As a recruiter with over 20years experiences, I search and look at CVs all day. I have enjoyed doing this all the years and seen different shapes, sizes and colours of CVs. I confidently can say that I have viewed over a million CVs over this period- some are commendable and many others not.
CURRICULUM VITAE contains vital information about an individual or job candidate (applicant). It is the job candidate’s marketing piece and gives him/ her opportunity to present him/ herself in good light. Applicants must be careful when preparing their CVs as Recruiters make it a practice to verify information presented in CVs. They critically review and filter CVs of each potential candidate to look out for information that matches the specified job requirements.
Job applicants have continued to ask: Why is my CV not noticed? I have not been invited for any interview since I graduated 3years ago and I have submitted my CVs in over 20 places? Etc etc
Considering the volume of CVs we look at on the course of selection, we appreciate the quantity quite well, but we value more CVs that are concise. Recruiters may not be willing to WASTE so much time with CVs that are VOLUMINOUS and WATERY– not making meaning.
What are the features of a good CV?
Some job applicants think that the volume/ weight of the CV determines the possibility of invitation for a job interview. This is not TOTALLY true. I have seen a 53page CV. Seems unimaginable! Prospective employers may not be willing to spend their precious time, going through this nor take it home to read or study. CVs should be between 3-5pages with meaningful and relevant information.
The lay-out should be nice and legible- Arial, Calibri and size between 10-12 would be okay. Some job applicants chose to prepare their CVs in BOLD letters all through. This is really not acceptable. I personally appreciate job applicants who foreground important info in their CVs for emphasis or aesthetics.
Emphasize your skill matrix in your CV, so that your prospective employer could see it at a glance. Avoid the temptation of listing all the softwares you have read about in the newspapers, magazines, online or heard about as part of those you are well versed in. Only list those that you have used and are conversant with.
One of the most annoying thing of all time, don’t put buzz words into the footer of your CV in font size 0.5 so that it gets indexed by the bots on the Monster or Jobsite engines. It’s certainly not big, and really isn’t clever as you end up with recruiters scratching their heads as to why they are looking at your CV all the time, and in the end they’ll just stop clicking on it in searches!
Ensure your CV looks nice, and that the fonts are of the same size, and should loosely follow this guideline:
By following these very simple steps, you will have more of a chance to let a recruiter see your CV in the best light and that phone should start ringing!
I must WARN sternly here that for those who are in the habit of changing information in their CVs sent to every job position advertised, must have a rethink. Most of these changes are on age and work experiences. Some job applicants have more than three birth dates! Birth date cost my cousin a job opportunity in the defunct Fortune Bank Plc. He had more than two birth dates. Luckily for him, he had passed the preliminary tests and second round of interview. At the final stage where he met with the Managing Director of the bank, he did well but failed in just one question: WHEN WERE YOU BORN? and HOW OLD ARE YOU? He looked up and down for an answer and said he was born on September 10, 1979 as against September 10, 1975- the real date. He rued the miss for a very long time.
The first birth date is the true one while he used the second one because the bank specified in their job advert that candidates must not be more than 25years of age as at the time.
Contributed by Agolo Uzorka & Adam Bolton