HOW TO WRITE A GOOD RESUME

Curriculum vitae is an overview of a person’s life and qualification. It is the first point of contact between a potential employer  who uses it to screen the job seeker who is seeking employment.
It is more or less a representation of you. It tells the whole story about your abilities, makes you attractive and interesting and sells you to the employer. A prospective job seeker must therefore create a strong and good CV as that is the first point of contact with the employer who is most likely to be inundated with several hundreds of enquiries from which a shortlist has to be made.
A general advice is that a CV should be as simple as possible, concise easy to read and the presentation should be attractive. It is a summary of the job seekers employment history, qualifications and some personal information which must be updated regularly to change the emphasis of the information. Below is a list of information that an applicant’s  CV should have


MINIMUM INFORMATION REQUIRED IN A CURRICULUM VITAE.
A.      Personal Details
i.            Name - in bold type with surname first and other names in    full.    Please note that photos are not required unless specifically requested by the employer.
ii.           Contact Address- Home Address
       - Correspondence address (if different from  home)                     
iii.      Email Address.
iii.          Phone number    - Home
                                   -  Mobile
                                   - Fax
iv.      Gender                - For gender sensitive countries, this   specification could be omitted.
v.       Personal Objective.-  Under this section, the prospective  employee gives a skill summary which should be brief usually about 2 or 3 sentences. The focus should be on the writer’s qualities and unique abilities.
 B.     CV Objective 
This section explains or depicts the job you are searching for. Many job applicants are often confused and loose opportunities because of their inability to tailor their CV’s to positions for which they are applying. The advice is for the applicant is to draft the CV to suit different job openings. It is therefore not unusual to have different versions of your CV emphasizing your different skills and suitability for advertised positions. The job seeker has to update the CV to change the emphasis of the personal information  by adapting it to fit the particulars position being applied for:
 C       Education
Qualifications and Educational achievements are equally very important in your detailed curriculum vitae. The applicant’s academic and professional qualification s with dates should be stated with the most recent shown first.
 D       Professional or Work Experience
A detailed work experience including all temporary and permanent jobs should be stated. These should include summer jobs internships, part-time or full time jobs.
E.     APPLICANTS WITHOUT JOB EXPERIENCE
A particular interesting aspect is where new entrants do not have relevant job experience. The question then is “HOW DO YOU GET THE EXPERIENCE WITHOUT A JOB”.
 F.     Honours, awards and accomplishments.
All academic honours and awards for excellence should be stated. Employers are looking for persons of proven abilities.
G.         Interests, Hobbies and Publications
This section often shows the applicants initiative and willingness to sacrifice for others and what you like doing. Employers are interested in activities where the prospective employee showed leadership, responsibility and team work. It could be related or not related to the job in question but make sure you do not include strong attachments to politics, religion and controversial matters or topics/issues that could spell doom for your quest for a job.
H.        CV references.
Employers need independent referee’s reports about the applicant and much importance is attached to it. The applicant must, however, be sure that the references will provide good and adequate responses to enable him  secure the job. It would be unwise to include a reference that will dent your job prospects. Two references are adequate. One usually from your academic institution (if you are a new school leaver) and the other from any work position you held.
 ▪       Details of Job Experience should include the following:
i)       Name of Organization
ii)      The position held
iii)     Job Title
iv)     Length of time spent on the job
v)      Job responsibilities and what you achieved.
Note that most recent experience should be stated first.
 I.      HONESTY
One most important caveat in the preparation of a CV is to ensure that you are honest with the details you present in the CV. A number of people flood their CV’s with lies and flower their CV’s to impress and attract the employer. Often times, employers do carryout independent searches and scrutiny which could expose the applicants dishonesty. Also, the applicant might be unable to defend the claims at the interview level as well as during the probationary period.
 J.     Length of the CV
In preparing your CV, brevity should be your watchword. Verbosity and unnecessary details should be avoided. You do not have to go beyond  two (2) pages of A4 paper unless it is absolutely necessary like when you are applying for an academic position for which the CV would include publications, conference papers etc. In certain professions like architecture etc, samples of a person’s work/art may be required and could run into many pages.
Some employers often times prefer not to receive CV’s but produce their own applications so that information from job seekers is standardized. While in some other cases, the CV could be required as support for the application.