Graduate Entry Level CVs
A very useful aspect of your application is your CV. If companies receive applications, the first screening criterion is how your CV looks.
Someone with a lower University grade, but a nicely written graduate CV and cover letter will have a higher chance than an applicant with a bad CV wilth so many spelling errors.
The design or layout of CVs doesn’t really matter, provided that all words or letters are properly presented with no spelling mistakes.
The most important features of a good CV are:
– Smart, simple and well presented format within 2-3 Pages. Complex or very detailed CVs can be confusing and takes time to read.
– Suitable fonts like Arial, Verdana, Tahoma or Trebuchet MS. It is better to use just one of these fonts as they are very easy to read and look professional.
– Use Title Case and not excessive CAPITAL LETTER. Capital Letters in a CV can be irritating to an Employer. Make use of relevant case throughout.
– Showcase your Experience before Education. Employers are more interested in what you have done to relate to what you can do.
– Use the following Titles: Profile, Experience, Education, Training, Etc. This is not a rule, but when you spend one page on Education, it does waste people’s time. They want to see how relevant you are to the job – since Experience counts.
– Don’t use bright colours. If possible, stick to Black. You don’t have to design the CV in order to impress. What you need is a smart way to sell yourself.
– Save CV as your actual name. Example Bola Okafor and not ‘my CV’. Imagine that many people send CVs and a good way to be unique is using your name.
– Write a brief email / cover letter that state your skills for the job and what you can bring in (not your education or your local government).
Executive Entry Level CVs
A professional CV is your best tool in applying for a senior or executive position. At the very least, a well-constructed CV will place you at an advantage in promoting yourself and in securing interviews. In writing a CV, there are no specific formats to follow.
Your CV can be constructed in any way you wish to do it, as long as it has the necessary information to make it an advantage for you.
For an executive CV, you must demonstrate the following:
– Personal details: The majority of CVs begins with these, but make sure to avoid unnecessary ones such as religious affiliations, children’s names and so on.
– Work experience: In general, the accepted style of employment record is the chronological CV. The career history must be presented in reverse order such that it starts from the most recent one. Achievements and responsibilities are included together with the respective roles. Moreover, the recent jobs must be given more emphasis and information than others.
– Education and qualifications: Be sure to include and arrange the names of the institutions and the dates you attended them in reverse order.
– Skills: While listing your skills, you can take into demonstrable examples of how your abilities have been utilised. You may mention your recent trainings/development which are relevant for the position you are applying for, as well as computer skills and foreign language skills.
– Hobbies and Interests: This section must not necessarily be long, just be specific and keep it short.
– Referees: These can simply be ‘Available on request’.
The order by which all this information will be arranged in your CV and the emphasis that you give to each one of these entirely depends on the position that you are applying for and what you have to offer.
But from our experience, companies are more interested in what you have done and how that will be relevant to their operations. Hence, try and focus your executive CV on your relevant work experience, preferably before education, skills and hobbies.