Once at an employability conference in which I was a guest speaker, I addressed the many issues most fresh graduates grapple with, in the labour market.
However, I noticed there were greater crowd reactions to CV writing and cover letters.
I’m sure this will benefit the global audience on this platform, hence my decision to share my thoughts here as well.
Before I went fully into career coaching and employability training of both fresh graduates and transitional career job seekers, I have always been partly involved in guiding young people on their career journey as well as connecting them to prospective employers.
Matter of fact, it was the series of actions and attitudes of job seekers that inspired me to delve into career coaching because a lot of fresh graduates truly need to learn, unlearn and relearn the ways things work in the real world!
I remember a time I tried to connect three job seekers to potential employers for industrial placement. Told them to send their CVs to the stipulated email and guess what?
I was appalled to learn that 2 out of the 3 sent their CVs ONLY to the mail. No introduction, no salutation, no presenting what they can offer, no anything!
This incident came back to memory after I read a post where a recruiter decried the same attitude.
This is 2019!
Never send an empty mail with just your CV to a recruiter! Else, it will drown in the ocean of CVs!
There is something called a COVER LETTER which should go alongside your CV unless you are instructed not to add it.
If you still don’t know all that Cover Letter entails, read my article on it here.
Now let’s progress to talking about lacklustre CVs.
Your CV is an advert of yourself to the recruiter.
And a key feature that makes you stand out from the crowd is presenting a RESULT-ORIENTED CV!
This is where most fresh graduates complain about the unfairness of expecting result-oriented CVs from first jobbers.
Let me tell you for free that nothing stops you from having a goal-oriented CV even when you haven’t been formally employed before, especially if you are applying for an entry-level role.
I will show you the ways this can be achieved below:
If you graduated with a good result, say a 1st class or second-class upper, use that!
That is a great result! How did you get it? You worked hard. You were dedicated and focused! You are a hard worker who does not relent!
If you belonged to any association or club in school, you are a team player. Show how you were the go-to person amongst the association members when they want to get things done!
Do you belong to any service department in your church or mosque? Use that! Show how you used your leadership office or the responsibilities assigned to you to get things done. Furthermore, show how you are good at multi-tasking as well.
If you are through with National Youth Service (Nigeria’s compulsory post-university service─A no longer-fit-for-purpose programme if you asked me!), use that too! How you were an asset to the host community and the difference you made while serving.
Have you volunteered in any organisations at any capacities? How were you an asset to them?
For example, if you volunteered in a customer service role, show how you ensured that the calls you picked ended in satisfied customers, thereby reducing customer complaints and increasing customer retention.
And so much more!
Selling oneself is an art, and a lot of fresh graduates and job seekers need to learn the art.
Sending out CVs that don’t impress is a total waste of time. When a recruiter looks at your CV, he/she should be propelled to want to see you.
That’s the idea!
You have results in EVERYTHING you do! Focus on them and ‘loud’ them!
This is why I always advise you get your CVs done if you can’t do it yourself professionally. That’s where your success in the job search begins.
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