New year, new CV

18 January 2019 | Columns

In the modern era, the job market is fast and competitive and opportunities come in a blink of an eye.

If you are not ready to grasp them, it might take a while before another opportunity presents itself.

So how do you better position and prepare yourself for another opportunity? The solution is to make sure that you have an up to date, modern and visually appealing CV. Your CV needs to be customised for the role you are applying for.

Gone are the days when you can send the same CV without ensuring it is relevant to a specific role and without highlighting the competencies, skills and abilities that match the advertisement or vacancy.

A CV is a personal marketing document to showcase your skills, notable achievements and work experience.

“It should be a clear, concise, well-formatted and up-to-date representation of yourself as a strong potential candidate to support your candidacy for the position,” said Bank Windhoek human resources business partner manager, Retuura Ballotti.

Your CV should be seen as a tool to sell yourself to the employer. Below Ballotti shares some pointers on how to stand out among the rest of the competition.



Social media platform visibility

Nowadays, once your CV reaches the human resources department, a LinkedIn profile search is usually conducted to assess your credibility in the job market, your interests and endorsements from previous employers, peers and colleagues. Make sure that your LinkedIn page has a professional picture and describes your abilities, ambitions and achievements that support your CV. As a social media platform geared towards professionals, LinkedIn is used by employers and recruiters who are looking for job candidates.

Edit, edit and edit again

Your CV needs to be grammatically correct before submission, as well as formatted correctly. Spelling, formatting and accuracy of details are critical. Include current information on your academic background, professional associations, attendance of workshops, your skills and experience in a professional working environment, any other relevant achievements from the previous year. Make it short and professional, aiming not to exceed three pages. When your CV is long and longwinded it acts as a deterrent to the recruiter.

Stand out and sell yourself

As you grow, your CV needs to grow with you. Career ambitions shift and change and you acquire new interests, so your CV must also reflect this. The mistake that many make is to apply for each and every position. It is important to analyse the role before applying and assess your suitability. If after this analysis you believe that your suitability is at least 80%, only then apply for the position. Do not be focused on the seniority of the role or the job title, rather focus on finding a match to your abilities and skillset.

“When applying for a senior role, position your CV to highlight your readiness to function at such a level. Tell them why you are the best person for the job by using examples of how you can demonstrate your growth and suitability for the role,” said Ballotti.

Ensure that your CV is visually attractive. “Pinterest is another social media platform that can offer you modern templates to make your CV more appealing,” she added.

If you have upgraded your computer, foreign language and soft skills, add them to your CV. Also include awards, achievements and other relevant positive information accomplished last year. Moreover, add professional development activities, certificates, degree courses and in-service training completed last year. This will boost your chances of getting the position.

Update your CV regularly

Study your CV and update it regularly, even if you have been in the same position. Seek out new projects and experiences so that you can update your CV, as this will give you exposure to new challenges and responsibilities. “Bank Windhoek will always give any candidate an opportunity to join the bank who meets the requirements and brings value to the role and organisation. With an updated and visually appealing CV, you could increase your chances of moving into a self-actualised career,” Ballotti said.

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