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The Beginners Guide to CV Writing

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Why should you take your Curriculum Vitae (CV) writing so seriously? Well, let us start by saying your application for a job starts with writing a compelling CV. Virtually, all employment starts with a review and shortlist of a CV, I doubt there are any organizations who won’t require you to submit your CV while applying for a job.

Your CV is a digital copy of you, it has the tendency to reach places you can’t as it’s just an email away. It has to be the best representation of you. Here are a few things to take note of when writing a compelling CV:

1. Study the job description of the role you are applying for

Understand the job responsibilities, key success factors, and skillset required to do the job. Then map out a clear list of essential skills /experiences that you possess which addresses this. Then look for key phrases that describe the personal qualities and skillsets documented in the job description as these would be included in your CV. Take note of the industry-relevant acronyms and other important keywords that are directly applicable to the role.

2. Stick to a CV writing format

Traditionally, CVs tend to be arranged in a chronological format that makes it easy for the recruiter to get an overview of an individual’s work career. There are also other formats such as skill/functional format which focuses on skills gained throughout your career. It offers information on your past employment experiences. There is also the hybrid/combined format which is a combination of the chronological and functional CV formats.

3.Figure out your professional level

Distinguish between entry level, middle level, senior level, executive level as this would help in what content would go into your CV and how it will be structured. For instance, graduate resumes prioritize educational qualifications and skills over experience and are mostly one page, while experienced CVs prioritize expertise and experience (for much more senior roles value proposition is added) over educational qualification.

4.Build a checklist

This helps you in checking that you have captured all relevant information that is required for a CV. Your checklist could contain things like; Did you use the right font? Have you added your name in a bold format and at the top (preferably the center) of the page? Have you included a professional email address? did you list all your work experience in a dated format? Have you checked the layout? Have you done a spell check? Did you proofread the document? etc.

 

Hope the steps above help in crafting that winning CV. And if you have questions you can ask me by following me on twitter: @babajiide and on LinkedIn: Babajide Duroshola. Babajide Duroshola is a Community Manager, Technical Talent Andela Nigeria.

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