The Curriculum vitae is accepted world over as a Job application tool in many establishments and even governments. This has in turn made the skill of crafting an enticing and well-articulated CV a necessary and desired skill for the new age job seeker.
While, this necessity is obvious, not many people are careful enough to get it right when they do make applications. It is not enough to just copy a format and substitute with your details. You need to know the different sections, understand why employees need these sections and then know how best to craft them.
Here are a few Must-have sections for your CV, the reason behind them and how to write them.
1. Personal Details
This immediately sounds like a no-brainer, I mean, of course they would require your personal details right? It is one thing to know the requirement and a totally different thing to know the reason.
The personal details section often displays, your name, address and contact details, which now often includes a LinkedIn page and other social media links.
Perhaps this section was initially meant to just give details, but in the social media age, recruiters want to have a look at your LinkedIn profile and possibly your Facebook page. The reason is because your personal details are meant to give them a feel of who you are and if your personality will suit what they want in an employee. This is why you must maintain a high level of integrity in your use of social media as a new age job seeker.
In this section, you do not need to include your age, marital status or nationality. Recruiters can make a decision about your skills and abilities without this information. Also, it is wise to use a professional looking email or you may put the recruiter off. It is better you use a mail such as Janedoe@gmail.com, than a mail like, SexyJanny@gmail.com.
Your personal details reveal to the recruiter your level of thinking, seriousness and maturity so make sure they showyou in a positive light and that they do not contain anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see.
2. Work Experience
Recruiters and employers are often interested in your work experience or what you may chose to term, your professional summary. The reason is simple; certain job roles require a certain type of experience.
The section on your work experience is often revealing as to your take on loyalty and contribution. It is not always a wise move to list ten different places you have worked at in the last 4-5 years. This often sends a warning signal to the employer that you are disloyal and always looking for the next best thing. Few employers will be motivated enough to employ you if you give off that vibe.
A lot of young job seekers fill this section with a long list of jobs, ranging from odd holiday jobs that they took as high school students. In some regards, this may be necessary to show work ethic, but you need to be very sensitive to the particular company you are applying to.
As a general rule, if you have worked at some reputable places of work for a considerable length of time and shown some stability and possibly some progress and promotion in the same company, that will often give off a better signal than a long list of ex-jobs.
Start with the job you’re doing now and work backwards. You need to include your employer’s name, the dates you worked for them, your job title, your main tasks and major achievements if any. Make sure, you highlight skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
This section is the most important section for you, if you are new in the labor market and have not had much of a work experience. You need to focus on your education and training to catch the employer’s eye. This section aims to test your qualifications for the particular job you are applying for, but it also aims to see your thirst for self improvement.
In this section start with your most recent qualifications and work back to the ones you got at school. You can use bullet points or a table to include: the university, college or school you went to, the dates the qualifications were awarded, grades and any work-related courses, if they’re relevant. However, don’t fail to throw in any training you have embarked on,certificates awarded for these trainings should be included.
It doesn’t matter if the certificates and trainings were organized by your government or by your church. The employer wants to see that you are someone that goes for knowledge and gets it even if you do not have a doctorate or Masters yet.
This is a mini-advert of yourself to the employer. This section should include your skills, achievements and career aims/goals. This is a great opportunity afforded by your CV to catch the eye of the employer, so do not waste it.
You need to be careful not to use too many generic phrases like “”team player”, “Hard working”. Instead, be careful to note what the kind of job you are applying for requires. For instance, if it requires collaboration and working with others, you can highlight achievements where you “negotiated successfully” or “rallied employees around a goal”.Try to make the employer feel your impact right there on paper.
When writing your career goals, try to sound visionary and try to make your goals sound as near as it can to the opportunity the employer is offering.
5. Other Information
This is the often ignored section of the CV, but it is not without its own significance. For instance, it is always wise to explain any gaps in your CV here. You can explain the reason for a gap in your work experience if your CV looks like you were out of work for a while. You can also introduce a few other spicy details, like volunteer roles and involvements in social causes or foreign languages you speak.
This section can help give the employer a more complete picture of who you are and of the information that your CV was trying to portray in all other sections.
Your CV is very often your passport to a new job, it’s not something that should be rushed or neglected. It should be crafted with care and re-crafted whenever necessary to showcase your progress professionally and as a person.
This skill is so necessary that many companies offer it as an exclusive service. Dalton&White has an immense working experience in crafting or re-crafting CV’s and Cover Letters and can take a load off your chest in this regard on your way to bagging that choice job.
These few tips will help you approach your CV with a refreshed sense of purpose.
Here’s to your career success!
~ Ayoola Ajibare