Chase Your Dream Job with our Top 5 CV Tips!


It’s a competitive job market out there. Don’t believe us? According to a survey by job portal Adzuna at the end of 2019, there are an average of 58 applicants per job opening in Johannesburg. That number is far higher in other cities across South Africa, apart from Cape Town (due to its smaller population vs employment opportunities).

That means, that if you are applying for a job in Johannesburg, you are likely competing against 57 other applicants for the position.

What does this mean for you?

a. Grade 12 isn’t going to cut it. To be a contender in the job market today you absolutely MUST have some sort of additional qualification. Read more about this here.

b. Your CV has to stand out from the rest

Here are our Top 5 Tips on creating a CV that will catch the eye of recruiter and prospective employers:

1. Keep it to one or two pages maximum. Be selective about the information you share. Highlight your previous experience with a job title, dates of employment and a one-line description of what each position entailed. With so many people applying, it is unlikely anyone will read your CV in great detail at the first look so make sure you put your best foot forward by being concise, organised and to the point.

2. Put your contact information where it is easy to find. Make sure that you include:

– Your name and surname
– Main contact number (usually your mobile)
– Email address
– City you live in (and if you are willing to relocate)
– Your age
– Your ID/Passport number
– Include if you are disabled
– Include if you have a valid driver’s licence (and what code)

3. Add a photo and include some colour. Make sure the document still looks neat and stylish, but a splash of colour could catch the eye of a recruiter in a sea of black and white documents. A warm smiling photo can convey a lot about you so make sure you include one. Candidates looking for jobs in creative industries are encouraged to use their CV’s as an expression of their skills and creativity.

4. Spellcheck your CV. This sounds like such an obvious thing to do but you will be surprised how many error-ridden CV’s are submitted every day. It is an instant indication to an employer that you do not consider attention to detail important and can completely sabotage your application.

5. Make sure your references are up to date. Before sending out your CV, contact the people you would like to add as references and ask them if they would mind you doing so. This is a great way to make sure that their contact details are still valid, that they are willing and able to give you a good reference – and it is just the polite thing to do! There is nothing worse than choosing a candidate you like and then finding that you cannot reach any of their references (it also might make it look like they are fake).

Now that you have an amazing CV that you are ready to send off, there is only more thing to tick off your list:

Make sure that you have followed the job ad’s submission instructions to the letter. If you are asked to send a portfolio of work, make sure you do so. If you are asked to submit your information via an application form, do not send it via email. Not following instructions at the very start of the process will indicate that you might not be able to follow instructions when you get the job!

There are a wonderful selection of good and free CV templates available on the internet. Combine your favourite slick and professional template with the tips we’ve given you above and get busy chasing that dream job!

P.S. Johannesburg makes up 39% of all IT and tech-related jobs of offer in South Africa so you really should take a look at our part-time IT courses below.