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How to Write A Standout CV

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We’ve compiled comprehensive ways to write a standout CV.

Entering into a job market when one is just out of the college can be a frightening attempt.

Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) is your forerunner. It is a document that gives a potential employer a snapshot of your career background and what value you have to offer the organization.

It is a representation of who you are, that is, the true reflection of your person: what you know and what you can do.

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Majority of CVs do not pass the initial stage due to grammatical errors, content errors and unprofessional presentation.

General Rules of CV writing

  • Be consistent in font style
  • Make it formal.
  • Avoid grammatical errors
  • Use a professional font style.
  • Avoid big grammar
  • Be clear
  • Keep it short and simple in order to hold the reader’s emotion.

Note: A good CV attracts good people

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Read Also: Fresh Graduates Interview Tips 2020

5 Things Fresh Graduates Must Include In Their CV To Write A Standout CV

An ideal CV should be in black and white not coloured except on two occasions:

  • If you are applying as a graphic designer and you want to wow your employer or
  • When your CV has the logo of the company you’ve worked before under your job experience. 

Ensure that you are concise and accurate.

Your CV should not, generally, be longer than two pages as a fresh graduate.

Make sure that you tailor it specifically to the job you are applying for and include the skills, qualifications and experience which are most appropriate to the job.

An employer will want to find the following information in your CV as a fresh graduate.

A.        Personal Information

            This is the section whereby you state your personal data.


  • Do not write curriculum vitae on your CV; instead, write your name boldly on it and centralized the name of the page.
  • These are the mandatory information which must provide: Name, Email Address and Phone Number
  • It is not important to include the following items in the personal information: religion, marital status, date of birth, gender, nationality, online profile links
  • Use a professional email address Use an email address with your name. Don’t use email address such as sexybecky4u2luv@gmail.com. It says a lot about your maturity and professionalism. You can use johnade@gmail.com or john.ade@gmail.com. If the name is already taken, add some numbers, e.g johnade@gmail.com
  • If you have a place that is close to the organization, use the address. Don’t use a far distance address. For instance, if the job is in Lagos, apply with a Lagos address. If you don’t stay in the same location, look for someone you know that use same location. 

B.        Professional Profile/Career Summary

            This is section whereby you enumerate your area of expertise, outstanding achievements and project.

Follow below tips to write a standout CV.


  • Professional heading is the idea of whom you are or what you want to be.
  • State what you are good at that best fit into that position.
  • Highlight your career goals.
  • State your career ambitions.
  • Your career goals should be 2-3 sentences at most.
  • Add a punchy profile to your CV – keep it short and sharp in order to hold reader’s emotion.
  • Your goals must be relevant to that specific role.

C.        Education History


  • State the institution attended with dates
  • If you have a university degree, don’t mention your high school at all.
  • Take off the year you got admission. Some people started school in 2004 and graduated in 2011 for a 4-year course. It might not be their fault but employers wouldn’t take it that way since you’re not there to defend it. So I repeat, write out only graduation year.
  •    Also, there’s no need for your grade (First class, 2.1, 2.2, etc). Just take it off.
  • It includes the course studied and certificate received (if any)
  • Outstanding achievement (if any)

4.         Work History

            This is whereby you need to state your previous work experience paid or volunteer.


  • Do not include all your work experiences especially the irrelevant ones. It makes your CV concise. 
  • Link you experience and expertise to the job.
  • If you are no longer working in the firm, write your responsibilities in past tense. The current place of work can be written in present tense.  
  • Show your impact because it shows you are not about activities only but also result-oriented. (responsibility + result = impact)
  • Discuss your achievement using the STAR model

S          –           Situation         (the problem)

T         –           Target             (What you are aiming at)

A         –           Action             (What did you do?)

R         –           Result              (What was the outcome?)

  • Start with current experience
  • Tailor your work history to every job you apply for.
  • Avoid any gap in experience – state the number of years without break.
  • Show your achievement and notable projects (use action verbs such as advised, designed, hired etc.)
  • Include special projects, volunteer works, and portfolio (if any)

5.         Key Skills

            This is the section whereby you enumerate your technical and soft skills. Technical skills are hard skills that can be measured and are directly related to your tasks. Soft skills, meanwhile, are learned skills such as your personal attributes (e.g. presentation, communication, team player etc.).


  • As a fresh graduate, you have almost nothing to offer an organization except certificate. Your first skill is eagerness to work.
  • Mention your technical skills that suit the job applied for
  • Mention your soft skills that you have acquired which could be useful to the particular role you are applying for.
  • Your core skills must tie back to the opening.
  • Speak about your potential.
  • Sell out ability to learn and to take in.

“Your CV is just a commodity, Package yourself.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive.

Watch the video below for more details

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