Good CV tips

What makes a good CV?

- CV writing and resumes
- Careers and career building
- Cover letters
- Job interviews
- Networking
- Job searching
- Resources

- CV blunders

Guidelines for a good CV
Isebell Gauche

A well written document that attracts the positive attention of the employer or recruitment officer can be classified as a good CV. Many resumes attract attention, but for the wrong reasons. Don't let yours fall into the last category.

Before you post or deliver your resume check whether it fits the requirements of a good CV. Below are some tips to follow to ensure that you have a good CV.

Cover letter

What a waste to send out resumes to prospective employers without attaching cover letters. Simply stated, you should have used the time to relax next to the pool. The cover letter is essential as it provides a glimpse into your resume and the reason for sending it. If I receive several resumes everyday and they are unsolicited, I will at least need an explanation for the resumes. This is where the cover letter comes in. It provides motivation for the resume.

A resume is thus always accompanied by a well written cover letter. The cover letter should summarise in a few lines why you send the resume and why you are the best person for the job. Don't make mistakes in the cover letter as this will lead to a negative impression. If you cannot get the marketing right then you definitely are not the person for the job!

Content of the resume

Content is king not only on the web, but also when it comes to job applications. Make sure that all information listed is relevant, accurate, and professional. Stay away from paragraphs and essays. Show you have respect for the reader's time by getting to the point.

Grammar and style

A good CV will be written in professional language and will be informative. It should capture the attention of the recruiter without sounding like a mail letter advertisement. No grammar mistakes are allowed. You have a spell checker - use it, but don't rely on it. Read through your resume at least four times and have someone else with excellent language skills proofread it as well before you email or post it.

Highlights achievements

It is great. You have a long job history and amazing skills, but you need to show accomplishments in your jobs not just a list of boring detail describing your jobs. Show that you stand out. More important - show relevancy to the job by matching your skills with that required by the employer for the specific position.


Have you ever emailed or posted twenty or so resumes to employers in a hit and run way? Did you get a job that way? If so, you were lucky. Generic resumes don't stand out and the employer's trained eye can see a desperate attempt. Rather show that you have done your homework. Tailor every resume for a particular job. It is more work and time consuming, but as with everything else in life - the more you put in, the better your return.

Format according to country

Use the standard of your particular region or the country where you apply. A well written resume will thus show that you understand the job culture of a particular province or country. Make no mistake. In Japan a picture is needed. In the UK - only if you are an entertainer. USA resumes are short whilst the South African resume can be a bit longer. If the country prefers personal information at the beginning of the resume, then do as the Romans do.


A good CV doesn't have to include references, but will include a sentence that states that references are available upon request.


CV writing help



A good CV is one that makes you stand out.

Good CV tip

All information contained in the document should support your job application.

Best resume secret

Less can be more if done correctly.

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