Most job seekers in Nigeria are oblivious of the major types of resume formats and which suits them the most when writing their CVs or resumes. Should I use a specific resume format when drafting my resume/cv? The answer is simply YES. There are three main resume formats tailored to specific job-seeking situations – it could be that you’re a career changer, primary caregiver returning to work, or a recent young school leaver with no work experience. Different resume formats work best for different seekers in Nigeria, and you should research and choose the ideal format to boost your employment possibility in the increasingly populated Nigerian labour market. Here are the three common resume formats:
This Resume format focuses on the job seekers work history. This format is basically for job seekers who have a traditional work history with FEW OR NO-WORK GAPS.
The functional Resume format is otherwise known as a skill based resume. You can use this format in writing your CV if you’re considering a career change or your work history doesn’t suit the job posting. A functional CV format focuses on what a job seeker is good at over what you’ve accomplished. Work history is still provided, but it’s primarily a list of job titles and employers. This is the best Resume format for young school leavers with little or no years of experience.
The combined resume format Consolidates elements from the functional and chronological resume formats. You can use this format in writing your resume if you’re considering working in industries or jobs that require highly specialized skills, such as senior-level executive jobs.
THE 5 STRATEGIC SECTIONS OF A WELL WRITTEN CV
In writing a good CV, the question of how to structure a good resume often comes up. Each resume section plays a crucial part in the employer’s evaluation of your job application. Furthermore, they demonstrate how you are qualified for the job you’re targeting. Make sure to include all sections as leaving out any information can potentially hurt your chances of job success. Below are the 5 sections of a resume irrespective of the format being used;
Section 1: Contact Information
Your name and contact information starts your CV. This very important section of the resume allows a potential employer to contact you for a future interview. Without this section, you have zero chances of landing the job even before the employer goes through the other sections. This section MUST include your name, city, state, email address and phone number, but leave out your street address as it isn’t necessary and doesn’t depict a Professional CV.
Section 2: Summary/Professional Statement
Your summary/professional statement outlines your major and minor skills, and highlights your compatibility for the job opening in question. This section which should not contain more than 3 sentence paragraph demonstrates your unique match to the job opening through the strategic use of quantifiable achievements. A well written summary/professional statement helps you demonstrate an ability to understand a job role and proof of your ability to earn results. The following are tips in writing a profession summary statement.
In writing a professional summary statement you have to be very specific; avoid speaking/writing in the third person by using the first person’s and remove all pronouns like “I”, “WE” or “ME”. Your sentences should be short and sweet, it’s okay to use fragment sentences to describe your previous experiences or accomplishments.
Section 3: Skills
The length and purpose of your skills section has a lot to do with your chosen resume format. Not minding any of the formats you choose to use, your skills section should include a mixture of both job-specific or professional/technical skills that you’ve acquired in your professional life or years of working; and personality-driven skills like communication and teamwork prowess. Your CV (regardless of the format used) must include a bulleted list of skills you possess relevant to the position you’re applying for. Carefully review the job posting your targeting for repeated job-related keywords and, if you possess them, prioritize these keywords in your skills section of the resume.
Major tips for the skills section for each CV format
This CV format prioritizes your work history. Your skills section supports your previous responsibilities.
This format features about six to eight skills and showcases a mixture of professional/technical and personality driven skills.
Place the skills section directly below the work experience section and above the education section of this CV type.
This CV type is also known as the skills-based resume and relegates your formal experience in preference to your applicable job qualifications. Your CV’s layout may vary, but each functional resume features a blend of your summary of qualifications, professional skills and relevant skills sections.
A summary of qualifications should not be mistaken to be your summary/professional statement; this is because most job seekers get confused by the two. This section of the resume sits under your summary/professional statement. You’ll feature two to three sentence-length bullet points that demonstrate job-relevant or technical skills and your successful application of these skills in a professional or work setting.
Your professional or hard skills should feature three to four required skills from the vacant job post you’re targeting , also highlight an additional three to four examples of how you’re qualified to meet the job expectations with little or no job training. This will actually go a long way in helping your resume standout.
Unlike the summary of qualifications or professional skills sections of the resume, the skills section of a functional resume does not explain or demonstrate how you acquired or apply the necessary job skills. It’s a simple list of six to eight hard and soft skills. For this section to leave an impression on a job employer, carefully review the job posting for repeated keywords or job requirements and use them in drafting your skills section of the CV.
As the name implies, this format is a combination of the chronological and functional CVs, your skills will be laid out in a professional skills section and an optional summary of qualifications.
Professional skills follow a simple format: simply identify about six to eight skills from the job posting that you truly possess and prominently highlight them on your resume. This section will sit directly below your summary statement section, but above your work experience section of the resume.
The summary of qualifications section in a CV is optional, but it’s a strong choice to include on your CV if you have a lot of formal, professional training and qualification. It follows the same format as the functional resume: Identify four to five technical/professional skills and dedicate a few detailed bullets to each skill highlighting your previous, successful experience.
Section 4: Work Experience
This section of the CV should list previous job roles and responsibilities, although the amount of information varies among the three main resume formats (chronological, functional and combination CV formats). Regardless your chosen CV format, each work experience section will start with your most recent employer first through your previous jobs in reverse order down to the oldest.
Major tips for the work experience section for each CV format
For the chronological and combination CV formats, you’ll have to break your work experience section into subsections that summarize your previous roles, responsibilities and accomplishments.
The first line of this section includes your job title and company name, and is typically bolded to indicate a new role.
The second line includes your office location and number of years/months you worked there.
List your previous job responsibilities. Always remember to adapt this section of the resume to meet the duties and requirements of the new position you’re targeting.
Keep repeating this for each job position that you've held in the past 10 years.
This type of CV features the least information regarding your formal employment and job experience, as more preference is given to your acquired skills.
List your previous positions in from the most recent to the oldest.
Each line is dedicated to your former job title and the company name.
You may also want to include the dates of employment, but this is not mandatory and good to exclude if you have work gaps or short contract roles.
Repeat this process for your past 10 years’ work history.
Section 5: Education
In this section of the resume, list degrees you’ve obtained and the schools you attended with the year you earned your degree. This section is very important for jobs that require a minimum education level, such as a bachelor’s degree or its equivalence.