Writing Your Resume

So there is no exact right or wrong way in writing your resume, there are just better ways.

Remember that your resume is the first thing a hiring manager comes across, and what they see is what determines if they will invite you or not. And that decision is still based on the preference of the specific hiring manager.

Hiring managers are individuals with different biases and preferences. What may appeal to hiring manager A may not appeal to hiring manager B. The wisdom then is to create a balance such that it addresses the basic needs of any regular hiring manager.Note that as a hiring manager reads your resume, they are forming opinions.

Also things like how long should a resume be are grey areas, because a hiring manager can think you have not done much in your 8years of working simply because your cv is 2pages. While another view 4pages as too long and just browse through quickly. The truth is, a professional hiring manager will pay attention to the content and not be counting pages. If all the information you put in is necessary, no one will be angry that it was too long.

I will start explaining from top to bottom of a resume and be as real as possible.

  1. Name, picture and contact details: Full name is important because you have to addressed properly. Then your contact details, this includes your address, phone number and email address. Address is needed because the hiring manager wants to know you currently reside in same location as the company. Nobody will reach out to a candidate who stays in benue when the company is located in Lagos. Even if you are open to relocating, the manager doesn’t know that and will definitely ignore your resume. It is only for very senior level roles or peculiar roles that don’t always have many candidates that a hiring manager will put a call through to enquire. I recommend that if you live outside of the company’s location, include an address within that location as well so they know so they know you are open to relocation. Phone number and email addresses are important, as the company will need to contact you for the interview. However, is NOT acceptable


As for pictures, to be honest alot of people hire based on looks, ALOT! If the company has a brand to protect they can make a hiring decision based on appearance. By looks, it’s not just fine face , it’s everything. But a picture on your resume doesn’t give them enough info so they will still invite you for a chat, so pls a pic is not necessary🙄? Secondly for women, we live in a funny world were that single action can be interpreted by a female hiring manager as ” so it’s fine face she wants us to see to hire her,not her brain”. It looks as though you put the picture there for ulterior motives ( like to attract a male hiring manager). Like I said earlier, opinions are being formed when your resume is being reviewed.  For professionals like myself, I really don’t care if your picture is there or not. If the content is great, I will still meet you and make my decisions.  During my recruitment days, I had clients who will ask me point blank ” is she fine?” for a candidate interviewing for front desk or marketing roles. It’s rather unfortunate that some companies still hire a bambi just for her looks and ignore the more intelligent girl simply cos of her own looks.


  1. Next is professional summary: this is a basic summary of your career journey. This is NOT the time to go and Google something random, it is very obvious when you do. This can be as simple as three lines, depending on what you do, years of experience so far and your career plans. It helps the hiring manager clearly understand what your career path is.


  1. Personal details: Date of birth, state of origin,local govt area etc. The only thing any hiring manager should require here is your date of birth. Why? Depending on the culture or current employer of the company, some organisations may require an older candidate or a younger candidate. For example, a school may insist that they want an older candidate as an accountant because the individual will be liasing with parents and some Nigerian parents will only respect an older person. It is then a complete waste of time to then invite someone for an interview only to find that the person is way younger than your preference.


State of origin and local govt areas are unfortunately still being looked at by tribalistic organisations. Some companies will still hire because the CEO is from a specific tribe or he is from my LGA. No professional hiring manager will require this ever!!! However, I have had a client who was from a particular tribe and insisted that his accountant must not be from that tribe, sometimes our hands are honestly tied 😩😩😩. I recommend that you do not insert all that info, if they really want to know they will ask you at interview stage.


  1. Industry footprint: To be honest, this is quite new. You don’t have to put it if you don’t want to. The only benefit is, it helps the hiring manager know the various industries you have worked in. This can be a plus depending on the hiring manager, organisation amd the role. For exampl, as a CEO It will be great to see that the Hr manager applying to your company has worked with different industries and so has vast experience working with all kinds of people and in all kinds of environments.


  1. Education: We only want to see that you have a secondary schl leaving cert and one from a tertiary institution and beyond. Primary sch is not necessary but please do as please. I believe that if a hiring manager needs that info, they will ask for it. I have had a client who insisted on hiring only people who went to government primary schools and he won’t look at any resume that didn’t have the primary sch info. I had to ask each candidate to insert that in their resume. Do not put your professional certifications in here.


  1. Professional certification: this can easily be lost in the previous section and this is something you want the hiring manager to note. So create a separate section for this stating the certification and year it was obtained. Yes. Some CEO’s only want someone who has been certified for 5 years and above.


  1. Key Achievements: This is a summary of your achievements on your career journey. Achievements!!! The things people write here ehn. Staying that you recruited 100 people for an org is not an achievement as a HR manager, it is YOUR job and what you were employed to do. An achievement is when you perform a task that is over and beyond and has a lasting impact on the organisation.


  1. Experience: Pen down you work experience from current place of work down to your national youth service experience and beyond. Never start with prior work experience to current. Hiring managers are interested in what you do currently and the more recent job experiences.


  1. Ensure to always include internship and volunteer experiences in your resume. They go along way in projecting your various competencies and skills. If you ran a business at some point in life or helped a relative with some side work, include it as volunteer experience.


A resume is your first opportunity to get through that door, make sure it is so well written it gets you an invitation.

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