Build Your CV

The first step you need to take before even considering applying for a job is building an informative CV. Take responsibility for your own employability by doing this while still at university, preferably from your first year. 

Yes, you can start building your CV as early as possible -- adding skills as you acquire them and creating a digital profile. This will make the search for part-time jobs during your study, as well as for a permanent position after graduation, easier.

Start early: build your CV and digital profile while studying.

A degree is no longer enough to guarantee your employment. Nowadays, companies are looking for work-ready graduates with job-specific skills in addition to academic qualifications. 

Your CV and digital profile are the first things employers consider when determining if you are the graduate they are most likely to employ. It tells prospective employers about your academic career, as well as work exposure you have obtained. Remember, at this stage, employers are looking at your potential based on more than your academic qualification.

You should, therefore, endeavour to build a comprehensive CV, preferably from your first year.

Factors to consider when building your CV

Plan your career 

Career planning is very important as it not only allows for direction in terms of an individual career path and goals but also allows for the successful transition from academic life to the workplace.  Enrol for a free on-line course in Career Planning.

Get your certificates 

To make your CV attractive to prospective employers, it is important that you add a variety of certificates (skills and work experience) of your different accomplishments to enhance your chances to be competitive in the job market.

Compile your CV and digital profile 

When it comes to job hunting, your CV is paramount. Get it right, and you’ll have an interview in no time, but get it wrong, and you may face rejection after rejection. Every CV is different, as you want to show why your set of skills makes you suitable for the position you’re applying for at that moment, but all follow a similar structure.

Develop your LinkedIn digital profile 

Your LinkedIn profile is one of the most valuable resources a recent graduate can utilise today. It is basically a public CV that is at every recruiter’s disposal at the click of a button. LinkedIn can also be seen as an interactive storage spot, where you can update skills/positions in real-time without losing any information. 

Here are some useful guidelines when compiling your CV: 

  •  Adjust your CV according to the Job specs criteria provided for each application 
  •  Use keywords provided by the job specs 
  •  Follow application instructions (e.g. Provide a two page CV with 3 references) 
  •  Format and spacing needs to be consistent  

CV Cover Letter Tips:

  • Tailor the cover letter to the job you applying for
  • Use keywords used in the job spec provided
  • Use powerful words
  • Do not repeat your CV, show personality and keep it concise
  • Avoid phrases such as "my name is ………and I am applying for……."
  • Add why are you interested in working for the particular company 
  • Add a strong closing- “why you” (Justify a company/person fit)

CV Resources



UP Career Services CV Template 2022

Click here

UP Career Services Online CV Session Video 2021

Click here

UP Career Services Cover Letter tips and Template 2022

Click here

CV Advice

CV Resume Example

How to write a CV


Click here

Click here

Careers24 CV Tips

Click here (Careers24)

Resume Examples

(Resume adjusted according to industry examples)

Click here (Mint resume)

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