How to write a good CV for job application in 2020

Whenever job applications are made, employers shortlist a few applicants basing on their CVs (Curriculum vitae)/Resume. This is why you should make an outstanding CV that will get noticed by employers so that whenever you apply, your CV must contain only relevant sections and should contain such things that will give the employer a good impression.

The truth is on average, an employer takes only 6 seconds looking at each CV. This is a bit rude, isn’t it? And this is why you need to start a CV in an impressive way to give an employer a reason to look at it for more seconds and consider it.

Here is how you should write your CV.

1. Heading Section

Your name, professional title and your contact should come first. Do not waste your time and space putting headings like ‘My Curriculum Vitae’ ‘My Resume’ etc. Remember the employer has only 6 seconds through your CV. Put your contact in the heading section. No one has time to run through your CV to look for your phone numbers and emails in their own sections. He has a lot of CVs to look through! An example can be:

Your Name | Professional Title

Kampala, Uganda

example@gmail.com

+25671767—

2. Personal Profile

This is the most important section of the CV. The personal profile section, also known as personal statement, career objective and professional profile, must be below the name and contact section. It should contain who you are and what you are selling to the company or giving the company a reason why they should hire you.

This is section should be flexible and should be edited and updated to fit the type of a job that you are applying for. It should be filled to fit the employer’s expectations.

3. Employment history and personal experience

This section is where you tell the employer that you have ever done the job he wants you do at another company. Tell them about your past experiences and working history. Put the working history in related fields first. Some irrelevant work experiences and internships can be left out.

In this section, explain clearly the company that you worked for, what was your role/title, the duties and responsibilities held and what you achieved for the company. Include the dates when you joined the company and when you left the company.

Read: How to prepare for a job interview in Uganda

4. Educational History and your qualifications

This section includes the schools and colleges where you studied from. This information should be arranged in a reverse chronological order starting from the most recent institutions to primary schools.

If you attended many colleges to attain one level certificate, its better you indicate only the institutions that appear on your certificates. For instance you attended 3 secondary schools during your O level; include only the school that appears on your O level certificate.

Endeavor to indicate the days when you attended those schools and the Qualification/grade or certificate that you got from there. If you were a head boy or a food prefect at your secondary school, spare that information for another day. No one is interested to know whether you used to write noise makers at school or not. Guild leadership at Universities can be relevant sometimes and when applying for administrative job you can include it especially if you haven’t gained much experience or worked for reputable companies to include on your C.V.

5. Skills

Make sure you include skills that you have and are also relevant to the job you are applying for. Some skills like communication skills and computer skills are required for almost every job but some skills are not necessarily important. For instance swimming might be an essential skill for someone applying for a marine/aquatic related job but will be just a hobby when applying for a Human Resource Job.

Make sure skills you include are skills you are equipped with and also relevant to the job you are applying for.

Skills can also be included in generic form or detailed form depending on the job you are applying for. Computer Skills will be an ideal term when applying for a driving job, but when applying for a job of office secretary, you might need to detail those skills into Microsoft Office skills, Adobe Page Maker Skills or Tally Skills when applying for accounting job etc.

6. Hobbies and Interests.

Here is your part to say everything you want. The 6 seconds the employer has do not allow many employers to reach this section. But once you make your CV interesting, some employers read up to the very end. Your hobbies can also be relevant to the job. Imagine someone applying for a job in National Environmental Management Authority Uganda (NEMA) and among his/her skills there is Climate Activism. Don’t you think it makes sense?

7. References.

This should include names of your referees. Someone that should be contacted in case the employer wants to know something about you. Only include their Names, titles, companies they work for, address that includes Post office Box Number if they have any, the email address and phone number. Do not include the relationship you have with them and how you met them, how important they have been in your life; reserve those remarks for your Facebook posts on their birthdays.

Make sure you inform people on your references list and give them a copy of your CV so that they get necessary information about you if in any case they are contacted. Two or three referees are enough. Unless the employer asks more than that number, don’t include all your Whatsapp contacts on your references lists.

Make sure the CV is short enough. Remember the employer has only 6 seconds through your CV. Include only relevant information and do not let it exceed three pages but two pages are preferred with Section one and two appearing on the first page.

Ways to Prepare for a Successful Interview

Interview

You have done hundreds of interviews but all the time you are not called back, your papers are fine and other requirements but you are always turned down by interviewers. There is a high probability that the way you conduct yourself during the interview is the reason why you are not called back.

Most Ugandan employers use your education levels, skills and experience during short listing, in interviews what matters is how you express yourself. How you look, how you speak, how quick you can get an answer of unexpected question, vocal abilities and body language. It’s therefore important that you improve on these things before you go for any interview.

Here are things that you need to work out:

1. Make a research about the company. The first thing you need to do is to find out the nature, values and principles of the company. Get brief information about the basics and profile of the company. Most Ugandan employers like hiring people who are already acquainted with company principles and discipline.

2. Understand the job description. It’s very important that you find out the nature of the job you are being interviewed for, what you are supposed to do for the company, roles, duties and responsibilities so as to answer questions relevantly.

3. Get your answers ready for common interview questions. There are questions that appear in most of the interviews here in Uganda. Questions like ‘Who are you?’, ‘Why do you think you are suitable for this job?’ ‘Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?’ ‘What are your strengths and weakness?’ etc. Make sure you have answers ready for those questions, should they be asked.

4. Get copies of your documents ready and move alongside original documents in case they are asked for verification. Get printed copies of your resume (Curriculum Vitae) and go with them.

5. Make more rehearsals about your body and voice languages. Body language plays a big role in an interview. Mind how you express yourself on an interview, things like introduction, handshake, smile, facial expressions and etc matter a lot.

6. Do mock interviews. These are test interviews carried out in preparation of the main interview. Get someone to interview you and pretend that you are in the interview hall. In that way you will test your abilities and improve where necessary.

7. Lastly, be ready to make follow ups after the interview and ready to accept the outcome from the interview. Keep positive throughout the process.

Read also: How to make a good CV for Job Application in 2020