1. Never start your CV with ‘Curriculum Vitae’. Start with your name boldly written in a large font.

2. Ensure the address on your CV is the same as the location of the job. It will make interviewers consider you faster (e.g. if the job is in Johannesburg, apply with a Joburg address). If you don’t stay in the same location, look for someone you know there.

3. Don’t use unprofessional email address such as iloveu2@gmail.com. Keep it professional. Use an email address with your name, e.g. ReadinessMasondo@gmail.com. If the name is already taken, add some numbers, e.g. ReadinessMasondo227@gmail.com

4. Your date of birth, state and nationality are not compulsory. Keep the interviewer in doubt. Rather sell your skills.

5. Under ‘educational background’, simply write your school, your course of study and then the year you graduated. Take off the year you got admission. Some people started school in 2005 and graduated in 2012 for a 4-year course. It might not be your fault but you won’t get the chance to explain it. So write out only your graduation year.

6. ‘Specific certifications’ is another area that’s making people lose out in job searches in recent times. Under this section, most people don’t have what they need to put there, and it pisses off most employers. It means you haven’t done much to add value to yourself. If you are nearly a graduate, try to do one or two short courses while at university like MS Excel, SPSS, Pastel, Quickbooks, etc, else you will be submitting what we call a blank CV. For those working, you can use your weekends to achieve the same. It will help you in your next job search.

7. Under your work experience, you are expected to state where you have worked, your job designation, and your responsibilities. If you are no longer working in the firm, write your responsibilities in past tense. The current place of work can be written in present tense. However, only mention work experience that relates to the job post to make your CV concise.

8. Under your references, include your referee’s name, address, phone number and email address. Also, ensure your referees are aware you are using them as references.

9. An ideal CV should be in black and white, except when you are applying for a creative job such as graphic design and you want to impress your potential employer.

10. Never forward a CV from your inbox to another employer. Open and compose a fresh mail then upload your CV and send.

11. When sending your CV, make sure the subject carries the job code you are applying for.

12. Don’t save your CV as ‘My CV’ or ‘Edited CV’. Save it with your full name(s).

13. When sending your CV, copy your cover letter and post it into the email body. Never leave the email body blank. Don’t refer to attachments.

Tell us: What tip did you find the most helpful?