Let’s Get You Hired: This Is How You Structure Your CV For Interviews

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Joel Kojo Abaka Anaman is a Medical Representative and a Career Coach/Strategist. In previous instalments of Let’s Get You Hired, Joel took us through two of the three things that define every CV. Those were CV Content and CV Context;

Let’s Get You Hired: How To Present CV Content And Land Interviews

Let’s Get You Hired: One CV Doesn’t Fit Every Role. Context Matters!

This week, we look at the final element; the last of the three things that define your CV. And that’s CV Structure.

Now that you have the right content and context, the final aspect of the résumé is the flow of information.

-Joel Kojo Abaka Ananman

You Need To Be Consistent With Your Presentation

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Consistency on your CV reduces drastically any chance of a hiring manager getting confused at any section of your CV. You need to properly define your sections, ensure that your grammar is good throughout, punctuate properly, use bullets appropriately just generally ensure that your CV is neat. Maintain the same font throughout, maintain the same heading appearance (unless you have sub-headings, in which case ensure that all your sub-headings are also uniform).

With that in mind, a good CV should have the following sections:

Name And Contact Information

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A practice that has pretty much gone extinct is writing the words “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” on your CV. Anyone looking at the document should know what it is. Otherwise, you have a problem.

Let your name be the first thing that appears on your CV. And then follow it up with your contact details. This should include an active phone number, a location and a professional email address. You can’t afford to be nonchalant about the email address that you use. It’s part of the first impression that you make. Ensure that it’s professional. [email protected] should work. If your name is taken just adjust the numbers at the end until you find an email that hasn’t been taken.

Professional Summary

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According to Joel, this is your elevator pitch. In other words, this section should be brief. See, it even has “summary” in its title. This section should reflect your qualifications, key strengths and skills, one of your top achievements and the value that you will bring to your new employer.

Education

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It is not advisable to list any educational qualifications prior to your high school education, according to Joel. This section should cover your lowest level of education (this could be your undergraduate degree if you have post-graduate qualifications) to your highest. If you are a fresh graduate however, your lowest level of education should be high school.

Skills And Competencies

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We already covered why the context of your CV is important. So, in that same vein, you want to list your skills and expertise that are best suited to the job that you are applying for. Joel says, that with this section, what you could do is segregate it into technical skills, soft skills and software/technology skills. This just makes it easier for a hiring manager to consume your CV.

Work Experience

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For this part of your CV, indicate the job titles, company names, their locations and the periods of work of positions that you have held/are currently holding. Below this, now you want to list your quantifiable responsibilities and the impact that you had in your organization. The article on CV content will give you some tips on how to do this.

Your work experience should be ordered with your most recent work experience at the top and the earliest at the bottom. Other sections that you can include in your CV if you are so inclined, are Licenses, Certifications and Volunteer Work.

Finally, you want to avoid personal information on your CV. This includes age, religion, gender and date of birth among others. This prevents any unnecessary bias that could cost you an interview slot.

The CV structure shown above is the chronological CV format, which is the most common CV format. Additionally, there are functional and hybrid formats. However, you should be able to get along just fine with the chronological CV format.

Let’s Get You Hired is a weekly manual for job seekers. The series contains guides and tips on CVs, Interviews and other resources to get you hired.

Source: Joel Kojo Abaka Anaman, MPSGh; Joel is a member of the pharmaceutical society of Ghana and a Career Coach/Strategist.

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