Importance of a CV


A Curriculum Vitae (CV) plays an important role in giving potential employers insight into who you are. Rustim Ariefdien explains

Your CV is a vital tool in your quest to find employment. It represents who you are, what you’ve achieved, your competencies and what you offer a prospective employer. A well-written CV will get you to the all important next step in your employment endeavours: an interview. So, what makes a good CV?

Be relevant

Your CV needs to speak to the job for which you are applying. It needs to present the education, skills and experience you have gained relevant to the job.

Mind your language

The words that you use need to be relevant and clearly describe your education, skills, and experience. Avoid general phrases. Rather be specific. Try not to use clichés such as “hard working”, “team player” or “enthusiastic”.

Pay attention to detail

Only include details that are relevant. Proof read your CV and ask someone to also read through your CV.

Keep it short

Ensure that the detail in your CV is concise and best describes what you are communicating. Avoid long-winded sentences. Make use of bullet points.

Be accurate

The information that you put in your CV needs to be accurate and honest. Backing your achievements up with tangible evidence is a great way to quantify your value to employers.


Use a CV template so that the format is congruent and easy to read. Keep to a page or two. Your CV needs to be structured for easy navigation. Microsoft Word is the most-used CV format.

Disability information

There are advantageous to including relevant disability information as employers are incentivised to employ persons with disabilities. Indicate your disability, the category (physical or psychosocial) and diagnosis, for example, paraplegic.

Reasonable accommodation

Indicate what reasonable accommodation you would need. For example, if you use a wheelchair, you need wheelchair access to your work area. Indicate if you need any special assistive devices or services.

Include personal interests

Include your interests and hobbies as this shows the reader who you are.


If relevant, include a high-resolution photo and/or a short video that describes why the employer needs to consider your application. The typical outline of your CV includes these sections:

  • Contact details;
  • Personal profile;
  • Core skills;
  • Work experience;
  • Education and qualifications;
  • Disability information; and
  • Interests.

When you identify a job for which to apply, adjust your CV to make it relevant to the application. Send off your CV and follow up if possible.

Besides the traditional channels to look for employment, consider networking in your geographical area and/or in the industries that best suits your skills set. Be positive. The employer is looking for you.


Rustim Ariefdien is a disability expert extraordinaire who assists businesses to “let the Ability of disAbility enAble their profitAbility” through BBBEE, skills development, employment equity and socio-economic development. His purpose is the economic empowerment of persons with disability in Africa. As a person with a disability himself, he has extensive experience in the development and empowerment of persons with disability.

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