I have seen a lot of CVs; I’ve had to rewrite some, appraise some, shortlist some and even reject more. The first tool of frustration every job seeker has against recruiters or HR Persons/Employers is the CV. More frustrating is if the candidate only applied to ‘try his/her luck’ i.e was never qualified for the position in the first place but hopes some considerations would be granted. The resume is about information! And for information to be appreciated, understood and effect favourable reactions, it has to be clear, clean and free of noise.
A good CV gives a recruiter a clear image about you. Fundamentally, it begins with removing these five things below from your CV if you already have them.
Wrong Positioning of Your Personal Details
Most candidates are fond of including a long list of who they are and even their place of birth immediately after they state their career objective or summary on their CV. To me, this is a first sign that I’m looking at a wrong CV and 70% of the time I have been right. When I have a bulk on my hands, I am likely to just scroll really fast. Please, take that off, and place it below the Education section or any section that precedes the Interests/Hobbies section. You can totally take it off as well if the job advert does not require any info subsumed under the personal details.
Your Primary Education
Please, it is an error including where and when you had your primary education on your CV. This is not useful either to the employer or the applicant. Even Applicant Tracking Systems/Software applications do not make use of this neither is it a keyword to get you found faster anywhere. Please, remove it, it occupies space.
You do not need to include your academic, professional or career information in a tabular form. In fact, you need no table at all on your CV. It makes the CV reviewer strain for information and encounter difficulties getting what he wants from your CV.
Institution Attended With Dates
I want to believe there is a particular source most applicants in Nigeria get their CV templates from. Virtually 60% of CVs (for early career roles) I screen, there is always a section for Institution Attended With Date and another one for Academic Qualifications with dates. One more thing I notice is that the conventional Personal Details section comes with it. Take a look at your CV, if yours have that included, remove it and rewrite it as in the image below.
Conclusively, when you write your CV yourself or want to edit it after it has been written for you, do not forget that there are two things that should be paramount about a CV
- All information included must be to sell you. Remove anything that will reduce your chances of being called for an interview
- All included information must be clear enough to the reviewer; all sections and paragraphs must be distinct from each other to enable the reviewer distinguish information easily.
Anything other than the two above should be consequent on what the job description says.