How to write a proper CV?

The first thing we are told when inquiring about a new job is “send me your CV”. But, if you’re a student or fresh graduate, how do you go about writing your first CV? If you’re looking to make some improvements to your already existing CV, where do you start?

Here a few tips for you to keep in mind when getting started on your first step to your application process.

Keep it clean and simple

Employers typically scan a CV for about 7 seconds before deciding whether a candidate is a suitable fit or not. Therefore, the first impression is critical during this process.


The chronological structure is the gold standard of CV writing and is most preferred by recruiters, with the main focus being your work experience. It is presented in reverse chronological order and displays your most recent experiences and achievements first.

Your chronological CV structure should contain the following:


Start with your full name, typically written in bold and 4-6 font size larger than the body text. Follow this with your contact information such as your e-mail, and phone number. Many people include their home address, which is not necessary. Opt for your area of residence and include your relevant social media such as your LinkedIn profile.

Personal profile

These are the first sentences the hiring manager will read – ensure that you capture their attention by stating what you can offer and your career goals. Write a brief, 2-3 sentence introduction to your strengths and capabilities.

Work experience

Add your professional history starting from the most recent job working your way back. Include the company name, followed by your job title, and dates of employment. Write a few bullet points of your key responsibilities or achievements for each job role.

If you are a student and have not had any work experience yet, you can skip this step completely or put this section after the Education section.


Write down your educational background starting from your highest qualification working your way back.

Include the name of the university/institution, followed by your degree, and the duration.

Training and Certification

Add this section if it is relevant to the job you are applying to. It shows your willingness to develop and learn more in a certain field. Include the following details:

  1. Name of the event
  2. Topic
  3. The organizing institute
  4. The date attended


This section can be tailored specifically for the job requirements of the company you are applying to. Some companies state in their job advert the specific skills they are seeking. If you have those skills, makes sure you highlight them in this section.


List your languages with your level of proficiency starting with the language you are most proficient in.


References validate the work experience you have put on your CV and provide additional information about the candidate. A fresh graduate with no prior work experience can have a teacher or counselor as a reference.


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