Over the years, I have had the opportunity to speak and hang around multi-national companies’ HRs. Trust me, they all speak the same language. The question of Why Do I Need a Good CV or The Importance of a Professional CV can not be overemphasized.
Thus if you are asking any of these questions:
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it means you understand that having a good cv is one step towards landing your dream job.
some of us go as far as even searching for the best cover letter format. Well, in this article, I will share deep secrets from the human resource desk.
On, why a good cv and cover letter is all you need to get an audience in that your dream company.
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Before I do that, I know a lot of us confuse a RESUME and CURRICULUM VITAE (CV).
Resume vs CV
When should job seekers use a curriculum vitae, commonly referred to as a “CV,” rather than a resume? In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific, medical, or research positions. It is also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants. Here’s more information about when to use a curriculum vitae instead of a resume.
When seeking a job in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, expect to submit a CV rather than a resume.
Keep in mind that overseas employers often expect to read the type of personal information on a curriculum vitae that would never be included on an American resume, such as date of birth, nationality, marital status, and place of birth.
Thus, United States law governing what information job applicants can be asked to provide does not apply outside the country.
Why Do I Need a Good CV
If you have not asked this question in your job search, it only means one thing and that is: you are not ready to land that dream job just yet. You can also read: Top 10 Resume mistakes to avoid
Whether you are applying for an executive position, changing your career, or moving from a military to a civilian job – you need a good cv.
Research says that on average, recruiters look at CVs for up to 6 seconds – at most!
If you want to even get the chance to prove your worth, a good CV is your gate pass.
A top-quality CV will considerably boost your chance of getting a face-to-face interview.
so, it is worth spending time and effort on the content and presentation. It will make all the difference in obtaining the position you want.
By definition: A CV is short for the Latin phrase curriculum vitae. which means “course of life”. CV is a detailed document highlighting your professional and academic history.
CVs typically include information like work experience, achievements, and awards. Even, scholarships or grants you’ve earned, coursework, research projects, and publications of your work.
You may be asked to submit a CV when applying for jobs in academia or a job outside the US.
Therefore this article will be a gentle reminder that you need a professional CV. So follow me as, In the end, we have a surprise package that you won’t want to miss.
What Must A Good CV Have?
While your CV should be specific to your background and the position you are applying for, there are what I consider MUST-INCLUDE in every CV. This is to ensure you are writing a good cv. They are:
- Contact information
- Academic history
- Professional experience
- Qualifications and skills
- Awards and honors
- Professional associations
- Grants and fellowships
- Licenses and certificates
- Volunteer work
- Personal information (optional)
- Hobbies and interests (optional)
Your CV should normally NOT be longer than two pages. So make sure you tailor it specifically for the position you are applying for and indicate the skills, qualifications, and experience that are most appropriate for the position. An employer wants to find the following information on your CV as listed above.
Now, you know what a good cv should contain, the next question on your mind should be. How do I write A good CV?
How To Write A Good CV
No dought, Writing a CV for an interview is a difficult task for many.
How do you write one that stands out from the many CVs hiring managers and recruiters receive when they are hiring?
The ultimate rule for CV writing is: be different and show your selling point.
Interestingly, there isn’t a single format for writing a CV. However, one rule to keep in mind is that your CV can put you in the spotlight for the position you are applying for.
This will inform the hiring manager or recruiter about the decision to invite you for an interview.
Typically, there are two types of cv – the educational cv and the experience-based type.
The former focuses on educational/professional qualifications and academic work and is generally aimed at applicants with no work experience, while the latter is geared towards work experience, skills, and performance.
It is preferable to list educational or professional experiences, starting from the most recent to the oldest. It is important to always adapt your CV to an employment area and to change it systematically for the advertised positions.
Without further ado here are my quick tips for writing a good cv.
Quick tips for writing a good CV
- Use active verbs wherever possible. For example, you could include words like ‘created’, ‘analyzed’ and ‘devised’ to present yourself as a person who shows initiative.
- There should be no spelling or grammar mistakes in your CV. Use a spell checker and enlist a second pair of eyes to check over it.
- Avoid using generic phrases such as ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’, and ‘multitasker’. Instead, provide real-life examples that demonstrate all of these skills.
- Take a look at the company’s website, local press, and the job advert to make sure that your CV is targeted to the role and employer.
