By Kibet Tobias
First impressions count! Which is why it is paramount to know how to write a professional CV which will catch the reader’s eye in the very brief, average time of 6 seconds that a prospective employer will take to look over your CV.
Your professional curriculum vitae for each job vacancy is your first chance at selling yourself to a potential employer so it’s vital that you create an application which not only includes all the pertinent information regarding your professional profile but that is also pleasing to the eye, clear, concise and includes something to make your candidacy stand out of the crowd.
Professional CV format
Formatting a professional CV is extremely important because no employer is willing to wade through a jumbled and confusing CV in order to find the information they need. It is crucial that all job-seeking candidates create a concise application which is clear and well structured with all the vital information easy to find and well presented.
In order to make an optimised CV for professionals, each candidate must not only consider the content but also the different aspects of the professional CV layout and focus on each one individually.
The factors to be considered in a professional CV design include the overall length, font sizes and types, the headings and margins. It can be difficult for some candidates to know what is best for their personalised CV in terms of these different structural elements, which is why hiring our professional CV writers is an expert way of avoiding any possible errors when it comes to formatting their CV.
- Regarding the optimum CV length, in Kenya, it is appropriate for every candidate to have a 1-2 page CV including the usual sections but for some industries or roles, it is also possible to include a third page or extra sections that apply to the specific vacancy or profession.
- The headings should be clear and bold to easily mark the different areas of a person’s professional CV.
- The font size and type should be easy to read and of a professional style such as Arial or Calibri, sized between 10-12.
- Finally, the management of white space on a professional CV is critical because it influences the reader’s vision of a cluttered or clean CV.
- Candidates are recommended to maintain a certain margin around the content which will create the impression of a well-formatted application.
What sections should be included?
Every professional CV should include various sections which correspond to different factors of a candidate’s professional profile in order to convey the relevant information to the prospective employer in an ordered manner.
The following are the sections that should be included in a professional CV in order to get the most out of your job application:
- Name, title and contact information – The first section that should be included in the professional CV layout is the title section which includes the full name of the applicant – no nicknames – the contact information with a contact number and email being the most important and a professional job title/description in a few words.
For example: Intuitive and outgoing sales director; detail-oriented accounting assistant; Friendly and helpful customer service agent etc.
- Personal Statement – This first introductory section in a professional CV is similar to the American resume summary statement or qualifications summary that may be found in different styles of CV and replaces the more basic CV objective section. Sometimes also referred to as a personal or professional profile, this section must be unique to each candidate and be adapted to different vacancies.
- Work experience – The most commonly accepted form for writing the work experience section on a professional CV is in reverse chronological order with the most recent position first working backwards and including approximately 10 years if all the positions are relevant to the current vacancy.
In addition to including the job title, company, dates and location, professional candidates are expected to write either a bullet point list or small description regarding the achievements and responsibilities held in each previous position.
- Skills – The skills section on a professional CV is vital and nowadays it is becoming more and more essential for all types of careers. It is crucial to include at least 4-6 different soft and hard skills which are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
- Education – Usually in a professional CV, the education section will go towards the end, after the job history but this can vary depending on the vacancy and sector. This section should include the name of the qualification, the institution, the grade or mark given if applicable and the corresponding dates for all academic and training certificates.
- Other – In addition to these core CV sections, candidates can also add other parts which they consider relevant to their application such as work experience, awards, hobbies, publications etc
If you are struggling to write a CV that meets the standards of the current job market, contact us here for professional CV writing services.
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Tobias is a CV Writer/communications Officer at Jobs Kenya Network. Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 07 29,735 467