By Poisefreak, 9jeducation
Tuesday, September 10 2013
Tuesday, September 10 2013
A good number of undergraduates in Nigeria complete a good part of their University education without knowing what a C.V looks like. The vast majority, no doubt, have heard of the "document" and the functions it plays, but at the same time, a good number of students do not believe it "concerns" them "yet", and as such pay no attention to building one for themselves.
A C.V (Curriculum Vitae), as its popularly referred to in this part of the world is a document that basically covers the extent of a person's working experience as well as their personal information. This document is often used as a yardstick for recruitment, and as such, a lot of people put in a lot of effort to making certain that they have the "right" or "winning" C.V. Going by the above a good number of students that might read this would think, "why should I have a CV, I am not working yet" or "why should I prepare a CV?I only do volunteer work, how is that professional?". Well, you do not have to be working in the traditional sense, before you begin to "take stock" of your activities.
First, you should realize that the idea behind having a CV with your name on it is to "sell yourself". You would eventually complete your education, ( at least the first degree), and would most probably have to start sending out job applications. In order to avoid the fire brigade approach usually employed by a good number of fresh graduates out there, the way to go is to begin to build your C.V right from your days at the University. These days applications are handled online, so it is a very important requirement that you be computer literate, ( at least know the basics). If you do not own a personal computer, visit any cybercafe close to your school or area where you live, and try your hands at preparing a CV for yourself; luckily, there are a variety of templates on Microsoft Word that you can make use of to guide you. For those who make use of smartphones, including Blackberry, Android and iOS devices, remember, these devices are not meant only to be used for accessing social networks only, they can also be used for professional purposes as
As an undergraduate, ideally, no one is expecting you to have any working experience, but this does not necessarily apply. Asides those who are mandated to observe a full year's Internship at any company relevant to their courses of study, most undergraduates have to work while in school, and this counts as a job experience. When preparing your CV, make sure you are sure of the dates on all the qualifications you have attained till the moment you are working on it. Also make sure your name is correctly spelled and positioned in a way that it is the first thing anyone viewing it sees. Do not forget to include your contact information, this should include your email address (if you do not have one, I suggest you create one), your home address, and your phone number.
Be proud of your extra-curricular activities. (I mean activities related to your area of specialization) Whether you served as the Secretary of your departmental Students Association, or helped with volunteer work over the holidays, these bits and pieces of information matter a lot, and show to a great extent how much of a "multi-tasker" you are as a person. In the real world, your grades may not necessarily be as important as what you have achieved in your spare time. Make the most of your time as a student, and let it reflect on your CV. Make it a habit to constantly update your CV every time you participate in activities you know are directly or remotely relevant to your field, because anyone could request for your CV at any time and you always want to be prepared.
As an undergraduate, it is important you sell yourself as a responsible individual, because no organization would want to hire someone who has seemingly no direction and no goals. Having a properly "groomed" CV from your undergraduate days is the first step to getting a place in the labor market and making yourself relevant in your field.
Poisefreak has a passion for educational development in Nigeria. An avid reader, closet political analyst and daytime writer, she hopes to change the face of education in Nigeria one blog at a time.