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How to write the CV that will land you the job

WORK LIFE
By Christabel Munene | April 30th 2021
CVs should be 100 per cent error-free. [Standard]

Just completed college and wondering where to start when it comes to writing your CV? 

Thinking about writing your CV is a good place to start. Your CV is the first chance you get to make an impression with a prospective employer. It will boost your chances of getting an interview for a job. A good CV should be simple but detailed, stating your skills, experiences and values. The following components should be included in your CV:

Personal profile

This is the introduction that informs a potential employer who you are, what you stand for, what your main attributes are and your key characteristics as relates to the position you are interested in. Your name should be the first thing in your CV as it appears in your ID. This should be followed by your professional job title for example, ‘Graphic Designer’. Clearly state your valid phone number, email address and your location.

 Avoid fancy emails like [email protected] etc.

Professional profile

Your professional profile section should capture skills, strengths, ability and experience. Don’t hesitate to state what you are ready to offer if given the opportunity. This section gives the employer a summary of your professional history, your career goals and what you can bring to the role. It should be a maximum of five lines and should convince the potential employer that the rest of your CV is worth reading. It is at this point where you can get your CV dropped or forwarded to the hiring manager.

Key competences

In bullet points state the certifications, software and tools that show you are the best for the role. This way, the employer will get an outline of your abilities immediately. The ATS (applicant tracking system) will also notice you. Ensure that the key competencies are related to the job requirements to create a match.

Relevant work experience.

Your most recent role should be at the beginning. State your best abilities in your recent role since it is the peak of your career which the potential employer will be more interested in. The older jobs should have fewer details. State the role including specific employment dates, job title, company, line of duty and, in bullet points, duties, skills and achievements. Volunteer experiences should also be included. List achievements that you attribute to yourself and ensure that they are related to a key responsibility in the job you are applying for.

Education

List qualifications in reverse chronological order. Begin with the most recent. Include your qualification, institutions attended, the grades you obtained and the dates you were a student in those institutions. For internships, education is a huge selling point on your CV. Therefore, be very clear.

Certifications

They should be academic, industry, work or even related to your volunteer work. Remember, including certifications in your CV proves your competency. Include official award titles, the purpose of the awards, what they recognised, their scope and the date of the recognition. For example, ‘awarded the 2020 Student Engineer’ or ‘Best Student Innovation Award’ or ‘Awarded the Best Commercial Law Student Award for the year 2019’

Professional memberships

State the organization and the type of membership you have e.g, "The Chartered Institute of Electrical Engineers". This way, the prospective employer will see that you are committed and involved in your profession.

Hobbies

Adding this section will give the recruiter a better understanding of your abilities, personality and your interests

It is important to review your CV before submitting it to the potential employer. Ensure it has no grammatical errors, typos and other mistakes. Ask a friend to read it and give recommendations if any.

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