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Make a Winning Job Application With These 5 Must-haves in Your CV

Your CV is your best chance to portray yourself as a favorable choice in a job application. Here are must-haves in your CV that you should know about.

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Your CV is your best chance to portray yourself as a favorable choice in a job application. Here are must-haves in your CV that you should know about.


Writing a CV is a big deal. The goal of your CV is to advertise yourself in a way that appeals to employers. Hundreds of people shoot their shot at a slot meant for one or three people, at most. Recruiters comb through these CVs to find the best candidates. 

For this reason, your CV needs to be exemplary, eye-catching and unique. There are details that you can use to achieve this goal. In this article, we'll show you the must-haves in your CV so that you can create an outstanding one. With the five must-haves discussed below, your CV will not get tossed right into the rejection pile. Instead, they increase your chance of receiving that “we look forward to working with you” email.


1. Name and contact details

Your name is your brand and you should make it the first thing that appears on your CV. Use your first name and surname. Your middle name is not necessary because the other two identify you just as well. Add your professional title alongside your name. This information should serve as the title of your CV. Hence, the phrase “Curriculum Vitae” does not need to make an appearance. 

Your contact information should follow your name and title. On the least end, you should include your email address and primary phone number. In past times, it was customary to use your full address as well. However, snail mail has long been replaced, hence no need to add such information. You can range your location to your county and town of residence. You do not need to include your date of birth because these details do not affect the hiring decision. Save some space for what really matters because you do not want your employer boring themselves with a booklet-sized CV.


2. Personal profile (this is a must-have in your CV!)

Next is your personal profile, also known as a personal statement or professional profile. Regardless of what you call it, the personal profile serves one key purpose. It gives your prospective employer an overview of what you are all about. By covering your profession, it shows them what you'll bring to their organization. It also expresses your career goals which prompt job markets on what you achieve for yourself and for them. This section is quite short - around five sentences. However, it is one of the most crucial areas. This is because it showcases your relevance and convinces employers that the remaining part of your CV is worth looking into.

 A personal profile is like a sales pitch, except you are the product on sale. Use lots of details if you are experienced and less if you aren’t. Describe the industries you have worked in and express where most of your experience lies. By selling yourself, you need to brag a little and tailor your profile for the exact job you are seeking. Use them to tell employers why they should hire you.


3. Core competencies

This section is about telling employers why and how you are a great fit for their organization. Typically, it sits under the personal profile section. Preferably, write it in bullet points of about 6 to 10 dictations. Talk about your best attributes. Pack these skills with the factual skills and experiences that job recruiters are looking for, like customer service and analytical skills. 

Avoid general cliches like strong communicator, critical thinker and team player. Apply how these skills fit into the company. An example would be “Through working customer service, I have gained communication skills from interpersonal interactions.” Such a statement tells that you have an experience in customer service and that you can communicate with people effectively.


4. Education background

Describe your schooling history in reverse chronological order. Start from your highest level of education attained and trickle backward to kindergarten. At a minimum, include the name of your degree qualification, the academic institution or awarding body, and the dates you achieved this qualification. 

If you are at the starting point of your career and have no work experience, this section is crucial for you. Your education is your selling angle at this point. Therefore, you need to add bullet points for a proper description. Explain the relevant skills, placements, assignments and modules under every institution to impress the job application.


5. Work experience and employment history

This section marks the break away from the introduction part of your CV. In a job application, prospective employers want to know where you have worked before and if you have work experience at all. 

Worry not if you have none because you can include voluntary work, internship, and school projects. If you do have a work history, list it in reverse chronological order. Start with the most recent job and move as far back as necessary. Recruiters are more interested in the recent work engagements you’ve had. Therefore, include plenty of descriptive words to entice them. Your most recent job shows the peak of your career and work abilities.


Final word

We have discussed the must-haves in your CV. However, there are some have-nots that should not make an appearance. Avoid word repetitions like handled, assisted with, managed and worked. Be creative because saying “I managed this” and “I managed that” is rather uninspiring to read. Use alternative synonyms instead of repeating vocabulary. Also, keep away from cliché words as discussed earlier because they will definitely appear in other CVs.

Remember, the mission is to stand out, not blend in. Exclude unnecessary details that will not work in your favor. Examples are social media links, mail addresses, and family situations. Anti-discrimination legislation actually backs you up for excluding them. Lastly, avoid touching on contentious issues like sports, politics or religious affiliations. It could alienate the reader and provoke bias. 

Written by

Bret Leon Asugo

Bret Leon Asugo is a creative content writer with industry expertise in ghostwriting, copywriting, guest posting, and corporate blogging. He works closely with B2B and B2C businesses providing content that is optimized for search engine rankings and gains social media traction. A writer by day and reader by night, he believes that everything has been said. But nobody has said it with your voice.

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