Writing a good Curriculum Vitae can be one of the most challenging aspects of getting a job, especially when you’ve got little qualifications or you are a fresh University graduate. In this article, you will find some valuable tips for writing your Curriculum Vitae to get your desired job.
By the way, a Curriculum Vitae is the same thing as a Resume; and a Resume is the same thing as a Curriculum vitae. The word RESUME originates from French while Curriculum vitae originates from Latin.
Also, United Kingdom prefer to say “Curriculum Vitae” while United States prefer to use the term “Resume”.
A CV is the extended image of yourself. It is the soft or hard copy of one’s totality. A CV also presents your personality into the hand of a recruiter or employer, who oftentimes you don’t get to see physically when seeking for a job.
It is possible with little qualifications to compose a Curriculum Vitae which can earn you a job of choice, also it is possible to be heavily qualified for a job but be denied as a result of poor presentation/outline of your CV.
In addition, it is worthy to note that in a condition where you may not be allowed access to see the director of an organization or the HOD; your CV has the higher possibility to see them than yourself appearing before them.
Tips for writing an excellent Curriculum Vitae
Below are few tips to write your Curriculum Vitae yourself with little qualifications you may have obtained.
1. Your CV should contain the skills and experiences that your employer is looking for – so, make diligent research of the role you are applying for. For example, SALES REPS, skills like relationship building, proven sales record are target skills.
2. Try to keep your CV as concise as possible and direct to the point. Also, your Curriculum Vitae should be easy to read as any CV that poses difficulty in reading will be put aside especially if the recruiter has hundreds of CV to go through.
3. The top of your CV is the first thing the recruiter will see on opening it. Keep it short and sharp to gain his/her attention. Summarize your most valuable skills there and highlight the benefits of employing you. Some call this section PROFILE or PROFILE SUMMARY.
4. Your name: Surname should be in Capital letters especially if you are applying to an academic setting e.g University.
5. Email should be professional not something like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Use emails like firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Core skills comes after profile summary and should be bulleted to give the recruiter a quick glance. Don’t use bulky and unbroken sentences.
7. List those core skills necessary for the job you are applying. Don’t mention something irrelevant for the job you desire e.g. Complaint handling are suitable skills for a sales rep but not for a laboratory technician.
8. When writing work experience, include those responsibilities you carried out in the organization you had worked and what those responsibilities you carried out achieved. It is not sufficient to tell us the responsibilities you took, recruiters are after results more importantly. E.g Taking a responsibility of mentoring and coaching 50 students in Mathematics led them to upgrade to a B-grade in mathematics from E-grade after a term, mentoring and coaching 30 students improved parents-teachers relationship.
9. Ensure to include specific results of your hard work in the places you worked before. Use facts and figures like led a team of six educationists, increased revenue by 18%, worked in 5 locations, resolved 95% of complaints in 3 days, mentored a group of 30 students.
10. Generating revenue is the primary aim of all private sector. Although this is largely the job of the sales rep but if by your ideas or indirect work you have led increased sales in the department you worked before, mention it.
11. Before listing the role you played in an organization, state the Job title, the place and the date you worked there.
12. Use simple font and font size to type your CV. Preferably, New times Roman or Arial; size 11 0r 12. Don’t try to reduce font sizes below normal in order to squeeze information into the limited page for CV.
13. You don’t need to add your photo to your CV. Employers are looking for knowledge and productivity not your face.
14. While writing on your work experience, include as much detail of your most recent work as much as possible for that will be the place of interest by the recruiter as he/she will be interested in your present status.
15. Avoid skill graph. Don’t use items like
Rather use words like fluent in English and Igbo.
16. Keep your CV at most 3 pages for new entry CV. Also, use more of bullet points than a big chunk of unbroken sentences.
17. List your work experiences from the most recent to the oldest. If your work experience has gaps like 2011- 2013, 2017 -2019. Try to include what you did in the fallow period like travels, studies; otherwise the recruiter will think you are a lazy person who is looking for money to solve pressing needs and will abscond from work on getting paid.
18. Send your CV in PDF format unless otherwise stated.
19. If you had striking academic impacts like 4.41 CGPA on a scale of 5.0, mention it. The recruiter may be in need of someone with academic excellence.
20. List education from Recent to Oldest (University to primary)
21. Include key words like: leadership skills etc as some recruiters make use of ATS (Application Tracking System) to screen out CVs which do not contain key words they need.
22. Don’t use words like ‘hardworking’- they are too common, use words that stand you out.
23. Don’t make up jobs that you did not do as the recruiter may seek to confirm from your referees.
24. You can add awards and certifications or recognitions/memberships with professional associations eg Best graduating student (University of Ibadan, 2018), ICAN certification (2018), Member of UNESCO etc.
25. Keep an active, yet decent online presence on social media as some employers may want to know your likes and dislikes or personality from social media by searching your profile. Ensure to optimize your LinkedIN account too.