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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Somo la Leo: Usifanye Makosa haya unapo andika CV yako

In the current job hunting industry, you will not be hated if you are obsessed about resumes. Who wouldn't? Currently, if your CV is wrong, then no job for you. The job application competition is at its highest. Just as an example, one of our many clients who advertise with us put up a job for a senior accountant and about 608 candidates applied. Just imagine, there was only one vacancy and if you are not the crème de la crème, then woe unto you. So, what is this grave mistake we make in our CVs and what are the secrets to getting that coveted job?

Let me tell you, there's so much to get right: functional versus chronological, objective statements (pros and cons), key words, templates, references, font size, white space, action verbs, employment gaps, placement and style of bullets, typos, and whether to include hobbies (probably a "no" on that last one).
You see all that? Is it so much? So much, in fact, that we often forget the most important ingredient of a really great, interview-obtaining, new-job-snagging CV: It needs to be written specifically for the job you're after.

So what? Does that mean you have to do a new resume for every single position you apply for? 

Yes, that's exactly what it means.

This should not be a cause for alarm. Please fear not because it is not as laborious as it sounds. You don't have to start from scratch each time. All you need to do is edit your current CV or refocus your "master" resume to sync with the job in question.

So now the big question is, how?

1.   Read and reread the job description: Study it. Ponder it. Identify the words and phrases the employer uses to describe the position.
2.   Take a look your work accomplishments, certifications, education, and experience: You should be keeping lists of all this stuff. This is the raw data you draw on to craft your resumes and cover letters, too.
3.   Ask yourself which of your credentials can honestly be described using the same words and phrases the employer uses in the job description.
4.   Take those words and phrases and use them to describe yourself in your CV:From this point, all you have to do is plug in info from your master resume. See, it's not a total rewrite. In fact, most of your resume will stay the same. You'll find that customizing your resume gets easier each time you do it.

There are other very important aspects that I will take this chance to advise you. When applying for specific job, you need to modify your CV to fit or blend with the requirements of the employer. In your CV it is important to:

1.   If you use a career objective at the top of the page, it should include the exact job title of the position you're seeking.
2.   Remove experience/qualifications that have nothing to do with the job in question. You want to make it easy for employers to see the credentials they most care about.
3.   Try to figure out what credentials are of highest importance to the employer and put those first.
4.   If your past job titles are ambiguous, overly jargon, or don't obviously relate to the job you're applying for, rephrase them in a way that shows how those past jobs qualify you for this new job.

The big question that will answer today’s discussion is, what's the worst 
mistake you can make on your resume?

The straight answer to this question is failing to customize.

Just as a quick note:

·         Do not put your picture on the CV and if you must ensure it is professionally done.
·         Avoid typos.
·         It's not really necessary to put a lot of personal detail in your CV
·         The best part of your CV should be then work experience. Make sure it is the best done part of your CV.

Today’s job market is very competitive and I hope you will read the article on how to stand out by Wale that we have published. I will leave you with two sayings that correlate. Please do not stand out for the wrong reasons and do not make a mistake of not standing out at all.

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