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How to Start a CV To Land A Job Now! The Best 2024 Guide

Start a CV for a job using this useful template and guide. Capture your key information and grab attention at once.

The Start a CV Bootcamp for Job Seekers

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You’ve probably been practicing setting up CVs since high school but now it’s about to get real! This guide will help you check that you’ve captured all the important information when you start a CV. Let’s also ensure your CV can help you stand out.

If you’re young and inexperienced, you could be interested in this post about setting up your learnership CV, click here.

Write a Brilliant CV For A Job: Start a CV Positively

If you’re experienced and looking for something different to add to your CV, then some of the resources we’ve attached further down could appeal to you in particular!

Why are CVs so Hella’ Important?

It’s obvious, right? You want to convey information and attract attention for employment. Yet many CVs never see the light of day with recruiters!

A CV is a standard job application requirement. You want to avoid making the same mistakes, so use KeepClimbing tips to start a CV right!

Write To Impress When You Start a CV: Statistics About Resumes

Consider these statistics and why you should start your CV with an effort to impress:

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  1. According to a survey by TheLadders, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a CV before deciding whether to consider a candidate further.
  2. A study by ResumeGo found that including keywords from the job description in your CV can increase your chances of getting an interview by 53%.
  3. A CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a candidate’s CV.
  4. The same survey found that 39% of hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing a CV, while only 23% spend more than two minutes.
  5. According to a survey by TopResume, 75% of CVs are rejected by applicant tracking systems (ATS) before they even reach a human recruiter.
  6. The same survey found that the top mistakes job seekers make on their CVs are spelling and grammar errors (63%), unprofessional email addresses (47%), and irrelevant information (45%).
  7. A Glassdoor survey found that 98% of job seekers believe a well-written CV is important, but only 54% feel confident in their own CV-writing abilities.

Don’t be a bad stat! Start a CV with the Purpose to Succeed

These statistics demonstrate the importance of crafting a concise, targeted, and error-free CV that effectively showcases your qualifications and achievements. With so many CVs being reviewed by recruiters and applicant tracking systems, it’s crucial to stand out and make a positive impression in a short amount of time.

start a cv: match cv to job description

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? 🙁

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software tool used by employers and recruiters to manage and streamline the recruitment process. An ATS allows recruiters to manage job postings, track applications, and search CVs for specific keywords or qualifications. This means CVs that don’t contain the appropriate keywords don’t make it to a human, they get kicked out By this robot called ATS.

  1. When a job seeker applies for a job, their CV is often first screened by an ATS. The ATS scans the CV for keywords related to the job description and then ranks the applicant based on how well their CV matches the job requirements. This also lets recruiters quickly identify the most qualified candidates for a particular job.
  2. An ATS can also be used to manage communication with candidates, schedule interviews, and provide analytics on the effectiveness of recruitment efforts. The use of ATS has become more prevalent in recent years, especially for larger organizations that receive a high volume of applications.
  3. For job seekers, it’s important to optimize their CV for ATS by using relevant keywords and formatting the document in a way that is easily readable by the software. This can help increase the chances of their CV being selected for further review by a human recruiter.

Start a CV For A Job

Setting up a CV (Curriculum Vitae) is an essential step in presenting yourself as a potential candidate for a job, scholarship, or academic program.

Each time you submit your CV for a job, you must align your CV to the job advert. This is extremely important. Therefore, please don’t use the same CV for multiple job applications. While the CV structure below remains the same, you must change the details to align with the job and company.

screening software ats applicant tracking systems

Here are the basic steps to start a CV:

  1. Choose the format: There are various formats you can choose from, such as chronological, functional, or combination. Select a format that is appropriate for your work experience and career goals.
  2. Add your personal information: This includes your full name, address, phone number, and email address. You may also want to include your professional social media profiles.
  3. Write a professional summary: This is a brief introduction that summarizes your career objectives, work experience, and relevant skills.
  4. List your work experience: Start with your most recent job and work backwards. Include the company name, job title, dates of employment, and your job responsibilities and achievements.
  5. Add your education: List your highest level of education first, along with the name of the institution, degree earned, and any relevant coursework or honours.
  6. Include additional skills: For example, include languages, computer skills, certifications, or any other skills relevant to the job you are applying for.
  7. Add references: Provide the names and contact information of at least two professional references who can speak to your work experience and skills.
learnership cover letter

Templates To Help You Start a CV

This is a CV Template for those with Work Experience

Introductory Information for a CV

[Full Name]

[Address] [

Phone number]

[Email address]

Professional Summary

[A brief introduction that summarizes your career objectives, work experience, and relevant skills]

Work Experience

[The Job Title], [Company Name], [Dates of Employment]

