Last updated on August 5th, 2023 at 10:03 pm
Your Curriculum Vitae is expected to contain your name, professional title, contact details, and a captivating personal statement among others.
When it comes to job search, your CV is as important as your academic qualifications, through your CV, you create an impression.
What is a CV?
Curriculum Vitae, CV short, is a personal marketing document that tells potential employers about your professional history, your skills, your abilities and your achievements.
Above all, your CV “should highlight why you’re the best person for the job.”
Your first contact with your prospective employers is your CV, sometimes you’re required to accomplish your CV with a cover letter and a completed application form, we’ll come back to that later.
Please NEVER send or submit the screenshot of your CV to your potential employer, it’s unprofessional.
What should you include in your CV?
- Contact details
- Professional title
- Personal Statement
- Employment history
- Hobbies & Interests
In Nigeria, there are different types of CVs, each for a specific purpose. Most of the Nigerian institutions specify the kind of CV they want, giving you a sample. In that case, you just have to follow the instructions.
However, private companies are the most dynamic sectors that respond to change quickly, as such you have to use a standard CV that gets an interview invitation.
Here are some of the things to include in your CV:
Name, professional title and contact details
According to CV Library, the first part of your CV should contain your name, professional title and contact details.
What not to include in the title of your CV:
“Under no circumstances should you title your CV with ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’ as it’s a waste of valuable space. Treat your name as the title instead,” the human resource expert said.
For your contact details, your email address and phone number(s) are essential. You include your full address or simply state your town and country.
A personal statement, also known as a personal profile, career objective or professional profile, is “a short paragraph that sits just underneath your name and contact details giving prospective employers an overview of who you are and what you’re all about.”
In the latest CV format, it’s advised that you tailor your personal statement to every job you apply for, “highlighting specific qualities that match you to the role.”
Make it short and catchy with a few sentences by addressing the following:
- Who are you?
- What can you offer the company?
- What are your career goals?
How to write a Captivating CV Personal Statement
Your CV personal statement is a great way to give your job application extra touch and flesh. We’ll show you how to write a professional profile.
A personal statement, also known as a professional profile, personal profile, or career objective is “a short paragraph that sits just underneath your name and contact details giving prospective employers an overview of who you are and what you’re all about,” CV Library
Creating a special section for the personal statement is one of the ways to get the attention of your prospective employer as to what you’ve got to offer and the value that makes you employable.
In this post, let’s look at how precisely to write a personal statement.
What to include in your CV personal statement, according a career coach, Corinne Mills, include stating your professional memberships where they are relevant ( it’s one of the ways of establishing your credentials), by “stating the years experience you have in the professional area they are looking for, and by using positive adjectives like “strong, adept, skilled” among others.”
This section also known as a career summary in your Curriculum Vitae enables your prospective employer to quickly spot the strategic value you are bringing that you can add to their company.
In this regard, jobs.theguardian.com’s top recruitment experts advise that you should make your CV “a self-marketing document aimed at persuading the recruiter to interview you.”
Take a look at the samples below:
“A conscientious and professional personal assistant with ten years experience in administration, PA and secretarial roles, currently seeking a new position as an Executive PA.
A highly organised and efficient individual, whose thorough and precise approach to projects has yielded excellent results. Recent achievements with my current employer include the implementation of an innovative new filing and indexing system.”
The above sample is 59 words, and recruiters say a well-written statement can be between 50 and 200 words.
“As a highly-motivated and results orientated manager within the luxury hotel sector, I have a proven track record of providing exemplary levels of service to a broad range of guests, including VIPs and high-profile individuals.”
So what’s the best way to write a CV personal statement?
The number one rule is: Read and pay special attention to the job specification in order to align your skills and experience with the job, which should be clearly stated in your statement.
1.5 line spacing is recommended for your statement to be neat and enhance readability.
Don’t write an essay, be precise and concise
Rule number two is: Don’t write a 350-word essay as a personal statement. Keep it short, powerful, and relevant.
From Corinne Mill’s explanation, you should keep your personal statement short and straight to the point, stating the salient areas to captivate your prospective recruiter.
The best tone: first or third person?
There may be no definite rule about using the first or third person, but it’s preferably ok to adopt the first person “because the CV is all about you and your skillset. This doesn’t mean that you have to add “I” at the beginning of each sentence, however,” Corinne Mill says.
The fact that the first person is chosen doesn’t make you keep repeating the first-person pronoun “I” because the reader knows that the CV is about you.
See sample two above, it flows even without the opening “I”
The reason for this is that once you begin with “I” it becomes difficult for you to drop “I” as you move forward with additional information.
Avoid using combining first and third person in your statement so as to avoid confusion and to make it flow.
An example of such a combination is:
“Tade is a recent graduate from University of Ibadan with a 2:1 honours degree in media arts. I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations. Tade is now looking to secure a position in a media organisation where I can develop my current skill set.”
Break the statement into three sections
It is also advised to break the statement into three sections: 1) Who you are, 2) What you can bring to the table, 3) Your career aim
Who you are
A fresh graduate from the University of Lagos, with a 2:1 honours degree in Social Media, I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations such as Afro Media and Channels Tv. These placements have enabled me to develop not only specific social media industry experience but also a valuable and transferable skill set in this fast-paced sector.
The above opening according to a specialist “allows the recruiter to quickly identify where you are coming from, that you have had industry experience (something that may be in the selection criteria) and core transferable skills.”
What you can bring to the table
During placement with Channels Tv, I worked in the online unit contributing to engaging social media content, also managed my own research, liaised with various divisions, formulated social media reports and participated in group project meetings. Utilising excellent communication skills, I developed and maintained successful working relationships with both internal and external staff.
