Growing up it was always drummed into you that you will need to do well in school and go to university if you want to live a good life. You are led to believe that once you complete your studies you will get a well paying job automatically and start to live the life you want.

However, after graduation, reality tends to set in and all those dreams fly out the window for some people.

This is because the promised jobs are nowhere to be found and you are stuck job searching for years. This means that most people end up going back to school to do a different course or get a masters degree.

In this article see some of the things you could be doing wrong and how to improve your job search process.

Here are some of the mistakes graduates make when job hunting

  1. Applying only for jobs that you are skilled in

Most times you are told to apply only for jobs you qualify for but this doesn’t mean that you don’t apply for jobs where you only miss a few skills.

Take for example, if you don’t have knowledge in Excel and a Diploma in Communication yet the job requires that you do, you can still apply for the job if all you are missing is knowledge in Excel.

Some companies are willing to train new employees if they think they are good enough and as such you might end up getting the job.

So don’t limit yourself when it comes to making job applications but you also have to be realistic and honest with yourself.

  1. Ignoring low paying jobs

A common mistake graduates make is only applying for well paying jobs. This is mostly because they want to live a good life and the fact that in school you are always told that studying will get you a well paying job. The problem with this is everyone has to start somewhere and some have to start lower than others.

You need to be willing to gain experience first because that is what will determine your pay. You cannot expect to be paid the same as someone with 3 years experience yet you have none. You need to earn it, so you have to be willing to work hard to prove you deserve the high pay.

  1. Using the same cover letters

This cannot be stressed enough; you need to stop using the same cover letter for every job application you make.

You need to tailor your cover letter to fit the job and organisation you are applying to. This is because every job advert is different even if they are for the same position. What one organisation is looking for might be different from what another one is looking for.

By sending the same cover letter for each you are not really showing the company how you qualify for that particular job and the recruiter will notice this which ruins your chances of getting the job.

  1. Not preparing for the interviews

This is one of the biggest mistakes graduates make when job hunting. It is completely unacceptable to go into an interview blank. You need to have done your research and practised your answers to the very common interview questions.

Before walking into any interview you need to have proper research on the company be it what it does, its products etc and you also need to ensure you are up to date on the latest trends in your field of profession.

You need to have an idea of what your answers to the common interview questions will be. this does not mean that you give robotic answers you spent cramming but you have a general idea of what you want to say.

You need to show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job and this can only be done if you are well prepared.

  1. You don’t want to relocate

This is sometimes a touchy subject for some people. Are you willing to leave your home and friends for a job? If you have ever turned down a job just because of the location then you need to become more flexible.

In the current job market getting a job is not easy, you should therefore, take any chance to gain experience as long as it is safe and it makes sense. You need to be smart when it comes to deciding because you might be missing out on a great opportunity.

  1. Accepting the very first job offer

Another common mistake graduates make when job hunting is running to take the very first job offer they get. Sometimes this offer isn’t really the best but because you do not want to be jobless any longer you end up taking it.

It is always better to consider your options especially if you have interviewed for various positions. You never know, a better offer might just come up and you will very happy that you waited. You need to be careful though and only do this within a reasonable time frame.

Remember, this is the time for you to discover what you want and what your skills are you should therefore be open minded and don’t give up even though you have been jobless for a while. Job hunting is never easy and you should be prepared to put in work, however, if done correctly you will not have to stay jobless for very long.

Normally starting a job search is something you should want to do not have to. But, the world we live in is anything but ideal so you cannot always start a job search because you want to.

So what do you do when you have lost your job and are forced to start looking for a new job? How do you ensure that your job search is successful and it doesn’t take too long to find a job?

Here are some useful steps to a successful job search after losing your job

1. Take a few days to think about your career path

Most people make the mistake of starting to apply for jobs immediately after losing their job. Unless you are 100 percent sure the career you are on is what you want to do for years to come, it is better to wait before you start applying for other jobs.

Before you start sending in your application, it is important that you take a few days to reflect and decide which career path you want to follow.

A career coach can also help guide you if you have no idea where to start. They will help you figure out what it is you truly want and give you tips on how to achieve it.

After you have decided what you want to do and where your career is headed then you can focus the job search process in terms of the positions to apply for and at what organisations.

2. Update your CV

When was the last time you used your CV? Because you have been working in the same organisation for a while you probably never felt the need to update your CV. It is important you focus on this now before you start your job search.

