I sat down with Ayotunde Ayobami Afolabi, Human Resources business partner of Oracle Corporation to discuss career Acceleration and how to sell yourself on your cv.
DANG: What is the biggest resume turn off?
Ayotunde: I’ll touch on the two major things. First is an EXTREMELY WORDY RESUME: People think because of the number of years of experience they have, they need to put all of that into their resume, it is actually wrong. We don’t want to know job responsibilities; we want to know your achievement of those responsibilities. In which case we need bullet/salient points. For a recruitment consultant, there are too many CVs he’s attending to so he may just need to see the basics. A wordy CV reduces your chances of being shortlisted at all for the next stage.
Second thing, FORMATTING. You don’t want to submit a CV with typo or structural blunders. I want to pick a CV and in the first 30 seconds decide whether to continue reviewing your CV. Most people copy and paste and do not take formatting seriously.
DANG: How about fresh graduates asking “how to sell yourself on your cv”?
Ayotunde: This is how to sell yourself on your cv: Get a mentor who will guide you through. Also show your achievements outside structured education. Outside of academic qualification, what have you done? Networking, engagement, teamwork, interactions, self-awareness.
These are very important things we look out for which people don’t know. This way we see your potentials as opposed to experience.
DANG: Is having a CV still a big deal?
Ayotunde: Generally speaking, Yes.
DANG: How important is it to be likable and outgoing in the work place? Read:Three Ways You Can Derail Your Career Growth
Ayotunde: Generally, the ability to network and interact (team work)in any job function is important . Even the so called back end IT guys who interact mostly with computers, it is important that you are able to work with people and in a team, if possible, lead a team. Fitting into a team is important. If you can’t do this, your chances of progressing will be limited.
Irrespective of being a team player, you also have to know your stuff. People need to be able to rely on you to deliver. If you have these two things you are well on your way to a successful career.
DANG: During an interview, at what point do you know the interviewee will be hired.
Ayotunde: This depends on the interviewer. Sometimes we make a decision in the first 2 minutes…for some it’s what their gut tells them. For me when I’m interviewing I want people to be relaxed and free. Most importantly in an interview, try not to lose your interviewee in the course of answering questions. If you’re given a yes or no question, give a Yes or No answer. Except you are asked to explain, do not go further.
DANG: How can employees be indispensable?
Ayotunde: One thing that should be reiterated in the work environment is the need to look beyond your work description. If you want something extra, do something extra. Doing the barest minimum or what is only expected of you will make you dispensable fast because anyone can do the barest minimum. If you’re valuable, a competent company will know it will cost more money and time to find a replacement. Finding a replacement for a valuable staff is one of the hardest job for HR.
DANG: Any last words?
Ayotunde: An employee that consistently adds value will constantly be relevant to his/her organization in its current form and also to its future.