There’s practically nothing as confusing as when there is too much information and tips on one topic.
So, I can imagine that fresh graduate going cynical about this topic. Another set of expert tips again? I was once in that shoe, and of course I’m still in it. Who doesn’t like crafting a resume that will perform magic? But the tips are just too… O my God!
OK. Can we just brainstorm, rub minds and clear the air on this issue?
Now, as I said, I’m still in the game of constantly recasting my resume to get to that point where its odour alone will land a juicy offer in my laps. So, consider my opinion as that of someone who is regularly privy to some secrets but never claims to know. Feel free to put it to test. It doesn’t hurt after all.
The Best Style
Are you ready for the gospel truth? There’s no best style.
You can only have your own best style, but not a universally accepted best style. There’s nothing like that. So, don’t be confused. But I won’t advise you to turn your resume to a magazine or a newsletter.
I receive numerous formats and styles of resume on a daily basis. The ones I call newsletters are so designed that it becomes a task for you to actually get what the resumes are saying. Replete with photos as large as portraits and borders that make them look like framed love letters. Yet, I repeat, there’s no best style. But..
Make it simple, neat, detailed but not stuffy.
Endeavour, if you can, not to include unnecessary information. What do I mean by this? There are some CVs in my folders that are as bulky as 10 or more pages. The sheer volume isn’t the problem but the content. In some, I have such things as blood groups, genotypes, photos of children, etc as if they are applying for a visa. If those things are required, you’ll be informed.
The format you choose depends on your template. Just remember that what is of interest to recruiters is what it says and not what it looks like. In fact, some overtly over-designed CVs end up being knocked off.
Typos are annoying demons. Watch out for them. You may have someone edit your CV before packaging and parceling it to the advertiser.
This part is the joker!
Remember we agreed that the killing spot is what the CV contains and not how it looks like? So, this is where you must devote your main attention to. What’s the stuff that sends signals to recruiters? Before they meet you in person, who will they be meeting on those pages of your resume?
Let’s look into some.
It’ll be too dumb for me to remind you of putting your full name and contact details on your CV. Isn’t it your CV. Now, one important document we all seem to overlook is the cover statement or a statement of suitability. A page should summarize who you are and your major achievements so far.
Do I hear you say you just graduated? Is bagging a degree not an achievement? Just paint a picture of what an employer stands to gain by giving you a chance. Many people don’t have this and they scale through smoothly. But it won’t do you any harm to appear a bit more businesslike.
You can go online and search for templates. They abound in multitude. It should be the page 1 of your resume.
Date of birth is conspicuously omitted in some CVs. So, you don’t want to disclose your age? Please do because some offers are age-specific.
Your academic qualifications must be datelined. When did you get that degree?
Then we get down to the ‘work experience’ part. Simple! Just ensure those too are datelined, in fact you will do well to include specific months. This assists recruiters to ascertain what we call unemployment gap. Ensure you say something about the organization and describe specifically what roles you play.
If there are other strengths you’ve got like computer literacy, knowledge of the use of some software, any awards and recognition, you’ll be brighter to add them.
And don’t trivialize your hobby. It tells how you can cope with stress (that’s a topic for another day).
Things have changed. Technology has simplified almost all areas of life, and recruitment is not an exception. Recruiters appreciate speedy processing time so it’s a bonus if your referees have email addresses that can be added to their contact numbers. It hastens the gathering of references.
Go give it a shot!
Taiwo Adeyemi is the HR Manager of an international secondary school in Nigeria (Day Waterman College). You can reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org.How to Write a Winning Resume for Your Job Applications by Taiwo Adeyemi