In order to apply for new positions your CV must be up to date and relevant. CV’s are very important when you are applying for a job. It is what determines whether you get shortlisted for an interview or not.

Because it is how you introduce yourself to the hiring manager, it is important that you put your best foot forward, you need to have a CV that showcases all your capabilities and looks professional. If you have no idea how to go about achieving this, you can get help from a professional CV writer.

3. Fix your LinkedIn profile

If you do not have one then this is the time to get a LinkedIn profile. Nowadays, most organisations are looking for candidates through LinkedIn. Having a profile then makes you visible to potential employers and increases your chance of getting a job.

How your LinkedIn profile looks is very important because potential employers will judge you according to what they see. Your profile should sell your skills to all potential employers in order to better your chances of landing the job.

4. Start looking for Jobs

After doing all the above, then you can start actively looking for open positions in your field of interest.

This is where you check what positions interest you and which ones you are qualified for without necessarily applying for any of them.

This will be a great opportunity for you to get a feel of what is out there and who is hiring in order to know how to go about applying.

5. Contact your networks

After you have figured out who is hiring for which positions, then it is time to reach out to the networks you made.

For example if you know an employee of a certain company that is hiring you can reach out to them and inform them of your plans to apply for the position.

This will better your chances because the person might recommend you to the relevant people and land you an interview in the process.

This is the time for you to take out your contact book and start chatting up your networks or  start making new ones.

6. Apply

After ensuring that your CV is well written , your Linked profile is on point and you have done enough research on the position, you can go ahead and apply for the jobs you want.

All in all you should embrace this new chapter in your life and see this as an opportunity to better yourself. Just because you lost your job doesn’t mean you will never find another one. It is also important to remember that job search can take time and you should not give up if it doesn’t work out immediately.

Peen Nigeria Limited is licensed to provide stevedoring services in Nigeria, and we are presently recruiting suitably qualified candidates to fill the position below:

Job Title: Dock Worker

Job Description

  • We are looking for Dock Workers with vast experience in terminal and stevedore operations.

Job Requirements

  • Load and unload vessels
  • Operate heavy vehicles and machinery, such as straddle carriers, forklifters and ship cranes, to load and unload cargo from trucks, ships and rail transport services
  • Position goods in the holds of the ship
  • Secure cargo on ships using braces to hold it in place
  • Carry out safety checks on equipment
  • Secure and release mooring lines of ships
  • Clean out ship’s tanks and holds
  • Knowledge of health and safety procedures
  • Possess skills on how to handle different types of cargo, particularly containers of dangerous substances
  • Knowledge of basic customs and shipping company documents
  • Ability to interpret ship loading plans.

Application Closing Date
Not Specified.

A CV is a proposal or a pitch that goes before you to sell you to a potential employer. It is meant to speak for you and present you as a professional absolutely capable in carrying out the job you are applying for.

For the CV to act as the perfect pitch, it needs to present the picture of a perfectly capable professional with unmatchable experience and expertise.

An unimpeachable CV needs to foot the ability of being professional bringing out meaningful and relevant information regarding your career such as your education background, experience in your area of specialization and the track record of accomplishments you have acquired.

Very few CVs meet these criteria. The mistakes a candidate makes on the CV are what make a potential employer think twice about calling you for that interview.

1. Having a peculiar email address

There is nothing that screams unprofessionalism than having an email address that looks funny. The email addresses outlined in the contact details on your CV or ones used to send out applications need to be professional. An email like [email protected] or [email protected] is definitely not professional.

Seek to use your official names for email addresses with dots and commas and numbers to make it more unique. An email like [email protected] is a lot better.

2. Obvious spelling mistakes

There is nothing as off putting as a CV that has obvious spelling and grammatical mistakes that can be easily avoided. It is important to read and reread your CV to rid it of these errors as such present you as careless and one who cannot take keen interest on the little things. As such you might miss out on job opportunities.

3. Using unusual styling

Thinking that one needs to make the CV stand out by all means, there are candidates who add all sorts of colors to the template of the CV and use very unprofessional font types when doing it complete with images.

It is important to use a very professional font like Times New Roman, Calibri or Palatino Linotype and corporate colors like Blue or Purple can be used subtly be used to kill the monotony to present you as a serious and professional candidate.

