How To Write A Really Good CV + Do's And Dont's!


"Hey Naomi, trust you are doing fine? Please when will you be less busy? Wanted to know if you can help me around my CV..." This is typically an example of  some  kind of messages and mails I do receive from my online community and close friends regarding Career Advice. Wait a minute! I'm not trying to say I write one of the best CV's or Resume in the world but I know I write them so well coupled with the fact that I work in a Human Resources Department which I think is an added advantage that seemed to make me really good at it.

And I must confess, at a certain time while I was serving (NYSC) I thought about turning it into a business (Lol!) but then again I thought about the stress coupled with my Job as at then and I felt it's not sort of what it. So I offered to do it free of charge to those really close to me and till date I still get referrals from people not even close to me to help them out. And I thought it best to write a post about it so at least, it can ease the stress off me and to a whole lot of other people. 

Actually, there is no one best way or particular way to construct a good CV and Resume. In fact, there are several ways out there to write a good one but I believe these tips and steps will hit you on the right track.

Treat Your CV/Resume As A Marketing Document

No offense! But I think it's really amusing to see how careless people get when applying for Jobs. I work in a Human Resources Department and so I know what I am saying! I get to review ton's of CV's alongside my boss while recruiting and I could feel the dis-contempt on her face when doing so because it seems like over 60% of graduates out there are not good with writing CV's (well...may be in Nigeria...I'm not too sure). What I do know is that, your CV/Resume is a marketing tool and you should be able to sell yourself in the best possible way to employers. And how do you do that? By showcasing almost all you got to keep the reader impressed and wowed. 

Start with a powerful lead statement 

Always start with a powerful lead statement on your professional or executive summary that is captivating and usually involving an action word. For example, "Dedicated Customer Service Representative able to maintain customer satisfaction and contribute to company's success." "Reliable and result driven, with strong time management and prioritization abilities." Here is a sample of a lead statement on my former CV. 



Focus on Relevance

Try to focus more on your abilities and strengths. Show your accomplishments and things you have done that are really outstanding. Tell how you can contribute to the company if hired, what major problems you are capable of solving or potentials you got that could be of a valuable help to them, etc. I still remember how this point contributed so much in helping me land my first Internship job right after school. 

It was a big organization and poor me, I was just a fresh graduate and to think that they already had another candidate who they thought fit for the position got me so nervous. All I remember doing aside dropping my CV was telling them how much of a relevance I could be to them if I'm hired. And though they didn't give me an answer right then, they asked me to come back a few days later, unknown to me it was an interview (Will be writing a post on Helpful Interview Tips soon, so don't forget to subscribe). 

I can't remember answering all the questions put to me perfectly well but I do remember towards the end of it all, I capitalized more on my abilities to the point of demonstrating it on their PC and they were even more surprised when I was asked if I had any question for them and I said yes (using that moment to my advantage). They had to create a position for me since they couldn't send their special candidate away (Lol!).

So, sometimes it's not really about the length of your CV or what you didn't get right or wrong, it's about highlighting some of your major skills and capitalizing on them in line with what the recruiters want. This saves the recruiter so much trouble and stops him/her from getting bored and just skimming through your document.

Be specific

Try to keep your paragraphs short, simple and precise unless you are applying to be an executive or director somewhere. Avoid unnecessary details and long stories. If you have more to say, create a bullet list and make sure you highlight specific details that are needed as well as important to the job you are applying for. For many recruiters, if they don't see the requirements and skills as placed on the job advert being made for the position you are applying for on your CV, they don't even think and look twice. It's a no from them! So, ensure that everything listed on your CV correlates to the job you are applying for.

Keep it organized and visually appealing

I mean to say, keep your CV properly laid out, rearranged, organized, customized, easy to read and properly formatted. Use headings and subheads to segment and introduce an information. Make sure the colors, texts, boxes, shadings, tables, images and paragraphs are consistent with one other. By doing this, you make your work stand out from the crowd and help the recruiter save time.

Content is key

You will agree with me that if all the other 5 points mentioned earlier are in place but no content to back it up, then it's just like pouring water into a basket. I recently constructed a CV for someone and it was a bit tough for me because she had no working experience of whatsoever. I had to sit down with her for hours, trying to draw and bring out all that she is capable of doing. At a point she got tired and wanted us to forget about it because she felt she wasn't good at anything but NO! This is something I love doing and it's also part of my Job as a Content Creator - we have the ability to create anything from nothing to something. And that was exactly what happened! By the time we finished, she couldn't believe all that was in there (and no we didn't fake it). It was real!

Summary of it all is that, each and every one of us have something deep inside of us that is capable of launching us to where ought to be but sometimes these things are left untapped, unused and unharnessed for certain reason or simply because we fail to look deeper than what we see ourselves as. We all have what it takes to succeed but it's left for you and I to discover and develop it to yield great results in life.

Do's And Dont's Of A Really Good CV 

  • Don't abbreviate words
  • Don't make typo's (Avoid spelling and grammar error's)
  • Don't include hobbies, languages and interests such as "best food" "best movie" "favorite books", etc.
  • Don't say "reference available on request" - sight references, at least two or simply don't put anything
  • Don't forget to add computer skills such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel - it's a major requirement for employers these days
  • Do break up texts with bullet points instead of lumping them all in one place
  • Do make use of "Summary" instead of "Objectives"
  • Do make your contact information very visible so hiring managers can reach you easily
  • Do watch your tenses - manage your past and present tense correctly
  • Do include work history with dates and places you worked and the year - starting with the current
  • Do include training, workshops, seminars attended and online courses taken or certified in
  • Do brag about your endorsement from other employees or promotions and awards you have received
  • Do include Education, Qualifications & Skills gained - starting with the highest
  • Do ask for feedback from the employer - this enables them get back to you even if you don't get the job
  • Do label your file correctly with your name E.g First Name_Last Name_CV.pdf
  • Do send your CV as a PDF not as a Word document
  • Do say "thank you for your consideration in advance"
  • Do attach a Cover Letter to your CV - stating who you are, what you do, what you have to offer, what skills you have gained so far and what they stand to benefit when you are hired, etc.

It's a tough one out there for the unemployed but even after doing all these things, you must not relent your effort on trying. You have to keep trying and trying and trying again. And also trust in God and not man for divine connections and favor! But make sure you do your part!

I really hope you found these tips helpful enough but should in any case, you encounter some sort of difficulty. Send me a mail! The first 5 people, will get some experts touch and extra tips for free that will enable them build their CV and Cover Letter in a much more professional way. Thanks for reading as always!

Don't forget to like, share, subscribe and leave your thoughts and opinions, corrections and objections in the comment box below. See you around!


 

4 comments

  1. You sure know how to do all these things and you will not teach me! It's not fair oh..leh me better send you a mail now before you start going places and you won't have time for us again. You really did a great work dear, God bless NDB!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post,dear. This is a very enlightening article and one that is absolutely necessary in present day Nigeria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dami😀 It's always nice to see you here...thanks dear💛

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