Creating A Winning CV!

Effective CV Writing

A resumé or curriculum vitae (CV) is a summary of your skills, work, experience, education and training which is often used as an initial screening tool.

A CV is the generally accepted way of presenting your work history in an easy-to-read format. There is no right or wrong way to put together your CV. This guide may provide direction in ways to present your information in a format to increase your chances of finding a job. As employers may have many applications to read, your CV needs to be presented in such a way that they can find the information they need quickly and easily. They generally look for what sort of jobs and/or training you have done.

The design of a CV is a matter of personal choice. There is no one way that determines success. However, the following points and recommendations will assist you in presenting your information in the best possible way.

Successful CVs:

  • The ideal CV is perfectly tailored to fit the role
  • CVs should be no longer than four pages
  • Proof read your CV several times
  • Use an easy-to-read font for the main text. eg. 12 point Arial or Times New Roman
  • Use bold capitals for section headings
  • Don't use fancy fonts, swirls or curls as they make a CV very difficult to read
  • Use plain white paper
  • One staple in the left hand corner enough to hold your CV together
  • Ensure you have a contact number to enable easy communication from the prospective employer
  • Use your cv to highlight achievements, motives, hobbies and interests

Below is information that should be included in a resumé. The order will vary, so aside from your personal details being first, the other information should contain the most relevant details first and the least relevant last:


Full name (with preferred name), eg. William (Bill) Smith


Residential Address and Postal Address if they are different.


Home, Contact Number, Message Number (and name of person to leave message with),Mobile Number, Email Address if you have one and check it regularly

Date of Birth

Optional (certain positions do have age requirementseg. juniors, or over 25 for insurance purposes such as drivers)


Licences and "own reliable vehicle" if you have access to a vehicle


School attended, level achieved and further training achieved.

Special Achievements

Any awards of merits achieved

Further Training/

Any relevant courses completed since school/uni.(year, name of institution, name of course)

Work History

Paid work history - if you don't have any paid work history, change the job titleto Work Experience

Voluntary Work

Year, Job Title, Name of Company, Summary of Duties.Include these only if they are relevant to the position.

Interests & Hobbies

For example, list different sporting interests when applying for aposition in a sports store. Alternatively, if applying for atraineeship/apprenticeship in an area of interest to youeg. a mechanic apprenticeship, mention that you like working with cars.


Work referees are preferred. If these are not available, a personalreferee is acceptable. Ensure that your nominated referees willgive you a verbal or written report and that you have checkedwith them that they are willing to be a referee.

Career Objectives

A short, focused, positive statement outlining your genuine interest.

Personal Qualities

5-6 personal qualities that are relevant to the job.

CV Tips

Once you have your plan, it is important that you put yourself on paper. Your resumé is your personal advertisement. When compiling your resumé, consider the following:

  • The purpose of a resumé is to secure an interview
  • Like a good advertisement, it should be visually attractive, brief and informative
  • It should create interest in its product - YOU!
  • Be concise and to the point
  • Use standardised, good quality paper
  • Never mention salary on your resumé unless requested

Download this fact sheet here.