A good curriculum vitae is one of the most vital documents that any job seeker should possess with them. Today, while confusion stays on the difference between a resume and a CV, more confusion exists over what constitutes a good resume or curriculum vitae. The competitive job market demands that one markets their skills and experience in a way that they not only stand out for the employer but in a manner that their skills are clear. Writing a good ‘CV and Cover Letter’ was among the key topics on the second and last day of the annual Aspire Conference 2018; a project put together by Mentor Me.
According to Loise Njeri, a mentor at the conference, a lot of job seekers put unnecessary details in the resume. To begin with, the information put as biodata; age, religion and marital status is not important unless specifically requested for in the job application requirements or in the case where noting your religious affiliation is important. The speaker also cautioned against starting with the school instead of the qualifications while outlining ones academic qualifications. For example; ‘Moi University – Bachelor of Science in Communications’ instead of ‘Bachelor of Communications – Moi University’. It is also unnecessary to put a header to the document indicating it’s a Curriculum Vitae.
While there are many ways to write a winning resume, here is what constitutes a good resume/cv
(I) address – This is the first part of the CV where one jots details such as full names as they appear in the national identification card, postal mailing address, phone numbers and email address.
(II) Profile – This is a brief description of yourself and is meant to market you in regard to the individual that an employer is looking for. Avoid using cliché phrases or buzzwords since you end up looking like you have copy-pasted your description from the internet and that is a turn off for most employers.
(III) Educational background – it is debatable whether this is entirely important. Whoever for entry-level applicants, it is important to put down your academic qualifications here starting with the most recent one.
(IV) Work Experience – Put down the previous organizations you have worked for and the position you held. For recent graduates, the jobs you have held during your holidays including helping out at your parents’ store is important and the sum total of the duration of those jobs form your work experience. However be cautious enough to ensure that the work experience is relevant to the job that you are applying for.
(V) Participations – These are all activities that you have taken part in that have helped in the growth of your skills or knowledge as a career person.
(VI) Hobbies and interests.
(VII) Referees – 3 referees. Note at least one of their names, phone number or email address and company of operation. It is important that you inform the contacts that you have used them as your referees. According to the speaker at the conference, in some instances the interviewer with call a referee who has no idea about the applicant. Don’t use someone who has no idea about you just because they held a position in the school or company.
Be careful to read both the job descriptions and requirements in order to tailor your resume in the most suitable manner. While a good resume puts one foot through the door for you, a complimentary cover letter and preparation for the potential interview is equally important. All the best in your endeavours.
The resume can be described as a brief summary of your skills and experiences over a page or two while the CV is described as the longer and more detailed version.