I have been privileged to review various CV’s this past weeks and I see the employability gap which reduces their chances of getting invited for an interview. So I decided to write some tips to help people who barely make it past the CV submission stage.
- Don’t apply for a job you are not qualified for
Most people will read this and think they are not too guilty of this but I feel 70% of applicants are guilty of this. Over-qualification is one of the reasons why recruiters screen out CV’s. e.g a role requires minimum of 2 years’ experience and candidates with 10-15 years will submit applications ?? Please look at the cadre of the role and see if you meet the required specification. Senior Managers and Managers should not apply for an officer role and vice versa. Officer roles range between 2-5 years. Manager roles range between 5-9 years and Senior Managers range between 8-15 years etc.
- Include a description and Achievement in each role you have worked.
It’s wise to read through the job description for each role and see if it matches what you have experience in. I cannot over-emphasize the fact that one single CV shouldn’t be sent for every application. My suggestion is to incorporate some of the expectation for the role into your CV. Please do not copy the advertised job description verbatim. You should be able to show it in the description that you are a perfect fit. Achievement or Accomplishment will give you an added advantage because it gives the recruiter more insight into your competencies and capabilities. Take note that the achievement should be related ‘in a way’ to the role you are applying for. The absence of a description or responsibility in a role makes it difficult for the recruiter to ascertain that you have actually done what is required before.
- Your CV should be detailed
When screening through a CV, a recruiter has a lot he/she is looking out for and when a CV is open, the recruiter is looking to spend the least time on that CV so the absence of important imformation can get you out of the list. For example, the duration of your employment history should be properly dated to include the month you resumed and exited. Some candidates don’t even put the duration, the recruiter won’t be able to ascertain the years of experience you have and because there are thousands of other CV’s, he/she moves on. If the job description of the role needs someone that has knowledge of a particular software and you can use it, include that in bold to save the recruiter some time. Make it less complex as possible.
- Get a second opinion of your CV from a professional
Some CV’s are generated in the cyber café by some computer operators who know nothing about what recruiters are looking out for. This is very important especially for new entrants into the job market. A lot of consultants offer that service at an affordable cost. However, if you don’t have the money to pay for that, you can identify senior colleagues who may not necessarily be an HR personnel but because of their experience doing something related, they will be able to advise you on things to add or remove. There are also a lot of free CV formats online that guide you. Some ‘experienced professionals’ also have terrible CV’s. Please send it to a learned colleague to give it a second look and advice you, it will save you from losing that desired job opportunity. However, it’s preferable you that a CV be reviewed by an HR Personnel.
A problem I have realized is that there a lot of candidates who need a new job or a change of job and there are also a lot of recruiters whose headache is looking for the right person for various vacancies. Please save the recruiter some trouble by showing yourself as the right fit.
I wish you the best in your job search!