Getting a Job in the HIV/Aids Prevention Industry

C V writing tips

At the end of 2016, there were at least 36.7 million people living with HIV/Aids globally. In fact, HIV/Aids is the second leading cause of death among young people all over the world. To successfully fight the global HIV epidemic, it is essential to prevent new infections.

Ultimately, this means that there are plenty of career opportunities in the HIV/Aids prevention industry. However, just like in any other industry, job seekers must ensure they market themselves appropriately to potential employers. Thus, professional resume writing emerges as an important factor when seeking employment in the Aids prevention industry. Now according to GooodJob.com, professionally-written federal CVs can cost from $100-$300 and that may be well worth it when one understands all the research and information needed. 

If you are up for the challenge to write your own CV or resume then read the many tips below.

Importance Of A Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

First impressions are always important. Many people tend to judge a book first by its cover and many employers are no different. A resume offers job seekers a chance to make a positive first impression on the potential employer. It is important to note that potential employers spend only a few seconds on each resume. This puts even more pressure on job seekers to ensure that their resumes stand out from the crowd. Additionally, modern job markets are increasingly competitive. Job seekers must put more effort in advertising themselves to potential employers.

According to many experts, the resume is the most important document needed to secure an interview. In many cases, potential employers even use the job seeker’s resume during the actual interview. As such, job seekers must always have first-hand knowledge of the content in their resumes.

Professional Resume Writing Tips For A Job In The Aids Prevention Industry

A good number of job seekers are wary of the resume writing process. In truth, many would rather avoid it altogether. Luckily job seekers can simplify the process of writing a good resume through a number of tips and guidelines:

Resume for HIV-Aids Industry

1. Preparing to Write a Resume

Anyone with the intention of writing a good professional resume must start with the preparation stage. Here, job seekers take their time to gather the content which they will include on the resume.

Some of the important details to consider include:

  • Educational and training background (including grade averages)
  • Any job experiences one may have including internships.
  • Skills and knowledge gained from work experiences and experiential activities such as volunteer work, student organizations, seminars and conferences among others.
  • Achievements, awards and special recognition that one may have received in the past
  • Professional interests and especially those related to the job opening.

After listing down the key details for the resume one must then organize them in order of importance then organize them into special sections.

Items in a resume

2. Keeping it Short and Concise

Professional resume writing is not about coming up with the longest document. On the contrary, it is about marketing oneself to the maximum in as brief a manner as possible. After all, research shows that potential employers spend only 10-15 seconds on each resume. Many resume writing experts recommend sticking to a maximum of 2 pages for the resume. Even then, job seekers should ensure the most relevant details are on the first page.

Job seekers should also strive to ensure that they express themselves in a manner that is comprehensive but at the same time brief. This is particularly so when describing previous job experiences and duties. Using vague language in a resume only serves to leave a vague impression on the potential employer. Job seekers must avoid this at all costs if they are to succeed in securing an interview for the job opening.

3. Customizing the Resume

Perhaps one of the most common mistakes job seekers make is to have a one-size-fits-all resume. Many professional resume writing experts note that adjusting the resume for each job application is advisable. The major basis for this argument is that resumes are about showing how a job seeker meets a specific employer’s needs.

Aside from emphasizing on one’s qualities for a specific job, a customized resume also helps job applicants to;

  • Emphasize on their strengths for a particular opening
  • Display their technical knowledge of the subject.
  • Stand out from other job applicants.

4. Selling and Marketing Oneself

The primary aim of a resume is to help the job applicant market him/herself, secure an interview and ultimately, the job itself. With this in mind, applicants should focus on highlighting key skills, results, and achievements made in the past. As a matter of fact, many experts draw parallels between professional resume writing and marketing communication.

Resumes offer applicants a chance to sell themselves and demonstrate how they can benefit the organization. All of this is meant to generate interest in the specific applicant hence giving him/her a competitive edge over others. A well-written resume can even help applicants who are less qualified secure interviews ahead of more qualified applicants.

In order, to successfully market oneself, it is essential to start by first understanding the needs of the employer. Experts recommend regularly researching and keeping track of the employer. For example, applicants could visit the potential employers’ website or social media page. Networking can also help applicants understand the needs of the potential employer even better. The more an applicant knows their potential employer, the higher the likelihood of writing a fitting resume for the vacancy.

Although marketing oneself is essential, experts advise against going overboard or falsifying information. Simply put, an impressive resume is crucial but at the same time, applicants must ensure credibility.

5. Using Results-Oriented Statements in the Resume

Although listing key skills, accomplishments and responsibilities are important, it is not enough. One must describe these skills and accomplishments in a way that effectively reflects the abilities of the applicant. As a matter of fact, many professional resume writing experts suggest quantifying achievements whenever possible. Applicants can do this using numbers, metrics and any other tangible evidence that shows positive results.

For example, an applicant may mention that he/she helped to reduce HIV/Aids infections in a certain community by 20%.

In addition to that, resume writing experts advocate for the use of action verbs in describing key skills and qualifications. This is because action verbs are more powerful and more specific than general verbs and adjectives. However, it is necessary to ensure that the action verbs one uses are relevant to the field in which one is seeking employment. Some good examples of action verbs to include in a resume for the HIV/Aids prevention industry include:

  • Coordinated
  • Achieved
  • Educated
  • Counseled
  • Conducted
  • Volunteered
  • Reduced
  • Supported
  • Launched
  • Monitored

In professional resume writing, it is also advisable to start sentences and phrases with action verbs rather than the use of personal pronouns such as “I” and “My”. On the contrary, one should stick to 3rd person voice.