4. Being to brief on the CV

In a bid to make the CV short and ‘concise’, there are people who think that doing away with important elements like duties and responsibilities and only having the position, the place of work and duration of work is what makes it more presentable.

On the contrary, this presents you as a laid back individual who is not serious about what he or she is looking for.

It is very important to have the duties and responsibilities clearly outlined. However, there is a catch. Not all roles need to be outlined in the CV.

Instead, capitalize on the most specific duties relevant to the career you are in as opposed to including even the most general ones like “Offering help to my team members when required to.

5. Having an overly long CV

Individuals with over 10 years of experience and have worked for more than 5 organizations tend to have a longer CV than those who possess an experience of between 1 to 9 years. In most cases, these CVs go to over 5 pages which are very unnecessary.

Most employers tend to look at the three most recent experiences and ignore the rest. What one has the most recent experience in is what is considered to be an expert in.

Avoid the mistakes above and your CV will most definitely land you the interview that will edge you closer to that dream job.

Research has shown that having poor interpersonal skills is why people don’t get promoted or even worse lose their jobs. This is because most workplaces depend on team work to get the job done.

Which means it is important that everyone masters a few social skills in order to survive in the work place.

Employers are looking to hire people who will work well with the rest of the team because poor relations between employees will lead to poor productivity.

1. A Great Attitude

A great attitude will improve your overall productivity at the office. This is why most employers would rather have an employee who is jovial and can handle stressful situations in the correct manner than have an employee who is always gloomy or angry.

Never allow any situation at work ruin your mood because it will strain your relationship with co workers and also reduce your productivity. Always smile even when things are hard and remember to take a break in order to relieve some of the pressure.

2. Empathy

Empathy is basically the ability to understand and relate to other people’s feelings. This will go a long way in improving your work relationships and ensuring you are able to work well with your colleagues.

This is a very important quality to have because it will ensure great team work in the office which then translates to higher productivity.

Every employer wants to have employees who get a long and work well together because it will mean more profits.

So from today try to understand where your work mates are coming from and act accordingly.

3. Active Listening

Active listening means you are fully engaged while listening to someone talk. You’re completely focused on what the person is saying. You are giving them eye contact, nodding, and occasionally asking them to clarify things you do not understand.

Instead of always be the one talking, make it a point to listen to your workmates, you will end up understanding what is required of you and will make your job much easier.

Next time a colleague or manager is talking to you. Put your phone, computer, or notebook away and fully listen. This will also better your relationships at work.

4. Respect

Respect is very important in the work place without it there will constantly be squabbles and no work will be done. However, you cannot expect to be respected if you do not respect others, regardless of your position, you should not look down on your co-workers or disregard their contribution.

This will ensure that everyone in the office feels like they offer something and that their ideas are considered.

Being polite is also important in the office words like please, thank you, excuse me etc should always be at the tip of your tongue. This will go a long way in ensuring you are respected and liked in the office.

5. Taking Initiative

Don’t just be content, a good boss would want you to seek growth because it means the company will grow as well. Take the initiative to learn new skills and work on your weaknesses. An employee who betters themselves is a great asset in an organisation.

It is important to remember that although your papers got you the job, your social skills and your work place dynamic is what will help you keep the job. No employer wants to have an employee who is making life difficult for everyone else no matter good they are at their job.

Looking for a job can be very tasking. It takes a lot of time and energy because it is not something that can be done in a day.

For some, it is as simple as sending in their first application. But for others, the job search takes longer.

In this article, I will give you tips to help you jump start your job search in case it has stalled and how to improve your chances of landing a job.

1. Give Your CV a Makeover

Sometimes not being able to get a job might be because your CV does not really show how qualified you are for the position.

Just having a CV that states your qualifications is not enough; you need to indicate how those qualifications match with what the employer is looking for.

You can even go as far as having your CV reviewed by professions who will help you package your qualifications in an attractive manner.

2. Refresh your interviewing skills

Have you gone for an interview and you think you did well only to never hear from the hiring manager again?

No matter how qualified you are for the position, if your interview skills are lacking you might end up missing out.

Therefore it is important that you improve your interviewing skills in order to boost your chances. If you feel the need to get professional help, then you can even get interview coaching.

3. Build your image online

Having no online presence is just as bad as having a bad online presence. Whether you like it or not, most employers will Google you. What they find will determine whether you are considered for the position or not.

