5 savvy steps on how to write CV in Ghana : Jobs in Accra
Having prepared enough to wow the panel during an interview, you’d need some basic tools to give you a strong push even before you meet them in person. This will, to a large extent, determine whether you’re even worth calling for an interview. We know you may be articulate and deserve to be given a chance but the panel do not know that. Knowing how to write CV in Ghana, especially for jobs in Accra, is crucial to entering the job market. We’ll be discussing that in a bit.
READ ALSO: How do I prepare for an interview in Ghana
What is a CV?
It’s much better to give you a vivid picture of what a CV is first, then a more refined definition.
A CV is like an Okyeame’s (a Chief’s spokesperson) introduction before the Chief arrives or the introductory ceremony prepared prior to visiting ambassadors or heads of states before they arrive in Ghana. How beautifully adorned are the ladies in our rich ornaments and clothed in Kente (the traditional cloth of the Ashantis) and above all, warm smiles. I wonder who wouldn’t agree with me that Ghana is the most hospitable country in Africa?
Now, let’s get down to business.
A CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which translates as ‘course of life’ in Latin) is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments like publications, awards, honours etc. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions.
Some also refer to a CV as a resume. However, there is a difference. A resume, or résumé, is a concise document typically not longer than one page as the intended reader will not dwell on your document for long. The goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out from the competition. Typically, a job seeker should adapt the resume to every position they apply for. A resume doesn’t have to be ordered chronologically, doesn’t have to cover your whole career and is a highly customisable document.
Tools for the job application process
This may differ, depending on whether or not you’re a professional and the required documents required by the employers.
- A CV/ Resume
- Cover Letter
- A copy of your certificates/transcript/attestation
- Recommendation letter (s)
- You may need to take an interview
CV for fresh graduates with little or no experience
Want to know how to write CV in Ghana as an SHS (Senior High School) graduate in Ghana? Are you a fresh graduate or new at getting into the corporate world? You might be asking yourself, “How do I write my first CV?” You surely need to learn how to write a CV that best describes your skillset and at the same time gets you the job especially if you’re searching for jobs in Accra. Let’s talk through a few things you can do to avoid the panic and focus on what’s important, so you have a better chance of landing that job after graduation.
1. Don’t discount internships/ short-term employment options.
Take internships seriously. Instead of spending your holidays playing games and lazying about at home, consider taking an internship position with no pay. I know we would all like to kick off our career with a high earned job after graduation. Sometimes a job doesn’t come to you that quickly. I know a friend who interned for six months and then received a job offer from the same company.
2. Ask others.
Speaking to people does a lot of magic. Just tell your lecturer, mentor, pastor, friend’s dad, etc etc. I am sure you get the point. They could point you in the right direction, to say the least. One could even hire you or connect you to someone who can. You never know who a mentor or friend you trust might know.
3. Check for alumni at the places you might be interested in.
LinkedIn could help make this easier. Finding alumni from your university, high school, or student groups you were a part of at companies you are interested in could just be the beginning of a great opportunity. Send them an email (what’s the worst thing that can happen – they won’t reply and that should be fine: at least you tried and they were not nice). For those who are nice, ask if you can connect to ask a few questions about the job or just introduce yourself.
4. Apply for jobs, even before you complete school.
If you see a job posting you are interested in, simply apply even if you are months away from graduation. Remember that the complete hiring process can take a long time.
5. Just be different.
It can be tempting to just go through the motions of school activities but hidden in those activities could be the key to your dream job. Join student organizations, participate in school trips, and volunteer for job fairs, especially in your final year. Your grades do matter but also do extracurricular activities, particularly informal work experience and leadership roles.
You may just discover your purpose, which may lead to a diversion in your career path.
A typical CV should be about 2 to 3 pages.
Your CV may contain but is not limited to any of these.
- Personal details
- Executive summary
- Career achievements and work experience
- Educational background
- Key skills / technical know-how
- Certifications/ short courses taken
- Voluntary work
READ ALSO: CV templates for all job fields
What are the 5 basic steps on how to write CV in Ghana?
Knowing what to write and how to write CV in Ghana are two different things altogether. The following steps will elaborate on the things recruiters look for in a CV.
1. Overall outlook
The General outlook of your resume is your first opportunity to wow the recruiter. A neat layout, great fonts, appropriate indentation, and proper use of bullet points show you actually pay attention to details.
Date consistency on your resume is key. Employment gaps (long stays at home) and frequently switching jobs (many short lengths of employment) are red flags that deter your recruiter. Coupled with other inconsistencies, you will be ruled out of the recruitment process.
3. Relevant experience
The Human Resource (HR) manager is looking for a professional to perform a specific role. Relevant or related experience would definitely give you an advantage. So please leave out the period you served as a waiter at “Till mummy Calls Nightclub” when applying for that role as a Research Assistant.
4. English, English, English!
Bad grammar and spelling mistakes won’t be forgiven. Use spell check or have an English-doctor friend proof your resume.
5. Contact details
Leave your contact details, especially a phone number. It might be useful to also leave an alternative phone number and an email address you frequently check.
5 CV rejection reasons: Signs you need a CV makeover
A CV is a chance to market yourself in your absence so you need to do it the right way. If your CV is rejected, all your efforts at preparing for an interview might go down the drain.
Consider these points so your CV is not rejected.
Most HR experts can quickly tell if someone is being truthful or exaggerating their ability. How come you have already had five jobs at age 22? Really? So make sure, to tell the truth. If you are not a Microsoft Excel expert you don’t have to say you are. You know you could be given a computer to prove it at the interview right?
2. Don’t include everything
Keep your CV on two pages. Exclude irrelevant experience and high school qualifications. All trivial job experiences should be left out and stick to experience that aligns with your application.
3. Stand out
Let your CV template stand out. It will be best if you build it from scratch or get an expert to develop one for you. Your CV should look like the 20 other people applying for the job. Keep it simple though. I am not saying be all over the place with some wild and out rainbow colours.
4. Make it readable
Right font choice, font size, colours, formatting, and tenses. Don’t mix too many fonts and colours.
5. Name your CV well
It will be useful to name your document “CV – John Doe”. How about that? Cool and simple right? No HR manager would appreciate a document he/she has to rename. So save them the hustle. It also helps to save it in pdf format since it can easily be read on any device.
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Now, you’re fully equipped to storm the job market knowing how to write CV in Ghana step by step. Want to impact your world, get started with writing a CV that represents who you are and what you stand for. Contact The Writers Gh for jaw-breaking CVs, cover letters, personal statements and business proposals. Follow Thewriters_gh on Facebook and Thewriters_gh on Instagram. Let them be your Okyeames and the beautifully adorned ladies. Focus on your interviews, and make a statement with The Writers Gh ahead of being called for your interview.