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How to Write a Comprehensive CV Like a Pro

Updated on Apr 25, 2023 26759 views
How to Write a Comprehensive CV Like a Pro

Writing a CV comes with so many questions, especially for a beginner. Questions like; What is the CV meant to contain? The CV format? How to communicate your work experience correctly and many other confusing questions.

Although, it is not new and doesn't have to look or sound complicated.

The purpose of writing your CV is to;

Ensure it gets you through the door for an interview, which is your CV has to be able to command the attention of the recruiter, among over 200 applicants.

To begin this writing process, let's start by defining what a CV is.

What is a CV?

A CV is a detailed document that highlights every important academic career.

A CV is also a document used by job applicants to apply for jobs. It is a detailed summary of an applicant and their work experience, who they are, what they have done and how they have done it.

Both definitions are correct although, the usage is based on a person's location or region.

In Canada, Austria and the U.S, a CV is used for academic purposes while in Europe a CV is a document used for applying for jobs.

In the hiring industry today, a CV and a resume have been used changeably. It's like saying football in America and calling it soccer in Europe.

So in America, it is called a resume, while in Europe it is called a CV. When applying for companies in America you call it a resume and, when applying for companies in Europe you use a CV.
Now we are cleared on what a cv is, let's get to writing a comprehensive CV as a Pro.

It is important to keep in mind when applying for a job, you're competing with over 200 applicants and your CV is your ticket to the next phase which is the interview.

The possibility of being selected will greatly depend on how well you have been able to communicate all necessary information using your CV in the right format.

A poorly written CV will cost you the next round to avoid this from happening;

Here is an outline to guide you on how to write your CV.

  • The CV headline (contact detail)
  • Professional summary (personal summary/ CV objectives0
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Additional section

When writing using this guideline, ensure your CV is; 

  • Clear, Legible font and size
  • Consistent layout, line spacing and margin
  • The number of bullet points and date formats must be consistent 
  • Remove graphics to avoid unnecessary distraction
  • Except you are instructed to, do not add your photo or any other picture to your CV
  • Lastly, ensure it is concise and well-detailed, you only need to add information that  is relevant to your CV.

Now you have the outline and basic guide for writing a CV let's put it to good use.

The CV headline (CV contacts): using a legible font and font size of 16, write your full name  at the top followed by the professional title using a font size of 14. Next is the email  address, telephone number, LinkedIn profile URL and home address using a font size of 12.

Keep in mind you're competing with over 200 applicants, you need to prove to the recruiter why you are the best fit for this role and one of the best ways to do this is through your professional summary.

Professional summary (CV objectives / personal summary): this is where some of the magic happens, the professional summary is detailed and Focuses majorly on your strength.

Who you are? what you have done? How you did it and What you accomplished in that position.

Your professional summary should be able to get your feet into the door and why your work experience should be the icing on the cake.

Work experience: First, the company’s name, date and position held should be written, this will be followed by relevant and measurable achievements stating your responsibilities in the position.

Be mindful of the choice of words used, do not make use of big words trying to impress the recruiter, and end up making it hard to comprehend, instead, use action verbs, stating  what you have done how you did it and what you accomplished in that position.

Use 4 to 5 bullet points to show how you handled each responsibility. Remember what you  have done, how you did it and the results.

Skills: your skills should be in tune with the position you have held and that which you are  applying for. This section highlights your ability to handle the position effectively, it should  show the recruiter you have the necessary skills required for the job.

Education: this is as straight as it can be. It should entail; the institution you graduated  from, the course of discipline and the year you graduated. Keep it simple, clear and concise.

Award/certification: For different professions, there are professional certificates an  applicant must have taken, for example; as an accountant, engineer, or doctor, it is important to highlight these certificates and awards to increase your chance as an applicant.

Additional Section: this will include achievements in your career over the years, professional certifications, industry awards, additional training and conferences attended.

This section is the extra push to seal the deal and make you stand out from other applicants.

Writing a CV that will make you stand out and get the attention of the recruiter could be a bit challenging and confusing but, following this format will make it less stressful and in no  time, and you should be able to write your CV like a pro.

Format for writing a CV

The traditional way of writing a cv is out of date and almost  extinct, the new era of writing a cv is modern, easy to read, properly sectioned and places you above other candidates when done properly. It is recommended you use the modern  format for writing a cv to increase your chances to get seen by the employer.

Tools for writing a CV 

Technology has advanced to the point where there areapps and software that assists in writing a winning cv. Although the guidance of a cv expert is very much needed to articulate the message you are trying to communicate with your cv to the employer, tools such as cv maker and cv templates can also be a guide when creating a cv.

References: This section is always necessary to expect when the employer makes a mention of it although, it is safe to indicate at the end of your cv that your reference is available just in case the employer needs you to provide it.

Writing a cv that will get you through the door could be a difficult task, but following this guide will make the process easy.

You can go ahead to create or update that cv and start applying for jobs, best of luck.

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

12 Comment(s)

  • Ronald Wanzusi
    Ronald Wanzusi Apr 28, 2023

    Hello am Ronald wanzusi from Kampala Uganda am a driver by certificate with the driving license authorized by the government 

  • Brian Oigoro
    Brian Oigoro Jun 07, 2023

    Hello am Brian Oigoro an Agribusiness student waiting for graduation late this December. Am looking for an opportunity in your company 

  • Eyvonne Macharia
    Eyvonne Macharia Jun 13, 2023

    Hello am Eyvonne Macharia a Mout Kenya university student waiting for graduation late this December .Am looking for an opportunity in your company.

  • Noah Kirui
    Noah Kirui Jun 14, 2023

    I'm Noah Kipkorir Kirui a driver at National Museum of Kenya with a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering hereby looking for a job 

  • Daisy Chelangat
    Daisy Chelangat Jun 14, 2023

    Hello am Daisy chelangat 23 years old I have just graduated last year from Kericho Teachers Training college I got a certificate and a TSC no.i hear by look for a job in your company 

    NJIRA PURITY WANGUI Jun 17, 2023

    Hello, I am Purity a Graphic Designer with over 2 years of experience looking for a job in your company


  • Eric Orawo
    Eric Orawo Jun 17, 2023

    Hello. Am Mr Omondi Eric. Agronomist with two years experience and also a team builder. Assist me to secure a job

  • Marine Jacob
    Marine Jacob Jul 03, 2023

    Hello l am Jacob Marine former student from kabete campus. I am still awaiting for graduation. Looking for your support to secure an opportunity.

  • Maria Achari
    Maria Achari Jul 10, 2023

    Hello i am Maria Achari a graduate from Thika School of Medical and Health Sciences  school of applied sciences. Looking for opportunity to secure an internship as abiomedical engineer.Thank you in advance 

  • Loreen Ntinyari
    Loreen Ntinyari Jul 18, 2023

    Hello,am loreen ntinyari. l just finished my degree in procurement and logistics management ,  am awaiting for the graduation.kindly help me nurture my career and as l help the organization add value in it services or products. Thanks your time  and chance.

  • Eva Gicheru
    Eva Gicheru Aug 03, 2023

    Hallo..I m Eva a graduate from Kenyatta university with a degree in Bcom finance .I m looking forward to get a job in this company;so that I can enhance my skills and nurture my dreams.

  • Faith Mutua
    Faith Mutua Sep 18, 2023

    Nice article

    Am faith mutua . High school teacher by profession. I have a TSC number and graduated last year 2023 .

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