6. Making a Scannable Resume

Technology has made inroads into almost every single aspect of human life including in sorting out resumes. Indeed, these days, some large organizations, as well as government employers, use resume management systems to sieve through the hundreds or thousands of resumes they get. Resume management systems are designed to search for a specific number of keywords in the resumes. Subsequently, those resumes that do not have the minimum required number of keywords are likely to secure an interview. An increasing number of employers are using electronic resume scanning to sort out the first round of applicants.

Professional resume writing ensures that there is the proper and adequate use of industry-specific keywords in the resume. Additionally, these keywords should demonstrate that an applicant is well conversant with current trends in the industry. For example, in the HIV/Aids prevention industry, relevant keywords may include:

  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)
  • Male circumcision
  • Pre and Post Exposure Prophylaxis
  • Behavioral change
  • Biomedical interventions
  • Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs)
  • Opioid substitution therapy

Using relevant keywords in an appropriate and comprehensive manner also demonstrates to the employer that the applicant is knowledgeable in the specific field. Some resume writing experts suggest referring to the position description and using the same keywords and phrases used.

There is more to a scannable resume than the keywords though. In fact, the formatting of the resume is just as crucial as the effective use of keywords. When it comes to the format of the resume, applicants should pay attention to certain important guidelines.

In this respect, some of the things to do when formatting include:

Beginning with a summary section that properly highlights the most relevant skills and qualifications for the job opening in question.

  • Using one-inch margins all around
  • Ensuring the resume is visually appealing through the use of white space.
  • Limiting the use of acronyms unless they are recognized in the industry.
  • Separating slash marks with spaces
  • Using basic bullets
  • Using capital letters and/or bold for emphasizing text
  • Using plain white paper and black ink
  • Using a basic font such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Professional resume writing experts recommend a font size of between 10 and 12 points.

On the other hand, some of the common mistakes to avoid when formatting a resume include:

  • Using italicized or underlined text
  • Using complete sentences
  • Using fancy looking fonts and fancy papers
  • Mentioning personal information such as height, weight and marital status among other details.
  • Attaching a photo or copy of certificates and diplomas

7. Understanding the Different Types of Resumes

Professional resume writing specialists generally recognize three types of resumes; chronological, functional and hybrid or combined resumes. While most people would advocate for the use of a combined approach, the truth is that it depends on the job one is seeking.

In the more traditional white-collar fields such as law, science, and engineering, a chronological resume is appropriate. Employers who are interested in knowing the work experience of a job applicant are likely to prefer such a resume.

Conversely, functional resumes focus on highlighting and emphasizing the applicant’s skills and abilities rather than work experience. This type of resume is ideal for individuals who are joining the HIV/Aids industry from another industry. Alternatively, individuals who have gaps in their resumes may also prefer functional resumes.

The combined approach makes use of the chronological and functional formats. This type of resume offers more flexibility than functional and chronological resumes. However, one major setback is that the combined method often results in a longer resume. Some resume writing experts have also noted that a combined approach comes with a risk of unnecessary repetition.

8. Proofreading and Editing

With so much competition for employment opportunities, applicants should ensure that their resumes are error-free. Common errors to avoid include typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors among others. As a matter of fact, such errors are often one of the main causes of elimination during the hiring process. Job seekers should also get other people to read through their resumes and ensure they are error free.

One should also maintain consistency throughout the resume. For example, if one job title is in bold, so should the others.

9. Harnessing the Power of Social Media

These days, social media is one of the primary means of communication between people. Additionally, more employers are using social networks to do background searches of job applicants. Research shows that at least 65% of employers look into the social networks of candidates. In most cases, these employers do so with the main intention of identifying a reason not to hire them.

Job applicants should, therefore, ensure they review and clean-up their social media content so as to remove any potentially harmful content. For example, an employer may opt not to hire an applicant simply because there is evidence of drug and substance abuse on their social media.

Nonetheless, social media can also help an applicant get hired faster. One can use social media to market themselves even further and make a positive impression. Indeed, social media may provide evidence of strong communication skills and all-rounded individuals.

Working In The HIV/AIDS Prevention Industry

Working in HIV/Aids prevention is a fulfilling career path that allows people to make real differences in the lives of communities living with HIV/Aids. Aids prevention includes activities such as:

  • Carrying out social awareness campaigns on HIV/Aids
  • Working with HIV positive individuals and creating awareness on how these individuals can minimize the risk of spreading HIV/Aids.
  • Designing relevant policies and legislation to curb the spread of HIV/Aids
  • Designing new HIV/Aids prevention strategies

Relevant Skills And Abilities In The HIV/Aids Prevention Industry

Although working in the HIV/Aids prevention industry is fulfilling, certain skills are required to succeed in it. Perhaps the most vital of these skills is communication. Many job opportunities in the HIV/Aids prevention industry involve working in local communities in low and middle-income countries. Job applicants who are multi-lingual often have an edge over those who are not.

Additional essential skills for those working in the management of HIV/Aids include:

  • Critical and analytical thinking skills
  • An ability to cope with pressure and stress
  • Empathy
  • Tactfulness

Source: Futurist Keynote Speaker Patrick Dixon

Where To Find Employment In The HIV/Aids Prevention Industry

Governmental departments, non-profit organizations, and non-governmental organizations are some of the biggest employers in the HIV/Aids prevention industry. Other potential employers in the industry include:

  • Educational institutions such as universities and research institutes
  • Medical institutions such as hospitals and clinics
  • HR or Health and Safety departments of private companies
  • Religious organizations with HIV/Aids Prevention Programs
  • Global government agencies, Federal government agencies, or County health departments

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