January 21, 2012

ILLUSTRATION: Creating a More Effective CV (Part 2)

Saturday is here again. How was your week?

As it's yet another weekend, I thought to do one more illustration to show how to create a more effective CV.

I know for most job seekers, it's the best of days to do the job hunt. Hence, I've decided to give yet another picture illustrations to show how to achieve an effective CV.  

I have used a CV I reviewed recently, blocking out personal information for privacy reasons.

And I'll start with my usual slogan Effective CV=Effective Job Hunting

The CV I'll be using for today's illustration contrasts that of last week in the aspect of the quantity of the information on the CV. Please click here to read last weeks illustration.

The following is an image of the Original CV that was sent in for Review. I advise you go through it and point out flaws.
What I noticed with this CV...
- Poor clarity
- Poor visibility of qualifications
- Very poor portrayal of skills 
Poor Clarity
The main flaw of this CV had to do with clarity. Please read CV Review Note (Part 2) where I wrote about the importance of clarity and how to achieve it. 
- Texts are not aligned properly. For example, at the section 'Personal Information' notice how items seem to jump around. There is an obvious lack of order in that section.

-  Email, Mobile number and Address have been squeezed into the header of the CV. Please always ensure your contact information is written clearly and visibly.
Avoid squeezing allot of information at the header of your CV; it works against clarity most times. You will be acting unkind to yourself if a recruiter is unable to contact you because you have not made your contact information visible enough. I usually prefer listing my contact address in the 'Personal Information' section too.
Poor visibility of qualifications
Instead of lumping the CIPM membership into the 'Education and Qualification' section, I have given this qualification more visibility by creating a separate section for Professional Qualification'. You may also name this section 'Professional Membership and Qualification'.
Very poor portrayal of skills
Moving on to the 'Work Experience' section - notice that the only information contained on the original CV is the employment duration, jobtitle and name of employer.
This is the most important section of your CV because it provides the best opportunity for you to portray the use of your skills to a recruiter.
Do you know that possession of a good mix of skills is likely to convince a recruiter to overlook the fact that you may not have met some other requirements of a job advert (eg age or degree classification)?
Please portray your skills in an effective manner - list your duties and responsibilities.

Now lets look at the reviewed CV....
Notice that a proper order and alignment of texts has been achieved. As I said in a previous post, clarity boosts understandability and this CV has really shown that that.  
Also, I have removed the item 'Certificate of National Youth Service' from the 'Education and Qualification' section. This item isnt an academic qualification and thus cannot be listed s such. If however you really must include information stating that you have completed your NYSC, you can do so by including a line under 'Personal Information' section as follows;
NYSC Certificate:        Yes (although I really do not see the need)
The reviewed CV has a new section - 'Skills'. After I sent the CV back to the owner, he/she went a step further and added that section to the CV. He/she was interested in a career in HR and included core skills required for a career in HR, drawing from his experience gained from extracurricular activities. Impressive.

Also, going back to the work experience section, notice that although the positions were not HR roles, he/she managed to list responsibilities in a manner that highlighted the core skills required for a career in the HR.
Please do a research on the core skills for your chosen career and ensure that your CV highlights these skills.

Notice that he/she did not do the usual listing of skills but he backed it up with those activities (evidence)...
As I stated in a previous post, anyone can list skills as follows:
Excellent Communicator
Effective customer relationship and service quality.
Ability to integrate quickly into a new team.
Willingness to learn new skills and to adopt new progressive ideas.
Good negotiation and interpersonal relationship skills.
This is a VERY ineffective method of portraying your skills and should be avoided. Always portray your skills with activities on your work history section, that is, responsibilities/duties.

Finally, notice that I relocated the section 'Computer Education' from the first page of the CV. Now, I may have considered leaving that section on the front page if he/she had a career path in IT. I moved this section away to page 2 under the heading courses and training. Looking at this CV again, it really should have been named Computer/IT skills instead.
I usually use the heading 'Courses and Training' only for trainings that are relevant to a career path.

I advise you use the changes highlighted on this CV and see if you can make improvements to your CV.
Have a great weekend!

Creating a CV: An Additional Guide
Illustration - Creating a More Effective CV (Part 3)
Illustration - Creating a More Effective CV (Part 1)

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