Writing a curriculum vitae

If you have finished your studies, it is time to get into the career you have been dreaming about and writing a CV is a critical part of that process. It is like putting a for sale sign when selling real estate, but in this case, you are the property for sale!
Overall, a CV contains your contact details, qualifications, skills, employment history and any extracurricular activities. Structuring this information is not easy though, so Pogojo has created a layout guide for you to follow when putting together your own CV. 

The key is to make it as easy as possible to read - like preparing assignments with the marker in mind, preparing a CV is similar, but in this case, you need to keep the Human Resource department of the firm you are applying for in mind - so, make it as clear and concise as possible.

Applying for a job

Applying for a job
requires two components; namely a cover letter and then a CV, which lists your education and qualifications, work experience, skills and interests.

Cover letter

A cover letter should not be longer than one page. It is the first thing an employer reviews and is your first chance to create a positive impression. You have to make it good to stand out!
Format of Your Letter: Format your cover letter like a formal business letter. Include your full name, address, contact number and e-mail at the top. The employer’s details should then follow.
Starting Your Letter:
Begin your letter with a formal greeting and salutation. A strong introduction is required stating your current education and employment situation.
Body of Your Letter:
The body of your cover letter should briefly address your skills that satisfy all the key requirements that the job advertisement has listed, your achievements through previous employment, if any, study and other relevant experiences.
Pogojo’s main tip is that you list the key candidate requirements that the job advertisement contains. Where possible, try to link your achievements from previous jobs to these requirements listed or link various elements of your study that are relevant to the role and that you are prepared to learn where there is no direct experience. On one page, this will illustrate to the employer that you actually possess the required abilities for the position and have been able to demonstrate these during your work and study history.

And remember:
  • Employers glance over hundreds of applications, so maintain clarity with your paragraph structures and text alignment.
  • Your closing paragraph should be a concise wrap up of how you are qualified for the vacant job and keen to join the organization to further develop your career and to help them succeed. Make it a positive and lasting impression.


The CV needs to be structured exceptionally, with a list of your employment history, studies and results, extracurricular activities and interests. It should not exceed three pages. Here's an example layout for starters:

    • Should be one to three lines

    • Year Commenced - Year Completed/Current: Name of Educational Institute
      • Insert Education Level Attained
        1. List of relevant subjects completed.
      • Awards Received
        1. List of rewards achieved.
      • Extracurricular Activities
        1. List of activities that you have represented your university/school/college in.
Repeat this for each educational institute you have studied at by beginning with the dates and institute name, and using the same headings and structure where applicable.

Employment History:
    • Year Commenced - Year Completed/Current: Name of most recent or current employer    
      • Position Held:
        1. Insert position title next to this sub-heading
      • Duties Included:
        1. List roles and responsibilities. You can also list key achievements beside relevant points with an example shown below
        2. Creating monthly member e-mail newsletter and devising promotions for each issue.
Membership subscriptions grew from 2000 members to 4000 in one year and the rate of entries for competitions from 22% of members to 80% in the same year.

    • List two to three interests such as music, politics, fashion etc.

    • List any sport(s) you play competitively.

    • List any hobbies you have that may be of extra interest to the employer for instance reading, crafts and travelling. But only include these if you have the space to do so

    • References are available upon request.
Note: have the “Referees” heading and statement written as shown above. Have prepared a selection of two or three referees from your most recent employers and associations to supply if the employer or hiring agency requests these.