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Topic: Winning CVs

  1. #1
    Senior Member teadewole's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Winning CVs

    The following excerpts may be the keys you need in order to land your dream job.
    NB: some notes here are not applicable to Nigerian job seekers.
    Cheers as you read.

    No matter how many firms I apply to, I constantly get rejections despite being on track to get a good degree and from a good university. What am I doing wrong?

    Cover letters
    Graduate recruiters will pass over your application unless you tell them why they should employ you; this is best done in the cover letter. Bullet points make good reading as they show clarity of thought, break down the job description by bullet points and match each one with your suitability. Explain why you have decided to apply for this particular job, why you will be good at it and the reason you want to work for them and not their competitors.





    Vague job descriptions - my qualifications aren't up to it, should I apply anyway?

    Cover letters
    Anything expressed as a minimum in a job description means just that, so if a minimum grade or qualification is required it means that recruiters are unlikely to consider candidates that don't have exactly what's specified. However, an overlap of skills, experience, qualifications and attributes is normal. This means that if you have a lower grade of qualification than the one advertised but some related experience it may still be worth applying. In all cases list what your relevant attributes are and they match the minimum requirements high up in your cover letter starting with your strongest. If you're really unsure as to what the recruiter is looking for, email them and ask for further information.



    A lot of people tell me I have to exaggerate the truth in my CV to get on, and that everybody else is doing it anyway so I'd be daft not to join in.


    CVs
    Concentrate on writing a compelling profile (description of your attributes) at the start of your CV and you won't have to lie about your qualifications, skills or grades. It's fine to promote why you'd be a good hire, but you don't need to lie to do that; just think of your job application or CV from the recruiter's perspective.


    Can potential employers demand that I take a drugs test?

    Yes employers can demand that you take a drugs test, but they need to publish or inform candidates that this is a requirement. It is common to test for drugs in industries where candidates work with pharmaceutical or biochemical products, finances or with young or vulnerable people. The armed and emergency forces and the prison service are also increasingly using drugs tests.



    I was too busy studying and then went travelling after uni. Everybody bangs on about work experience - what can I do?


    CVs
    Checking your work experience is an easy way for employers to figure out what you'll be like as an employee. However, you can get around having limited or no work experience by describing yourself from an employer's perspective. The best way to do this is in the 'profile' section of your CV. If you've been travelling you may well be adventurous, independent and self-motivated, if you travelled in a group perhaps you are also sociable and a good team player. Employers recognise that many of the skills you develop whilst travelling can easily be transferred to the workplace. For more advice on gap year travel see To gap or not to gap.


    Some of my mates have said that it's a good idea to do voluntary work. Is this true or is it a waste of time?

    CVs
    This is good advice, volunteering can boost your confidence and help to build up a network of future employers or people that might recommend you for a job. Here's what Mark Crosby a volunteer teacher in Malawi had to say on the subject:

    "I gained so much more in my confidence, my interpersonal skills, and my knowledge of development issues. And it really does add something to your CV."






    How long should my CV be?

    CVs
    On average recruiters take 8 seconds to decide whether to screen a CV in or out. Keep your CV punchy and stick to the job of selling your abilities. Ideally it should be no more than two sides of A4 paper long. If you have recently graduated highlight your subject and course grades, also detail your dissertation or final year project describing its focus and how you went about completing it. Caroline Buckingham, Pro-Active Resourcer at Microsoft UK has the following tips:
    "As you can imagine we get hundreds of CVs submitted to Microsoft every day, therefore it's very important for a candidate to really think about their CV before they submit it. Keep it clear, to the point and highlight all the relevant skills needed for the job you are applying for. You may need to change each CV for every position you apply for as this will ensure you are tailoring your CV to the needs of the job."

    Should I include a photo or personal details in my CV?
    There is no requirement to include marital status (this may not be the case for Nigerian employers), your vital statistics, or a photo in your CV as it's not relevant to your suitability for jobs. The exception are jobs where you wouldn't be considered unless you have certain attributes e.g. appearing on a reality TV singles show! Any unusual requests should be stated and explained in the job description. You don't have to justify life style choices; suitability for the role in question is all that a recruiter should be interested in.


    How do I get good work references if I've been at university and don't have work experience?
    If this is your first job references from tutors, mentors, or friends (preferably those that work in business) are fine. You don't need to stipulate who your referees are on your CV or job application, just put at the bottom of your CV that you do have referees available to be contacted if necessary. If your future employer (or college) wants to take up references, warn your referees and find out how they would prefer to be contacted. If your prospective employer wants to call your referees agree a time. You don't want your referee to get called mid-way through their weekly shop!


    Qualified but lacking in experience
    If you have the qualifications, but lack the experience, consider advising or working (part-time) with local businesses to build up your experience. Diversity or breadth of experience matters more than length of time. You will demonstrate enthusiasm and perseverance to your prospective employer and these personality facets add value to an organisation.


