CV Format in Nigeria: How to Write a Nigerian CV


CV writing is no child’s play, especially in a country like Nigeria where there are thousands of other candidates, scrambling for that same position you’re applying for. The fact that the first impression the HR has of you is your CV should give serve as a food for thought that going an extra mile on your CV is really needed.

CV is as simple as you telling the HR about yourself, your profile, years of experience, your achievements, and why you fit for the job better than other applicants. Bear in mind that the HR doesn’t get to sit down and sip a cup of coffee on your CV while some other hundreds are waiting.

Understanding the difference between a resume and curriculum vitae is more important before choosing a template. Curriculum vitae is used to for an academic education whereas a resume is used to apply for a job opening. Job aspirants should look out for a resume template rather than a curriculum vitae template. While selecting resume templates pick the one that matches the work experience and not the work profile. This information is based on a research conducted with top Indian companies. Once the right resume template is chosen, carefully search and delete if there are any watermarks or logos of the website were the resume templates were downloaded. The recruiters would have come across similar resume patterns in their experience, so it is very important to alter the resume template so that it looks different from the usual one. There are many websites offering free resume template without any watermarks or logos in them. It is advisable to use those websites to download the required templates for a better work. With a right resume template in hand the candidate can start editing the information precisely.

There’s no constitutional or basic format for writing a CV but there are basic elements that must be contained in it, without which a CV is very incomplete. These elements include: bio-data, personal profile, educational qualifications, work experience, achievements (if any), trainings (if any), hobbies and referees. Every template can be amended to suit a particular requirement at any given time.

CV Format in Nigeria: Bio-data

Your CV isn’t in any way complete in the absence of your bio-data which consists of your date of birth, gender, state of origin and contact details; although it wouldn’t be wrong if you had it beneath your CV rather than the cliché top. Reason being that you could get disqualified before your CV is even perused because of information like your age, should there be age restrictions.

CV Format in Nigeria: Profile

An objective is preferable here. You could simply list out your goals and your qualities beneath it. You could list it out and you could state it out in two sentences or three short sentences. Just to make the HR have an idea of where you are coming from and where you hope to be.

CV Format in Nigeria: Experience

Your experience(s) should indicate the name of the company, your designation/title, your job description and the duration of service. The address of the company is not compulsory except you are applying for a job outside of your state or country of residence. Your experience(s) should follow a chronological sequence (most recent to least recent). Also stick to the present tense when describing your current job description.

CV Format in Nigeria: Achievements

This is a run-down of exceptional accomplishments you have bagged over a period of time. It can include a record breaking GP, an award, a surpassed target, an impeccable record and the likes. Your achievements are supposed to score you extra points with a potential employer.

CV Format in Nigeria: Referees

Although it isn’t a compulsion for you to include referees in your CV but if you decide to, try as much as possible put higher professionals in your field. Also, you might decide to change your referees but make sure they are people you’re indeed close to.

How to Write a Nigerian CV: Additional Tips

  • Use bold and legible fonts
  • Use simple and unambiguous words. Leave no room for vagueness.
  • Have a focus and find a way to infuse your interest and specialization into your CV
  • Don’t paint a picture of a know-it-all, do-it-all in your CV.
  • Be accountable. Always account for time spent. Ensure your CV reflects that you are constantly adding value, honing your skills or getting more education.
  • Keep your CV size beneath 1MB and in either .pdf or .doc format.
  • Keep your CV to a maximum of three pages.
  • Ensure that you can defend everything that you have written in your CV.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to KISS! (Keep It Short and Simple!)
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