Updated: How to write a Presentable and job winning Curriculum Vitae (CV)


CV or Curriculum Vitae comes from
Latin and means “courses of life”.
It is not a CV if it cannot win you a job.
Your CV MUST stand out from that of others. 
A CV is a biographic representation of your name, sex, address, phone number, e-mail address,education, background, work experience (If any), Honours and hobbies.
Of course you should know that having references in your CV helps a lot.

What is a reference? 

A reference is a statement of the qualifications of a person seeking to be hired.
Most times you get this done by those you’re familiar with.
It could be your family member or even your university lecturers.
This is the main reason why undergraduates need to maintain a good relationship with their lecturers while they are still undergraduates.

Types of CV 

There are two major types of CV; Chronological CV and a Résumé  

Chronological CV: 

This type of CV is the most rampant curriculum vitae.
It mainly highlights your educational background, de-emphasizes on your skills and experience.

However, it contains more details than the résumé and is more acceptable in Nigeria for job application.

On the other hand, a Résumé is a skill based curriculum vitae and is usually called a targeted curriculum vitae because it emphasizes more on the skills and experience of the applicant.
A résumé is mostly used abroad, especially in America as well as European countries.

In writing either a CV or a résumé, your main aim should be to capture the interest of your employer, somewhat captivating him till the end of the write up knowing fully well that you are competing with thousands of graduates. 

How to write a presentable and eye catching CV or Résumé. 

In writing your CV or résumé, you need to use a language your recruiter will understand properly.
In Nigeria for instance, English language is being used as an official language by every establishment.

Write in plain and simplified vocabularies. 

This is one of the places where most of the candidates get it wrong.
Considering the fact that every individual has got a level of understanding, you need to make your write up as simplified as possible.
Sometimes you’ll even discover that your academic qualifications are higher than that of your employer.
Your employer may have ended in first degree but due to some circumstances of life, you have finished your Masters and you’re currently running a doctorate degree program.
Do you expect your word bank and that of the person that ended in first degree to be the same?
You may actually think that you’re playing smart by using it so that your employer will be nodding in affirmation while going through your CV unknown to you that you’re ruining your application.
Using a word like Nebulous when you know that a word like vague or opaque can perfectly serve is not necessary.
Or using Preposterous when you know that the word absurd can serve perfectly and is more popular is not necessary as well.
So try and simplify your words to the minimum for a better assimilation.

Use good fonts and colours for your write up. 

Your font size, style and colour matters a lot.
Make sure the font size and font style is consistent and same all through.
Black colour is preferable while writing/typing any official application.

Ensure that your CV is not stained. 

Most times we try to do two things at a time.
You may be eating rice and at the same time drafting your CV.
There’s every possibility that your work might get stained.

Do not make your work too long by writing irrelevant qualities. 

Some candidates sometimes make the mistake of including so many points that are out of point why writing their CV.
Please be mindful of that.

A résumé should not exceed one A4 paper; while a CV shouldn’t exceed two A4 sheets. 

This should be so because you’re not writing a letter to your childhood friend and you’re not writing an argumentative essay.
You’re only writing to sell yourself to the recruiter.
So, this standard should be maintained.

                     Sample of a CV 

Ciroma Chukwuma Adekunle
No. 50, Surulere Road,
Lagos State.
Telephone: 08000444555
E-mail: ChukwumaAdekunle@Gmail.com

A vibrant and hardworking fellow, which carries out my work in a hyper dexterous manner.

Major Achievement(s): 
Graduated with a CGPA of 4.97 on a 5-point scale.
Won the world best mathematics student in the year 2015

Here, you need to state your IT experience (If you went on IT) while in school or better still state where you have worked before (If any).
Example: 2014: Industrial training attachment at Orient Petroleum (For IT option)
2012: Schna system energy services, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. (For Work option)

To uplift the standard of service to humanity; meticulously carrying out my duty with utmost dexterity.

2005: First School leaving certificate (FSLC)
2010: West African Examination Council (WAEC)
2015: Bachelor of Engineering (1st Class)

Research Work: (If any)

Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE)

Personal Data:
Date of Birth: 23rd June,1993
Place of Birth: Surulere Lagos State.
Sex: Male
Marital Status:Married/Single/Divorced, etc.
State of Origin: Lagos State.
Nationality: Nigeria
Local Government: Surulere
Religion: Christianity/Islam

Reading, Football, etc

This part is very important if you’ve got any.
That is why it is advisable to be at peace with everyone so that anybody can do it for you when you request for it, be it a governor, a professor or even your Wife/Husband.

Now let’s take a quick look at what a Résumé looks like.

              Sample of a Résumé

Ciroma Chukwuma Adekunle
No. 50, Surulere Road,
Lagos State.

A hard working fellow with a first class in mechanical engineering.
In addition with good organizational skills, team playing and good communication skills and highly proficient in fixing of mechanical equipment and also proficient in AutoCAD designing.

Date of Birth: 23rd June,1993
Sex: Male
Marital Status: Single

Site Supervisor at Orient Petroleum

B.ENG 1st class, University of Lagos,Unilag (2012)
M.Sc Oxford University,United Kingdom. (2014).

Studying and AutoCAD designing.

NB: In writing either a CV or a Résumé, do not specify by writing a subheading 
Like ‘CV’ or ‘Résumé’.
If you follow this guideline, your recruiter also knows the one you’re writing. 


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