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The Place of Curriculum Vitae and Resume in Job Search

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The Curriculum Vitae and Resume are very important tools in the job search efforts. It is primarily expected to secure job interviews for the job candidate or applicant.

What is Curriculum Vitae (CV)? 

A Curriculum Vitae (CV short for the Latin phrase curriculum vitae, which means “course of life”) is a detailed document highlighting your professional and academic history); a document used to list one’s qualifications and apply for employment.

It works in much the same way as a resume and provides detailed information about an individual’s educational and work history; it is much more comprehensive than the typical resume and therefore can be much longer.

The Place of Curriculum Vitae and Resume in Job Search

A Resume provides a summary of your education, work history, credentials, and other accomplishments and skills. There are also optional sections, including a resume objective and a career summary statement.

The curriculum vitae is the job candidate’s marketing piece and gives him/ her opportunity to present him/ herself in good light. It details the education, skills, experiences and accomplishments of the applicant. In other words, it communicates the applicants selling points, indicating why he/she should be considered for the job under discussion and how he/she intends to deal with the challenges or problems being encountered by the potential employer.

As an applicant, one should understand that the potential employer has challenges and that has necessitated the need for recruitment and one must present him or herself as one who would provide the solutions.

In your concerted efforts at creating a good CV, carefully review your previous employment(s), articulate the challenges you had, the skills you used, how you resolved the problems and the end results in document format. The end result is your accomplishment which might have been achieved as a team or individual and might have been recognised by the organisation. These should be emphasised in your CV and reechoed at interview when invited.

It might be difficult for fresh graduates to state their achievements, but they are to emphasise their academic, athletic, internship and other accomplishments.

As a recruiter with over 25years experiences, I search and look at CVs. I have enjoyed doing this all the years and seen different shapes, sizes and colours of CVs. I confidently can say that I have viewed over half a million CVs over this period- some are commendable and many others not. I also assist job candidates craft their CVs.

Although a perfect CV is a myth, applicants must be careful in preparing their CVs as recruiters make it a practice to verify information presented. They critically review and filter CVs of each potential candidate to look out for information that matches the specified job requirements.

Many job applicants have continued to ask: Why is my CV not noticed? I have not been invited for any interview since I graduated 3years ago and I have submitted my CVs in over 20 places? Etc etc. If you are struggling with job hunt and your CV is not securing you job interviews, sometimes it is bad luck but often times it is bad CV.

Considering the volume of CVs we look at on the course of selection, we appreciate the quantity quite well, but we value more CVs that are concise and informative as this reduces time expended on interview. Recruiters may not be willing to WASTE so much time with CVs that are voluminous and watery not making meaning.

What are the features of a good CV?  

Size: Some job applicants think that the volume/ weight of the CV determines the possibility of invitation or secures you a job interview. This is not totally true. I have seen a 53page CV and personally took time off to read it. Seems unimaginable?! It was full of repetition.

Prospective employers  or recruiters may not be willing to spend their precious times, going through this nor interested in taking it home to study. CVs should be between 3-5pages with meaningful and relevant information.  

Font: The lay-out should be nice and legible- Arial, Calibri and size between 10-12 would be okay. Some job  applicants chose to prepare their CVs in BOLD letters all through. This is really not acceptable. I personally appreciate job applicants who foreground important info in their CVs for emphasis or aesthetics.

Emphasize your skill matrix in your CV, so that your prospective employer could see it at a glance. Avoid the temptation of listing  all the softwares you have read about in the newspapers, magazines, online or heard about as part of those you are well versed in. Only list those that you have used, relevant to the job on offer and are conversant with.  

Mini-format: One of the most annoying thing of all time, don’t put buzz words into the footer of your CV in font size 0.5 so that it gets indexed by the bots on the Monster or job site engines. It’s certainly not big, and really isn’t clever as you end up with recruiters scratching their heads as to why they are looking at your CV all the time, and  in the end they’ll just stop clicking on it in searches!  

Format: Ensure your CV looks nice, and that the fonts are of the same size, and should loosely follow this Guideline:

– Name,

– Location,

– Phone Number,

– Email,

– Personal Statement or job objectives – optional (including your desired role)

– Skills Matrix (nice and prominent on the first page),

– Summary of experience, knowledge & skills – job title, location (tasks, – responsibilities and accomplishments)

– Current Employment (including company name, dates of employment and title,

– Previous Employment (including company name, dates of employment and title,

– Education  History & Professional training (if you’re proud of it, SHOUT about it!

– Hobbies  (this enables the employer to see that you’re a human, not a machine),

– References (enables the client / recruiter to find out if you really are who you say you are!)

By following these very simple steps, you will have more of a chance to let a recruiter see your CV in the best light and that phone should start ringing.

I must WARN sternly here, those who are in the habit of changing information in their CVs sent to every job position advertised, you must have a rethink. Most of these changes are effected on age and work experiences. You are strongly advised to have only one CV in your job search efforts. This limits the incidence of multiple CV circulations and misinformation.

Some job applicants have more than three birth dates! Birth date cost a cousin a job opportunity in the defunct Fortune Bank Plc. He had more than two birth dates. Luckily for him, he had passed the preliminary tests and second round of interview. At the final stage where he met with the Managing Director of the bank, he did well but failed in just one question: when were you born and how old are you? He looked up and down for an answer and said he was born on  September 10, 1979 as against September 10, 1975 the real date. He rued the miss for a very long time. The first birth date is the true one while he used the second one (the one I call the edited version) because the bank specified in their job advert that candidates must not be more than 25years of age as at the time of application. 

If these guidelines are religiously followed, you soon hit your dream jobs.  

Contributed by Agolo Uzorka, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited (

The Place of Curriculum Vitae and Resume in Job Search
Agolo Uzorka Eugene
Agolo Uzorka
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