CV hints & tips – Get your personal brand on track

CV hints & tips – Get your personal brand on track

  • Jun 2020

By Sandra Maphoto, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Dynamic Talent

Hints and Tips for an awesome CV

A CV is one of the most important personal documents that you can compose and maintain. The acronym ‘CV’ is short for ‘curriculum vitae’, which is Latin for ‘course of life’ – in this case, the course of your professional career life. This is your personal brand, so make sure it tells your story!

Here are 9 super-easy ways to create a power CV...

1. Keep it brief and relevant

What’s the difference between CV and résumé? A résumé is a brief summary of your skills and experience on 2 or 3 pages. A CV is more detailed and can extend well beyond two pages. Your résumé is customised for each position, while your CV stays in place while getting updated when necessary. Send your résumé to begin with, then you can follow up with the longer CV if required. Make your résumé simple, logical and easy to read. Also, keep it brief and to-the-point, including the summary and experience descriptions. Include personal information, contact details, who you are, education, qualifications, employment record, and references.

2. Use a professional format

Keep to a font like Arial or Times New Roman, size between 10 and 12 point. Reduce or eliminate any extraneous white space. Choose appropriate margins and a line spacing of 1.15 or 1.5.

3. Include only the most relevant information and put the most important information first

Try to include only work experience, achievements, education and skills most relevant to the employer. You should prioritize important information higher on your résumé to draw attention to key skills and achievements.

4. Active language

Use active language without superfluous words. For example: ‘Led multiple team-based projects and effectively coordinated group tasks,’ instead of: ‘During my time at XY, I ran multiple team-based projects and helped each team member with various tasks associated with each project.’

5. Attention to important achievements

Include a separate ‘Achievements’, ‘Skills’ or ‘Professional Memberships’ section to specifically highlight relevant achievements in your education, career, volunteer work or other experiences. Special achievements must stand out clearly.

6. Graduate with no work experience?

If you have just graduated from college or high school and have not yet held a professional position, do not include an empty work history section. Instead, replace the experience section with relevant coursework, academic achievements and other experiences like internships, or extracurricular projects.

7. Proofread and edit

Before sending your résumé, you should undergo several rounds of proofreading to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar errors.

8. A unique resume for different jobs

Decide which résumé to use based on case-by-case requirements. If you’re applying for a job that has unique requirements, you may need another version of your résumé to fully demonstrate your qualifications. But, never provide false information or exaggerated claims.

9. A covering letter

Along with your résumé, send a covering letter explaining what you are applying for

and why you believe you are ideal for the position. Let your enthusiasm shine through – but always keep it professional and super succinct (more than 10 sentences will overwhelm the reader before they’ve got to your actual résumé).

Do you know we offer CV and LinkedIn review services? R750 will get you a professional review by one of our experienced recruiters, as well as changes that need to be made to improve your CV. This is a personalised service based on your experience and the role you are hoping to secure. Ready to step it up? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.