After months of prepping for exams, writing them and then anxiously awaiting results, many students can finally say “I am a graduate”. Now is the time to start putting what you have learnt to use by entering the world of work.
This is according to Quest Staffing Solutions CEO, Kay Vittee who notes that the first step for those who want to join the workforce is to create an outstanding CV.
“A CV, which stands for Curriculum Vitae, is a summary of your work and educational experience as well your skills. Your CV markets you to prospective employers. They will scan through it and see if you are someone that they would want to interview.
“When applying for a job, you should study the job description before you start writing your CV and cover letter. Your CV needs to show that your skills, education and experience meets or exceeds the company’s requirements and your cover letter needs to communicate that you have researched the business and are passionate about joining the team,” explains Vittee.
Vittee shares her top Do’s and Don’ts for drafting a CV:
* Do: include your name, current address and correct contact details (both email and cell phone number).
* Don’t: include pictures of yourself unless one is A) requested or B) an important feature of your industry such as in modelling.
* Do: limit your CV to a maximum of two pages. Your CV should only include the most relevant information for the job you are applying for.
* Don’t: list your hobbies unless the hobby develops a skill specific to the job requirements.
* Don’t: use unreadable fonts. Fancy fonts are a distraction and do not enhance your chances of being selected for an interview. Stick with standard fonts like Arial and Times New Roman.
* Don’t: use fancy design elements unless you are a graphic designer.
* Do: be consistent in your formatting e.g. font size and headings.
* Do: list every educational institution you have studied at as well as the qualifications you earned at each. Start with the most recent.
* Do: include your relevant work history, listing the name of the company, your position, and dates of employment as well as duties and skills required along with your reasons for leaving.
* Do: proofread your CV carefully before submitting.
“Once your CV is written, you should then draft a cover or motivational letter to accompany it. The purpose of this letter is to motivate the employer to hire you,” Vittee says.
Her suggestions for writing a cover letter that stands out from the rest include:
* Always address your letter to a person, not an organisation.
* Limit your cover letter to 300 words.
* Tell the employer why he / she should hire you.
* Explain your qualifications related to the job description.
* Conclude your letter by saying how and when you will get in touch.
“Now that you have your CV and cover letter ready to go, get out there and show businesses what you have to offer,” concludes Vittee.