It is important that you ensure you have a good and an active online presence. Get a LinkedIn profile it will help boost your jobs search. If you are a writer, it is important that you have a blog or something similar.

4. Approach Your Search from a Different Angle

We get so many calls from people who have been applying for jobs they feel qualified for but they still don’t get positive results.

The strategy is to change strategies. Instead of applying for jobs in just any industry, pick an industry you are interested in if you have no work experience or if you do have work experience apply for jobs in the industry you have worked in.

For example, if you have been working in the manufacturing industry, it is best to apply for jobs in the same industry as opposed to applying for jobs in the banking industry.

This is because most employers specify that they want candidates who have worked in that particular industry.

5. Networking

How does your network look? Is it full of people working in your industry or not? It is important to remember that networking is an important part of any job search.

As such you should ensure that you have people in your network, who can help you with your job search.

You Might Like Reading Networking 101: Utilizing Internal Networks

6. Don’t get comfortable with the online platform.

The internet has made it easier for one to apply for jobs online without having to walk all over town. This is a good thing however; it is important that you get out in the world and attend events or seminars.

This will not only increase your network but it will also ensure that you are visible to potential employers.

You never know you might just meet someone who might end up connecting you with a job.

7. Review Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is what the recruiter will see first. What they see will determine whether your CV gets looked at or is thrown out.

This means your cover letter should communicate that you are indeed the best candidate for the position.

Therefore, to prevent your job search from stalling, you should stop sending generic cover letters because they end up hurting your chances of getting a job.

You might want to consider having your Cover letter professionally done to ensure it is well written and can get the employer to look at your CV.

No matter what, it is important to remember that job searching takes time and it is important to stay positive throughout the process. Try some of these tips to revive your job search, you never know your next job might be around the corner.

By Michelle Wanjiku

When I was a recruiter, I was asked a lot of smart questions that made me say, “Wow, this candidate is on top of her game.” But I also heard a lot that made me wonder who the person had taken interview advice from—or if that person had ever sought out help at all.

The truth is that while hiring managers expect you to come with questions, there are plenty of topics you shouldn’t ever bring up. For starters, here are a few that might sound exciting to you, but won’t endear you to the interviewer.

1. “How Often Does the Team Hang Out After Hours?”

It’s only natural to want to work with people you’d have a drink with after work. Because as you know, the reality is that you spend more time with your co-workers than you do with most other people in your life. But asking a recruiter to talk about what goes on after-hours makes it sound like you care a lot about the happy hour scene. And again, you should care about the culture, but phrasing it like this doesn’t do you any favors—even if it’s at a company known for having a good time.

What to Ask Instead

Rather than asking to hear about how hard the team parties, try something like this: “I’d love to hear more about how the team works together here, how would you define the company culture?” This answer will often lead to discussion about fun traditions or weekly happy hours, but it makes you sound far more concerned about finding the right fit than the original phrasing.

2. “Do I Have the Job?”

OK, you might not be as blunt as the wording here, but back in my recruiting days, you’d be amazed at the lengths people would go to get me to say, “You’re amazing!” But here’s the thing: Even when you think you’ve forged a bond with your interviewer, it’s important not to start digging for compliments or reassurances that you’re going to keep moving through the process.

What to Ask Instead

Again, digging for compliments is a good way to turn a recruiter off. Instead, ask this:
“In an ideal world, what should the person in this role do to make his or her manager’s life easier?” By asking this, you’re not getting the answer to your question—sorry!—but instead you’re keeping the focus on what you can do for the company. And at the interview stage, it’s key to make it all about how you’ll be an asset. (The negotiation stage is when you get to start making it about you!)

3. “If This Doesn’t Work Out, Would You Consider Me for Another Opening?”

I’m on the record multiple times for saying the interview process isn’t over when the hiring manager takes a pass. In fact, I’d often bring people back in for new openings because they really were awesome, it’s just that at the time, the role in question wasn’t a good fit for them.

But there’s one thing those people had in common: They never asked me during the first interview to do that. Because those who outright begged me to keep them in mind for other positions made it tougher for me to imagine forcing another person to meet with them, let alone consider them for a full-time position at our company.

What to Ask Instead

There isn’t a great way to ask, “I’m desperate to get my foot in the door any way that I can. Will you put me in the running for another job?” That is unless you want to sound like a crazy person. Instead, at the end of the interview, reinforce your interest in the company one last time.

