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Career Talk 12 important changes to make to your CV in 2015

With the increasing influence of social media in everyday life, the dynamics are changing in the labour market, it was for this reason we sought out Jimmy Braimah, Partner at Edge Recruiter Nigeria Limited who shared some relevant changes to make to a CV in 2015.

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With the start of a new year, its not uncommon to find folks implement change in several areas of their lives especially their careers.

Many times, this process begins with updating the CV. A CV is the singular most important document in the job search process, which could make or mar the chances of landing that dream job. This is why in drafting or editing a CV, its important to highlight the most important points which should clearly communicate your skill set in the best way possible.

With the increasing influence of social media in everyday life, the dynamics are changing in the labour market and its not unheard of for recruiters to seek out the social media profiles of prospective candidates.

So how then does this affect applicants, is it necessary to include hobbies and links to social media accounts in a CV? These were some of the questions we posed to Jimmy Braimah, Partner at Edge Recruiter Nigeria Limited who shared some great insight to the workings of the Nigerian labour market as well as relevant additions and changes to make to a CV in 2015.

Here they are:


  1.  Leave out age: According to Braimah, adding one's age to their CV could be tricky and possibly lead to discrimination particularly in a case where the candidate doesn't meet the required age. So in order not to hurt your chances, its advisable to leave out the age.

  2. Include address: This is important to enable the recruiter contact you if  you meet the necessary requirements.

  3. Social media: An up-to-date Linkedin profile is as essential to a 2015 job applicant as a WAEC result is to a student seeking admission to a higher institution in Nigeria. In the words of Braimah, Linkedin profiles help in the decision making process, to this end its acceptable to add the link to your Linkedin profile on your CV. Twitter is also another welcome social media account in the labour market, but only if the account is clean and free of expletives and abusive tweeets.

  4. Don't include references: References should be left out of the CV and provided only upon request; which according to Braimah is usually after employment has already been offered to the applicant. The reason references should be left out? They could be contacted indiscriminately or even taken off guard when contacted by the recruiter. So its advisable they're left out of the equation until the recruiter/employer requests for them.

  5. Education: Its presumed that the applicant should have attended primary and secondary school so leave them out of the CV and include just university and if applicable, post-graduate school.

  6. CV should be in reverse chronological order: Recruiters have only as much time to go through a CV so you want to convey the most relevant information first. Begin with your most recent job and move backwards.

  7. Job description: Do not just list where you've worked and what you did. Rather state in 6 or 7 bullet points what you did in the place of employment. The ideal format should be job title, employer, date (month and year) and then brief bullet points of your roles and achievements.

  8. Hobbies are welcome: Its 2015 and recruiters want to glean as much information about candidates as possible. On that note, its perfectly acceptable to include your hobbies, it should however be termed as 'extra curricular activities' and it could includes causes you're involved in like charity or work groups/associations you belong to. It all helps in the decision-making process.

  9. CV Length: This depends largely on your work experiemce. While its acceptable for a fresh graduate's CV to be just a page, this cannot be the case for a mid/senior level executive. Whatever the case, CVs should be as short as possible and straight to the point.

  10. Don't put computer literate: For Braimah, the mere fact that the CV is a word document is proof enough that the candidate has some level of proficiency in the use of a computer and Microsoft Word. So, unless the role specifically requires knowledge of Microsoft Excel and other such applications, there really is no point including 'computer literate' in the CV.

  11. Project topic: For fresh graduates, inclusion of their final year project is welcome as this is a great way to get candidates talking and test communication skills. However, for mid/senior level professionals, this may not be necessary.

  12. Leave tables out: According to Braimah, the software that most recruiters use in scanning through CVs cannot read tables, thus rendering the CV impossible to skim through, except the recruiter chooses to rewrite it. So, candidates are advised to not write their CV in a tabular form.

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