Writing The Perfect CV

Writing The Perfect CV

Difference between CV and Resume?

In Rwanda and many other countries a CV and Resume are one and the same except in the US. In the US CVs can be as long as you want them to be, there is no limit. However, resumes should only be one or two pages long. You don’t have to worry about that though, for in Rwanda they’re both similar and it doesn’t matter.

Here is a fun fact;So the hiring manager will take about 5-6 seconds to look through your CV. Do you know what this means? This means you have to make it worth their time, in the few seconds they take to look through it, they must find something that will benefit them.

It’s important to remember that you must tailor your CV whenever you apply for a new job. You tailor it to fit the new job and according to the skills needed. So basically every job you apply for, you use a different or tailored CV.

What to include in CV

When writing your CV, here are a few tips you can’t miss to include. You probably think it’s as simple as just opening word and adding the information. Sorry it’s not that easy, I wish it was. Avoid using word, for that will only make your CV look boring and lifeless. Use a CV builder instead of word, a CV builder is a service intended to help you design your CV in a professional way.  At the top begin by writing your names in large and bold text. Use your names as a title and don’t title your CV as Curriculum Vitae, CV or Resume.

Below that add your location, phone number and email. When writing your email, make sure it’s an appropriate and professional email for instance; hannaIradukunda@gmail.com . Make sure you do not put pictures and colorful/fancy fonts. You add your first and last name and the domain and not any other information. Then don’t forget to include your professional links i.e. LinkedIn/website or YouTube channel but only if it relevant to the job. The information on your LinkedIn should be in line with your CV.

Summary statement

Write a summary statement at the beginning. It should be a short paragraph with about five sentences. Include your strengths, job you’re seeking and what you can offer them. It should clearly indicate who you are and your career goals in a summary. These should be relevant and related to the job you’re applying for. Note that writing a personal/summary statement is important because it will be the first thing the employer will read so it should be able to capture his attention. It is vital to keep it short and sweet.

Work Experience

The next step is to fill in your work experience. The work experience field is where you put all the previous jobs you’ve had. The work experience/work history is mostly the main reason a CV is required.  Write where you have worked, for what period of time, your role there and what skills you gained from them. Start with your current job/most recent one then the one before that one and so on. Highlight your achievements with bullet points.


The education history is the next field to fill in. Education history is important because it will show your employer your background, degrees and qualifications. If you don’t include an education history it might raise some suspicions and doubts on what you have really been up to.

Start with the current/most recent degree or education then the one before that one. Then name of the school and the location comes. Next indicate the degree(s), field of study and minors. Add the dates, when you started studying and when you graduated or if you’re still currently there.

If the most current education you had is high school, you can fill in your achievements, extracurricular activities, certificates and awards. Do not lie about anything, it’s better for the CV to have less information but with accuracy than putting a lot of information that has lies.

Additional information

When you’re through with the important information, work experience and education history there’s some additional information you shouldn’t forget.Ensure your CV will stand out if you include your hobbies and interests. For they tell a little bit of your personality and it helps the employer know what you do in your free time. For example; if one is interested in charity work, it shows that person has interactive skills.

You should then add your references. References are people who can testify on your skills and abilities. Employers usually call them to inquire more about you. Referees can be ambassadors or respectable people who wouldn’t lie about you. Reasons as to why people put references;

  1. They show credibility
  2. To Impress the employer
  3. To fill blank space
  4. When requested by employer

If you put references, ask them first if it’s okay to do so. They would probably be shocked if random people were calling them enquiring about you.

Note that if you don’t have references you don’t have to put any for its optional. However make sure you prove to the employer your skills are trustworthy. Most times referees aren’t required when applying for a job. However after being accepted by the employer they may request for them.

Write a cover letter.

Last but not least, include a cover letter. Most employers do not read them but including it will make your CV stand out. When applying online, a cover letter isn’t required unless requested later on.

A cover letter doesn’t have to be too long. First of all, what is a cover letter? This is a one page letter written to a company or employer offering a job. It should be kept as short as possible. Possibly approximately 400 words, for it is a summary of what you have on your CV.

  • What to write in a Cover letter
  • Introduce yourself
  • Make it memorable
  • Mention the job you’re applying for,
  • Show how your skills and skills needed at the company match.
  • Encourage them to read your CV
  • End it with a request for an interview

Avoid including any of these in your CV

There are things that you should not put on your CV. Most people do not know why their CVs don’t land them any interviews. At times thrown away. Below are a few things you should avoid including in your CV. You might not know this but these things are unnecessary and very unprofessional.

  • Random information
  • Don’t mention salary
  • Photos
  • Private information (family, religion, sexual preferences, marital status, age etc.)
  • Bad spelling and grammar
  • Fancy fonts
  • Marital status
  • Lies about any of the experiences

Write a good CV with no work experience

You want a job? Most jobs require you to have work experience and to get work experience you need a job. I know it’s really frustrating. You could be a high school or university graduate and aren’t sure where to start from. Don’t worry about that or be discouraged, what you need now is a CV. You are going to learn how to write a convincing CV with no work experience and still get the attention of the manager.

You have much more to offer than just having mere experience.  Find out what exact skills and qualities the company wants. Once you do that, you check out if you have skills or projects you’ve done before that are related to what the company wants. 

Summary statement

Begin with a summary statement. Basically, a summary statement is a short paragraph that shows the employer your professional skills and what you can offer them. It is right under your name and is the first thing to be read. It will highlight your uniqueness and show the employer why you should be chosen.


Education history is very important because this is where you can highlight your skills and prove to them you have what it takes to work with them. When writing about your education, do not limit yourself. Writing the name of the school and when you graduated isn’t enough. Did you do additional courses? What training did you undergo?And what did you learn? What skills did you gain? This is the right place to put all this information. Anything that is relevant to the job add it. This will show your abilities, potential and what you’re capable of doing.

Cover letter

Write and attach a cover letter because you’ll be able to show the employer your personality. Show them who you are and why you’ll be the best candidate for this job. Don’t get carried away, remember to keep it professional.

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