How To Arrange My CV and Credentials For Jobs -

How To Arrange My CV and Credentials For Jobs

When we need to submit our CVs/resumes for jobs, we are more likely to do that along with relevant credentials such as certificates. You've always had a question about this - how do you arrange your CV together with the documents in the best possible order?

As an education consultant, in my office, one of the services I provide is to make photocopies for clients. After a job seeker had designed her CV with our Design-My-CV/Resume and made photocopies, she was confused about the right arrangement for the documents. Then she asked, "What order should all these papers follow".

If you're also confused or you don't know the right order of your CV and credentials, you'll find this post helpful.

Order To Follow in Arranging Your CV/Resume and Other Credentials

Organizing your CV (Curriculum Vitae) and accompanying documents for job applications is essential to make a strong impression on potential employers. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to arrange your CV and documents effectively:

1. Create a Folder or Digital Folder

If you're sending your documents digitally (i.e. through email, WhatsApp, etc.), create a dedicated folder on your computer or phone to store all job application materials. If you're submitting a physical application, use a professional-looking folder or portfolio. You may need to submit them in the same folder.

For digital submissions, use clear and consistent file naming conventions to help the recipient easily identify your documents (e.g., "FirstName_LastName_Resume.pdf").

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2. Resume/CV

Place your CV at the front of the folder or as the first document in the digital or physical folder. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, error-free, and tailored to the specific job you're applying for.

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3. Cover Letter

If you're including a cover letter, place it immediately after your CV. Ensure that it's personalized for the position and company. If submitting digitally, you can combine your CV and cover letter into a single PDF file.

4. References

Where required, this is different from the references typed on the CV/resume. It's usually a separate reference sheet with contact information for your professional references. This should come after your cover letter, or if you're submitting it digitally, it can be a separate document in the same folder.

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5. Transcripts and Certifications

If your job requires academic transcripts, certifications, or licenses, include these after your reference sheet. Highlight relevant or requested documents and transcripts for the job application.

6. Work Samples/Portfolio

If applicable, include a work portfolio, samples, or a link to your online portfolio. This is especially relevant for creative or technical positions. Place your portfolio at the end of your physical folder or as separate documents in your digital folder.

7. Additional Documents

Any other documents requested by the employer (e.g., writing samples, project reports) should be organized in the order they were requested.

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A Fresh or Experienced Graduate Case Study in Nigeria

If you're a fresh graduate, in most cases, among the orders above, you're likely concerned with the CV only. In your case, after CV, the following will follow:

  1. NYSC Discharged Certificate, exclusion or exemption letter
  2. BSC or HND Certificate (or Notification of Result)
  3. ND or NCE Certificate (Result)
  4. SSCE Certificate (NECO, WAEC, NABTEB, etc.)
  5. Primary School Leaving Certificate (and/or Testimonial)
  6. Local Government Identification
  7. Birth Certificate

If you're an experienced graduate, you might have got postgraduate qualifications or additional professional certifications. In this case, your first document in the order should be a CV followed by:

  1. Postgraduate Certificate (or higher)
  2. Professional Certificates (following the year you obtained each)
  3. NYSC Discharged Certificate, exclusion or exemption letter
  4. BSC or HND Certificate (or Notification of Result)
  5. ND or NCE Certificate (Result)
  6. SSCE Certificate (NECO, WAEC, NABTEB, etc.)
  7. Primary School Leaving Certificate (and/or Testimonial)
  8. Local Government Identification
  9. Birth Certificate


Organizing your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and credentials for job applications is a crucial step in presenting yourself professionally to potential employers. Whether you're a recent graduate or an experienced professional, the right arrangement can make a significant difference in leaving a positive impression. 

Start by creating a dedicated folder, either physical or digital, to store all your application materials. Place your up-to-date CV at the front, followed by a personalized cover letter. Include a separate reference sheet if required. Arrange transcripts, certifications, and work samples in a logical order, highlighting the most relevant documents for the job. 

Additionally, adapt the order based on your level of experience and any additional qualifications. By following these guidelines, you can streamline your application process and increase your chances of success in the competitive job market.

Where you have more documents to arrange than those included in this post, the simple trick to know the right order they will follow is to arrange them in order of the year they're obtained. If you take note, each of the items in the list above follows the same order.

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