Say something as simple as, “As a long-time admirer of your organization, I’ve been thrilled to meet with you today.” A brief statement that sums up your passion for the company can leave a positive impression even if the interviewer knows the job isn’t right for you. Throw in a quality thank you note and you make it easy to be considered for other positions.

Credit :

How many jobs have you applied for and not heard from the recruiter? Next question….What job search methods are you using? If you been job hunting without success it could be because of you are using one of these outdated job search techniques that are hindering you from getting invited for interviews .

Here is a list of some of the outdated job search techniques

1. Relying on just one job search technique

In this digital era it is very foolish to think you will find a job using one technique. By there are so many places you can find job adverts such as, Facebook , Twitter, Linked in, company websites, job websites, and Recruitment agencies.

This is because just because a company is hiring does not mean they have put it up on their website. Most organisations are using Recruitment Agencies to hire people anyway. Therefore vary your options you may be surprised.

2. Having only one standard CV and Cover Letter

We have heard this so many times but for some reason people still make this mistake

You cannot assume that the cover letter you wrote when applying for a job at company A one year ago, can still be used to apply for a similar position at company B.

This is because every position varies no matter how similar the titles. This is due to different company policies as well as expectations.

A generic Cover Letter or CV will be obvious to spot and the recruitment manager will most likely throw your application out.

Sit down and write a specific cover letter for every job you apply for and tailor your CV to highlight the requirements of the job as well. You could also have these professionally written and save yourself the hustle.

3. Applying for advertised jobs only

Most people assume that because an organisation has not advertised a position then there is no opening available.

Do not limit yourself by believing that the only jobs out there are the ones advertised. Sometimes companies may not know they need someone with your skills and your application may show them that you will be a great addition.

4. Applying for many (or just any) jobs to increase your chances

Why do you need to apply for over 20 positions? Most people believe this will increase their chances of getting an interview. Sadly this is a misconception.

While you are applying for all these jobs, you are probably sending the same CV and cover letter. This as discussed earlier will not add any value. Instead pick a few jobs you truly are interested in and fit your qualifications and spend all your energy and time on them.

Zeroing in on a specific target offers you a better chance as opposed to applying for every job you see. Not to mention this can even lead to demoralization especially if you do not get any interview.

5. Not applying for jobs during the holidays.

We all assume that during the holidays no one is hiring. Which is mostly true, however if you happen to apply for a job when a majority of people are not doing the same, you increase your chances of getting picked.

Think of it this way, if you apply during the holidays, then there is minimal competition and your application will definitely get looked at. But if you wait to apply in January, there will be hundreds of applications and yours could get swallowed by the rest.

Do not take a break just because it’s a holiday. That is the perfect time to apply.

Landing a job might be as simple as you changing your ways. All the best in your job search.

By Michelle Wanjiku

An application letter or cover letter is the most important part of your job search and as such it needs to be done well and in an attractive manner. The application letter is the first thing an employer looks at and if you do not convey why you deserve the job properly then they won’t even look at your CV.

Here are a few things to help you when writing an Application Letter

1. Tailor it to your industry

Whenever you write a cover letter it is important to remember to tailor it to the industry you want to work in. For example if the job is a Human Resource position then there is no point in you mentioning your sales experience.

This is because the cover letter is supposed to show how you are qualified for the position which means you only need to put experience relevant to the position you are applying for. The rest can appear on your CV

2. Address the Hiring Manager

Your application letter should be addressed to the hiring manager. If you can find out his/her name and use that in the salutation. This goes a long way in showing that you were truly interested in the position and took time to do some research especially if the name was not indicated in the job advert.

3. Keep it short

It is important to keep in mind that the recruiter has to go through a lot of applications therefore if you want yours read it should be brief and clear. There is no point in writing two pages or even more than six paragraphs. The shorter and clear it is the better.

4. Be passionate

When writing an application letter it is important that you show that you truly are interested in the position and working for the company. This will help impress the recruiter and better your chances of getting an interview.

No one wants to hire someone with no real interest in what they do.

Below is a sample cover letter for graduate trainee accountant jobs.

Graduate Job Seeker,
P.O. Box 10678- 0100
5th January, 2016.

The Human Resource Manager,
ABC Company,
Box 34567– 00100,

Dear Sir/ Madam


I am writing to express my interest in the position of accountant graduate trainee as advertised in STU newspaper. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting and Finance from Kenyatta University and have a CPA 4 qualification.

