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Your CV…. Your Brand!

Your CV is your virtual marketing tool. It says a lot about you without your potential employer actually seeing you. Your CV must sell you and intrigue the reader enough to want to meet you. Even if your a perfect match for the job if your brand is not attractive, they won’t buy into you. Here are a few pointers on how you can make your CV for you

PROFILE
This is the attention grabber of your CV; this is the paragraph that attracts the attention if it’s reader.
A profile should be a short paragraph describing your skills, attributes, career objectives and aspirations.  Use these 3 questions to construct your profile:
·         What are you strengths in your character? (e.g. are you creative, problem solver, dedicated)
·         What skills have you attained? (these are skills obtained through extra-curricular activities)  
·         What are your current objectives and future aspirations?
This paragraph should be catchy and straight to the point; it shouldn’t waffle and steer of point, but clear, precise and readable.
EDUCATION
Always start from your most recent course first, with the academic institution followed by the year you started and completed.  This gives the employer an idea of the level of your education at present, and also it gives a clear layout of your academic career to date.
COURSES/TRAINING ATTENDED
Any short courses you have attended whether it lasted a day, a week, or a month. It is advisable to document them on your CV. Even if they are courses are unrelated to what you have studied, it shows the reader that you are keen to widen your knowledge, and also are determined to gain the necessary skills to move up the ladder to the net level in your career.
It should be laid out in the following order:
·         Course Title
·         Where was the course  taken
·         Duration/ Year
·         Result/Qualification attained
I.T SKILLS/SYSTEMS
Any working knowledge of Software, Hardware, Management Information Systems, etc. should be listed even if it’s just Microsoft Office software like Word, Outlook, Excel, and Access. It shows that you are computer literate and that you are able to use systems that they currently operate with in their business.  Include the names of the systems you’re currently or previously used in past organisations here and then elaborate more on the duties you used them to perform in the employment history section of your CV.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Your most recent position is the first job that is listed on your CV and should be listed as follows:
·   Job Title
·  Company Name
·  Duration in that employment – if you are still currently working there that state “until present” or “To Date”
The first paragraph should be a brief description of your role, your responsibilities, team size, and your direct report. Then bullet point your daily activities ensuring to include any responsibilities that you were given. If you were using a particular operating system or software in this employment, document that also.
Bullet points is a layout that is easy to understand, employers can get a better understanding of your job role, and competences  without reading a large paragraph and getting lost in the text.
A common question the frequently comes up in training is
“How far back shall I go back in my employment industry?”
There is no wrong or right answer to this question because there are some individuals who have had an extensive employment history that would turn into a book if they documented it all. However I guess the more senior the position you are applying for, the extensive the CV.
The important and essential part of your CV is the employment history, this shows the employer the progression of your professional career and also the decisions you made, which is reflected in the positions you took.
 SOCIAL ACTIVITES AND PERSONAL INTERESTS
Why Social Interests you may be wondering?
Your social interest gives an insight to the employer of your personality and also whether you fit to the culture of the environment. It is ok to say you socialise with friends, listen to music, read, cook, etc. All these interests can be looked at as something positive.
For e.g. (ask your trainees to give an example of their personal interests, turn their answer it into a positive attribute that is seen by an employer)
“I like socializing with friends!” shows an employer that you are a people person, you know how to interact with a variety of people and shows that you’re a confident team player.
 
 REFERENCES
There should be no less than 3 references on your CV, 3 professional references is ideal, however if you are a fresh graduate then it is acceptable to have 2 academic references, and a personal reference or a combination of both.
What is a reference?
A reference is a character report, a document that describes the referee’s impression of you as a person based on their interaction with you. They discuss your strengths and your weakness and any areas of improvement if any. References are used by employers to gain an insight to you, as a person from the opinion of someone who knows you. By law there are restrictions to the content in which a referee can document regarding an individual; it has to be constructive and of an un-biased nature regardless of the referees encounter with the individual. Slandering and deformation of character is strictly prohibited. 
What is an academic reference and who can write it for me?
An academic reference is a reference written by a professional employed by the university/school/college where you attend/ or have attended as a student. A lecturer of your course or head of the department are those who are eligible to stand as your referee.
What is a personal reference and who qualifies to write it for me?
A personal reference is a reference given by someone who has known you for more than 5 years.  Your referee CANNOT be a family member, because the reference would be biased, this person has to be a public servant of the community such as:
·         Family Doctor
·         Teacher
·         Priest or Pastor
·         Lawyer
·         Police Officer
References are quite a delicate issue on a CV and an area that is very commonly debated.
“Shall I or Shall I not put the details of my previous employers?”
On some CV’s I’ve seen people write “References available on request” there is nothing wrong with this but it doesn’t really have a nice professional finish to your CV it appears very abruptly.
It’s like rushing the end of a really good story with the words “The End”, you would want to know show the story ends wouldn’t you?
It is always advisable to list the details of your referees so they employees immediately see the credibility of your CV. Please ensure that whoever you list as a referee is fully aware so that should an employer want to contact them they would be aware in advance.

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Transquisite Consulting Group

Transquisite Consulting Group

Transquisite Consulting is a international Recruitment and Training Consultancy with one objective – to Identify, Develop, and Empower the talent in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa.

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