Tips for job hunting

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1.0 TIPS FOR JOB HUNTING

  • Your curriculum vitae
  • Distinguish yourself

The first hurdle to jump when applying for a job is to understand that your CV represents you and it’s your key marketing tool.  The process of hiring commences with a longlist, a shortlist and continue to interviewing.  To go through each of these, you must be able to clearly present your abilities, skills and experience.  Know that employers receive 100s of applications for jobs posted and therefore spend little time in reviewing these. Your CV must be relevant and succinct to receive the attention it deserves.

1.1 YOUR CURRICULUM VITAE

1.1.2 Your contact details

Your email and telephone number must necessarily be on your CV not just in the email because recruiters may not go back to your application to search for this

1.1.3 Personal statements

Most CVs show generic statements instead of tailored statements that reflects the summary of experience and key skills qualifying the applicant for the job.  Avoid statements like ‘ I am hardworking, focused etc.  Be succinct but precisely show who you are…

1.1.4 Experience

To give an idea where you are in your experience, start with your most recent job, work experience or voluntary placement and work your way back. Table your job titles, the organization, the dates you were employed and your achievements with figures and statistics if you can. All the dates should match up; where there are gaps give relevant explanation(s).

1.1.5 Qualifications, training and education

Provide a table of your education (school, college or university) and relevant training. Depending on the post you are vying for provide qualifications which highlights your fit for the job on the CV

2.0 DISTINGUISH YOURSELF

The one size fits all doesn’t work in today’s competitive job search, you need to adapt your CV for each application. Because the recruiter can only evaluate you by the CV, do a thorough search of the organization and incorporate this in your CV. You can use the job description or advert to match your skills against the role. Take out all irrelevant information which takes up space.

If you have no work experience, show other ways you exhibit your skills and abilities:

  • If you played any major role in school events, elaborate this.  Show your ability to use your initiative and work in a team
  • Provide details of any charity work you have undertaken, it’s a prove that you can be a committed individual

2.1 Formatting

Main headings and titles must be in bold and highlighted. Use fonts that are clear to read and avoid  ‘italics’ if possible.  Fancy borders can take away essential parts of the content

2.2 Word count
A recruiter receives a number of CVs and will normally spend 10-20 seconds to glance through each one before making a decision whether or not to pick a particular applicant.  If the work experience is limited, list the academic qualifications which gives you an edge upfront.

The CV must be short and concise. Two pages of simple, plain and positive written CV is normally sufficient.  Scan through thoroughly to check for spelling and grammar and possibly get it reviewed by a third person.  No need to include certain information if not required, for instance your driving license (unless it is a requirement), your photograph and in some cases references.  You may include that ‘references are available upon request’ except if it is demanded in the advert.

2.3 Your social media presence

Depending on the job and the image required of the successful candidate, some employers may check on your social media presence on facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc, make sure you either limit who can view your profile or give a good impression of yourself on these platforms.   Set up accounts on professional platforms like LinkedIn to showcase what you can offer.

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