  2. #2
    Newbie orire's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Re: Winning CVs

    Iam more qualified on my current job advice me on how best i can adjust my resume to suit a new offer which i know will come soon.A pathfinder of what i mean,a university graduate working as a store keeper..........

  3. #3
    Newbie orire's Avatar
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    Re: Winning CVs

    If d reply is in my box i will check nw........

  4. #4
    Newbie Ekwe's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Re: Winning CVs

    plz dear cud u prepare a cv prototype and send to my box anytym u com on-line. this is my E-mail address: ekweogbonna@yahoo.com. Thank as i wait 4 ur response.
    Mama tot i&#039;ll stop at 25, but i found out ma drims grow wit me lyk .9mm&nbsp; to ak47. even at 85 i&#039;ll still fyt. <br />So haus, kip da flame blazin.

  5. #5
    Newbie Babadudu's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: Winning CVs

    Global moderator, could u pls send me a copy of the CV making procedure to my box:
    Dafavoured1@yahoo.com.
    Thanx,
    Bye.

  6. #6
    Senior Member teadewole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    303

    Re: Winning CVs

    Ekwe and Babadudu,

    Since CVs are generic in nature, i mean every Cv should have certain common features like contact info, colleges and institutions attended, maybe qualification attained and job experience, then there ought to be a difference in urs if you are keen in having an edge over other applicants ON THE SAME POSITION.

    That difference will only reflect in the priority you give to the sectional arrangement and total construction of your CV.
    My suggestion of the kind of CV that can take you there:

    Reasonably and most times, your identity and contact details should be visible @ first glance of your CV. This should include your email and functional phone numbers.

    Anoda catchy thing there should be your career objectives.
    This is very vital and it's very unfortunate most Nigerian graduates do not give priority to this in their CV and some that do don't provide a true reflection of what they can really offer.

    Your key skills, including those gathered vocationally and past relevant responsibilities from job experience and elsewhere should ALWAYS be contained in the first page of your CV.

    Also your educational qualifcations if they are outstanding should fit in somewhere on the first page.

    Your interests, References and few other things you may want to include should follow.

    TRY AND AVOID SHADINGS, TABLES OR ANYTHING THAT CAN MAKE YOUR CV LOOK CONSPICUOUS.
    Font style, may be windows default or the most common but
    The acceptable font size is 12 and i would recommend 1.5" line spacing.
    Ensure a line spacing between each section of your CV.

    I think i have done some job for you and you can think of other useful things to include on your own
    or may be consult elsewhere.

    BUT if you still have problem making your CV, drop a line on this page and i will endeavour to include some CV formats or send them to you directly.

    NOTE THAT YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE UP DIFFERENT CVs FOR DIFFERENT OCCASIONS DEPENDING ON WHAT MESSGAE YOU WANT TO CONVEY TO THE RECRUITER.

    WISH U GUYS THE VERY BEST.

  7. #7
    Senior Member twilliams2k5's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    183

    Re: Winning CVs

    You are just too wonderful, i dont know what to say but i charge u to keep the light burning one day the most high will compensate ya heavily

    Thanx

  8. #8
    Senior Member teadewole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    303

    Re: Winning CVs

    Amen twilliams, but the most important thing is to let your CV speaks for you and win you jobs even before you get shortlisted for tests or interviews.

    Wish u the very best.

  9. #9
    Newbie GEORGE07's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    Re: Winning CVs

    ANY INFORMATION ON YOUR CV SHOULD BE WELL DEFENDED DURING INTERVIEW BECOS THEY MAY START ASKING QUESTIONS FROM YOUR SUBMITTED CV
    correct thing is happening in naijahotjobs thats why i like the show. well am a graduate in search for greener pastures in naija cos i belive in naija.no matter what person will survive the condition in this our country. So my spirit is high not loosing hope or religating to depression and perplexit

  10. #10
    Newbie Olusola79's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Re: Winning CVs

    Going through this piece is a mind blowing for prospective Nigerian employee since it has become uneasy task for young graduates to get it easy with their prospective employers. I believe that with recipe like this, sky will be our starting point. Well done boy.
    Olusola

  11. #11
    Newbie joeojeabulu's Avatar
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    Re: Winning CVs

    Quote Originally Posted by teadewole
    The following excerpts may be the keys you need in order to land your dream job.
    NB: some notes here are not applicable to Nigerian job seekers.
    Cheers as you read.

    No matter how many firms I apply to, I constantly get rejections despite being on track to get a good degree and from a good university. What am I doing wrong?

    Cover letters
    Graduate recruiters will pass over your application unless you tell them why they should employ you; this is best done in the cover letter. Bullet points make good reading as they show clarity of thought, break down the job description by bullet points and match each one with your suitability. Explain why you have decided to apply for this particular job, why you will be good at it and the reason you want to work for them and not their competitors.