I am particularly attracted to your firm because your graduate training programme will help me gain hands on experience in the banking industry. During my time as a student I have had part-time jobs and an internship, all of which have given me a chance to work as part of a team and meet deadlines.
Working at FGH company gave me a chance to inspire and motivate others while at the same time invest in my integrity and accountability skills.

In addition to my formal education, I grasp fresh concepts quickly and can easily adapt to new changes. My first-rate communication skills will assist me in building a professional network of clients and colleagues.

I have also learnt to give positive feedback, and to use it to set my own personal goals for self-improvement I welcome the challenge of working with you in a bid to build on my professional skills while upholding your dedication to exceptional customer service delivery.

I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss my interest further with you. You can reach me at 07XX 123456 if you need further information and clarification.

Graduate Job Seeker

We are over with the festive and its time to focus on what is important to us this year. Well, if you did not get that job last year do not give up yet, get back to the drawing board and evaluate on where you could have gone wrong and correct as early as now. Here are 5 tips that will help you in getting a job in 2017

1. Have a good CV

A CV is a very important document when it comes to job applications; it’s the document that gets you interviews. It should contain your name and contact details at the top and then list all your work experiences with dates starting with your most recent at the top to the last one position.
It should also include your qualifications and lastly, the CV should have your work achievements and professional affiliation where applicable as this distinguishes you from ordinary job seekers giving you a head start.

2. Apply for the right jobs and at the right time

Just because you did not get a job last year does not mean that you now apply for any job that comes you way. Study the job first, make sure that you match the qualifications the employer is looking for, beyond that make sure that you make the application at the right time which means within the first three days of the advertisement.
Again, it makes no sense in making an application for a perfect job but you do it late when the position is already closed.

3. Reach out to your networks

More than half of the jobs are found through networking and referrals; this means that being in touch with your networks is an important part of finding the right job.

4. You need to prepare for your interview

Well, getting invited for an interview does not mean you got the job, it only means you are a little closer to getting the job and what stand between you and the job is an interview.
It’s very important to prepare for the interview as it increases your chances of getting the job. Carry out a background research on the company, research more on the role, also go a step further and find out what different companies are offering for the position so that you are able to negotiate for the salary.
The importance of interview preparation is that it reduces nervousness during the interview as when you are well prepared you feel more confident.

5. Stop waiting for a dream job

Most graduates wasted the whole of 2016 waiting for the perfect jobs; those big titles in prestigious companies. Truth is, there is nothing that comes easy and you have to start below in order to get to the top of the ladder. So if you get offers for attachment/internships this year, accept the offers as this is where you get experience need to go to the next level.

A CV is supposed to be a true representation of your work experience. It should be able to tell the employer about your professional history and your skills. Simply put, a CV is supposed to be a marketing tool used to sell you to prospective employers

Here are tips on how to write a CV for 2017

There are particular sections that employers expect to see on your CV regardless of industry and below I will tackle each section and what you are expected to include.

1. Contact Details

Every CV should have your contact information; it’s the very first section on a CV. The details should include your name, physical address, email address and phone number. Make sure that the email address is professional, emails such as [email protected] show how immature you are and the employer might not want to look at your CV beyond that point.

2. Professional Profile

This is the second part on the CV; it’s also one of the most important aspects of your CV. It simply highlights your experience, your skills and expertise. The profile should be tailored to match the job you are applying for, highlighting specific qualities that match the role. Aim to keep your profile short and precise and not more than a four sentences.

3. Education

Here, you are supposed to outline your education profile starting with the most recent to the last one. Include the certification, the name of the institutions and the dates you were there. In this section you can use bullet points.

An example:

  • Diploma in Human Resource, IHRM, 2014-2015
  • Degree in Business Administration, Kenya Methodist University, 2010-2013

4. Experience and employment history

This is the most important section on a CV. In this section you outline your previous jobs and work experience. Your experience should be listed from the most recent to the last one. You should state your job titles and the dates you worked, followed by the company you worked for and then outline your duties and responsibilities. Choose duties that are most relevant to the job you are applying for, especially if it’s a long list. Use bullet points to outline your duties and responsibilities.

