How to writing a professional CV in Nigeria with or without experience can be dicey.
Especially if you have not written one before or you have applied for many jobs with no callback for interview in this article, we’ll go through:
Let’s get into it, as writing a very professional CV can be challenging most of the time the challenge is from writer’s block. I mean, not know the particular words to put forward first.
And bear in mind that your CV is your sales pitch. It’s the first thing your potential employer will see. It tells them what you’re up to and what you can do.
Through your CV, they can decide whether to call you for a job or not. Before I call far, let's define what a CV means.
#1 What a CV is?
The word CV means curriculum vitae. It's from the Latin words "course of life" and it means an official document that outlines a person's education, professional and personal history which is prepared for Job application.
It gives a detailed understanding to your employers on who you are or better still, it markets your potential, ability, qualifications, and skills.
Let’s see another definition
A CV is a detailed accounting of not only a person’s past history of education, experiences and qualification but also related accomplishments and is generally used when an individual is looking for a job or for opening opportunities.
When an employer holds your CV, they should be able to say this is exactly what this person can do and what he can’t do.
This will give them the opportunity to either call you for an interview or not based on what you have written. So. it is important you pay attention to every word on your CV.
That said, let’s talk about how to write a very professional CV.
#2. How to write a professional CV in Nigeria
Writing a professional CV that gets you the job in Nigeria comes from understanding what you are doing. You can’t just put up anything and call it a CV. Let’s go deeper
A professional CV has 5 sections that are very important: either you are writing as a fresh graduate or you have experience already.
Here’s are sections a good CV should contain
These are the most important sections of your CV. Your employers and hiring managers will pay attention to this more than any other section on your CV and in my 5 years experience of writing CV for Nigerians and international clients these are the areas I focus on most.
Other section you may want to add includes
Hobbies and Interest
But I need to tell you, these sections are not important at all on your CV except when the hiring manager asks for it. Please don’t include them in your CV.
Now, let me break the section I listed above for you so you know how to include them on your CV.
Section#1 Identity and Contact information
The first section recruiter wants to see on your CV is to know what you’re exactly and in this section you’ll mention your name and address how to contact you.
E.g. Identity (Full Name in capital letter) ADEOLA ADEYEYE boldly written.
Contact Information: that’s your Phone number to contact you, email address, location address and your linkedln.
Note: Having a linkedin account well optimized will give you upper hands on getting employed you can see this on how to optimize your linkedin profile.
This is how you can input your contact information on your CV. (make sure both your name and contact information are at the center of the page)
No 22 Ikaja Lagos, Nigeria
Move to your professional section or statement.
Section#2 Professional objectives
This is where you write simple, concise and accurate professional statements that describe your unique selling proposition (USP), previous number of years experience. Ability and skill set that makes you qualified for the job.
I call this section hook. This is where you wow and hook your hiring manager.
Let me show you example of how to write it;
Hardworking Project Manager gifted at performance specification and reviewing designs to meet client expectations. Engaging and personable professional monitors work quality, manages key milestones and delivers exemplary customer service. Exhibits excellent technical skills in using project management methodologies, [Software] and database tools to increase productivity, quality and throughput.
Multi-talented [Job Title] consistently rewarded for success in planning and operational improvements. Experience in policy development and staff management procedures positively impacting overall morale and productivity.
Charismatic and dependable Teacher with [Number] years of experience delivering educational assistance and instruction to various levels of learners. Committed to providing students with necessary tools to achieve academic goals, instilling love of learning and cooperative teamwork. Adept in application of excellent communication and problem solving skills.
You can use anything you’re to describe yourself and abilities but I hope the examples up there will help you.
Section#3 Profession skills/ Core Competencies
This section is where you list your skill sets that match the job you want to apply for. Remember you can have hundreds of skills but being able to enlist the one that’s suitable for the job is very important.
Note: If possible avoid using generic terms like, teamwork, interpersonal, spoken words instead explain the skills you have achieved for you.
E.g. Able to manage a team of 50 people, Ability to relate with people of different tribes and culture instead of saying “Interpersonal”
Section#4 Professional work experience
Your work experience is one of the most important sections in your CV and it’s important you pay attention to it. Let your work experience be from new to old. Not old experience to new (that’s very important)
Here are things you need to include in your CV
Year started and Ended
PROSYSTEM INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
No 22, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, Nigeria
Distribution Management System
·Maintained established levels of goods based on sales forecasts and demand to fulfill orders on
-Offered expertise in inventory management and current stock levels to internal teams and customers to facilitate accuracy and product availability.
-Managed both inbound and outbound deliveries to verify orders were picked and shipped on time or swiftly and correctly placed into inventory.
-Evaluated supplies and product inventory to check for quality and quantity issues and returned unacceptable materials to vendors.
