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How to write a CV that Will Land You Your First Job or Internship

Lyle Justin Egay

Team Prosple
By now, you’re probably figuring out how to get your first job. You’ve seen numerous job postings at this point—and regardless of the employer, they all say the same thing, “Include your CV in pdf.”

Chances are that you were taught how to write your very first CV while still in school. Maybe you were even given a cookie-cutter format to fill out, print numerous copies of, and email to every employer you come across… 

Only for it to be added to a growing pile of applications to be read and followed up on.

This is a challenge that most fresh graduates like you face. How do you make a CV for fresh graduates with no experience?

No experience? No problem.

If you’re a fresh graduate, it’s perfectly normal to have a CV that’s shorter and simpler than those who have years of experience. Don’t sweat it too much, kapatid!

What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is a document that introduces a person to another person or organization. Here, your basic information and credentials are outlined for their reference.

This document serves to give the reader an idea of who you are—what your background, skills, and interests are. For employers, this helps them imagine how you would be a fit for their company, and whether you can provide what they’re looking for.

Just as importantly, your CV informs the reader how they can reach you, whether via SMS, email, or social media.

In essence, your CV tells your prospective employer who you are at a glance. It doesn’t tell them everything, but it says enough to get their interest.

What a CV is NOT

It’s important to note that a CV is not a ticket to employment. It doesn’t guarantee that you will get hired, but mainly to make sure that you get interviewed.

While it helps to let your prospective employer know who you are, a CV is not a good place to go into excruciating detail about your experiences at school and/or work. You can do all that during the interview.

You can think of your CV as a marketing brochure.

Think of it as one of those tourist brochures that you pick up in public areas. It shows you the best parts of their attraction without overwhelming you with details, then tells you how to avail of their packages.

When you’re writing your CV, imagine that you’re the employer.

Imagine this scenario: you’re at your desk, and right in front of you is a stack of job and/or internship applications. In this stack is the ideal candidate, and it’s your job to sift through them and find out who’s most suited for the job—and you have two days to do so.

The truth is that recruiters often don’t have the luxury of time especially during peak seasons. This means that they try to make the most out of their time, and only skim through applications and CVs. 

With that in mind, let’s talk about writing a kickass CV for your internship or your first job!

The KISS Principle

KISS—meaning “Keep It Short and Sweet” is a good thing to keep in mind. Considering the short amount of time recruiters have to look over applications, it’s important that you keep your CV informative enough that they find what they need to know about you, while keeping it concise and readable.

Think of it this way: people are willing to read applications for 30 seconds. It’s up to you to make a strong impression in half a minute—which honestly isn’t a lot of time. But if done correctly, you can stand out among the rest with a CV that’s short but impactful.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to keep your CV to within a page or two. Anything more would be unnecessary. That being said…

Declutter and stick to the relevant points.

Dear Ate Charo…” No, you’re not writing a letter for MMK. This is not the time to share your entire life story. 

Your CV should only contain important information that your employer needs to know: your basic data, background, any prior experience (if any), and how they can reach you. 

Remember that recruiters want to know if you’re a good fit for the company based on your background and skills. Your CV serves to tell them this, and if done well, this can land you the interview.

There’s also no need to include every single medal that you received in elementary and high school. Employers don’t necessarily need to know that you won the Loyalty Award.

Sell yourself!

Ever heard of the “elevator pitch”? Imagine that you’re in an elevator. As you go up, the owner of the company gets in, and you notice that they’re going up to the same level as you. This means you have roughly 20 seconds to introduce yourself, tell them what you do, and hopefully gain their interest.

Your CV provides you with the unique opportunity to sell yourself to the employer, in the short time they take to read it. Make use of this time to tell them why you’d be a good fit for the company. For instance, if you’re applying for a customer service role, highlight your experiences during your On the Job Training (OJT) in the hospitality sector, as well as your communication skills.

In doing so, you will catch the recruiter’s attention and hopefully make it to the shortlist.

Of course, this also means that no CV fits all. When you’re applying in different industries and positions, you’ll need to highlight different experiences and/or skills. 


In summary:

  1. Keep It Short and Simple (KISS!)
  2. Declutter and stick to the relevant points
  3. Sell yourself!

Before sending your CV, check whether you have these!

  • Your name
  • Mobile number
  • Email address
  • Social links (optional)
  • Educational background, including the school, course, years attended and finished
  • Extracurricular involvements--the name of the organization, the description of your role, and how long you stayed there
  • Make sure you’re addressing it to the company you’re applying to

A CV that is catchy, informative, and appropriate to the employer will increase your chances of landing that interview and your dream job. More than just filling in your basic data and experiences, it’s important to add value to your application by highlighting your skills and background, while leaving out anything that’s not needed.

Best of luck, job hunter!


Are you ready to find your first job? We help students and fresh grads find the best internships and fresh graduate jobs to get you started with your career. Sign up for free at ph.prosple.com!