How to tailor a standout CV to secure a learnership
The Class of 2023 is eagerly anticipating the 18 th of January for the release of their matric results. For
some, their results will provide access to higher learning. For others, it’s their ticket to the working world
– but while these youngsters may be keen to kickstart their careers, many will face the stark reality of
scarce job opportunities and a struggling economy.
The Reality of Youth Unemployment
Many of the 2023 matriculants will join the *58% of young South Africans who are unemployed.
“South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world with nearly six out of every
10 people under the age of 35 unable to find work,” says Rajan Naidoo, the Managing Director of
EduPower Skills Academy.
With so much competition for each job, Naidoo believes that young people must set themselves apart
from the average jobseeker with a recognised qualification and practical work experience. “If you are
determined to put in the work and do whatever it takes, learnerships are the best way to unlock real
opportunities and an alternative route to career success,” he advises.
A Beacon of Hope
Learnerships bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge gained in high school and the practical skills
demanded by the working world. Structured learning programs integrate classroom education with on-
the-job training, enabling participants to gain practical, hands-on experience in their chosen fields of
study. “By actively participating in the day-to-day operations of a workplace, learners gain business
insights, hone their skills and, most importantly, enhance their employability,” Naidoo adds.
Taking the First Step
Securing a spot for a learnership requires proactive effort. The journey begins with creating a compelling
curriculum vitae (CV) tailored specifically for learnership applications. “Unlike a standard CV, which
primarily focuses on past experience, a CV for a learnership should emphasise why the applicant is an
ideal fit for that specific programme,” explains Naidoo.
To help matriculants make an impactful impression on recruiters and increase their chances of securing
an interview, here are Naidoo’s top tips for creating a standout learnership CV:
- CV Presentation: Your CV is a reflection of you and how it is presented will ensure you get noticed.
Several websites offer free CV templates – opt for one that is simple and professional for a more
polished look. You also need to pay meticulous attention to detail, particularly grammar and
spelling, so ensure you use the spelling and grammar check option which comes standard with most word processing packages.
- Start with the Basics: Start with your personal information – full name, contact information and
your physical address. List any disabilities, if applicable.
- Personal Statement: Write a concise personal statement. This should be specific to the learnership
you are applying for so highlight your passion for the chosen field and express your eagerness to
learn and contribute.
- Education: Provide an overview of your academic achievements, including your highest qualification, where you studied and the year of completion. List your subjects and add any extracurricular activities that demonstrate your interests and commitment.
- Skills Showcase: Highlight your relevant skills—be it in computers, effective communication,
problem-solving or teamwork and incorporate any awards or leadership roles that will set you apart.
- Relevant Experience: Should you have had a part-time job, internship or volunteer work, be sure to
mention it – especially if it aligns with the learnership’s requirements.
“The applicants who take the time to tailor their CVs for each learnership application are those who
stand the best chance of acceptance into the programme,” says Naidoo. “So, make time and research
the specific requirements of each one and then adapt your CV accordingly to demonstrate your
alignment with the training provider’s expectations.”
Qualifying for a Brighter Future
In a world where opportunities may seem scarce, learnerships offer hope for those willing to invest in
their personal and professional development. The journey to a fulfilling career begins with that first
application – take the plunge and let learnerships become your gateway to a brighter future.