Tag Archives: CV

How to Become Your Resume

220132752_80_801How to Become Your Resume

On paper, you’re the perfect candidate. So, how do you make the same impression in person?

Here is some advice. For example:

Divide your time on a two-to-one ratio. For every hour you spend on the mechanics of interview preparation, researching the company, your route and means of travel, wardrobe preparation, etc., spend two hours with your resume and preparing for questions.

Read more at this link

Share

Job Search: Make sure you include your personal profile/summary in your CV

Job Search: Make sure you include your personal profile/summary in your CV

refYou would be surprised how many CVs I see that do not include a short personal profile at the top of the first page. Instead they plunge straight into the work history giving the reader not a clue about the person doing the work.These kinds of CV are much less likely to catch a recruiter/future employer’s eye.

So what should you include in your short summary?

Your personal profile should summarise your;
• Skills and qualities
• Work background and achievements
• Career aims.

It should only be a few lines and must grab the reader’s attention. Try to avoid using terms that a lot of candidates will use, such as ‘reliable’, ‘hard working’, ‘team player’, ‘good communication skills’ etc. These general terms are heard so often they don’t help an employer to build up a real picture of you.

Instead, for example, if the job involves working with people, try to highlight relevant, specific people skills such as: negotiating, dealing with demanding customers, presentation skills, resolving conflict, or showing empathy. These help the reader build up more of a picture than saying you’re a good team-worker and an effective communicator. However, be brief – you can highlight examples of your skills in later sections.

Include keywords relevant to the kind of work you seek or are applying for. (When someone uses a search engine, they type in one or more words describing what they are looking for; eg ‘Facilities Manager’ or ‘Corporate Real Estate”. These words or phrases are known as keywords.) Many recruitment companies make use of software to sift job applications based on a keyword search.

When you’re summarising your career aims, think about the employer you are sending your CV to. It will hit home with employers if your career aims sound exactly like the kind of opportunities they currently have or are likely to provide in future.

Try to relate your summary to the job description or, if you’re sending your CV on spec, what you think the employer is looking for.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share

Volunteering helps the community and improves your career

Volunteering helps the community and improves your volucareer

Today we have the second post in this series from Tamara M. Williams. Tamara publishes articles in topics such as Software and Marketing.  Learn more about Tamara at EzineArticles and Squidoo.

Volunteering is usually recommended while you are at college. However, it is essential to give back to the community even after you have graduated. You learn new skills, meet new people and add new experiences to your CV. This shows prospective employers that you are willing to work without pay in order to develop your career.

Volunteer work means that you perform various tasks offline or online without pay. Sometimes you already have the skills to perform the tasks but other times you learn from others. If you already are very skilled then you can train other persons or supervise a team. If not then you will be assigned to perform simpler tasks under supervision until you have gained enough skills. Volunteer activities in the United States can be completed at many popular organisations such as the American Cancer Society, The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs, and YWCA. However, there are many more that can be found by asking at your community center or searching online at neighbourhood websites.

Volunteering at college is easier because you go to the Career center and ask for the recommended organisations that you can join. You can also ask your roommates, friends and lecturers for organisations that they have worked with in the past. During the academic year when you attend various events you will often hear about volunteer work. Always join and contribute a few hours regardless of how busy your academic schedule is. You get to meet new persons and contribute to worthy causes. This shows that you were also thinking about the community instead of just about your books and parties.

Some corporations have communities that they volunteer with. The projects are usually aligned to the company’s objective. Usually you are allowed to perform your volunteer activities during work hours. This means that you get to work with co-workers from various departments and get to see a more relaxed side of their personalities. This improves your relationship with them because it is easier to bond. It also gets you exposed to the various needs of the community that you might not have been aware of.

If prefer not to take on volunteer opportunities at college or at work then you can ask persons in your community or neighbouring communities. Volunteering closer to home means you get to save time and money on transportation. You get to learn more about the people, places and events that are an important part of your neighbourhood.

Each time you volunteer record the persons, activities and places that were involved. Make a note of the skills you learnt, knowledge you gained and how these contribute to your career. Then add these to a document so that you can see your progress over time. Afterwards, update your CV and explain the benefits that you gained and what you gave in return. Remember that it does not need to be continuous so you should plan it around your schedule and be willing to be flexible.

