By Lilian Wamaitha
You have just seen a job opening that you know you re qualified for. On top of that, you have a killer CV with an experience background that is the perfect fit for that job.
What could even go wrong? In an ideal world, nothing. But you are competing with other competent professional for the same role which means that the employer will be looking to eliminate a few of you to remain with a manageable number of CVs.
So before you send in your application, let’s take a quick look at that ‘perfect’ CV to determine that it’s not selling you short. Let’s have a look;
1. You have job titles that a layman wouldn’t understand
Organizations are different which means that the job title you may be given in one may not be the same one in another.
Other companies attempt to be cute or original with their job title which is okay if you are planning to stay there for the rest of your career.
But if you are not, when you decide to move on, some of these titles can end up working against you.
A weird job title like money maestro for instance, will work against you if you are looking for an accounting job.
What do you do? If you have an ambiguous job title that is potentially confusing to anyone reading, consider using a title that is more relevant to that job.
The goal of that title on your CV is to ensure that it sells you as the right person for the job and that means getting it right from the very beginning.
2. You don’t accompany your CV with a cover letter
I know just how annoying it is to write a cover letter for every job you are applying for. If it were up to me, I wish that employers would just ask for a CV and that’s it.
But that’s not how the world works most of the time and we both know it. Most of the jobs you see advertised require you to send in a CV and cover letter.
The reason employers ask for a cover letter is to gauge if you are the right fit for the job. It’s where you explain your past experiences, accomplishments and skills you have acquired and how they will play a part in executing your duties when given the new role.
For that reason a cover letter should not be a duplicate of what is in your CV. A hiring manger will go through the cover letter first before they even go through your CV.
Therefore, unless the job specifies that you send a CV only, never fail to write a cover letter for every job you are applying for.
3. You haven’t mastered the art of humble bragging
The whole point of a CV is to actually sell you to an employer. This means talking about your skills and achievements in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging.
If you are having a problem talking about what you have accomplished and what you will be taking to the job if given a chance, it means that you are underselling yourself.
A career summary exists for this reason. It is where you talk about your past experiences that are related to the role you are applying for, your aspirations for the future and why you are looking for that particular job.
When writing your career summary, assume that you are explaining to your friend what you do for a living.
‘A dedicated Accounting Professional with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting option from XYZ University. I have gained knowledge in preparing financial reports, accounting and financial management standards, preparing accurate and timely reports and general ledger operations. I am seeking an internship with a well-respected firm where my accounting knowledge will be utilized. I am committed to developing my career path as an Accountant and to expand on my work experience.’
With this in mind
At the end of the day, you may have what you assume is the perfect CV and the right qualifications and still not get the job. A CV is more than just the formatting. A CV is what you are telling the employer. Therefore before you send in your CV for a job, always ensure that it is selling you and not the opposite.
If you are looking for a CV that can sell your candidacy in just 30 seconds and doesn’t raise eyebrows, contact a professional CV writer today.
By Lilian Wamaitha