A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, is a document designed to market your qualifications to potential employers. It serves as a comprehensive summary of your educational background, work experience, skills, and accomplishments, enabling employers to assess your suitability for a specific job position.
Table of Contents
Here are elements to consider when writing a CV in Kenya;
1. Format and Structure
The format and structure of your CV play a pivotal role in making a favorable first impression. The universally accepted format typically follows a reverse chronological order, with your most recent work experience listed first. The fundamental structure of a standard CV includes:
a. Personal Information
Start with your full name, contact details (phone number and email address), and, if applicable, provide a link to your LinkedIn profile.
b. Career Objective or Personal Statement
Include a brief summary of your career objectives and the value you bring to the table. Customize this section to align with the specific job you are applying for.
List your academic credentials in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. Always add the institution’s name, degree earned, and graduation date.
d. Work Experience
Detail your employment history, including job titles, employer names, employment dates, and a concise overview of your responsibilities and accomplishments in each role.
Highlight your essential skills and competencies relevant to the job you are seeking. This may encompass technical skills, soft skills, and language proficiency.
f. Certifications and Training
If you possess relevant certifications or training that enhance your qualifications, make sure to include them.
g. Hobbies and Interests (optional)
While not obligatory, mentioning your hobbies and interests can provide employers with insights into your personality.
2. Tailor Your CV for the Job
Carefully review the job description and emphasize skills and experiences that align with the specific requirements of the position. Tailoring your CV demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and your commitment to meeting the employer’s expectations.
3. Highlight Achievements
Instead of merely listing your job responsibilities, emphasize your accomplishments in each role. For example, mention if you achieved specific sales growth percentages or completed projects ahead of schedule. Demonstrating your contributions to past employers helps you stand out as a high-achieving candidate.
4. Keep it Concise
Recruiters and hiring managers often receive numerous CVs for a single job opening, so it’s vital to keep your CV succinct. Aim for a length of one to two pages, depending on your level of experience. Be selective in the information you include, focusing on the most pertinent and impressive details.
5. Proofread and Edit
Before submitting your CV, meticulously proofread it for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. You might also consider enlisting a trusted friend or family member to review it. Attention to detail is crucial in CV writing.
6. Use Action Words
To create a dynamic and engaging CV, employ action words to describe your achievements and responsibilities. Action words like “achieved,” “implemented,” “managed,” and “collaborated” can make your CV more compelling and demonstrate your proactive approach to work.
7. Include References
It’s customary to include references on your CV. Provide the names, positions, contact information, and a brief description of your relationship with your referees. Ensure you have obtained their consent before listing them as references.