NOTE: Make sure you use active verb to list your work experience or achievement e.g Maintained, Implemented, Performed, Increased etc.
Section#5 Educational Section
Your educational section is also very important in your CV, since hiring manager wants to know your education history. Start from latest to hold. Like this,
School or Institution name
Year finished and ended
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria
Section#6 Professional Qualification
This is where you listed other professional courses you have that proof you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for
Master of Copywriting Bootcampe by Prosystem
WordPress Websites Developement by Udemy
Nigeria Institute of Account
Get this complete guide on how to write a very professional CV for any job with examples
3. CV format in Nigeria
The format of the structure to have your CV in Nigeria? Well, there’s not one way fit to write your CV.
The most important thing is that your skills, work experience, and abilities are clearly written.
For example make your text font 10-14 at most and use arial as it’s easy to read.
And let your Contact information be at the center to grab attention and easy accessibility.
4. Common Mistakes to avoid on your CV
Avoid typos and grammatical errors in your CV because it makes you appear careless and unprofessional. It’s important you proofread your CV carefully before sending it .
Using generic CV to apply for all job opportunities is a red flag. Failing to customize your CV for each job application can make you seem like you’re not genuinely interested in the position. I know this may be add work but it’s good you have your CV tailored to a particular job instead you can have at least two CVs to apply for job.
Sticking to relevant experiences, skills, and qualifications in your CV and avoiding including unrelated details that don’t contribute to your candidacy and ability to get the Job. This is mostly because of the Applicant Tracking System (see more about it below).
Be specific about your accomplishments. Avoid using generic phrases like “responsible for” or “managed.”
A CV should be concise. Aim for 1-2 pages, especially for early-career professionals. That’s the perfect one for you.
Maintain a consistent format for headings, fonts, and bullet points throughout your CV.
Ensure that your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find at the top of your CV document.
Use industry-specific keywords from the job description to increase your chances of passing through applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Avoid including personal details like your age, marital status, religion, or a photograph unless it’s explicitly requested.
Avoid mentioning reasons for leaving previous jobs, conflicts, or negative experiences in a CV. Keep it positive always. That’s important.
Use clear and concise language. Avoid jargon or technical terms that the reader might not understand.
Be honest about your qualifications and accomplishments. Exaggerating can damage your credibility. Remember you’ll work there for a while and HR may find out later.
Focus on your accomplishments and the impact you had in previous roles rather than simply listing job responsibilities.
Address any gaps in your employment history honestly. You can briefly explain them in your CV or cover letter if necessary, maybe you were not working for some time for a particular reason.
While you don’t need to include references in your CV, be prepared to provide them separately if requested.
5. What applicants tracking system is and how to handle it
What is the applicant tracking system and how to handle it?
Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software used by employers and recruiters to manage and streamline the recruitment process. ATS serves as a digital database that helps organizations collect, store, and sort through job applications.
Instead of the recruiter to be going through CV one after the other, they simply insert your CV in a computer, scan it and see if the CV has the keywords already programmed the system to look for. This is why many CVs are not read by the recruiter not to talk of calling you for an interview.
ATS automatically extracts relevant information from resumes or CVs, such as contact details, work experience, education, and skills.
ATS uses predefined criteria to screen and filter applicants, making it easier to identify qualified candidates.
It often includes tools for scheduling interviews, sending automated emails to applicants, and managing communication with candidates.
ATS stores candidate data, making it easier to build talent pipelines and maintain records for future positions.
How deal with it?
Customize your CV for each job application, using keywords and phrases from the job description.
Stick to standard resume formats (e.g., Word or PDF) to ensure the ATS can read your document accurately. Avoid complex layouts, tables, and unusual fonts.
Carefully review the job description and incorporate relevant keywords into your resume. ATS systems often rank candidates based on keyword matches.
ATS may not recognize images, graphics, or charts. Keep your resume text-based for optimal compatibility.
Create a dedicated skills section near the top of your resume to showcase your qualifications and match them with the job requirements.
Ensure that your job titles, dates, and company names are consistent with the information in your LinkedIn profile and any other professional profiles.
Use clear headings and bullet points to make your resume easy to read. Avoid unusual fonts, symbols, and excessive formatting.
Eliminate spelling and grammatical errors to ensure your application is professional and doesn’t get rejected due to mistakes.
I hope these points help you bypass Applicants Tracking Systems.
6. Best way to present your CV to writers
When you’re applying for a job, make sure you don’t send your CV only, add a simple cover letter to it that describes your intention and why you need the job.
If you’re applying for jobs offline, make sure you package your CV in a clean and neat folder that makes hiring managers know you’re organized.
I hope this guide helps you write your professional CV and get you your dream job. If you want a DONE FOR YOU CV, you need a professional to write a CV for you, click on the link below and send me a whatsApp.
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