Job hunting is very difficult when you are a new graduate who has no work experience. That’s why it’s important to have a CV that stands out from the crowd.

To offer some assistance in that regard, we have some tips on how you can make your CV more attractive and interesting to a potential recruiter or employer.

What you need to know?

Your CV should be a concise synopsis of you as a candidate. It should be well written, properly formatted and interesting to read. It’s therefore important to ensure that your CV is free of spelling or grammatical errors, as that’s a surefire way of turning off any potential employers.

Use bullet points as this encourages shortness of the CV, especially as recruiters and employers have a number of CVs to get through.

Your CV should be tailored for every job that you apply for, so do not use a generic format for a wide range of different job applications.

What your CV should include:

You must have a strong introduction that clearly communicates your key skills as they pertain to the job you’re applying for.

A summary of your main achievements as a student (projects, participation in any relevant university activities or work).

How to structure your CV?

When writing your CV use normal business font, such as Arial or Times New Roman.

Use bold text to define the structure (Personal Information, Education, Work Experience, References, etc.). It’s also important to have clear sections in your CV as this is easier to navigate for readers.

An important thing to remember is that if it doesn’t add value to your CV then it should not be included.

Personal Information

This should be the first thing at the top of your CV.It  must also include your name, surname, address, email address and contact details.

Also don’t forget to add a little introduction about yourself, so that a recruiter may get to know what you’re about.


Here the information needed are your High School details and subjects you did, as well as your tertiary academic results and which institution you attended. If you’ve achieved distinctions in any subject, it’s always a good idea to mention that too.

Work Experience

In this section you might not have any work experience, but you may have volunteered in the community or church. Include this as it adds a bit of character to your CV.

A helpful tip is listing your work experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent job experience appearing at the top.


References are not your friends or family members, but are people who you have worked for while gaining experience or volunteering. If you don’t have someone to add, a teacher or principal from school is always a good back up option.

You should write down contact details of your references, or you can write that they are available on request. It’s always good to let people know that you’d like to list them as a reference as well.

Additional resources

CV templates:
Puff an Pass 
Career Portal

Job sites:
Career Junction

Buzz South Africa
South African Government

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]