An example

Human Resource Assistant;
ABC Company, 2012-To Date;
Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare reports and recommend procedures to reduce absenteeism, employee turnover and low morale among the workforce
  • Provide advice and support to supervisors and staff selection committee
  • Actively take part in the staffing function right from recruitment, selection and placement to termination
  • Participate in training and development of all staff, new and current as well as outgoing
  • Advising employees on employment law and the employer’s own employment policies and procedures

5. Key Achievements

If you have done anything you are particularly proud of, like implementing a system in your department you should include it on the CV, also remember to include the changes that have come about due to your achievement. This is very important as it helps you differentiate yourself from other candidates  . This should come just below the work experience.

An example

Human Resource Assistant;
ABC Company, 2012-To Date;
Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare reports and recommend procedures to reduce absenteeism, employee turnover and low morale among the workforce
  • Provide advice and support to supervisors and staff selection committee
  • Actively take part in the staffing function right from recruitment, selection and placement to termination
  • Participate in training and development of all staff, new and current as well as outgoing
  • Advising employees on employment law and the employer’s own employment policies and procedures

Key Achievement(s):

  • Developed a management of attendance policy which has reduced absenteeism levels in the workplace by 2%
  • Facilitated the rebuilding of the organization’s HR function which resulted in significant cost-savings

6. Membership/professional Affiliation

This is where you give details of professional bodies that you are affiliated with if any. An example you are a registered member for IHRM, you should include it here.

7. Hobbies and interests

When you tell your employers what you do on your own time, it says a lot about your natural motivations. These are activities that nobody tells you to do but there should be some connections to the type of jobs you do. Note that, hobbies that are not descriptive of your abilities e.g. eating out or going out to watch movies are unlikely to add value to your CV.

8. Lastly on how to write a CV, the references

Your referees should include your previous employers either in managerial or supervisory level. The section should include the person’s name, their job title, the company they work for, their contact number and email address.

By Lilian Wamaitha

Change is inevitable. And the same case applies when it comes to writing compelling curriculum vitae. Have you had the feeling that you will get that shot listing only to be rejected by hiring managers? Well, as the corporate world changes so do the ways of writing a CV. You can’t keep using the same old CV year in year out. There is a need to change and keep up with the curriculum vitae trends as they come.

That said, in order to avoid your CV ending up in a trash bin somewhere, there are certain trends as a job seeker you must be aware of and implement to increase your chances of getting jobs.

Curriculum Vitae Trends Job Seeker Must Pay Attention To

1. Old is no longer gold

Any professional CV writer will tell you that, the ages of putting together your names, age, telephone number email address followed by a chronological order of education, work experience, conferences and seminars attended followed by a list of referee is long gone. That was a CV for another age, not for today’s job market.

A resume is supposed to sell you to a potential employer. The chances of getting shortlisted with such a CV are very slim in today’s job maker where everybody is competing for the same limited vacancies.

2. Renewing the identity

CV writing has changed over the past years. It is no longer just a document you present to a recruiter. Instead it is the number one marketing tool. The Kenyan job market today requires one to stand out from the completion. And this said, the focus now is on your work history mostly so that a hiring manger can be able to determine if you are the best fit for a certain position.

3. What comes first matters a lot

While the traditional name and address still remains at the top of a CV, what follows next is what matters. It is no longer a question of education followed by work experience. What follows instead is a profile summary of who you are. It’s like summarizing your entire CV in one paragraph.

With a profile summary, you explain your experience and what makes you the best candidate for the position. With this the recruiter is already sold and will want to go through your entire CV.

An example of a profile summary is

“I am a Biomechanical and Processing Engineering graduate with attachment experience under machines maintenance. I am well versed in the principles and practices involved in engineering tasks including; project management, maintenance and servicing, food processing, hydraulic and pneumatic systems and computer aided drawing and design. With my training in Biomechanical and processing engineering and my attachment experience, I am looking for entry level positions as a Maintenance Supervisor/Engineer or a Processing Engineer, a post that will expose me to the industry where I can gain more skills and experience needed.”

4. Elaborating your work experience

The current curriculum vitae trends demand that a job seeker elaborates on their work experience. Instead of just writing worked as a clerk between this period and that, go ahead to explain the duties and roles you were tasked with as a clerk. This is what the employer is looking for. With a detailed work experience he/she will be able to determine whether you fit the role as described in the job description.

Curriculum vitae trends If your are a 21st century job seeker, you must keep up with the said curriculum vitae trends to increase your chances of getting a job. This is what will set you up from other job seekers.

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