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10 points to consider when drafting your CV

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1. Include cover letter with CV

In all CVs and resumes that you write, ensure you include a cover letter which summarizes your application and briefly outlines why you are best suited for the position. It should be something that the employer goes through to give them an overview of who you are. If your cover letter is not impressive then some employers might not even get to your CV.

2. Clearly outline the purpose for writing the CV

HR people are busy people whose time should not be wasted. Prospective employees should be clear and direct in their CVs to avoid ambiguity. Carefully note down skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for and leave out details that won’t add value to your application. Also avoid being verbose and over-selling your skills. This might be interpreted as compensating for skills you don’t have.

3. Backup your skills and qualities

Any skills or qualities that you quote in your CV should be reinforced using real life work experience, what is usually referred to as demonstrable skills. You should back up facts so that you don’t come off as somebody who is inflating our CV.

4. Use Keywords

Since the advent of technology most employers use technology to narrow down on specific final candidates for jobs. It is in this respect that one should take note of the keywords used in the job advertisement and use them in your CV such that if a computer is used to match successful candidates then you will be short listed since your CV will match the search queries.

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5. Use effective mind grabbing titles

Because employers are short on time and go through CVs pretty fast, you must write your CV with titles that will evoke interest from the reader and lead them on to read more of it and eventually shortlist you.

6. Proof read. Twice

It is not enough to stress the need for strong command of English language and avoiding small grammatical mistakes when writing your CV. Such small mistakes tell the prospective employer that you are lazy and can’t even go through your own work to make sure that it is correct and in order.

7. List most important information first

You should list your most important details first incase the employer does not read the whole CV he/she will have gone through the most important parts. Work experience is usually the most important part and should therefore come first before education.

8. It’s a game of numbers

When highlighting your achievements at a past position, you should not only be able to highlight what you did but also provide actual numbers to back your claim. E.g. don’t just mention that you increased the annual revenues of your division. Say that you increased revenue by 100,000 or by 78%, and so on.

9. One resume per employer

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One major mistake that prospective employees make is drafting one CV and sending it to a number of employers hoping to get a job. What most don’t realize is that most companies use the same recruitment agencies to get employees and once these agencies spot your minimally edited CV it will be sent to the bottom of the pile. Each CV should be written such as to target that specific employer’s needs.

10. Keep the salary and JD in mind

The salary and job group you are aiming for should be clearly represented by the image/persona that you create in your resume.

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