Some resume advice

Some resume/CV advice, for those actively on the job hunt.

These tips are based on my experience in helping Kenyan jobseekers with relatively little formal employment experience put together their CVs, or edit existing ones.

  • Proofread your sentences, spelling, and formatting, including headings, missing words. Can’t overstate this enough. If you want to look serious, your resume, cover letter, AND the email you send should be perfect.
  • Customize your letter and resume for every single org and position for which you apply, e.g. when applying to a particular org, highlight the most relevant pieces and include more background on the skills or knowledge you gained from it.
  • Admiration: In your cover letter, include a complimentary sentence or two on why you are interested in that particular org and its work. Go research the org, find something specific that you think makes them unique or promising-sounding, and mention that in your letter. Be genuine.
  • Remove irrelevant skills or certificates for a particular position. Otherwise, the irrelevant content will take away from the relevant experience. That is, the relevant stuff will be harder to spot, hidden or diluted by lots of other info.
  • Condense the content in your resume to highlight the most important experience. Distill your duties/responsibilities/experience into the parts that are most important – use strong verbs, explain the area covered or include numbers, use appropriate terms and phrases from the descriptions of jobs (postings) that you want.
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