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Your CV format is what determines whether you get an interview invite or not, and in the end, whether you get the job. Ms Brenda Mielizu, a career advisor at Corporate Staffing Services who helps professionals in writing their CVs, says, “The layout of your CV is as important as the clothes you would wear to an interview – it is how you make an impression to your potential employer, and ensure you get interviews whenever you apply.”

Although there are numerous formats to choose from, having the best CV format is necessary to make your CV clear, professional and easy to read.

Here is a professional CV format that you can use for your next job application:

CV writing session

1. Contact Information

  • Full name
  • Home address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

In this section leave out details like marital status, ID number, religion, Languages (unless it is requested in the advert).

2. Personal Statement

This is a brief paragraph that provides an overview of your qualifications and skills. It works as a “trailer” for the rest of your CV. Give a summary of your skills, knowledge and experience. Also, be sure to use keywords relevant to the opening and explain why you’re the perfect candidate.

For example, if you are applying for an administrative position, your statement will read:

An administrative support professional with over five years of office management experience. I am adept at working in fast-paced environments that demand strong organizational and office management skills.

I’m committed to exceptional customer service and driven by challenges, with the ability to independently plan and manage diverse customer relationships. More so, I am accustomed to fast-paced, high-pressured positions, demonstrated ability to set priorities deliver qualitative output, prioritize multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and provide quality service.

Remember, to achieve a good CV format, your personal statement should be specific to your career.

3. Work Experience

When it comes to your work experience, ensure your CV structure starts with your current or most recent job, and then list your previous jobs chronologically descending.

List: your work title, the name of the company and dates worked.

Below each entry, add bullet points explaining your responsibilities and achievements.

Also, remember to quantify whenever possible.

4. Education

List your qualifications here. If you are pursuing a course and you are not yet done, you can include it with the line…Pursuing an MBA University of Nairobi.

Under this section, a standard CV format should be as follows:

  • Degree
  • Institution name
  • Graduation year (if you’re still studying, enter your expected graduation date)


5. Skills

What are the work skills you possess or have developed over time? Write them down. Take some time to go through the advertisement and look for skill-related keywords. Identify them and in writing your CV, include them in this section.

6. Training

Here, include any training you have undertaken. It could be a short course in accounting, speaking in public, customer relations, project management or digital marketing.

7. Membership and Associations

Are you a member of any professional body? Mention it here.

8. Referees When Writing A CV

Provide at least three referees. Include their contact information a well.

Two can be from your previous and/or current workplace; preferable the HR or immediate boss. If you are a fresh graduate, a lecturer can vouch for you.

The third referee is usually personal; someone that has known you for a long period of time that can vouch for your character and will be able to recommend you for the opportunity. For effective referees, include only those people who know you well and let them know to expect a call from recruiters about you.

You can use the above simple CV format to come up with a good CV that will get you that job you have always wanted. If you need more help in coming up with the best CV format, you can reach out for help here.

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