Did you know, CV is short for Curriculum Vitae


Your CV is a selling tool. Just as a brilliant advertisement can persuade a consumer to make a purchase, so a skilfully crafted CV can secure a job interview.

What is the difference between a CV and Resume?

A curriculum vitae (CV) provides a summary of one’s experience and skills and is at least two or three pages.

A resume is a one or two page summary of your skills, experience, and education.

What is a Curriculum Vitae?

It is the story of your life. Your personal history.

Why is your CV important?

Many job advertisements ask for a CV to be attached to your application form. You can also take your CV with you to your job interview.

Remember that your CV will be one of many others and it should convince the employer that you are the right person for the job.

If possible, have your CV typed or write it neatly in block letters.

It might be to your benefit if you read up as much as possible on what CV’s should look like.

Examples of CVs can be found in books in the library or bookstore and also on the Internet.

Only attach copies of your original documents to your CV.

You can also include a photograph of yourself if you want to.

Make sure there is no spelling or typing mistakes in your CV.

Keep a few copies of your CV for future use.

Nowadays, employers prefer to see what the job applicant’s career/professional goals are upfront, so include a part that covers your personal career goals at the beginning of the CV-this will help the employer to immediately know what type of person the job applicant is.

Do not copy and paste from the Internet though, but write your own professional/career goals.

Remember that the employer may ask you to cite examples of behaviour in the interview as to why you say you can for example manage conflict well (see example below).

Only include skills and qualities that you really possess.

Also remember that employers will not read too long CVs, but that a well-organised one where they can immediately see whether you have the necessary skills required by the job you are applying for, will make a much better impression.

Divide the information up in 1) career goal, 2) personal information, 3) education, qualifications and skills, 4) languages, 5) career history, 6) personal interests, 7) positions of responsibility held, 8) prizes and awards and 9) references.

You can also find proposals for other presentations of your CV in books in the library/bookstore or on internet.

Do not use the same CV for every job you are applying for-change your CV so that those work goals and skills that are relevant for the job you are applying for, comes out more strongly.

Here is an example of a CV:


My career goals:

I would like to work in an organization where I can use my qualifications in Accountancy. I aim to become the Manager of Finance of a well-reputed organisation within 5-10 years. The job I am applying for is a good opportunity for me to work actively and productively in my field of expertise and apply my skills. My aim is to make a difference in my work-place through my contribution and to touch the lives of my co-workers through my positive attitude. I am a self-starter and have excellent interpersonal and conflict-management skills.

Personal Information:

Surname: Maesela
First Names: Thabo John
Title: Mr
Home address: 24, 16th Avenue, Villieria, Pretoria, 0183
Telephone number: 012- 322 1034 Cell: 083 4765 201
Date of birth: 1986-05-22
Age: 22
Identity number: 8605222346630
Nationality: South African
Marital status: Single
Health: Good
Driver’s licence: Code 08

Criminal record: None

Education and Qualifications

High School: Mamelodi High School
Matric subjects: English (HG), Northern Sotho (HG), Afrikaans (HG), Mathematics (SG), Science (SG), Accountancy (HG).
(Copy of Senior Certificate attached).
Special training: Attended a Data Processing course and computer courses. (Copies of certificates attached).

Post-Matric qualifications: Accountancy Diploma obtained at Rosebank College. (Copy of Diploma attached).


Speak: Northern Sotho (good), English (good), Afrikaans (fair), Zulu (fair).
Read: Northern Sotho (good), English (good), Afrikaans (good), Zulu (good).

Write: Northern Sotho (good), English (good), Afrikaans (fair), Zulu (fair).

Careers History

Work Experience
Part-time: Cashier and packer at Pick and Pay during weekends and school holidays – 4 years.
Salesperson at the Pretoria Show for Philips – September 2006 and September 2007.

Full-time: None.

Skills gained during my career and studies:

MsOffice computer course inclusive of:

Ms Outlook
Pastel Accounting programme
Book-keeping practice
Tax returns
Cost management
Business law

Leadership skills certificate


Activities: Member of the Debating Society and the church choir.
Hobbies: Reading, hiking and camping.
Sport: Road running and soccer.
Position of Responsibility held at School:

Prefect and vice-captain of the second soccer team.

Position of Responsibility in other Areas

Secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) – Villieria.

Prizes and Awards
School colours for soccer.
Interschool Debating Team Awards.

Achieved silver medal in Soweto Marathon.


Include at least three letters of recommendation or write down the names, telephone numbers and the positions of persons who know you and can recommend you. Ask for the permission of the people concerned, before giving their telephone numbers. That way, they are prepared to answer questions about you if contacted.


1. Mr PH Smith – Facilitator of the Villieria YMCA, PO Box 1256, Villieria, 0186.
Tel. 012 346 2413.
2. Dr SL Mahlangu – Principal of Mamelodi High School, Private Bag X45, Mamelodi West, 0101. Tel. 012 455 8590.

3. Rev J Lamola – Minister of the Methodist Church, 150, 24th Avenue, Villieria, 0186. Tel. 012 325 1267.

Here are the classic rules for preparing your resume or CV.


  • Review professionally written resume samples to familiarize yourself with what a strong resume looks like and contains.
  • Make sure your resume is as easy to read as possible, using bullets, a font size that’s comfortable to read, and so on.
  • Customize your resume based on the position for which you are applying.
  • Include a career objective that is focused on what you can do for the employer — not what you hope to gain from the position.
  • List your past positions in reverse chronological order.
  • Include for each job: title/position, name of employer, city/state of employer, dates of employment.
  • Include measurable results you achieved at each job position rather than listing job duties.
  • Lead with action words instead of passive words. Avoid the word “work.”
  • Include publications, patents, presentations, honors, relevant volunteer experiences, and professional licenses or certifications, especially if they pertain to the position.
  • Emphasize transferable skills, especially when changing industries.
  • Provide relevant contact information including one phone number, email address, website, and city and state.
  • Proofread meticulously.
  • Consider including a “summary of qualifications” or “profile” at the top of your resume to provide a clear focus.
  • Be a little creative with your resume format to help you stand out, especially if applying for a creative field (blue ink on cream paper, for example).
  • Test how your resume will look when emailed or submitted online, as well as printed.


  • Put the word “RESUME” or “CV” at the top.
  • Copy any part of a resume sample posted online word-for-word.
  • Worry too much about the old one-page resume rule, especially if you have a lot of experience or are using more of a CV format.
  • But make sure that the first page can stand alone if the pages get separated.
  • Lie.
  • Provide personal data like marital status, date of birth, height, weight, etc.
  • Repeat the same action word over and over again. Find different ways to say the same thing.
  • List your job duties. (focus on accomplishments.)
  • Go into detail on how you achieved results at each job. Save that for the interview.
  • Use a lot of acronyms or jargon, especially if you’re changing fields.
  • Don’t abbreviate words that aren’t normally abbreviated, even to save space.
  • Emphasize experience more than 15 years old.
  • Bother to list high school or secondary school if you have college or university experience.
  • List a funny or crude email address; get a new one for business use if necessary.
  • List references on your resume; have them on a separate document, and only provide them when requested.
  • Include hobbies or skills that have nothing to do with the position.
  • Sacrifice clarity or readability for creativity when it comes to format.
  • Print on colored paper.
  • Use graphics.

I found this very interesting article:How to make sure your CV sizzles