What is a CV?
A CV is an official document that contains the profile, educational and career background of a person.
In our part of the world, CV and a résumé means the same thing but in other climes, they mean different things entirely. Some of us have been submitting CVs like forever and yet we don’t get interview invites. The problem is that your CV is not passing what is known as The 30 seconds Test. The 30 seconds test simply means that an employer or interviewer will decide if he’s going to employ you or not within 30 seconds of perusing your CV.
The Do’s and Don’ts of CV
1. Never start your CV with “Curriculum Vitae”. Start with your name boldly written with a larger font.
2. Ensure the address on your CV is the same with the location of the job. It will make interviewers consider you faster. e.g, if the job is in Lagos, apply with a Lagos address. If you don’t stay in the same location, look for someone you know that use same location.
3. Don’t use childish email address. Use an email address with your name. Don’t use email address such as email@example.com. It says a lot about your maturity and professionalism. You can use firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If the name is already taken, add some numbers, e.g firstname.lastname@example.org. Under personal data or profile. Some entities like date of birth, state, local government and nationality are not compulsory. As a matter of fact, if the age they need doesn’t favour you, just take off your date of birth. Keep the interviewer in doubt. Rather sell your skills.
5. Under educational background and dates, simply write your school, your course of study and then the year you graduated. Take off the year you got admission. Some people started school in 2005 and graduated in 2012 for a 4-year course. It might not be their fault but employers wouldn’t take it that way since you’re not there to defend it. So I repeat, write out only graduation year. Also, there’s no need for your grade (First class, 2.1, 2.2, etc). Just take it off.
6. Professional Certification is another area that’s making people lose out of job search in recent times. Under this section, most people don’t have what to put and it pisses off most employers. It means you haven’t done much to add value to yourself. If you are a Corp member here, try to do one or two professional course during your service year, else you will be submitting what we call a blank CV’. For those working, you can use your weekends to achieve same. It will help you in your next job search.
Under your work experience, you are expected to state where you worked, your job designation and your responsibilities. If you are no longer working in the firm, write your responsibilities in past tense. The current place of work can be written in present tense.
However, all your work experiences need not go on your CV except the one relates to the job you’re applying for. it makes your CV concise.
Under you hobbies and interest, you need to be careful of your choices. I once saw a CV that has playing video games as the applicant’s hobby. I quickly discarded the CV. Your hobbies should be within researching, meeting people, playing scrabble or chess, mentoring and travelling. But be sure you are into the hobbies as it could be placed before you one day.
9. Under your referees or references, please you are expected to have your referees name, address, phone number and email address. You can also use your family member as your referee but ensure you don’t use the same surname. Also, ensure your referees are aware you are using them as referees to avoid stories that touch.
10. An ideal CV should be in black and white not coloured except on two occasions: if you are applying as a graphic designer and you want to wow your employer or when your CV has the logo of the company you’ve worked before under your job experience.
11. Never forward a CV from your inbox to another employer. Open and compose a fresh mail then upload your CV and send.
12. When sending your CV, make sure the subject carries the job role you are applying for.
13. Don’t save your CV on your laptop or phone as ‘My CV’ or Edited CV’. Simple save it with your full name, e.g Adebayo Michael Samuel.
14. When sending your CV, don’t leave the email page blank. Copy your cover letter and post on the email page. Forget the usual ‘Sir, kindly find attached herewith for your .
15. You don’t need to append your passport photo on your CV except the employer request for it which is quite rare.