Nowadays, the CV database tool (job seekers’s online database of CVs) is frequently used by recruiters (from companies or recruitment consultants). In order to recruit, large companies often look for profiles in job sites, although some have their own “CV bank”.

Asking how the recruiters, “browse the CV-banks” to find the wanted candidate, should be taken into account by every candidate willing to “get the attention of the recruiter”, before uploading a resume.

In a radio broadcast, Christelle de Foucaud, a former recruitment expert, reveals an important aspect of the recruitment process:

“It’s a game with people (recruiters) who do not necessarily have to be friendly, in which it is necessary to respect the rules and understand the codes”. She states furthermore:

“If an interview goes wrong, if you don’t get any feedback from your applications, don’t think you are not professional enough. It’s probably because you don’t understand the job searching codes”.

If you have enough skills, experience and are interested in working in Africa, please mention your adaptability, flexibility and knowledge of the continent.

For recruiters, a good CV is concise and simple (title and content), up to 2 pages max and including keywords. According to Christelle Foucaud, “the recruiter usually does not read the second page”, and spends only 10 seconds to read a CV. And to find the ideal profile, search engine tools are used to discard the candidates. The goal is to fine-tune the results.

For example, recruiters looking for a candidate in the CV-bank of a recruitment platform such as www.talent2africa.com frequently use targeted keywords, depending on sector, mission or of the position. So it is important to take the following criteria into account, in order to give more chances to your applications to be shortlisted:

  • The title: naming your resume “CV” or Curriculum Vitae is the quickest way to make them disappear from CV-banks. This forces recruiters to look for the latest experience that sometimes does not match the position.
  • Writing a CV, the candidate must detail the position in order to easily draw the recruiter’s attention. Even if search engines can extract the keywords inside the document, it is better to also use the title as a file name.
  • Choose the most commonly used job title to describe the position you apply for. For example, write “communication officer”, rather than using the exact job title (external communication officer).
  • The use of keywords can make a big difference. So do not hesitate to give details of the missions, sector of activity, mention the names of previous companies etc.
  • Adapting the content of the resume can also be efficient in order to match different search criteria. On the other hand, the uploaded CV must be more complete, a brief presentation of one’s professional career.
  • One last tip: NEVER lie about your skills, work experience or education background. “It’s about your professional career, at the end of the day.”

The perfect CV is the one as short and complete as possible. “Meaningless keywords” such as “dynamic, motivated, proactive” or “fuzzy titles” should also be avoided: “finance expert consultant” rather than just “consultant”.