You must have read a series of guides on designing a perfect and professional CV/Resume after your studies. In fact, during camping (at NYSC), you’d got some lectures on how to prepare yourself for the labor market with a widely acceptable Resume.
I was once in your shoes.
Coming out of service, my first chase was searching for a befitting job (or anyone for that matter). I’d got myself set with a well-designed CV (at least to the best of my knowledge). On getting to the labor market, I realized I was carrying a wrongly designed CV.
While setting out to get jobs, one of the best weapons you need is a CV/Resume. If you get it right, you’re 50% done setting up your office. This is because your CV is your own office. Your prospective employers are your customers.
The culture here may not encourage consulting a human resources manager who should guide you on this upfront. We believe in doing it yourself. What if you’ve blown some chances before realizing that the CV (you’ve been submitting) was below per?
Unfortunately, also, our universities and colleges had never incorporated CV 101 or Resume 401 as a course. Why? Well, that is not the topic here.
Missing out at that? You can still follow guides from those who have returned from the same journey.
After searching for jobs for one and a half years without success, I decided to meet an HR firm. The young man who attended to me was quick to spot a few errors on the CV. Spelling mistakes? No.
Like me, there were errors in the CV you’ve been carrying around. Unfortunately, those companies you submitted to wouldn’t show you the errors, they wouldn’t just get back to you.
Below are a few corrections the consultant corrected within the first ten minutes of interacting with me.
1. Writing “CV/Resume” as the Title of Your CV
This is a common mistake anybody can make. It’s the norm here. The first thing you see on people’s CV is “Curriculum” Vitae or “Resume”. That’s wrong and I have my explanation.
The explanation is simple. This is called an error of repetition.
As a matter of fact, what you’re writing is a CV, you don’t need to tell us what you’re writing again. In other words, the company you’re giving your CV to already knows what it is – spare them the repetition.
Remember in your English class, they titled a letter like this “Application for the Post of Office Assistant” not “
Letter of Application for the Post of Office Assistant”.
You know why?
The recipient of the letter already knows what you sent was a letter. You don’t need to add that to your letter’s title again.
That’s the picture.
If your CV or Resume has that, remove it before your next submission.
2. Listing Names Instead of Using it as Heading
Some of us include our names under the bio-data. This is not generally acceptable.
Below is what I meant.
Bio-Data or Personal Details
Other Names: Michel Peter
Date of Birth: 15th July, 1990
Your name shouldn’t be included in the list of your bio-data except otherwise stated in the job advert. However, some academic positions e.g lecturing requires that standard of arranging your naming under bio-data.
So what to do instead if you’re witing you CV for a non-acadmic post?
Your Names should be right above the content of your CV. It’s your resume heading.
See an example of this below.
3. Detailing the Imortant Information First
What most people give more attention to on their CVs are their dates of birth, religion, gender, hometown, etc. This is why they usually put these under the first or second heading.
While arranging your information, follow the order of importance.
Firstly consider what is more important to your prospective employer. Then, let that be the guide for the order of items on your CV.
In order to achieve this, I suggest this arrangement.
You wouldn’t argue it if I told you, your employer wanted your working experience and professional certifications more than anything else. He wanted to know how you could be of help to the realization of the company’s TARGET without or with little investment in your further training.
Don’t attack him in the first few lines with where you’re born, list of awards, etc.
WORK EXPERIENCES WITH DATES
ABC Nig. Ltd 2017 – 2018
DEF Plc 2016 – 2017
Academia Enterprise 2014 – 2015
If you take note, the dating is as recent or from most recent to the recent.
4. Using a Static Career Objective for all Jobs
We all know graduates will try different industries to get their way. But they miss out on one thing – they use the same career objective for all their submissions.
Imagine submitting the following career objective to banks, manufacturing companies, breweries, construction companies, teaching jobs, etc without any alternation.
To secure a challenging position in a reputable organization to expand my learning, knowledge, and skills.
You’ll argue “is anything wrong with that?”. Yes, there is.
Each company will love to see that your objective is directly addressing the company or the industry. This will show how enthusiastic you’re to work with them or in the industry.
Let’s see this instead.
To secure a responsible career opportunity at ABC Plc in order to fully utilize my field and classroom experiences, while making a significant contribution to the success of the company.
