The new year is around the corner, and with that hopefully also comes fresh employment opportunities too. Despite the status of South Africa’s current job market and the dismal youth employment statistics, there are many companies who look to hire new talent of varying levels of experience at the start of each year. In order to put your best foot forward and be competitive, a great resume (CV) is required as for the most part, this is the first thing that your potential future employers will see. This will tell them all they need to know before the recruiter decides whether or not to take your application any further, therefore it is crucial that it is quick and easy for them to find everything they need on your CV and understand why you may be the right fit for the job.

There are a few different formats that you can use to help your CV stand out from the rest of the pack. The first is the most applicable to recent graduates who may not have any kind of formal work experience yet, which can make it difficult to compile a compelling CV.  However, you can still list your academic experience, volunteering, job-shadowing, student jobs, awards as well as any additional accumulated skills as a starting point. Most CVs take the General CV format which focuses on your professional profile and contact details first and foremost. A Chronological template focuses on your work experience from most recent going back as far as your first job, highlighting key aspects of the jobs such as responsibilities and skills that each role entailed.

Outside of these, there is also a Skills-Based template that helps applicants really showcase their unique skillsets in relation to the role that they are applying for. This is done by listing roles that they have had that speak directly to the role in question, making special mention of the skills that they possess as part of these roles. The CV should conclude with any additional educational experience as well as any other qualifications. Academic CVs are also great for recent graduates or for academic professionals who are looking to use their academic experience to position themselves for the applicable position. This CV format starts with the highest academic qualification and corresponding skills. It’s important to also include any courses that are currently being studied if not yet completed, as well as any published papers, awards, or certificates. There are also a large number of online resources and templates available to help candidates set up CVs in accordance with the job and company requirements, just always be sure to check for any spelling or grammatical errors before saving and sending – as attention to detail is something that recruiters always keep an eye on.