As a human capital consultancy we interact immensely with employers, employees and prospective employees alike--particularly when providing recruitment services.
Over the years we have realised a huge gap between what employers are looking for and what prospective employees have to offer or what they think their potential employers as looking for. We believe that while it is important for employers to know what they want--qualification, experience, skills and competencies--from the outset (before initiating the recruitment process), it is also equally important for prospective employees to competitively present and position themselves--through the curriculum vitae, at the interview and, more importantly, on the job.
Realising this need we approached 29 senior managers and business executive and asked them various questions relevant to the employability of a typical job seeker. The questions ranged from what distinguishes one curriculum vitae from the others and what eventually causes preference for one and not the other. We also asked what potential employers really look for in the interview room.
The survey respondents were asked: When shortlisting candidates based on their curriculum vitae, what do you look for? 72% of the respondents said they look at the candidate's qualification. Again, 79% said they look at the candidate's experience--relevant experience.
Curriculum vitae presentation and layout is very important; essentially, the curriculum vitae is the ambassador of the candidate. The curriculum vitae should be concise and to the point. Headings should be clearly distinguished from the main text. The recommended format should be the applicant's name, contact details and a summary of the key skills, qualifications and competencies.
This should be followed by a very brief career objective--this gives your "would-be" employer a quick appreciation of the person-job fit before they consider your relevant experience and qualification. After this comes a detail of your employment history. Be sure to clearly state the name of the employer, the start date as well as the end date of your employment contract there.
The employment history is followed by an outline of the education/ qualifications you have. In essence you have told your potential employer what you can do and have done; naturally this should arouse interest and answer the question: are you qualified to do that? When detailing your qualification(s) start with the institution from which you earned the qualification followed by the country/city in which the institution is, then provide the full name of the qualification followed finally by the year in which it was completed.
The next section of your curriculum vitae should include your skills summary (for example computer literacy and familiarity with the Microsoft Suite of Packages); professional membership (for example, Institute of People Management Zimbabwe); Interest/ Hobbies (reading the newspaper/ novels) and any Other Relevant Information. The final section is your Referees (or References) Section. You must always put at least three contactable references.
Best case scenario is where the references are involved in similar work as your potential employer. The references should be presented in a clear and logical manner that follows the following order: name, company/organisation (and the country in which the organisation is), position, contact telephone (where possible both landline and cell phone) and contact email. Remember that it is common courtesy to inform your referees that you have placed them on your curriculum vitae.
Should you be shortlisted, the next stage is the interview. Interviews provide an opportunity for the employer to meet the prospective employee in person.
Employers are looking for slightly different qualities from graduates; they are looking for graduates with an understanding of core business principles, systems and processes, graduates that exhibit technical ability--whatever their field.
Our research revealed that after all the CV short listing and selection in an interview, employers what to understand if the prospective employee has a good knowledge and fully understands the economic, socio cultural dynamics that affect business and it operations. Prospective employees must also exhibit a passion for the company/organisation, its people, and the job at hand.
Next week, I will continue this article and talk about other issues affecting prospective employees in their application process. To order a copy of the Industrial Psychology Consultants CV Writing audio presentation send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966. The audio presentation will help you prepare a wining CV.
Nguwi is an occupational psychologist, data scientist, speaker & managing consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and HR consulting firm.