10 Tips on How to Write a Good CV

A curriculum vitae is a prerequisite for getting a job. But many job applicants don’t know how to write a good CV and this has affected their chances of getting employed.

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If you have been wondering how to write a good CV, you are in the right place. Just keep reading this article as we show you the necessary tips to sharpen your curriculum vitae so you can get your dream job.

You can see the different templates of a good CV or resume here. You can also learn how to Get a Job in Nigeria Without Connections or First Class before you proceed to know how to Write a Good CV.

What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae (latin word for ‘course of life’) is a document that contains a summary of someone’s career, qualifications, and education. You submit your CV to organisations when you apply for jobs.

Difference between CV and Resume?

In today’s world, there’s not so much difference between a CV and a resume. In essence, CV is British while Resume is American.

In order words, if you’re applying to a British company, you submit a CV. And if the organisation is an American one, you prepare your resume.

How to Write a Good CV

Most employers don’t spend much time on a CV since there are usually many more applicants waiting to be assessed. And as such, if you want your CV to be considered, it has to be impactful at first glance.

You can achieve that with the following tips:

1. Make Sure It’s Properly Formatted

You have to organise your CV in a neat and organised manner. Your font size for text should be 11 to 12 point size with single line spacing. While for your name and section titles, size 14 to 16 is good. Choose from the typefaces for CV such as Times New Roman, Ariel, Tahoma, Bookman Old Style, Helvetica, etc.

Furthermore, you don’t need pictures in your CV. All you need is good text with consistent layout. Try to make your CV legible by making use of white spaces too. Moreso, consitency should also be reflected in how you write your dates. If you’re using February 2021 or 2–2021, use one and stick to it as you write.

2. Keep it Simple and Short

You don’t need to cram your CV with every detail about you. Only include details relevant to the job position you are applying for. It shouldn’t be so lengthy lest it should bore your employer. Remember they may not even spend much time on it. Hence, your CV should be short and readable so they can scan, get impressed and be forced to pay attention to your details.

3. Include Your Contact Information

You are writing your CV with the assumption that the recruiters will get back to you if you impress them. Hence, you have to include your contact details so if they want to reach you, they do it easily.

These details include your full name, email address, phone number, LinkedIn profile (see why your Linkedin picture matters in this study by Passport Photo Online) and home address. Although your contact details may seem minute, your prospective employers will use it to get more details about you.

For instance, they may check out your LinkedIn profile to confirm if your information there tallies with what you have on your CV.

4. Write Your Personal Information

After writing your contact information, proceed to your personal information. This should be a short paragraph of about 100 words that tells the employer whether you are the candidate they are looking for or not.

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It should include your skills if you have little or no work experience relevant to the job or your career achievements if you are well experienced.

SEE ALSO: How to Get a Job in Nigeria Without Connections or First Class

5. Include Your Work Experience

Your work experience must be tailored to suit the job you’re applying for. That is, you shouldn’t include any experience that isn’t relevant to what you are applying for.

And when you’re writing your work experience, don’t just state your past positions, responsibilities, dates worked and that’s it. Sell yourself more by stating how well you carried out your responsibilities.

For example, you can do this by:

  • using action verbs such as ‘carried out’, ‘managed’, ‘created’, etc., to express your responsibilities.
  • focusing on what you achieved.

Check out this example of a job responsibility:


ACEworld, February 2021 – present

  • Wrote the copy for social media ads that generated conversions for the brand.”

There, you will not only sell your responsibility as a copywriter but also state your achievement — conversions.

Furthermore, you can also add a key achievement sub-section under your work experience. Here, you highlight your key achievement as you carried out your job responsibilities.

For example:

“Key achievement: Led a team of digital marketers in implementing a social media publicity strategy for a new line of products, grew Instagram followers from 1000 to 30,000 in 5 months.”

When stating your achievements, don’t be vague. Use specific numbers always.

6. Include Your Educational Qualifications

This is also one of the tips on how to write a good CV. When listing your educational qualifications, start with the highest first. You don’t need to include your primary school qualifications here. And unless your secondary education is the highest qualification you have, you need not include it.

Include the year you graduated, your degree, the name of your institution and your honours. For example:

“2019 B.A. in Mass Communication

University of Lagos


However, if you have no work experience, your educational qualifications should come before your work experience section. And to make it stand out, elaborate more on your academic qualifications by including your dissertation title, best achievements, relevant coursework, extracurricular academic activities, etc.

7. Include Relevant Skills

Your education and work experience aren’t enough. You should also add your skills so long as they are relevant to the job you are applying for. When you list your skills, use words that describe how proficient you are at them.

For instance, you could use ‘excellent’, ‘fluent’, ‘basic’, ‘advanced’, etc.

8. Include Additional Details

Another tip on how to write a good CV is to include additional details. If you have professional certificates, industry awards, additional training, volunteer experience, hobbies, freelance work, academic achievements, publications, etc., you can also include them in your CV. It’ll help you stand out from the crowd.

9. Attach Your Cover Letter

After writing your CV, don’t just submit it blindly to the organisation. Write a good cover letter to accompany your CV. You write a cover letter to provide additional information about your skills and experience to the employer, telling them why you are qualified for the job. This will double your chances of getting hired especially if you write it well.

Now that you know how to write a good CV, go ahead and apply for your dream job. But first, ensure your CV imbibes these tips we’ve shared with you so your prospective employer will decide there and then that you are the one they’ve been searching for.

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