Put yourself in the shoes of that company, you’ll love that too. Smile!
A company that has detailed your expected responsibilities in her adverts will love your career objective to talk about those duties or the responsibilities you’re about to be assigned.
Ensure you have the soft copy of your CV on phone, in email or on a flash drive. Make sure you adjust the career objective each time you need to approach those companies and tailor it to suit their names, goals or industries.
5. Hiding from a Prospective Employer
It’s getting common that businesses want to know everything about their prospective staff. They want to know your past before taking you in.
So when a company feels you’re hiding something, your CV may be dustbined.
Companies are now checking prospective employees’ Facebook pages, Twitter handles, Linkin profiles, and more. This is why recently; applicants are including their social media details on their CV.
This is a way to open up their hands upfront. After all, if you’re hiding all sorts of rubbish you’ve shared on your Facebook, Instagram, etc, you’d not include that.
These origanzations want to know if you’re a religious extremist, racist, womanizer, lazy or slay queens upfront. Where better do you think they can track your past than through social contacts?
See the resume below to get the idea of how to blend your social profiles in a CV.
6. Printing a CV Wrongly
I had one of the greatest shocks of my life when I was working with …. (name withheld for privacy reason). I worked in the HR department.
As usual, I was sorting a set of CVs recently submitted by prospective intakes.
My instruction was to arrange all the first and second classes first. Then, I should wait for the next instruction.
Why holding a CV, the manageress noticed my interest in the candidate. I took a few minutes to go through his info. The guy had first class from a reputable university and had some professional touches to the CV.
However, my boss threw his application into the next dustbin. I was surprised and curious to know what went wrong. The woman wasn’t reluctant to tell me, “can you imagine how rough the photocopies he made were”.
Now I saw her point. But I wanted to defend the young man that, it should be the machine he’d used.
My manageress aggressively replied, “if that guy could let them do his work like that, how do you think he would handle our jobs”.
End of the story!
I know you’d been making photocopies of your CV and credentials. Be mindful of the production of the machines they use for you. There is no law that states that original copies should be clearer than the photocopies or that photocopies should be different from the originals.
If you can spend a few bucks more, it is worth reprinting each time you need to submit your CV.
In addition to this, if you know a job is very important to you, companies do appreciate candidates who print their CV on conqueror papers. These are harder papers that you use for printing official letters, letterheads, and documents. They usually come in cream and white.
7. Typographical Errors
This is like poor printing above. It’s obvious you know the right spellings of those words on your CV, yet some errors can crop in while typing.
How well did you check for such mistakes before printing?
A guy visited my office to scan and send his credentials to someone who wanted to help him.
I was about to click send when I noticed a spelling error. Ask me where?
In his name!
Can you believe that?
The guy nearly broke down in tears. Did you know what he said that hurt me the most?
“Can you believe I’d been submitting this CV to companies for more than a year?”
Do you see that?
The reason you’ve not been called for the last job you applied for might not be because of your grade, course, or the university you went to. It might be right on your CV.
8. Adding Passport/Portrait Photo
This is not really required for a CV. Unless you’re applying to companies in industries that require your beauty as an added advantage like TV, event management, hospitality, and tourism, etc, you may not need to bother your employer with a portrait photo.
I’d seen a few job seekers adopting this lately.
The problem is that they’re ignorant of where this is necessary. If your employer is suspicious of your attempt to lure him into taking you in because of your beauty or dress, you can be denied without feedback.
Except in the likely fields or stated as required in the job adverts, don’t add a photo, please.
9. Including Wrong Contact Address
How can your address be wrong?
Well, it’s not that obvious. Yet, experience has shown that most businesses are conscious of where their prospective staff have lived in the past or living at the present.
Don’t include a local hometown address on the CV if you come from any of the villages/towns around.
Including the address of a relative in the city of the company will save you some embarrassment.
I don’t blame our companies for this. Most of them want candidates from cities and who have lived or still living the city lives. They want people who are already familiar with the laws and norms of the cities – driving, traffic, and more.
These are a few of the mistakes to look out for when preparing your Resume. Kindly take your CV seriously – it’s your office and that’s where you can advertise yourself before winning the chance to be called for a test or an interview.
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