BASIC STRUCTURE OF A RESUME/CV
- Name and Contact Information (Phone, Email and Address)
- Summary: Provide a “Summary” instead of an “Objective” which is seen as old-fashioned and obsolete. The summary should be brief (no more than 1-4 sentences). It should also be attention-grabbing. For example, you could write “Over 8 years as a JOB TITLE, including AREA OF EXPERTISE, AREA OF EXPERTISE and AREA OF EXPERTISE.”
- Education: Put the “Education” section here, if your educational experience is especially impressive or relevant; if not, put the “Education” section towards the bottom of the resume.
- Experience: List your experience chronologically, putting your most recent work experience at the top.
If you need to draw attention to long-ago (but relevant) experience, list it towards the top under “Related Experience”. Then list everything else under “Other Experience”.
List your duties and accomplishments in a detailed way. For example, a caregiver shouldn’t just write “cared for elderly patient.” Instead, that applicant should write, “Administered medications, monitored ongoing health concerns, assisted with personal hygiene, did chores and cooking, and planned community outings.”
If there are large gaps in your job history, you could explain by listing your reasons the same way you listed your jobs. For example, you could say “Pursing MA in American History, 1999-2001.” Or: “Caregiver for family member, 2007-2012.” Or: “Traveling in Cuba, Spain and Portugal, March 2011-December 2013.”
- Proficiency: In some cases, you will want to list proficiency with certain technology (hardware and/or software), languages, etc.
- Certifications, Coursework, Volunteer Experience, Publications: Only list the ones that are especially relevant.
- References: List at least three, and ensure that they are professional references, not personal. List each person’s name, title, the workplace you knew them from, as well as contact information (a phone number and email address if possible).
FORMATTING HINTS FOR A RESUME/CV
- Choose an attractive format; You can find many examples at Microsoft’s template site, or just by doing an image search.
- Choose an easy-to-read font; (Yes, this means something like Arial or Times New Roman. And, no matter what, skip the Comic Sans, please!).
- Don’t try to cram in too much info; it’s important to maintain some white space.
- Create a clear “hierarchy” of information by using headings and subheadings
- Use bullets, not paragraphs
- Use the correct verb tenses–past tense for previous jobs, and present tense for current jobs.
- Ensure that your job duties don’t sound like you scraped them off your job description.
- Make sure that everything matches (the style with which you describe various jobs, the fonts, the formatting for subheadings, etc).
RESUME/CV SUMMARY STATEMENT:
A resume summary statement is like an objective statement in that it is a quick way for a job seeker to catch a hiring manager’s attention by summarizing critical information at the top of your resume in an easy-to-read format.
The goal is to get your statement down to four to six bullets (give or take a couple) distilled down into two or three laser focused sentences.
The first thing you want to do is go back and look at the job you’re applying for and determine your target audience; Re-read the job posting, keeping your eyes open for key phrases and words.
- Who are they looking for?
- What do they want that person to bring to the table? What value can they provide?
- What would l look for in a hire if I were the one posting this job?
Once you identify those things, it’s time to figure out how you fit into them.
What are your top selling points? Find three or four things that define you as a professional and are unique to you. Are you a God among men when it comes to sales or customer service? Are you a DaVinci of schematics and CAD drawings? Make sure these are things you ENJOY doing…don’t list things you’re good at but that you hate doing…or you’ll get stuck doing them again.
What critical problems did you identify in the job posting and how are you positioned to solve them? How does your summary align with the company job requirements?
What are your career highlights and key strengths? How much experience do you have in doing what you’re doing? Do you have additional certifications or achievements that set you apart?
Where does what you want and bring intersect with what the company wants and needs?
Now, keep in mind that the above things are things you Want to put in your statement…and also remember there are things NOT to put in your statement. Things like:
- Microsoft Office; We got it. Everyone should be proficient with this suite of programs and if you’re not, then hurry up and get proficient. Even if you’re a technological wizard your hardware and software skills should go in their own separate section…not your summary statement.
- Things you’re good at but that you hate doing; If you don’t like doing it in your job now, don’t list it in your summary statement or you’ll have to keep doing it.
- Tired, old adjectives; These are words like ‘results-oriented,’ and ‘hardworking,’ ‘innovative’ and ‘motivated.’ Use action verbs instead
Keep it valuable: make sure you point out what you bring to the table.
Keep it concise.
Always open your statement with your title. Why? Because you want to communicate your professional identity immediately! You want whoever is reading the resume to know AT A GLANCE exactly who they’re dealing with.
Remember, there are lots of people applying for these jobs and the last thing you want to do is get lost in the shuffle.
Plus, if the job is specifically looking for someone to fill a role in and you’re already doing that role at another job, you’ve just ensured that the hiring mangers take a second look at your resume!
Example of Summary: Engineering Graduate with leadership training and experience with academic training at the University of Lagos; Proven skills in project management, organization, and research with a background in office administration and organization. I am able to provide employers with administrative support and professional communication skills.
Also when writing a CV
- Customize for a particular job: it is crucial to ensure that the script is specific to each job application instead of submitting the same generic CV.
- Keep it basic: vocabulary should be easy to read and use, meaning don’t use complicated language. With a mini profile included in the first half of the list, two pages of A4 is enough.
- Key information should be provided: personal data should be transparent, including name, address, phone number, email address, and any professional activity on social media. According to age discrimination rules, a date of birth is no longer required. For occupations such as acting and modeling, a picture is mandatory; otherwise it is a matter of preference.
- Showcase your achievements: give proof of how goals have been exceeded and thoughts formed, but still be frank.
- Check and double check: stop careless mistakes, take a new look the following day and ask a trustworthy friend or colleague for a second opinion.