Looking for jobs in Accra and indeed anywhere else is almost a full time job and several reasons abound to explain why all of the efforts do not produce the required results. I remember when I left school and was on a search for my first job in Accra. I printed and distributed several copies of my CV as I was advised and patiently hoped that each phone call that came through will announce an invitation to an interview at least.
Many job seekers like me must have heard the line: “drop your CV, we will contact you” many times after each job application. And honestly sometimes it sounds like a farce and you leave wondering how that will ever materialise especially on sighting the piles of CV being submitted alongside your own at that same location. But at some other times, you feel more confident and nothing comes through.
Recently, I was going over that phase of my career and wondering why I was not getting called. From my experience and that sheer fact that we are often wiser in hindsight, I could trace the problem to four key things that I will share below.
- Inauthentic CVs with the copy and paste effect:
From years of experience recruiting, I can tell you for free that any experienced recruiter and recruitment companies generally, can very easily cut through the façade in your CV. Most CVs today, honestly have the same format and string of words sometimes thoughtlessly copied off the internet and recycled every other minute. We often miss the entire point that a CV is primarily aimed at speaking about you with as much plausibility as possible to the person who is reading it.
I have sat through interview sessions and heard people fumble when asked about the tiniest vague words they have filled their CVs with.
“Hardworking, dedicated, self-starter, good personal and interpersonal communication skills (what does the latter even mean?) are some of the adjectives recruiters have heard over and over again and to be frank, they don’t exactly mean anything beyond being vague and subjective. So when talking about your skills/qualities on a CV, those are not what I am looking to read. Instead I want to see what skill-sets you have that are relevant to the role you are applying for and will help meet the demands of that role, which is what makes you the right-fit in a nutshell. That is more germane and useful than just writing the above mentioned adjectives for example, because anybody, even the wrong fit can be hardworking. So CV writing should be deliberate and well thought through. It is definitely not about your litany of adjectives, fancy as they appear!
- CV does not match the job requirements, there is a problem
When your CV does not match the job requirements, there is a problem: There is no other way to say this. I have seen many times CVs coming through for a role the applicant is either very clearly under or over qualified for and then resort to praying that they get it. The former often stems from our religious inclinations and very sanguine expressions of faith that though under-qualified, we will somehow be considered. While the latter is founded on our desperation to just get any job other being unemployed. I have been on both sides and in as much as I find both of the circumstances pitiable, the stark truth is that no recruiter wants to waste time studying a CV that does not fit their need. They most likely will toss it and if there have been cases where someone was given a job they were under-qualified for, it is the exception and not the rule.
Hard as it is, be more targeted, you are most likely to hit the mark this way and quicker too.
- CVs that are not elaborate:
Be elaborate but also be clear and concise! Start off with writing a summary of yourself. The summary should provide information on WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU WANT, and WHAT YOU CAN OFFER. This session should never be vague in anyway and it is what even helps some recruiters determine whether to continue going through your CV or not.
The body of your CV right from your educational background to your work experience(s) should adequately state your qualifications, previous roles and responsibilities as well as career achievements (if any) and especially demonstrate how they are relevant for the demands of the role. This is where most people miss it. Each role you apply for requires different specific details on your CV. Know when to switch from general to specific.
- Submissions that do not follow organisation’s standard:
Some companies have preferences as to how CV submissions should be done and in what format. Always follow that instruction. That means for every CV you want to submit, you have to understand what the organization wants. Check the company’s website for their employment and application policies. You may think going in person to drop your CV or following your own method will make you stand out while the reverse is the case.
Now that you have your CV well put together, you can click here to see the latest job vacancies in Ghana on Tonaton.com
Also find tips on how to dress up while attending an interview to nail the next interview.