Career Advice 

Choosing a Career
Career choice starts in grade 9 when choosing your subjects for grade 10 - 12. These subjects are vital as they will determine whether you qualify for the field or career of your choice.

Before choosing your subjects and therefore potential career field(s) of interest, you need to know yourself. Know your likes & dislikes, values, skills (including social skills) and interests. Would you like to work indoors or outdoors, in an office/classroom/laboratory, in ‘isolation’ or with people etc.

The career aptitude test is a test designed to assist you in finding potential careers that suit you based on your responses during the test, which are based on your individual interests. When taking the test, it’s very important that you’re as honest as possible. Read the instructions clearly before taking the test. Click on the link below to take the test. 

At the end of the test, you’ll be given a list of possible careers that suit you with explanation of what each career is about provided.

CV Building

This is a step by step guidance to compiling a CV. There is a template available for download included at the end of this page; but go through this step-by-step process so that you know what to add or remove on the templates. The step-by-step process and the template formats provided on this site are slightly different but both acceptable.

Additionally a guidance booklet compiled by the University of Cape Town is attached below.

Please note that some companies might require certain details to be included or omitted from your CV, so be sure to find out if this is the case with the company you are applying to (usually this will be stated by the company and an example or guidance will be provided). Meaning that there is no standard way of writing your CV however there are some details that MUST be part of your CV, these are the details that are included in the step-by-step process below. 

Generally your CV should be concise and contain important information, and must be typed in a clear font (both size & font), unless stated otherwise by the company/institution you are applying to. The additional information you put should be relevant to the position you are applying for. The only time your CV might be longer with more information is if you are applying for research or academia posts. 

A proper CV should include the following:

  1. Personal details (some companies might not require this as these details will be filled in on the application form)

These are at the top of your CV, acts as an introduction and tells your potential employers about who you are and where you are from. Should include the following:

FULL name (surname and first names)

Sex (male/female)

Identity / passport number

Contact details – phone number(s) and email address

Home language

Other languages – this is especially important for positions where you will be working with people, so it might be to your advantage including other languages that you are familiar with.

  1. Educational background (list all in a chronological order starting with the most recent)

Current academic level if you are still in studying, including grade if still in school or program/course (degree/diploma) & year of study if in tertiary, and name of the institution.

Highest qualification – this is the highest grade passed or diploma/degree if you have one.

Name of institution at which the qualification was obtained.

Year which the qualification was obtained.

Subjects passed

  1. Leadership positions (if applicable)

These are all the leadership positions held previously and currently, include the title of the position and the years active e.g. Help Me Up president (August 2017 – present). List the positions in a chronological order starting with the most recent the most recent.

  1. Awards and achievements (if applicable)

Same as leadership positions, mention what the award was for and the year obtained. List the achievements/awards in a chronological order starting with the most recent. These include academic, sports etc.

  1. Work experience (if applicable) – list all the companies/organisations you have ever worked for (in a chronological order, starting with the most recent). 

Employer – this is the company you worked for.

Position held

Duration – start month & year – end month & year

Details / description of what your duties or responsibilities were.

Please note that anything that you did and got paid for qualifies as employment (formal/informal). List these in a point form, so for each company worked for you will have 3 points (Employer, position held, and duration).

  1. Community involvement 

This is any voluntary work done or you are currently doing. Also include a concise description and duration.

  1. References

These are the people who can give a valid opinion about you and your abilities. These include professional (teachers, employers, supervisors etc) and personal (e.g. colleague/co-worker) references.

Note: Ask permission before using people as references, and it might work to your advantage to let them know what kind of job you are applying for and what skills are required. Usually 2 - 3 references are enough.

Reference’s name

Job title & Company

Contact details – phone number (must) and email (if available). For phone numbers, if possible, include their work and cell numbers.

For more information including videos on CV building, visit UCT careers by clicking on this link,


The HMU blog is meant to advise you and provide you with insight into different careers out there through the professionals telling their stories via the annual Help Me Inspire (HMI) campaign and written articles. Visit the "BLOG" page/tab to view these.

Mentorship Program

The Help Me Empower (HME) mentorship program is one of the Help Me Up foundation's projects. The Programme seeks to empower young people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. While previous HMU Foundation projects focused on grade 11s and matriculants, the team decided to initiate this project that focuses on grade 9 students. We have realised that many of the challenges that students face at grade 11 can be circumvented by early intervention. As such, the HME programme provides mentorship to participants to start laying the foundation of a better future at an early stage.

Mentors are young professionals from different fields. Each learner will be paired with a mentor on the basis of one of their careers of interest. However, the program allows the learners to learn from other mentors as well, and not just the one assigned to them.