Tips for applying and getting that job
By Tuuda Haitula
WRITING a Curriculum Vitae (CV) requires the same effort that you would put into an academic paper, to yield great results. There are important aspect to keep in mind when compiling a CV, such as the information you are going to put in, the flow of that information, as well as the layout you are going to use.
A recruitment official should be able to see your personal details, which includes your full name and contact details within the first 10 seconds of looking at your CV, keep this on the first page, preferably on top. Other crucial information necessary to have on the first page is your nationality, identification number, marital status, gender and driving licence status.
After your personal details, the next section can be about your work experience. Always list the most recent place that you have worked at on top, followed by the others. Have an appropriate chronological order to enable the reader to understand your history in terms of employment.
For every position you have worked in, try to give the key tasks you were responsible for (you may get these from your job description); and don’t forget to mention the exact period you were employed in that specific position.
After your work experience, you may have your qualifications in the next section. Same with your work experience, have your qualification in an order that the most recent qualification is on top. List the institution from which you obtained it, and the year. E.g. Obtained an Honours Degree in Philosophy from the University of Namibia in 2015; Grade 12 certificate (HIGCSE and IGCSE): 2011 – Concordia College. You may list all your qualifications.
Once you have mentioned your qualification, the next section can be on skills and training. I would advise that you mention all the training you have received and the skills you possess, such as Caseware, Finacle, Payroll, First Aid, and Fire Fighting, just to mention but a few. Importantly, don’t forget to mention all training related to your field, or the job you are applying for. Do add the languages at this section as well, which can either be ‘Excellent, Good or Fair.’
The last section should be made up of your references. Have a reference for every place you have worked at and the reference should be with someone that you were directly reporting to, as they will be able to give a more credible reference of your work performance. Inform the people on your reference list that you have put them on your CV.
Once you have completed your CV, you need to attach the supporting documents before you submit. Everything you have mentioned on your CV should have the necessary supporting documents. If you mentioned that you have attended a fire fighting course, please attach the certificate.
Your documents should be in this order: CV title, qualification/s (latest on top), certificate/s, testimonial/s and then your ID/passport and driving licence (if applicable). Do not forget to certify copies. For vacancies that you can apply for online, have your documents in the same order, in one PDF document. There are several online free sites you can use to merge your PDF documents, I use iLovepdf (https://www.ilovepdf.com).
When you send that email, always mention the position in the subject line of the Email.
So now you have submitted your application and have received that call that you have been waiting for, an invitation for an interview. Make sure that you get the time and venue correct and arrive at the venue 15 minutes before the start time of your interview.
A formal look is advisable. Wear a formal shirt, formal trousers and official shoes, you can wear your other things on casual Fridays. When you get to the interview table, relax your mind, unclench your jaws, ease your arms, have a glass of water as that helps calm your nerves.
Be confident and don’t be too shy.
It is important that you concentrate and pay attention to the questions asked, and when a question is not clear, ask for clarity. You may also ask for the question to be broken down for you to understand, do not answer a question that you do not fully understand.
There are general questions that you need to be prepared for, such as ‘tell us about yourself’. You should answer this question in terms of your personal life, education and career (which should cover your work experience, as well.). Other questions you may expect are about your weakness and strengths, these are things you should know about yourself already.
The other questions are usually derived from the advert. Take time to analyse and grasp what they are looking for, do some research on the organisation as well and make sure that you are aware of their core functions.
When you are given the opportunity to ask questions, use that. Ask questions such as when you can expect to hear from them. If you are the right candidate, you will get the job. If you are successful, you will be contacted. I wish you all the best with your future.
It is important that you are honest in the interview so that you give accurate information that is a true reflection of yourself. Do not ‘study’ for an interview, it will have a negative effect on your work performance if you pass an interview based on your preparation for the interview and not necessarily the knowledge and skills that you possess.
Tuuda Haitula is a human resources practitioner with a degree in Industrial Psychology and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org for career guidance.