As you can see, volunteering is a great way to meet new people or improve your relationship with those you already know. You also get to learn or strengthen your skills. Ask for more information at your college, employer or community center. Take the time to search for organisations that are close to work and home so that you spend more time volunteering and less time on the road. Then add your experiences to your CV to show that you care about the community too.

About the Author:

Learn more about Tamara M. Williams at EzineArticles and Squidoo.

Share

Job Search – Does Your CV Let You Down?

shutterstock_96826108Job Search – Does Your CV Let You Down?

Here are some mistakes it is only too easy to make when submitting your CV.

Your CV doesn’t make it clear that you are qualified for the job.

You don’t show a clear connection between your background, skills and achievements and what the employer needs. It’s likely that a computer scanning system, known as an applicant tracking system, will check your CV for the keywords and phrases necessary to match you to the employer’s requirements.

Even if it is very clear to you that you’re well suited for the job, it is up to you to make sure that you show how you have what they are looking. Make sure this is in very straight forward terms.

You shouldn’t rely on the cover letter or anything else you may send with your CV (or application form where that has to be completed) to describe the key reasons why you are well suited to the role. It is quite probable that your potential employer will not see any further information about you until you pass through the CV/resume/application form screen.

You make grammatical or spelling errors in your CV, application form or cover letter.

This is a frequent complaint when recruiters discuss applicants.

It is important for all roles that you check for typos but you would be surprised how often there are mistakes in applications for jobs that involve writing. For example, when applying for administrative roles, one typo or an error can make the difference between landing an interview or being cast aside. But errors throw doubt on credibility at a more senior level too.

It’s difficult to proofread something you write yourself – as I know all to well.

Think about asking an eagle-eyed friend to review your cover letter and resume before you send them in. I am a creative writer, as well as a business blogger, and my two very best friends are my content editor, who makes sure the story is worth reading, and my dear, dear copy editor. Find a good friend who can check your job application for both typos and common sense! Of course, always spell-check your work, but be very much aware that spell-check doesn’t pick up every error.

If you need the support of someone who is a career coach (as well as other things) in your job search or career development, please get in touch.

Warm regards
Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy Mason’s Amazon Page

Enter your email address to receive future WiseWolf Talking posts direct to your inbox:

Share

Job Search: Writing Your CV/Resume: Where do you start?

image 4Job Search: Writing Your CV/Resume: Where do you start?

You’d be surprised how many people have never had to write a CV! It can be a daunting task!

How do you begin to put your career history on paper?  And what is the right balance of skill, experience and achievements to record?

If you get it wrong your CV can look unbalanced or, even worse, become unreadable!

You want to show a successful career progression that makes the next opportunity (the one you have just decided to apply for) look like a logical move! Making it look like a natural fit can put you ahead in the job’s market.  It marks you out as the candidate they want.

Your resume needs to be a well written, clear and concise!  So format is important! Please don’t go for complicated designs with tables and fancy fonts.  Use a simple, clean, format that is well organized and easily scanned. That will attract both the recruiter’s eye and, these days often more important, it is easy for the recruiter’s software to process.

Produce a baseline CV and then be prepared to adapt it to each job that you apply for. That way you can target your qualifications, skills, and key strengths (include relevant “keywords again with the sifting software in mind). You want to appeal to the person advertising the job at first glance!

Grabbing the recruiter’s attention is all important –  you probably have 30 seconds or less to make an impression! So put the most relevant information upfront in your headline – again include keywords relevant to the advert or spec.

Make sure you CV is simple to read and concentrate in terms of experience on the last 10 years – summarize anything earlier.  Focus on your achievements and the benefits you have delivered  – show the benefits you will bring!

One of the major advantages of working with a career coach should be that you get your baseline CV in good order and learn how to adapt it.  If you would like help with your CV, get in touch.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Share

Job Search – Providing the Evidence

 Find-a-JobJob Search – Providing the Evidence

I’ve written before about the value of STAR stories in your job search.  STAR stories are a way of recording your key achievements and how you can provide evidence that you really do have, and know how to use, the competencies required for a particular role.

