The average recruitment consultant/ HR manager receives about 250 or more applications for every position advertised. Here is how to make sure that your CV stands out from the rest.

Email Address:
First set up a professional email address before sending your CV.

Read the AD: 
Make sure you have all the qualification and experience advertised in the Ad.

Format your CV:
Your CV needs to be easy to read, with an 11-point font size in Arial, Verdana, Calibri or Georgia. Once you have been called in for an interview, always present them with a copy of your CV (even if this was not asked for or if you have already sent it to them via e-mail). Interviewers always favor plain white paper; try to avoid the use of coloured paper.

Spelling:
Once your CV is done, read through it again to double check for spelling mistakes. Whatever you do, do not use SMS-language, this is the most unprofessional thing you could ever do.

Gaps in your CV: 
Three to six months of unemployment is understandable. Use the cover page to explain bigger gaps in your history.

Dates: 
Always include dates in your CV. Month and year are very important, the exact date doesn’t really matter, but if you remember the day, month and year then great include this.

Reason for Leaving:
This too always needs to be included in your CV; it is fine if you write a short paragraph to explain to the recruiter/ HR manager as to why you left a company. “Better Prospects” is not always the best thing to put under “Reason for Leaving” unless you were really offered a better position elsewhere.

Matric and University marks: 
Including your Matric or University marks is always a good idea especially in the first couple of years out of school.

Extra-curricular activities/ other achievements: 
Showing you were/ are involved in relevant organizations / activities shows leadership; listing unrelated social activities doesn’t do you any favors and should be left out of your CV.

Photo: 
Avoid attaching a photo of yourself (unless asked for); you are applying for a position based on your experience and skills not your looks.