Last week I was meeting with a friend in Belmopan, who owns an autoparts store. While there, this young lady came to ask for a job. I did not give the situation much thought at the time. That evening, another one of my friends came to my house to say hi. The same young lady that I had informally met earlier the day was with him, it turns out that this young lady's sister was married to one of my friends cousins - Belize is small, folks. The 6 Degrees of Separation theory is quite evident here.
It turns out that the young lady, who is named Raquel, is a single mother, educated to high school level, skilled yet unemployed. My friend asked me if I could help in anyway. He introduced me to Raquel, and I told her I would give her a mock interview so that I could evaluate how well she performed and then given her some advice. In the mock interview I found out that was was quite skilled in the service industry. She has a solid resume and over a half dozen certificates in specialized courses such as massage therapy, customer service, sales, security etc... and speaks 3 languages.
I was curious - how could Raquel be so skilled and yet unemployed? So, during the closing of the mock interview I asked her if she had a copy of her resume on her, since she told me that she was walking around Belmopan the entire day looking for a job. She told me that she had a copy in her bag...at home. I asked her if she could email me a copy of her CV. She didn't have an email address.
It dawned on me quite quickly that this young lady did not understand her value, and most of all how to sell herself. The first piece of advice I gave her was to update her resume and make sure she had copies on her all the time. The following day my friend brought her back to my house, where I got to look at her certificates. She had them in a torn folder and the certificates were already getting damaged. I told her to get them laminated, and make copies, including digital copies, to put alongside her resume.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your Curriculum Vitae:
Create a CV now.
Get an email address that easily identify who you are. Your full name is best. I recommend Gmail. Email is one of the main ways to communicate these days. It also creates a digital bread crumb.
Creat a LinkedIn profile. It is free and easy.
Update your Facebook page profile "About" > "Work and Eduction" section and make it public. It acts as a mini-CV.
Create a CV website. You can create a FREE one with Wix.com.
In conclusion, don't let it be hard for a potential employer to find out about your education background, skills etc... You want to make it as easy as possible. And these days, most employers will do a Google search, a Facebook search, a LinkedIn search and you want to make sure that your CV is a part of the information they will find about you. Make sure you have a digital copy of everything, so that when a potential employer requests more information, you can send it promptly.