I recently conducted a research during this pandemic which left me with the conclusions that a lot job seekers/ job hunters are the cause of their job misfortune (they’re the ones not ready to land themselves their dream jobs). I was able to review and rewrite a couple of resume (CVs) and Cover Letters, for some of my clients. I discovered some terrible and common mistake that most Fresh Graduates and the experienced graduates make & i deem it fit for me to share.
In the quest of How to write a Good CV and Cover Letters, i found out that, these mistakes are what experts and employers tend to see easily, thereby making it a major reason most of these applicants were not being invited for interviews in other to land their dream job.
Also this has been the reason why most underemployed graduates find it difficult to move from their low pay job to a higher pay job or their dream jobs.
How to write a Good CV and Cover Letters-6 steps
So Let’s delve properly into Making A Better CVs and Resumes For Yourselves.
1.Proper Arrangement Of Information in resumes (CV)
To be honest with in my research i found out that about 80 % of the resumes or CVs i worked on, the information on them were poorly arranged. I obviously realized that these applicants purely did not understand the principle behind the popular SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities & strength) analysis which is why they fail in the arrangement of their resumes.
So how do you solve this problem?.
Considering the definition of SWOT analysis by Wikipedia, “SWOT analysis is a Strategic Planning techniques used to help a person or organization identify Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats related to business competition or project planning”. Obviously we know that there is a huge competition in the labor market, in that dream job quest of yours. Therefore, it is your pertinent and of the essence to identify your SWOT in order use them to your advantage, if you must be ahead of your competitors.
So, what are the information that should be classified your Strength or Opportunity, Weakness or Threats? Professionally speaking, Information like, Added academic qualification (Phd,Msc,MBa, etc), additional/professional Certifications,Work Experience, and your achievements, should be positioned as the strength and opportunities. going forward it should be positioned at the first page. While, information such as Personal bio-data (Date of birth, Marital Status) will be considered my Weakness and Threats and i will relocate them to the pages behind.
The idea is, your strength and opportunities serves as the catchy point in your first page so that they get the attention of your potential employers or recruiters.
How to write a Good CV and Cover Letters-6 steps
2.Proper Address of Residence
Over time it is being said that “Common sense is not common practice”, as basic as it may seem, About 95% of applicants opportunities of landing their dream job have been denied, because of this single reason.
Gone are those days when most employers will recruit/employ new employee from any part of the country and provide free accommodation for 3 months, in order to help them settle down & set the straight for the jobs. The Market forces of demand and supply has changed every thing, the Number of graduate Supplied into the labor market has increasingly surpassed the available jobs in demand. And, it has given Employers a lot of choice to make from the available surplus they enjoy it a lot, because it provided an avenue for the cutting down of cost to the barest minimum.
Let’s look at an instance here, let’s say an employer in Abuja needs to recruit 87 qualified graduates, He/She can get all the 87 graduates in Abuja all alone in one day, as soon as she places a job vacancy advertisement. This is absolutely a problem for applicants, who are residing in Gombe state, the same goes for Employees residing in Port-harcourt and Lagos. Applicants or job seekers need to be dynamic & strategic in this approach.
Steps to tackle this challenge is very simple, say you reside outside these three states(Lagos, Portharcourt, & Abuja). Its very simple, for instance, let’s say you reside in Ogun state and you got a job vacancy in Lagos that you met all the requirements, all you need do, is to find a soft landing for yourself thereby leveraging on established relationships like family or friends or even friend’s of friends who stays in Lagos, calling them to let them know about the whole situation in total honesty so that you can now add there address in your Resumes/ CV, ( you now see the reason you need keep a healthy and bonding rapport with people because of times like this) before applying for this job. This will help you stand a better chance in getting this job, you can now sort yourself out after securing the job.
3 Systematic Arrangement of Previously done Jobs over short period of Time.
When working working on the CVs i got, i discovered that over 93% of them had this error. This applicants obviously thought that the more places they have worked the better the job opportunities chances they get, some have worked in 3 places in the last 3 years, 4 places in the last 5 years or 6 places in the last 7 years etc. The question pops up in my head most times is that, is it necessary to include all your previous job in your cv or reduce it to few number of jobs?.
Lets make up an imaginary scenario. Here is an applicant who has worked in 6 places within 7 years & another applicant who has worked in only 2 places in 7 Years. Who will you consider for a job?.