As a first step, some people create a timeline for their life– showing roles held at various times.  Then they flag up key achievements on the line. These don’t have to be restricted to formal work roles but those in the last 10 years should take priority.  I usually ask clients to choose the 10 they think are the most impressive.  For these 10 they then create STAR stories. For each one you include your job title and how long you were employed in the role, then set out briefly;

  • Situation – Describe the situation, the role and environment
  • Task – the challenge – the task you had to complete or the obstacle you had to overcome
  • Action – what action did you take and why. Include the competencies you called on and how you used them
  • Results – highlight the outcome, the value and benefits delivered – for example, savings made

I’ve mentioned before as well that you can use a summary of your STAR stories to add value to your CV and show what you will bring to any new employer! For the 10 stories above I usually suggest that for each you should produce about one A4 page of text. Of course you then need to summarise these down into short paragraphs for your CV – say three sentences on each with an emphasis on competencies used and benefits delivered.

The A4 summaries make great records for you portfolio.  You can use them to refresh your memory before interviews and to help you give evidenced based replies. They are also useful confidence boosters when feeling a bit daunted by a new challenge.

For the five most striking stories, I would recommend going on to fully develop them as case studies.  Think in terms of producing a magazine article, white paper, report or slide show. This will give you an opportunity to fully reflect on how you achieve and how to set yourself up for success in the future.  But if you have a website you can publish them as examples of what you can do. And of course you can now add them to your LinkedIn profile.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Share

CV Writing; How to make a recruiter take a second look!

ladderCV Writing; How to make a recruiter take a second look!

Today we have a great guest post from Daryl Tomlinson who brings us advice based his long term experience of working with a job board

CV writing…

The art to writing a CV that get’s you a job has been documented more times than a Z list celebrities ever fluctuating waist line. Theories, fact, fiction, what to say, what not to say, all added to the mix of a thousand plus books. I think however that writing a CV is actually a simple procedure, once the don’ts are eliminated.

In a way you can equate a CV to speed dating, you only have a short time to impress. Of course with speed dating you are face to face, you can use speech, expression, whereas with a CV you are relying on the words laid out bare in front of a prospective employer, but essentially you are looking to get your skills, your personality and background ‘out there’ in a short amount of time.

Having worked with a job board for over twelve years, there are continuing themes that loops ever present from recruiters when it comes to CV’s. From layout to spelling, there are certain, defining areas that will ensure a recruiter will add your CV to the pile marked recycle. So with that in mind, here are just a few don’ts.

Surprisingly in this day and age, spelling seems still to be a problem and when spell checkers are readily available it does seem strange that CV’s are still winging their merry way to recruiters littered with errors. It is something that can infuriate a recruiter and whilst I don’t think many can profess to an immaculate spelling mind, it is still essential a CV doesn’t contain mistakes.

Layout is another fundamental problem. For a recruiter, they need a clear and concise theme, they need to grasp the very essence of who you are and what you could bring to their company as briefly and quickly as possible. So a CV that is all over the place will make a recruiter give up. In a way it’s a bit like a story, you want the reader to want to read more, get to the exciting conclusion.

So starting with who you are is a must, then the core elements that make you right for the job, your recent career history, skills and education. You can then expand your work life further on, give more detail before finally getting to the who you are away from work.

Stamping your personality on your CV is a hit and miss affair. You might attract a potential employer with a wacky, colour drenched encyclopaedia of your life and works, but you are also just as likely to put them off. It is better to layout your CV in a ‘traditional’ way, putting main points clearly and leaving that wacky bit for the interests part.

There is also something else recruiters cringe at and that’s the ‘obvious profile’, the kind of waffle that seems to go on for an ice age without actually revealing anything about the candidate. It’s easy to write how driven you are and clutter the surrounding space with metaphors that could have come from the corporate bible on how to say little by saying a lot, but essentially it is copy from a thousand CV’s that every recruiter has seen over and over again.

It almost goes without saying you are a hard worker, that you are honest, that you work until the job is done. When these descriptions are used all the time they become redundant and meaningless and can almost have a negative effect because the recruiter will simply bypass it. In my mind a profile should snap, it should say what you are, what you do, what you want. Yes! What you want! After all you are not blindly staggering to employment, you have a desire to work and you know what you want to achieve.

In essence you are looking to make a recruiter take a second look, a third look, an interview. They want to know what you can do, who you are, will you do the job, will you fit in? Substance, personality and requirement.

Substance – All you are and have done in terms of you career/work history
Personality – Who are you, not just in work but out as well
Requirement – Do you match the recruiters expectations?

The job market can seem a ferocious dog eat dog environment, so don’t you deserve to have an edge?

Daryl Tomlinson

 

Share