- Decide whether the chronological, skills-based, or academic CV is right for you. For more information, take a look at example CVs.
- Don’t put the term ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of your CV.
- Provide a professional-sounding email address.
- Never lie or exaggerate on your CV or job application. Not only will you demonstrate your dishonesty to a potential employer, but there can be serious consequences too. For example, altering your degree grade from a 2:2 to a 2:1 is classed as degree fraud and can result in a prison sentence.
- If you’re posting your CV online don’t include your home address, as you could be targeted by fraudsters.
- You should always include a cover letter unless the employer states otherwise. It will enable you to personalize your application for the job. You can draw attention to a particular part of your CV, disclose a disability, or clarify gaps in your work history.
Job Opportunities in Nigeria
Things Employers Look Out For
According to an online survey, this is what every hiring team is looking out for, based on the most important information.
|45%||Previous related work experience|
|35%||Qualifications & skills|
|25%||Easy to read|
|14%||Spelling & grammar|
|9%||Education (these were not just graduate recruiters or this score would be much higher!)|
|9%||Intangibles: individuality/desire to succeed|
Looking at my 10th tip, I made mention of adding a cover letter. As important as a good CV is, a good cover letter to go with it will go a long way to help your job application.
How Important Is a Cover Letter?
Like I said earlier, most companies will require you to send a cover letter alongside your cv explaining why you are qualified for the job. While a cover letter may be optional for some companies, it’s usually a good idea to include one in every application you submit.
The question now is, why is it important that you send one out with your cv.
Here are a few reasons why a cover letter can help you get the job:
It tells your story
The cover letter gives you a chance to tell your story before you can speak to the hiring manager.
While you have the opportunity to explain why you are the right person for the job, an employer learns more about your current situation.
For example, you may have left a previous employer and are trying to start a new career path, or you’re an entry-level employee who’s looking to gain professional work experience.
Either way, a cover letter gives you an opportunity to define your personal brand and demonstrate the type of core values you can bring to the company.
It builds a relationship with the employer
Relationship building is important in finding a job that fits your career goals. The same applies to writing a cover letter. The main difference between sending a resume and a cover letter is that a resume covers the facts about what you’ve done while a cover letter shows your personality to an employer.
It is highly recommended that you demonstrate which accomplishments have meant most to you in your professional career and why. By explaining your accomplishments, you highlight what makes you meaningful in the workplace and why.
It explains your relationship with someone who referred you
You may be in a position where you’ve used the network to find a job.
Perhaps you’ve attended a briefing or know someone who works there (such as a friend or family member), or you heard about the job at a networking event.
Either way, a cover letter will explain how you met your recommendation and how your conversation with them inspired you to apply.
Now, you know the importance of a cover letter, here are my quick tips on writing a good cover letter for your job application.
Quick Tips on Writing a Good Cover Letter
- Read the job description. A job description will usually list the desired qualifications for the job. This can help you figure out if you’re the right fit for this role. Be sure to also pay attention to any application instructions written in the description. This step reveals what materials they need to review in order for them to consider your application. Even with a referral, you’ll still need to follow the steps listed in the job description.
- Allocate your time properly. You should be sending most of your time customizing your resume and cover letter for the job. An employer wants to know how you can benefit the company, so your resume and cover letter should convey this.
- Create a portfolio. Create a portfolio to showcase the work you’ve done throughout your career. You can also include a copy of your resume, which makes it easier for the employer to see everything all on one page. If you get to the interview stage, consider having a print copy of your portfolio to show to your hiring manager.
- Monitor your social media. Today, more employers check social media accounts to see what an applicant has posted publicly. This can be an indication for employers to see if you’re the right fit for their company. Be mindful of what you post on your social media accounts, and post links to your social media accounts in your portfolio if you’re applying to a job in that field.
The CV and cover letter are usually the main pieces of content a candidate sends to an employer. However, keep these tips in mind before you submit your resume and cover letter for the next position you are applying for.
Information we need to prepare your professional CV
- Personal information (Name, email, date of birth, phone number, address, LinkedIn ID, sex, marital status)
- Work experience and with date duration
- Education from the least to the highest (Add gradings too e.g CGPA)
- Skills/proficiency (relevant to the job opening)
- Certifications (if any with dates)
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