Your career aim
Looking to secure a position in the media industry, where I can bring immediate and strategic value and develop my current skillset further.
Did you notice anything in the above statement?
There is no mismatch of the first and third person. Third-person was adopted without the boring repetition “I” “I”
Above all, it is advisable to read your profile out loud to ensure it reads naturally.
Experience and employment history
The latest CV format in Nigeria has a section that gives you a chance to outline your previous jobs and work experience, beginning with the most recent ones.
Education and qualifications
Under this section, include the name of the institutions and the dates you attended, followed by the qualifications and grades you obtained.
Hobbies and interests, “Avoid listing hobbies that don’t add value to your CV.”
Once upon a time, it was required to list in detail the names and contact addresses of your referees at the end of your CV, but that’s no longer in vogue, including a line that reads ‘references available on request” is the latest CV format in Nigeria.
Formatting and spacing guidelines for CV
Length: The standard length of a CV in Nigeria is a maximum of three-page
Headings:“Each section must be introduced by a big, bold heading to ensure an easy read.”
Don’t forget to include your key skills
Download a Free Copy of CV Format
Sevics Africa has more tips in its YouTube video
Can I Submit The Screenshot of My CV?
Your CV is your personal marketing document that can make or mar your “employability,” so is it professional to submit the screenshot of your CV to your potential employer?
As an employer how did you feel the first time an applicant sent the screenshot of his CV to you as a document?
Well, we’ve seen this kind of discussion on job opportunities platforms on Facebook and other social media.
What is a screenshot?
A screenshot is a way of capturing what is shown on a computer desktop, laptop, iPad, and smartphone screen to a static image file.
Simply put, it is a way of using your device to take pictures of what is shown on the screen of your device. When that’s done the captured image looks like a standard photo taken with a camera.
There are lots of resources online on how to take a screenshot of anything with your phone or computer,lifewire.com has a tutorial on that.
“Screenshots can be very helpful when you want to demonstrate something that would be difficult to explain in words.”
A screenshot is an invaluable communications tool particularly used to beat the 280-word limit on microblogging platforms and social media like Twitter.
While it’s possible to screenshot documents, and press releases and load it on social media when there is no time to type, how professional is it to send the screenshot of your CV to your prospective employer?
Find below if you can send the screenshot of your CV to an employer:
So a recruiter was telling another recruiter what she saw while going through 150 entries for an entry level position for an OND/HND holder.
She pointed out so many things graduates are doing in error but what got me annoyed was the part where some people submitted a Screenshot of their CV!
Yes, you heard me right.
Nigerian fresh graduates submitted a screenshot of their CV for a job application!
I was still wondering how this is even possible until someone else confirmed that he gets them all the time.
For Those Who Are Planning To Submit a Screenshot of Their CV for an interview
- If no one has ever told you, it is wrong to apply for a job with a screenshot of your CV.
- It is also unprofessional.
- It is unacceptable to apply for a job with a screenshot of your CV.
- It is unethical to send a screenshot of your CV for job openings.
8 Tips To Write A Perfect Cover Letter According to HR Managers
How many times have you come across job openings where you’re required to attach your cover letter?
Some people get stuck at the point of accompanying their CV with a cover letter, in this post, we’ll share with you the eight most important things your need to do when writing a salable cover letter.
You need something that would make you stand out, something that would make you shine among thousands of other applicants.
As such, we’ll also share with you two free downloads of cover letter samples written by globally recognised Human Resource Managers.
But that, it’s pertinent to ask…
Why do I need a Cover Letter?
In one of our posts, we shared with job seekers the latest CV format in Nigeria as shared by HR. A resume isn’t enough for most job postings.
You need to create a cover letter and avoid the super generic ones which have been over-used by job seekers.
According to Muse career coach, Melody Godfred, “When you’re writing a resume you’re oftentimes confined by space, by resume speak, by keywords—you’re up against a lot of technical requirements”.
He says further, “in a cover letter you have an opportunity to craft a narrative that aligns you not only with the position you’re applying to but also the company you’re applying to.”
Key areas for a perfect cover letter?
- Engaging opening line
- Clear pitch
- Superb closing line
Let’s talk about the key areas you need to pay attention to when crafting your cover letter:
An Engaging Opening Line
Make the opening of your cover letter memorable. Avoid generic openings like:
- “I’m applying for”
- “I’m writing to be considered for a role at…”
- “Hi” etc
According to Alyse Kalish at themuse.com, the opening of your cover letter is very important. The first line determines whether the recruiter would read the next line or junk it.
A Clear Pitch
What are your strengths? This is the area to sell yourself for the position and you have to convince your potential employer why you are the best for the opening.
The human Resource Manager advises that this section should have a balance of soft and hard skills, so, “talk about your experience using Salesforce or doing SEO work (and get those job description keywords in!”
A Superb Closing Line
This is the area where you’re thanking them for a possible appointment for an interview.
Example of the closing line of a cover letter:
- “Thank you in advance for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.”
- “I thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.”
- “I would love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience.” etc
Other tips when writing your cover letter:
1) Ensure to address your cover letter to a person.
- Dear Sir or Madam (Wrong)
- Dear Mr Goodswill Daniel (Wright)
2) Try as much as you can to use relevant keywords from the job description throughout your cover letter. This is very important because most recruitment firms use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
3) Don’t over-optimize for Application Tracking Systems, avoid keyword stuffing, and don’t cheat the system.
4) Use standard formatting: font and layout. Keep them simple.
5) Finally, ensure to include your contact information: your name, phone number, and email.
Imagine you are the right person, but the employer can’t find your contact details? Very important.