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The selector or human resource officer reviewing your application for a post or promotion will
be looking for three things – ‘CAN, WILL, and FIT’
A) CAN this person do the job?
B) WILL this person accept the job if offered? (If the candidate can do the work too easily
without being challenged, interest may not be sustained and the candidate may leave
through boredom)
C) Will the candidate FIT the ethos of the organisation and the team?
Here are some general guidelines which will help the construction of your curriculum vitae (CV)
or résumé.
These are:
1. Keep a full CV in which you record all the details of your professional life. This is
increasingly important as you get older and your CV longer. From this you can select
material specifically for answering a job advertisement. (You can find a choice of
suggested formats and headings in MS Publisher/File/New/Publications for Print/Résumé)
2. Start with your personal details and contact information. If
you add a photograph, make sure it is appropriate. And look friendly; smile!
3. Include your mission statement – where you want to be in 5 years time
4. Avoid using the personal pronoun ‘I’
5. Always be truthful. Experienced interviewers are skilful in checking consistency
6. Use bullet points rather than full text
7. List work experience from the latest backwards
8. Leave some white space to allow the reader to add comments: do not feel obliged to
fill all the space
9. Do not miss out any time: missed periods raise suspicion
10. Include evaluative statements in several instances but always in a positive way e.g.
“This project was not completed as funding was withdrawn”. “Reports were always
presented on time which led to increased productivity”. (This is a better approach than
simply listing experiences without indicating their success or otherwise). “Am currently
studying” is better than stating “Little knowledge of Runyankore”, especially if
Runyankore language is requested
11. Use the ‘footer’ for page number, date and computer location of document
12. Indicate religious, political activities, sports and leisure pursuits. These may form a link
with the interviewer who shares your hobbies/beliefs. While you are not legally obliged to
give this information, some of the associated skills may be transferable. Or they can
exclude you from a post in which you may be unhappy through conflict of personal
interests. If you include “Reading”, then add an extension e.g. “Reading Chinese poetry”
13. Give referees and their contact details but add a note asking for them not to be
contacted without prior permission. (Your choice of referees tells much about your
associates and may be particularly significant for educational posts.) This will allow you to
contact them first to update them with your latest CV and a copy of the job description so
the referees write references appropriate for the post
14. Keep to three pages (two to four maximum) (difficult for older people with longer
experiences!). Your CV should pass the ‘20 seconds’ test. Remember that the person
reading it may have hundreds more on the desk to be scrutinised. Ending your CV with a
statement like, “I certify that this document is a true record of my life activities and
contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is generally a waste of space
15. Spell and grammar check it thoroughly (making sure you use the correct form of English
i.e. USA or UK etc if that is the language being used). Take the opportunity to remove
repetitious and unnecessary words
16. Ask somebody else to read it through because your ‘spell checker’ will not pick up an
inappropriate word if spelled correctly e.g. ‘there’ instead of ‘their’
17. Keep your CV updated. Important details, such as dates or publication details, are easily
forgotten with the passing of time.
Now put yourself in the position of a Head of Human Resources. What CV improvements
might you suggest to Natalie and Gloria? Then write your own CV.

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