Craft that perfect CV that will help you land your dream job
By Chantelle Reid, Bank Windhoek’s Recruitment Manager.
So, you have finally attained your qualifications, and you plan on becoming independent by entering the workforce. As you embark on your career, you will imagine the perfect job to suit your desired lifestyle, a position that will afford you that latest car or an opportunity to travelling the world. But how do you go about getting that perfect job?
First, you need to find a vacancy that matches your academic qualifications, experience, and interests. Then comes the critical part: drafting your Curriculum Vitae (CV), which will stand out amongst the hundreds, if not thousands, that usually end up on a recruiter’s desk or inbox.
Curriculum Vitae is Latin and translates “Brief Course of Life’. As such, it must be a comprehensive document highlighting your professional and academic history, but it must also be focussed and to the point.
CVs typically include information such as work experience, achievements, scholarships, or grants you have earned, coursework completed, research projects, and publication of your work. An employer will ask you for this document when you apply for employment.
Below are a few hints and tips to help you draft your CV:
• Use your legal names, not nicknames.
• Ensure that your correct contact number and email address are visible. Never use an email address like email@example.com. Your potential employer is not likely to take your application seriously.
• The length of your CV is significant. Less is more when it comes to CVs, and while you should ensure that all the relevant information is available, irrelevant information is not necessary. Recruiters do not look at CV’s longer than two to three pages.
• Only include copies of your qualifications if explicitly asked to do so.
• The modern CV does not necessarily need to include detail like your relationship status; this can be obtained during the interview if required.
• If you want to use a picture on your cover page, please ensure that it is a clear head and shoulder picture only. For each position you apply, write a different cover letter. Nothing puts recruiters off as much as recycled letters addressed to the wrong person or organisation.
• Ensure that your application reaches the organisation, such as Bank Windhoek, well ahead of the actual closing deadline.
• Use the method of application as prescribed. If the instruction is clear to email the application, do not personally drop off your application and insist on placing it in the recruiter’s hands yourself.
• Avoid excessively bright colours and many pictures on your CV, unless of course, you are a graphic designer and applying for a position that requires a portfolio of your work.
• Align and justify your CV correctly, then save it in Portable Document Format (PDF) before sending it; this reduces the file size in the recruiter’s inbox.
There are several excellent websites that can provide you with a free CV template which is both professional and modern. All you have to do to make sure your CV stands out is to find one that works for you.
Remember, you only get one chance at a first impression.