5 CV Mistakes and How to Avoid Them in Ghana

CV Mistakes

Knowing how to properly format your CV will go a long way to reduce your CV mistakes, increase your call for interviews, and get you hired faster.

In Ghana and most parts of Africa, however, graduates are not going through the process of formatting their CVs to make them standout.

Even experienced job seekers with decades of work experience still face this challenge of presenting their extensive experience well.

This Sobiaonline series on CV and Cover Letters intends to unveil some of the 5 common CV mistakes you can avoid when you are writing your next CV.

CV mistakes #1:  You Have Failed to Identify the Problem to be Addressed

Did you remember the problem statement struggles during your academic research in the University?

The good news is that you can apply the same trick to your CV Upgrade.

Every job description comes with a hidden problem the employer wishes you to solve as an employee. Without that problem, your services should not be needed by the employer.

For you to be able to present a winning CV, the first step is to identify the core issues are and then optimise your CV to address them.

CV mistakes #2: Avoid Very Personalized Information

Job seekers mostly assume that the more personal information they put in their CVs, the more recruiters will get to know more about them. This is true.

However, when it comes to job searching, your prospective employer need not know everything about you.

You must not include any subjective information such as age, sex, marital status, religion, ethnic background, or related demographic variables.

These are very subjective variables which can affect your chances either positively or negatively. By going neutral you are helping to prevent biases and inconsistencies that might affect your chances.

CV mistakes #3: Poor Introduction

One of the most important sections of your CV is the introductory section.

There are various names for the introductory section, such as career summary, professional summary, background, career objective, and related terms.

At Sobiaonline, we simply call it “introduction” as its primary purpose is to introduce the employer or recruiter to the main CV.

We noticed from countless resumes how this section has been abused by job seekers.

This situation might be attributed to poor understanding of job seekers on the rationale of this section, the nature of content that should be presented here, and as well, the formatting style to use.

The objective of this section is to lure the reader to go down to the other sections of your CV and not throw your CV in the dustbin within 6 seconds!

This underscores the need for this section to be brief and straight to the point, such that readers will not be bored.

The introductory section of your CV is aimed at revealing the following to the employer and should be formatted as such:

  • A brief summary of your professional life
  • Your personal qualities
  • Your hard skills and core competencies
  • Your value proposition
CV mistakes #4: Never Use a Photo in Your CV unless Expressly requested by the employer.
There are some exceptions to including your photo in your CV depending on your profession.
If you are a professional photographer, for instance, you can even create a portfolio of your ” best shots”.
Likewise, employers would want to see prospective models, bartenders, actors, and related professionals visually before making informed decisions.
Please note that among all these professions above,  looks are very essential! If your job does not depend on your looks, please do not add a picture to your CV. 
Lisa Rangel and her team at Chameleon resumes advises that:
You could have the best photo in the world but if HR doesn’t like it you’re not getting a call.
In fact, many HR departments will automatically trash resumes with photos in an effort to avoid any chance of discrimination.
Additionally, images can actually “choke” the resume scanning software the companies use to receive and organize resumes.
In other words, if you send in a resume with a picture they may not ever receive it because the system could not scan it.
CV mistake #5: Focus on accomplishments over duties
Your CV is a tool you are using to convince the recruiter that you have been able to excel at similar positions in the past.
You can not achieve this by simply listing your duties and responsibilities.
Doing this will not differentiate your efforts from any abysmal performer who occupied the same position or a similar position.
We advice you today to stop listing your duties and focus on your accomplishments.
A career accomplishment, according to jobscan represents work-related achievements performed by a job seeker that are both measurable and unique to their experience.
It is imperative to highlight that accomplishments are stated as “claims” and if you claim something, you will need to back it up with key quantitative performance indicators and concise descriptive statements.
One of the best ways to describe your achievement is using numbers.
Secondly, you can use dates to make your events more specific.
Thirdly, you can use percentages and approximations that you know you have attained.
The best way to identify your accomplishments is to look at your past reports.
You can also identify how you have helped your former workplace in terms of cost reduction, happy customers, and improved operations, among others.
At Sobiaonline, we specialise in crafting CVs that increase calls for interviews and repeat hires. Click to Upgrade Your CV Now
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