Crafting a good CV for the job that you want.

Crafting a relevant CV is hard work. You will have to spend hours brainstorming and rewriting your CV a few times until your CV is a crisp, accurate profile of your knowledge and skills sets for the jobs you want.

 I have seen many poor CVs of teachers who apply for Senior Management positions at schools. Many of these CVs reflect that not much thought was given to the relevance and the impact of the CV, especially in the area where the applicant has to demonstrate his (her) knowledge and experience in relation to the job requirements. Most of the applicants fill their CVs with fancy words and lists of experiences that are meaningless for the specific job. In short, there is more fluff than substance.

 Elements of a good CV

  • Your CV is your sales pitch. It is your ‘voice’ that will engage with the Selection committee who will decide if you are worthy of that sought after interview.

  • Your CV should be job specific. Tailor your CV to match the job requirements.  The detail should demonstrate how your transferable skills and the scope of your responsibilities fit the prospective job.

  • Words matter in a CV.Every word in your CV should convey important information. Be ruthless. Cut out all the words that sound fluffy and add no value.  Use a dictionary and a thesaurus to find descriptive, action words.

 Refining your the Experiences and Skills section in your CV. 

For now, we are just going to focus on helping you to compile a CV that will focus on a relevant, accurate record of your knowledge and experience for a specific job application.

 Find a job advert for the position you intend applying for.  See the image below that was taken from a vacancy list of teaching posts.

Crafting a CV

Starting the CV Writing Process

  •  Study the job requirements. Write down what knowledge is required: what skills and competencies do you need and what experience have you gained to build on in your new job?

  •  Highlight  each criterion and make sure that you understand what each one encompasses. Paraphrase, if necessary, so that you understand the nuanced meanings. Use these key phrases as headings of each of the Experience and Skills sets you will include in your CV. Use these keywords in your CV as well as part of the activities that you are going to record.

  •  Next to each criterion, list examples of your experiences that apply.  Use the following framework to clear your thinking: What did you do, what was the value-add and how many people benefitted? For Example, let’s say you have a Management and Leadership Experiences Skills set.
After brainstorming and four cups of coffee later, you may have something like this:

  • Head of the Senior Primary Mathematics department of 20 educators and 600 learners.
  • Reduced learner absenteeism from 10% to 4% over a year.

And so on…

 Now it's your turn.

Perhaps you would like to brainstorm the Administrative and Conflict Resolutions criteria that I have highlighted in our example above. That may be a good mental workout!


These are the benefits if your education department has an e-recruitment website where you can upload you CV on the standard online application form.

  • You can update and refine your CV as an ongoing activity. You can also print a PDF copy for your own records.
  • When you apply for a specific job, you can link only the relevant Experiences sets to that application.

 Last point…

 Remember, CV writing is a craft. When you embark on this process, your writing will improve, your vocabulary will expand and you will be impressed with the basket of qualities, skills and experience you have gained without being aware thereof.

Have fun and let me know if this tutorial helped you in any way.


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