your future employer is probably only interested in what you have that will be of help to them; not in snooping around your life.

Don’t have a general CV for every job you apply for

When you have one general CV, chances are its contents will be the general ones everyone has. And I’m sure no one wants the whole CV writing process in vain. You should therefore try to have different CVs ‘customized’ for the different jobs you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for an editorial position, you will have one that includes your skills and experiences as an editor or writer. Otherwise having a general one might include unnecessary content or might exclude others that would have been essential for the position. Keep updating your CV with the different skills and experience you get as you keep progressing in life.

However, make sure your CV does not:

  • Lack your contact details – How else would your future employer contact you? Unfortunately they will probably not be interested in telepathy.
  • Have any grammatical errors – The first impression you want to create to your employer is definitely not that you have poor command of the English language. Ensure you use good grammar, punctuation, etc.
  • Have invalid referees – Make sure the referees you put in your CV are actually real human beings and are aware that you have them as your referees. CVs don’t just have the referees section for the sake of it, or for formality’s sake. Some employers actually contact them, so ensure that they are valid and may know who you are.

And with elimination of what not to do/have in your CV, as the above has mentioned, I’m assuming you will now have your first foot forward on what your CV should include.

All the best in your CV writing endeavours!

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