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:
CURRICULUM VITAE OF THABO JOHN MAESELA
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.
First Names: Thabo John
Home address: 24, 16th Avenue, Villieria, Pretoria, 0183
Telephone number: 012- 322 1034 Cell: 083 4765 201
Date of birth: 1986-05-22
Identity number: 8605222346630
Nationality: South African
Marital status: Single
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).
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.
Skills gained during my career and studies:
MsOffice computer course inclusive of:
Pastel Accounting programme
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.
- Mr PH Smith – Facilitator of the Villieria YMCA, PO Box 1256, Villieria, 0186.
Tel. 012 346 2413.
- Dr SL Mahlangu – Principal of Mamelodi High School, Private Bag X45, Mamelodi West, 0101. Tel. 012 455 8590.
- Rev J Lamola – Minister of the Methodist Church, 150, 24th Avenue, Villieria, 0186.
Tel. 012 325 1267.