CV Writing in Kenya to win the Employer in 10 Seconds.

By John Wanjora

The CV is one of the strongest tools that you can use to market yourself to prospective employers. This document serves the following three functions:

1. Convincing the prospective employer that you have what it takes to handle the job in question, and it would therefore be worth their while talking to you in person in an interview.

2. By giving details about your academic background and work experience, the CV acts as a guide to the employer when forming the questions to ask you in these areas during the interview.

3. The CV serves as a permanent reference record that the employer can use whenever the need arises to compare your qualifications with those of your competitors. This is a common practice among managers when short listing who to call for the next round of interviews or when making the final decision on who to hire. 

Think like a marketer

The secret to winning the employer over is simple - think like a marketer. You might be gunning for a Head of Human Resource or Head of Medical Services position in an organization, professions that at face value might seem to have nothing to do with marketing. However, what you are doing in sending your CV to the employer is to get him attracted to you for the value that you stand to deliver to the business.  In otherwords, you’re marketing your capabilities.

Truth is, most employers want to know how you can help the business make money, save money or exploit opportunities. The secret to getting a personalized call from the hiring manager is thus by quantifying the amount of cash that you can bring to the company, or what you can help the company save. This is key in determining your worth before the employer. This is what will accelerate your career.

Thinking like a marketer works great in virtually any field of employment, including the Government and non-profit sectors. For instance, if you're a procurement officer applying for a vacancy with an NGO, you could demonstrate how much you have helped your previous employers save through procurement policies you helped establish, sealing of corruption loopholes, or through better market research that helped you discover products of higher quality at a lesser cost.

A Government administrator could also demonstrate value by quoting a percentage by which he helped improve service delivery and levels of client satisfaction in his department as a result of better leadership. The onus is on you to think creatively about what you have achieved so far and how to present their significance in solving the prospective employer’s needs. 

So, looking at your current CV, can the employer read your value from the document within the first 10 seconds? That’s usually the amount of time most managers take to determine whether your CV deserves attention or not.


From most CVs that land on my desk for re-writing, I see a template writing style that rarely goes to the point. Here, the employer is asking you to explain in 10 seconds, for example: “Why should we hire you to head our HR department?" This is how most people respond to this important question:

Name: Jane Mwamburi

Date of Birth: 16 - November - 1985

Nationality: Kenyan

Religion: Christian

Education and Training: MBA, Human Resource Management, Cambridge University, UK

Truth is there's no way the employer is going to hire you simply because you are Jane Mwamburi who was born in 1985, and that you are a Kenyan professing the Christian faith. The fact that you trained in HR Management at Cambridge University still doesn't show the employer how he will make money by having you onboard. A more direct answer should be placed right at the top of the CV, in the Executive Summary section. A sample could go something like this:

HR Manager >> Career Coach >> Performance Analyst

In my three years’ experience as Head of Human Resource at Excellence Media, I have helped the company get the best talent in production and marketing, which has seen the company's turn-over shoot from Ksh 5million to the current 120 million per month. More specifically, I did the head-hunt for the current Marketing Manager, who is personally responsible for 15 per cent of all the company sales. I have access to a network of high performing production and sales personnel who could boost your company’s production and sales volumes by at least 20 per cent within the first six months.

A response such as the above draws a direct link between your position as Head of HR to how much money the company can get by hiring you. It highlights your key areas of specialization, gives verifiable facts about your capabilities and then proceeds to give a specific example of your superior ability to sniff achievers. Finally, the statement teases the employer with a promise of opening up access to a pool of top performing talents and shows the impact that all this can have on the company's bottom-line in six months.

These are the benefits that the employer stands to gain by hiring you. With this kind of opening, it doesn't matter much to the employer whether you have a college Diploma or a string of MBAs. You have spoken the language that employers want to hear - money. This is the kind of person that the employer wants to meet in person, which means you're in for the interview.

So, do you need professional assistance in writing a CV that is guaranteed to win the employer over in 10 seconds or less? Talk to John today on 0720 079413 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the best solution. Check out our range of Professional CV writing services at: We combine marketing psychology, personal branding, and persuasive copywriting to give our customers CVs that no employer can resist. Try us today.

DMC Firewall is a Joomla Security extension!