This is where a lot of job seekers make mistake..

A curriculum vitae or CV is a summary of your educational background, research and professional experiences. It is a tool to market yourself to an employer, and getting an interview would depend on how good your CV is.  Your CV lends you a chance to show case your skills and experiences to an employer and that you are the right person for the job.

In the business world a CV represents one of your first pass to clinch a job that is why we the No1 Career in Nigeria (http://www.career.com.ng) are serious about it.

How you present yourself and what you put in a CV would largely determine if your CV will be read or dumped aside. It determines whether you will get a chance for an interview before any chances of getting accepted for a job. You will need to consider what to include, how much detail is needed and how to make your CV stand out from all others.

While many complain that they are no jobs it is surprising that a lot of businesses are also complaining that it is always difficult to find the right staff.

In the academic market, a curriculum vitae or CV is very important and, after your cover letter, is your first introduction to the search committee. Your CV is a tool to help you move from an application to an interview. You will need to consider what to include, how much detail is needed and how to make your CV stand out from all the others.

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DO’s…

1. Construct your CV with your prospective employer in mind

Study the job advert and it specifications carefully and understand what they employer is seeking for. This would help you effectively tailor your CV to factors that are important to the employer. It would do you some good to research a little about your prospective employer.

 

2. Make your CV Clear, Neat and Tidy

As much as possible make your CV appealing to look at. An appealing CV would take into consideration spelling, grammar and font style.  A good CV would also be simple without complex lines or designs.  A black text on good quality white or cream paper is always preferable.

 

3. View your experience in a positive light

Sometimes I see some of my friends skip some of the experiences they have had in their CV. That is not right. Notice that every employer is interested in every experience that you have had as it pertains to the job whether good or bad. The more experiences you have the better chances you have clinching a job.

 

4. Use positive language.

When describing your work achievements use action verbs such as ‘launched’, ‘managed’, ‘co-ordinated’, ‘motivated’, ‘supervised’, and ‘achieved’.

 

5. Include different sections in your CV

Start your CV with general contact information that includes your name, address, telephone, fax, email and url (if you have a web page about yourself as a professional).

Then include education and experience. Depending on your strengths and interests include: honors and awards (from post-secondary school); teaching and research interests; publications; presentations; professional activities (committee memberships, intern experiences, relevant volunteer work); skills (second language and/or computer proficiencies); and references (you may include these or indicate they are available on request).

 

6. Include experience and interests that might be of useful to the employer

In the different sections you create it would be helpful if the experience and interest are related to job.

Choose IT skills, voluntary work, foreign language competency, driving skills, leisure interests that demonstrate team skills and organization/leadership skills.

7. Put your name and email address on every page

This is especially vital if the CV is to be submitted in hard copy and in case the pages of your CV get separated.

 

Don’ts…

8. Hand-write or type your CV.

Some job seekers get confused sometimes as to whether they should hand write a CV. It is unprofessional and old fashioned. All professional documents must be typed and don’t hand-type your CV assuming your employer wants to test your writing skills.

 

9. Include information which may be viewed negatively

You CV should not be a time for you to start exposing all the wrong things happening in your life. Your failed exams, divorces, failed business ventures, reasons for leaving a job, points on your driving license or things like that. Hiding this things doesn’t make you a liar and exposing them does not make you a good person either you are only giving your employer thousand and one reason to disqualify you.

 

10. Include anything that might discriminate against you

such as date of birth, marital status, race, gender or disability.

 

11. Lie

employers have ways of checking what you put is true, and may sack you if they take you on and find out you’ve lied to them.

 

12. Include salary information and expectations.

Leave this for negotiations after your interview, when the employers are convinced how much they want to employ you.

 

13. Make your CV more than two pages long.

You can free up space by leaving out or editing information that is less important. For example, you do not need to include referees – just state they are available on request. Don’t include all of the jobs you have had since school, just the relevant ones. Add details about your most recent qualifications, which are more relevant, but summarize the rest.

 

14. Dilute your important messages.

Don’t bother with a list of schools you attended with grades and addresses, don’t include a long list of hobbies, or a long work history. Concentrate on demonstrating that the skills they need, what you have achieved by applying the skills you have and what benefits your clients have gained from your work.

 

15. Include information that is humorous.

Your CV is not the place for humor or being “cute.” Also avoid Using jargon, acronyms, technical terms – unless essential.

 

16. Include a photo unless requested.

If you are not requested to include photo, don’t do it because most employer frown at it.

 

17. Do it all by yourself the first time.

Seek help from others such as faculty advisors, career specialists or colleagues.

 

18. List excessively detailed information about research or teaching.

Instead, provide the titles of research projects and course names along with brief summaries of your work.

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