YALI Voices: What’s on your CV/résumé?

Contributed by Anabela Marcos, 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Angola

Some mistakes can seriously compromise the screening of the CV/résumé of a good professional in the recruitment process and eliminate a candidate from the available job vacancy. The list of common errors is long, but I can list only a few that we find on a daily basis:

  1. Strangely enough, job seekers still do not see the CV/résumé as their “business card” for recruiters. You can have a lot of experience, a lot of skills, but if you cannot put a preview of it in a positive way in the CV/résumé, the job market will never know.
  2. In personal information, it is very common for people to exaggerate the amount of information. Information such as parents’ names, passport number, driving license number and others are not relevant at this stage. Just enter your full name, contact details and date of birth. Other required data will be requested at a later stage.
  3. Unless there is a requirement from the company or the type of vacancy, I also do not recommend including a photograph in the CV/résumé, but if necessary, please use a professional photo. Photos with strange poses and inappropriate scenarios are quite compromising.
  4. Lack of specificity is also a common failure. Some people think that the longer the CV/résumé, the better. It’s just the opposite. A CV/résumé too long without objectivity is a big mistake. The ideal is a single page for more junior candidates and a maximum of three pages for those with more experience. It is necessary to focus on the data related to the vacancy in question. The recruitment is a dynamic process and the recruiters should not waste much time when analyzing.
  5. Grammar and spelling errors along with inconsistent formatting. When a CV/résumé is visibly cluttered or without a standard format, it loses its value, giving an air of disinclination and disinterest on the part of the candidate because it shows that the candidate did not put effort into the presentation.

Woman smiling

Anabela Marcos, a leader in the human resources industry, is also the founder of Gestão Profissional (GP), a talent-recruiting agency based in Angola. She’s seen plenty of CVs/résumés in her 10 years of working in human resources. She explains the mistakes that are most often seen on CVs/résumés and what to do to correct them. Find Anabela on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government. YALI Voices is a series of podcasts, videos and blogs contributed by members of the YALI Network.

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