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Writing your CV : 7 mistakes to avoid

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Nei beogo seed of greatness! Ani soroma young olive tree! Praise the LORD, whatever you are going through. Find your pleasure in his commandments and your confidence in his Word. May you make the right choices and may GOD preserve you from all poisoning. Don't eat the bread of one whose eyes are evil (Proverbs 23:6) and don't accept all gifts🙂 coffee and chocolates included).

"5 Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]". (Proverbs 3: 5-6, AMP)

Previously in the career section, I shared my tips for preparing for a job interview, transforming your period of unemployment and talking about your weakness. Today I offer you my advice to write your CV so that it best reflects your profile and your potential.

Error 1: Rushing

  • "For which of you, desirous of building a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, if he has what [is needed] to complete it;" (Luke 14:28, Darby)

The Bible tells us to sit down and think before we do anything. Unfortunately, too many people do the opposite. The curriculum vitae, abbreviated CV, is Latin for "course of life". It is a document that summarizes your academic and professional background, along with your skills, qualities, and to a certain extent your goals. It should answer 5 questions: Who are you (identity) / What do you want (direction) / What do you know (knowledge) / What have you already done (experience) / What could you do (potential). Recruiters pre-select candidates by reading their CV. If your CV does not answer these five questions clearly and briefly, then you must correct it.

Error 2: Writing a CV without a professional project

  • "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5, CJB)

  • "Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed." (Psalms 139:16, CJB)

If you've read and applied my 7 tips for transforming your unemployment period, you know it's important to know where you're going and why. You've made your inventory. Personally, for me, it's more than important, it's essential. The vision you have of yourself and your career determines how you will write your resume. I'll use a real-life example to explain my thinking. When you are planning a trip, you prepare your suitcase taking into consideration the climate (weather forecast), the reason for the trip (missions, business meetings, vacation, etc.), and the duration of your stay. It's the same with your CV. You write your CV according to the type of position you are looking for. Depending on the type of position you are looking for, the requirements may be different. So can the assessment of your experiences. You should therefore first, put forward the elements that are most relevant to the position you are looking for.

Error 3: overvaluing your experiences

  • "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile." (Psalms 34:14, Darby)

Avoid redundancy and don't overuse technical words. Don't overestimate your skills. The temptation is particularly strong when starting a career: the first internship or the first job. But be honest. When writing your CV your aim is not to impress recruiters. It is to enable them to identify your profile (with its strengths and weaknesses) and to judge whether it could meet the requirements of the job. Trying to impress recruiters will lead you to "fake it" in job interviews. The problem is that you can't fake it all the time. Furthermore, faking it is indirectly saying to GOD "I don't think you'll give me what I need". Is that really the message you want to send to GOD? I would like to think not. 🙁 As I wrote in the article Talking about your weakness in a job interview, you don't inherit the promises of GOD by using the methods of the devil. The end does not justify the means. GOD does not need to cheat to win. Since GOD is your provider, you don't have to fake it to get hired. I like to remind Christians who confuse discretion with hypocrisy that in Hadassah beats Avihail, Queen Esther did not pretend to be Persian. She refrained from talking about her origins. There is a difference between lying, complicit silence, and discretion.

Error 4: Underestimating your potential

  • "For thou hast possessed my reins; thou didst cover me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee, for I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Marvellous are thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well." (Psalms 139:13-14, Darby)

🙂 You are in the image and likeness of GOD, so you are a reflection of GOD. Since in GOD everything is wonderful, you are therefore a wonderful creature! You are not perfect, you do not know everything and like each of us you still have a lot to learn. But you are nonetheless a wonderful creature. GOD never lies. False humility does not drive away pride, it is just a way of focusing on yourself. The one who overestimates himself is centered on his qualities and his exploits. The one who underestimates himself is centered on his faults and his failures. The one who is centered on GOD and his will appreciate his qualities without denying his faults. What you know, what you have done, speak with confidence. When a person lacks self-confidence, the information on their CV is elusive. It is difficult to clearly determine what she knows, what she has done, and therefore what she could do. If your CV does not allow you to answer (clearly and simply) the five questions of point 1, even if you could correspond to the required profile, recruiters will not contact you. In short, be precise.

Error 5: Mentioning qualities that you do not demonstrate

  • "You may think that everything you do is good, but it is the LORD who values your motives." (Proverbs 16:2, Semeur)

If you're used to watching crime shows, you've probably somehow heard that line, "It's not about what you think, it's about what you can prove. " 🙂 Inspired by this line, I tell you "It is not about the qualities that you think you have, but about those that you manifest (demonstrate)". Stop for a moment and meditate on this sentence. I insist stop for a moment and meditate on this sentence. Do you really demonstrate in a professional environment the qualities mentioned on your CV? Any examples of your previous internships, jobs, extracurricular activities, or group work? What would your colleagues and classmates say? Everything you write on your CV will be checked during or after your job interview. My advice, pray to GOD for the qualities you want, but on your resume, only mention those that you demonstrate regularly.

Error 6: Sloppy formatting

  • "For JEHOVAH giveth wisdom; out of his mouth [come] knowledge and understanding." (proverbs 2:6, Darby)

Of course, avoid spelling mistakes and keep your sentences short and simple. Be careful with your language and don't overuse technical terms. Language comes in two forms: written and spoken. Make sure you use the written form. Every company and industry has its own professional jargon (language). If you use only technical terms in your resume, some recruiters may not understand. Indicated relevant elements by an inverted chronology (from the most recent to the oldest). For each job/internship held, mention the job title, the name of the company, its sector of activity, the year, the length of time you held the position, and the assignments you performed. Do the same for diploma courses.

Now let's talk about colors. Usually extroverts prefer bright colors, while introverts prefer pastel colors. There are no bad colors; but there are certainly some bad combinations. You just have to avoid excess. It's good to want to stand out, to be original, unique, daring, but you have to do it right. The formatting should make your CV easier to read and not the opposite. Print your CV before sending it to check the rendering (color and not color). If you want to put a photo on your resume, first read the articles dedicated to this subject before (neutral background, posture, and adequate outfit).

Error 7: not praying

  • "My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave." (Psalms 31:15-17, KJV)

GOD is the master of times and circumstances. GOD is gracious to whomever He chooses (Romans 8:1; Romans 9:18). If we commend our plans to Him, they will succeed (Proverbs 16:3). Before you begin your job/internship search, pray and listen to what He is telling you. I always make sure I have a recommendation from the LORD before I start a job search. I advise you to do the same. His recommendation could be to do battle prayers during this time, to pray regularly in tongues or to not talk about your search around you. The devil has been defeated, but he is not dead. Do not delude yourself, not everyone rejoices in the graces of GOD manifested in your life. Give thanks, ask, seek and knock (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; Matthew 7:7-8). If you are looking for a person with whom to agree to pray, I suggest you join my prayer group here. I hope to have the privilege of meeting you soon.

** Nei beogo = Good morning in Mooré (Burkina Faso)

** Ani soroma = Good morning in Bambara (Mali)



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