Gone are the days where people get a job just based on their level of education? More and more people are getting degrees, diplomas, masters, and it is becoming harder to market yourself by just using your Education accomplishments. So how do you make your CV stand out in a crowded job market?
In this article, I will outline some of the essential things you need to have on your CV that will attract the attention of the interviewer.
Getting Your Experience
This is one of the crucial aspects of any CV that determines whether you get an invitation for a job interview or not. Employers tend to look for what you’ve done in the past and how that experience can help them meet their company/organization needs through that job position being advertised.
Some of you might be asking, “Enock, it’s all well and good that you have outlined the importance of experience, but what if I don’t have any experience since I have just recently finished my studies and want to get a job.”
That’s a great question that I believe many graduates, form four leavers ask themselves when preparing their CV. We all have some sort of experiences but just don’t know how to write them down. Here are some examples that can give you ideas on what to write as an experience on your CV.
Example 1: This could be a project during free time in holiday, i.e working in dads shop on holiday therefore doing stocktaking, communicating with suppliers, reporting back to the owner of business at close of business. Helping father/family by transferring their paper based bookkeeping system to excel/website and teaching him how to use this.
Example 2: Participated in planning an event i.e. wedding or funerals, planned and coordinated the fundraising for an event attended by 400 people. Being responsible for getting and analysis quotes from different vendors. Coordinating a planning committee of ten people. Presenting complex/varied information accurately to a committee to enable decision making. Ensuring all agreed tasks were met within deadlines. Listening to key stakeholders and ensuring their requests in terms of quality and timing were met.
Example 3: Developed and managed my website myblog.com including sourcing or writing content, editing this, marketing this on social media sites and regularly reviewing it for SEO ranking. Drawing and keeping a timetable for updating content.
These are just three examples that would fill an employer with confidence that you have some idea of what is required in the world of work. Remember that your experience needs to be related or contain some skills that an employer might find useful in the industry you are applying to.
How to describe your work experience
You need to give specific detail about your role, what the job was, who was involved, your particular responsibilities, any skills/software used to achieve your responsibilities, time frame, give names of companies, tools, resources, products you’ve come across/ are now familiar with. Make sure to end with a clear sentence about how this experience would enable you to effectively function in the job/ sector you are applying for/hoping to work in.
The employer wants you to point out what ‘transferable skills’ you are bringing to their business and it is not enough to say that you are eager to learn. If you still feel that you don’t have any experiences to write, then it will be ideal for you to look for an internship first so you can gain some experiences and skills. It will also build your confidence and ability to stand out when applying for a job.
Tip: Always make sure that you list all relevant work experience in your CV.
Author: Enock Kiprono