  • [Job responsibility 1]
  • [Another Job responsibility 2]
  • [Achievement 1]
  • [Achievement 2]

[The Job Title], [Company Name], [Dates of Employment]

  • [Job responsibility 1]
  • [Job responsibility 2]
  • [Achievement 1]
  • [Achievement 2]


[Degree earned], [Institution], [Dates of Attendance]

  • [Coursework or honours]

Additional Skills

[Language skills]

[Computer skills]


[Other relevant skills]



[Job title],


[Phone number],

[Email] [Name],

[Job title],


[Phone number],


rpl motivation letter

A CV Template for School Leavers and Graduates

Introductory Information for a CV

[Full Name]


[Phone number]

[Email address]

Personal Profile

[Include a brief personal statement that highlights your skills, qualities, and aspirations]


[Degree earned or expected to earn], [Institution], [Dates of Attendance]

  • [Coursework or honours]

[High school diploma or equivalent], [Institution], [Dates of Attendance]

  • [Coursework or honours]


[List any skills you have gained through school, hobbies, or volunteer work. For example, include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, or IT skills.]

Activities and Achievements

[List any extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or achievements that showcase your skills and qualities.]


[Include the name and contact information of at least two references. For example a teacher, lecturer, coach, or volunteer coordinator.]

Just Starting Your Career?

Tips for boosting your CV when you have no work experience:

  1. Highlight your education: If you have just graduated from university or school, your education is your strongest asset. Make sure to provide details about your coursework, projects, or research. You may also want to include your marks or any academic awards or scholarships you have received.
  2. Emphasize your skills: Even if you don’t have any work experience, you may have gained valuable skills through school, hobbies, or volunteer work. Make sure to list these skills in your CV and provide examples of how you have used them.
  3. Showcase your activities and achievements: Employers are interested in candidates who are well-rounded and have demonstrated initiative and leadership. Make sure to include any extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or achievements that showcase your skills and qualities.
  4. Customize your CV for each job application: Make sure to tailor your CV to the specific job you are applying for. Read the job description carefully and highlight the skills and qualities that the employer is looking for.
  5. Get feedback: Ask a teacher, mentor, or career advisor to review your CV and provide feedback. They may be able to suggest improvements or identify areas where you can highlight your strengths.

Remember, your CV is an opportunity to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers, so make sure to customize it for each job application you submit.

learnership cv to get stipend

Start a Job Training CV

Here are some tips for putting together a CV for job training and writing cover letters for apprenticeships, internships, learnerships, and recognition of prior learning (RPL):

  1. Emphasize relevant skills: Highlight any skills or experiences that are relevant to the training program or the job you are seeking. For example, if you are applying for an apprenticeship in construction, emphasize your experience working with tools or your ability to follow safety procedures.
  2. Focus on education: If you are applying for a Learnership training program or apprenticeship, make sure to include information about your education, including any relevant coursework or certifications you have obtained.
  3. Include work experience: Even if you don’t have much work experience, include any relevant jobs or volunteer positions you have held. This can demonstrate your work ethic and willingness to learn.
  4. Showcase achievements: Highlight any accomplishments or achievements, such as awards or recognition you have received, that demonstrate your potential to succeed in the training program or job.
  5. Customize for each application: Customize your CV for each training program or job you are applying for, emphasizing the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific opportunity.
  6. Use clear, concise language: Use clear and concise language in your CV, avoiding jargon or overly technical terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader.
  7. Keep it concise: Keep your CV to one or two pages maximum. Employers and training programs receive a high volume of applications, so it’s important to make sure your CV is concise and to the point.

By following these tips, you can create a strong CV that effectively showcases your skills and experience, and increases your chances of being selected for a training program or job opportunity.

Free CV Resources to Get You Started

Here are some websites that provide downloadable, customizable, and free CV templates:

  1. Canva – Canva is a graphic design platform that offers a wide range of free templates, including CV templates. You can customize the colours, fonts, and layout to create a personalized CV.
  2. Zety – Zety offers a variety of free templates for different industries and career levels. You can customize the content and formatting to create a professional-looking CV.
  3. Hloom – Hloom offers a range of free CV templates, including chronological, functional, and combination formats. You can download the templates in Word format and customize them to suit your needs.
  4. Microsoft Office – Microsoft Office provides a variety of free CV templates for Word. You can download the templates and customize them to match your style and content.
  5. Google Docs – Google Docs offers a variety of free CV templates that you can download and customize. You can edit the templates using Google Docs, which is a free online word processor.

Remember to choose a template that matches your industry and career level, and customize it to showcase your skills and qualifications.

More Posts Preparing You for Application Processes

learnership cv

Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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