    Vague job descriptions - my qualifications aren't up to it, should I apply anyway?

    Cover letters
    Anything expressed as a minimum in a job description means just that, so if a minimum grade or qualification is required it means that recruiters are unlikely to consider candidates that don't have exactly what's specified. However, an overlap of skills, experience, qualifications and attributes is normal. This means that if you have a lower grade of qualification than the one advertised but some related experience it may still be worth applying. In all cases list what your relevant attributes are and they match the minimum requirements high up in your cover letter starting with your strongest. If you're really unsure as to what the recruiter is looking for, email them and ask for further information.



    A lot of people tell me I have to exaggerate the truth in my CV to get on, and that everybody else is doing it anyway so I'd be daft not to join in.


    CVs
    Concentrate on writing a compelling profile (description of your attributes) at the start of your CV and you won't have to lie about your qualifications, skills or grades. It's fine to promote why you'd be a good hire, but you don't need to lie to do that; just think of your job application or CV from the recruiter's perspective.


    Can potential employers demand that I take a drugs test?

    Yes employers can demand that you take a drugs test, but they need to publish or inform candidates that this is a requirement. It is common to test for drugs in industries where candidates work with pharmaceutical or biochemical products, finances or with young or vulnerable people. The armed and emergency forces and the prison service are also increasingly using drugs tests.



    I was too busy studying and then went travelling after uni. Everybody bangs on about work experience - what can I do?


    CVs
    Checking your work experience is an easy way for employers to figure out what you'll be like as an employee. However, you can get around having limited or no work experience by describing yourself from an employer's perspective. The best way to do this is in the 'profile' section of your CV. If you've been travelling you may well be adventurous, independent and self-motivated, if you travelled in a group perhaps you are also sociable and a good team player. Employers recognise that many of the skills you develop whilst travelling can easily be transferred to the workplace. For more advice on gap year travel see To gap or not to gap.


    Some of my mates have said that it's a good idea to do voluntary work. Is this true or is it a waste of time?

    CVs
    This is good advice, volunteering can boost your confidence and help to build up a network of future employers or people that might recommend you for a job. Here's what Mark Crosby a volunteer teacher in Malawi had to say on the subject:

    "I gained so much more in my confidence, my interpersonal skills, and my knowledge of development issues. And it really does add something to your CV."






    How long should my CV be?

    CVs
    On average recruiters take 8 seconds to decide whether to screen a CV in or out. Keep your CV punchy and stick to the job of selling your abilities. Ideally it should be no more than two sides of A4 paper long. If you have recently graduated highlight your subject and course grades, also detail your dissertation or final year project describing its focus and how you went about completing it. Caroline Buckingham, Pro-Active Resourcer at Microsoft UK has the following tips:
    "As you can imagine we get hundreds of CVs submitted to Microsoft every day, therefore it's very important for a candidate to really think about their CV before they submit it. Keep it clear, to the point and highlight all the relevant skills needed for the job you are applying for. You may need to change each CV for every position you apply for as this will ensure you are tailoring your CV to the needs of the job."

    Should I include a photo or personal details in my CV?
    There is no requirement to include marital status (this may not be the case for Nigerian employers), your vital statistics, or a photo in your CV as it's not relevant to your suitability for jobs. The exception are jobs where you wouldn't be considered unless you have certain attributes e.g. appearing on a reality TV singles show! Any unusual requests should be stated and explained in the job description. You don't have to justify life style choices; suitability for the role in question is all that a recruiter should be interested in.


    How do I get good work references if I've been at university and don't have work experience?
    If this is your first job references from tutors, mentors, or friends (preferably those that work in business) are fine. You don't need to stipulate who your referees are on your CV or job application, just put at the bottom of your CV that you do have referees available to be contacted if necessary. If your future employer (or college) wants to take up references, warn your referees and find out how they would prefer to be contacted. If your prospective employer wants to call your referees agree a time. You don't want your referee to get called mid-way through their weekly shop!


    Qualified but lacking in experience
    If you have the qualifications, but lack the experience, consider advising or working (part-time) with local businesses to build up your experience. Diversity or breadth of experience matters more than length of time. You will demonstrate enthusiasm and perseverance to your prospective employer and these personality facets add value to an organisation.


  12. #12
    Newbie onyementor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    1

    Re: Winning CVs

    Moderator,
    i love what u are doing.pls i don't mind you adjusting this for me.

    [attachment deleted by admin]

  13. #13
    Newbie bokime's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    Re: Winning CVs

    HI MODERATOR WILL YOU BE KIND ENOUGH TO CHECK MY CV AND MAKE CORRECTIONS OR SEND ME A SAMPLE DIRECTLY ubokime@yahoo.co.uk

    [attachment deleted by admin]

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