Whether one is applying for a job or intends on furthering studies, their Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume needs to be able to communicate the type of person the applicant is, include achievements and background, and therefore needs to be impeccable.
These were the remarks of multi-faceted youth leader Mavis Elias, who was speaking during a free virtual job readiness series, focusing on resume building organised by the American Embassy in the capital.
“Resume building is like marketing yourself. When it comes to marketing ourselves, we tend to take a more humble approach, because we are afraid of selling ourselves too broadly,” noted Elias.
The University of Sussex student said due to many activities that people have embarked upon, it is impossible to include everything that one has achieved, and urged people to create precise sentences to best describe themselves.
“When you are selling yourself, you need to make an impact. It’s not enough to say ‘I am great at project management’ because you have managed projects. There is no evidence and
facts provided – you need to be able to give numbers and demonstrate how you have done it,” she shared.
Elias, a published author and motivational speaker, said a lot of people have statistics of projects they have done or been busy with but tend to forget about the impact because individuals down-sell what they have done.
“Because of the lack of space, you have to be strategic in how you deliver if you were to create a profile for yourself – what would your introductory sentence be?”
She stated that when applying to an institution, it is important to tailor the CV or resume accordingly.
“You have to understand the type of environment you are applying for so that you can submit the right format.
“There is a lot of CV-building software and one needs to be creative, especially when it comes to using too much colour as it may come off as being unprofessional and playful, unless you are applying in the art sector.”
She said a profile that allows the
recruitment team to get to know you on paper, which is accompanied by a motivational letter and cover letter, goes to highlight your interest in an opportunity and it is more suitable for job applications, bursaries, funding applications.
“Your CV is to be two to three pages long, and know the company and the position you are applying for. Each cover letter should be tailored,” she concluded.