Here’s My Honest Opinion, for the first applicant who has worked in 6 places in the last 7 Years, I will not give him a job, because his job history shows that he doesn’t stay long in a job, he is inconsistent & has no stable job experience. The cause of his inconsistencies might be that he is not a hard working fellow or he might have an attitude problem, as such no job for him. For the second applicant who worked for 2 places in 7 Years, I will give him the job, because he has demonstrated from his job history that he stays longer in a job, it means he has acquired better experience, knowledge or expertise in each job with time, he is consistent and might be hard working and have better character. So you now see the implications of too many clustered information on your resume.
Conclusively i want to put it to you that, you don’t need to stuff lists of previous place of work, you should consider putting up maximally 2 or 3 work places that relevantly added to your experience which be in favor of you getting the position you are applying for. also consider putting a place where you get good reference or recommendations about you, just in case though. Stay creative and innovative
Check out The Dos and Don’ts in Job Interviews
4. Decent Listing of Previous Job Roles & Responsibilities.
The thing is 99.5% of the CVs and Resumes i worked on had pitfalls in this aspect. Lots of these applicants responsibility as an achievement, so they pile a long list and cover the whole space. As definee by an online dictionary, “responsibility is the state of facts of being responsible, answerable or accountable for something within ones control”. in fact i had a funny applicant who worked as a Cheff in a top company who listed a bunch activities as roles and responsibilities, like washing of plates and making sure every ingredients needed are bought and properly stored, i’m now like this was never necessary and boring.
Hence that is what it is, it means responsibility is a general things and not personal, such that, 50 persons can have the same responsibilities at a time. for example a responsibility of Customer Service Officer is the same in similar industry every where you go. Then , why the long list of responsibilities in your cv? Wouldn’t it be of best practice that you summarize it to one or two sentences and save yourself a lot of space in your CV, In fact opinionativly the best CV are not more than Two(2) pages.
For example a Bank Marketer can summarize his/ her responsibility this way “Sales of banks retail products, such as Assets, Liability and Non financial” Simple and straight forward. Just like An attacker in a football team, whose key responsibilities, are to score goals and give assist’ which is simple and straight to the point.
In clear terms, all i am saying is that your list of roles & responsibilities should clear, straight forward and assertive to the point, not bogus and repetitive.
The idea is that, responsibility is a general thing, it doesn’t make you smarter or hardworking and it is not an achievement as you will see furthermore in this post.
5. Clearly Stating Your Achievements.
While working on some the the CVs i got, about 99% of them, did not mention their achievements, for the very few that mentioned it, carelessly did it inside their long list of responsibilities. Its quite bizarre and appalling, perhaps some of the applicants misconceived achievement for responsibility and others did not realize the impact achievements carry on their CV.
Fact is, Your Achievement is what make you “Stand out from the crowd”, it makes you an island of intelligence in a sea of mediocrity. Achievements is personal possession or prowess, you own it and no two persons have the same achievements, even in twins.
If you look at two persons having the same roles and responsibility but of course you will agree with me that in their achievement one is completely different, although they played the same role but one is better of the other and is well paid above the other, of course they’re both needed for the growth of the same company.
It is your achievements that catches the attention of your potential employers/ recruiter, they tend to see you as a solution provider peculiar to your job function. Little wonder i have been receiving positive testimonials & appreciations from the CVs/Resumes i reviewed and re-wrote for my clients, all because i used my experience and expertise to uncover their achievements and project it properly in their CV. It is your duty to identify your achievements and make it work for you. If you are finding it difficult to fix, you can always Reach us here for a professional touch.
How to write a Good CV and Cover Letters-6 steps
6 The Complete knowledge of Cover letter.
The Unfortunate thing that i got to find out in my research was that, almost 99 % of the cover letters i reviewed were poorly written.
The fact is, as you aspire to move up in to the labor markets from a low pay job to a higher pay job that you so desire, Cover letter and not your CV, become the most important weapon you need to persuade and compel employers to look your direction. It is therefore pertinent and important that your cover letter are well and professionally written in order get the attention of your prospective employer/recruiter.
It is in your cover letter that you have all the space to express your skills and achievements. You can get down to the details and demonstrate how your skills have solve previous problems of employers, particular to your job function. You will have the space to mention in details of your achievements.
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I want to utterly tell you one thing for sure, true professionalism comes in the way you carry and position yourself for an opportunity to come knocking, i will at this juncture implore you to always stay ahead of competition and stand out of the crowd.
You can always apply this ideas and craft a Smart CV and Cover letter for yourself But If you need Our Professional Touch You can reach US HERE
Thank You for your Audience, For any Contribution, Questions Or Clarifications You can Drop A Comment Below.
I Hope It was Helpful.
Feel Free to Let Me Know in the Comment Box, I will be glad to answer all your query.