How to Write an Effective CV

Writing a resume can sometimes be the toughest part of getting a job. Without an effective resume, an applicant will most likely not be invited for an interview and without that, then no job. Deciding what to include in your CV and what not, where to position one and the other. This all seems to just be too much to handle.

However, writing a resume that is sure to get a job is something anyone can do. The crucial aspect is learning the important information to add, how to arrange and then a little creativity. To help you design that perfect CV, provides you with a step by step guide on how to write that CV that recruiters will be unable to ignore.

Let’s get started.

What is a CV

What is a CV and what does a good CV look like? A CV is simply the short form for curriculum vitae and it can be described as a document detailing your academic achievements or a summary of your career and used when applying for jobs. Simply put, A CV is your first marketing tool in the search for a job. It is your way of advertising yourself to potential employers.

What is the Difference between a CV and A Resume?

Both CV and Resume mean the same thing. Just that they are called differently depending on the country of use. The document is referred to as CV in Britain while it is called a Resume in the United States of America.

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How to Write the Best CV

Considering the level of unemployment in Nigeria today and the number of graduates being chunked out yearly, it is safe to assume that for every job you are applying for, there are hundreds of other candidates applying for same.
Now let’s assume you are the recruiter, will you read through all the applications and CV just to get a person to suit a role? I don’t think so. On the average, a recruiter takes only a few seconds to scan through CV and so it is important that your CV is eye catching enough that the recruiter doesn’t drop it within those few seconds. An effective eye catching CV must be well formatted to avoid being discarded at first glance.

What to include in your CV

A proper CV should be divided into three parts. The header, the body and the footer.
A. The Header
The header is usually positioned at the top (the head as the name suggests). It will contain the following details;
     -Applicant’s contact information
The includes your name, your professional title as well as your contact details (usually, your address, email and phone number is sufficient)

First Name Last Name, Title
Phone Number

Note: You do not need a title for your CV. In the place of this, practice using your name as the title

   – Personal Profile

This is also referred to as the personal statement. The details of the personal profile should include the CV objective as well as summary therefore it should be adjusted to suit the job role you intend to fill.
To help in creating the best personal statement, look through the requirements of the job and highlight specific qualities that help you fit the role perfectly. Your personal statement should include
– A brief on who you are
– What you can offer the company
– And finally your career goals ( as it relates to the job)

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 B. Body
The body is where the bulk content of the CV falls into. These include the candidates Work Experience, Education and skills as well as employment history.
-Work Experience
In listing your experience, always start with the most recent (in chronological order). Most employers are interested in your most recent employment details, your employer and the duration. Each employment history should be listed in the following order;

Start Date – End Date
Company Name and location
Job Title
Role Summary (list the ones most relevant to the current role you are applying for)
Key Awards/Achievements/Impact (ensure you list any key achievement, awards or impact you made while at the job).

  -Educational Qualification and Certificates
This is a lot similar to your work experience in terms of arrangements. It should also be listed in chronological order. Include the name of your institution and qualification/ grades achieved (you may leave out your grade if it is below pass).
Also, remember to include any further degrees, certificates or seminars.
-Relevant Skills
Since your CV is a major marketing tool, you should include skills that will project your profile especially if you have acquired such skills that are relevant to the job. Be moderate, avoid listing too many. Four or five skills and abilities is enough.
C. Footer
Here is where you put e Additional sections including awards and recognitions as well as references.
Note: Usually, for references, it’s more conventional to add a statement saying references will be made available on request instead of adding long lines of referees. If your CV tends to be too full already, you can remove the reference section entirely.

Basic Tips for Writing an Effective CV

1. Be simple and consistent with your content.
2. Ensure that your CV is no longer than two pages. If possible, keep it at just a page
3. Begin each section with a bold heading ( not ambiguous, keep it professional)
4. Stick to a clear and legible format for example, use the Times New Romans, Arial or Calibri.
5. You can have different CVs tailored to different job offers and roles. However always ensure you have a generic copy handy at all times.

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