Writing Your CV

Writing Your CV

Writing Your CV! 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. It should make 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 organiser 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. Then be prepared to adapt it to each job that you apply for. That way you can target your qualifications, skills, and key strengths. You should 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.  Summarise 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 you learn how to adapt it. If you would like help with your CV, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – Providing the Evidence

 Job Search – STAR Stories

I’ve written before about the value of STAR stories in your job search.  STAR stories are a great way of  recording your key achievements and demonstrating your competencies. With them 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.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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

CV 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

 

Make a recruiter take a second look!

Make a recruiter take a second look

CV 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

 

Strategies That'll Make Your Resume Stand Out Online

Strategies That’ll Make Your Resume Stand Out Online

This appeared on the the New Grad Life Blog posted by Angela Astley

Sourcing is a term used for recruiters to find and uncover candidates and recruiters are getting more and more creative with their sourcing techniques. One creative sourcing technique being used today is going to Google or other search engines and putting in search strings filled with keywords and terms to generate resumes from all over the internet.

Since recruiters are getting creative with their sourcing techniques, job seekers should start getting creative with online exposure techniques.

1. Create a career blog

Start a blog that focuses on your career industry and include tips, articles, news, and industry related topics. You don’t have to be a writer to create a blog. You can link to other articles and news about that industry topic and add comments showing your industry knowledge. Also, set up a page on the blog for your resume, where you are highlighting your industry knowledge, experience, and expertise. You can easily set up a blog for free using programs such as blogger.com or wordpress.com

2. Use free document sharing websites

There are a number of free file sharing websites that can help you gain more resume exposure online. Save your document in different forms such as DOC and PDF so your resume shows up under those search terms. Yes, recruiters will search for resumes using words such as pdf, rtf, doc, and cv. You can even save your resume as a powerpoint presentation! Here are few free sites to check out: keepandshare.com, slideshare.net, Google docs

3. Set up a resume web page

A one page website for your resume is great exposure and a great way to link others to your resume. You can add your website url to your resume, to other online profiles, and at the end of your signature in emails and posts. You can find free resume website builders such as: Emurse.com and VisualCV.com.

You can read the rest at this link http://newgradlife.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/resume-writing-strategies-to-stand-out.html

Do you include a profile statement in your CV?

Do you include a profile statement in your CV?

Profile statement – A few thoughts on the value of including a short summary profile at the top of your CV!

This profile is sometimes called the career summary, personal profile statement, profile statement, resume summary, and summary of qualifications. All refer to profiling your key qualifications for a particular job on your résumé.

The profile sums up your skills and experience, and it can include your career goals. This is a part of your CV that you should certainly tailor to the particular needs of the specific job for which you are applying. These are the headline words that will flag up to a recruiter why you are right for the role.

Essentially, a profile is a very condensed and targeted version of a cover letter. And there are clear benefits to including a good one. It can help you stand out among the hundreds of applications companies receive. Most employers spend only a few seconds looking at your CV, and most of this time is spent looking at the top half of it. So, even if a potential employer reads only your profile (located directly beneath your name and contact information), they will still have a clear idea of how uniquely well fitted you are for the role.

In addition, your profile can include Keywords that will help your application get picked up by the recruiting management software that many companies use now use to screen applications.

Keep your profile concise – between one and four short sentences and you can use bullet points. Focus on the requirements for the job and what you have to offer. Overall, integrate your employment history and skills into the qualifications listed for the job – make sure right at first glance, you look like the best candidate.

Wendy Mason 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.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

CV Profile or Short Summary

CV Profile or Short Summary

CV Profile – a few thoughts on the value of including a short summary profile at the top of your CV!

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

This CV profile is sometimes called the career summary. I can be called the personal profile statement, profile statement, resume summary, and summary of qualifications. All refer to profiling your key qualifications for a particular job on your résumé.

The profile sums up your skills and experience. It can include your career goals. This is a part of your CV that you should certainly tailor to the particular needs of the specific job for which you are applying. These are the headline words that will flag up why you are right for the role.

Essentially, a profile is a very condensed and targeted version of a cover letter. And there are clear benefits to including a good one. It can help you stand out among the hundreds of applications companies receive. Most employers/recruiters spend only a few seconds looking at your CV.  And most of this time is spent looking at the top half of it. So, even if a potential employer reads only your profile (located directly beneath your name and contact information), they will still have a clear idea of how uniquely well fitted you are for their role.

Keywords and condensing

In addition, your profile can include Keywords that will help your application get picked up by the recruiting management software. Many companies use this to screen applications.

Keep your profile concise – between one and four short sentences and you can use bullet points. Focus on the requirements for the job and what you have to offer. Overall, integrate your employment history and skills into the qualifications listed for the job – make sure right at first glance, you look like the best candidate.

If you would like further advice on this please get in touch at the link below.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

Using LinkedIn for Job Search

Using LinkedIn for Job Search

Job Search: How to find a new job using LinkedIn!

Using LinkedIn for Job Search – LinkedIn is a powerful business networking tool but it can also be one of the best ways to find a new job.

Unfortunately, not many people know how to really tap into its power.  But this little video gives simple but useful tips for how you can use your LinkedIn network to search for a new job.

It is from http://www.explania.com/en/channels/work/detail/how-to-find-a-new-job-using-linkedin

If there is advice you would like or if you have questions about your job search, please get in touch!

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

  • Refresh Your Job Search In 2013
  • Job Search – Standing Out From the Crowd
  • Job Search – Getting On With The Interview Panel

Job Search: How to find a new job using LinkedIn!

Job Search: How to find a new job using LinkedIn!

LinkedIn is a powerful business networking tool but it can also be one of the best ways to find a new job.

Unfortunately, not many people know how to really tap into its power.  But this little video gives simple but useful tips for how you can use your LinkedIn network to search for a new job.

It is from http://www.explania.com/en/channels/work/detail/how-to-find-a-new-job-using-linkedin

If there is advice you would like or if you have questions about your job search, please get in touch!

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

  • Refresh Your Job Search In 2013
  • Job Search – Standing Out From the Crowd
  • Job Search – Getting On With The Interview Panel

Job Search: How To Add Value To Your CV And Make It Jump Out From The Pile

Add Value To Your CV

Job Search: How To Add Value To Your CV And Make It Jump Out From The Pile

We all know that recruiters find themselves faced with piles of CVs/Resumes to sift.  How do you make your CV jump out of the pile and on to the desk as selected for interview. Well, when you write your it,  it helps to keep in mind why you are doing it.

At its most basic, A CV is a short list of facts about you and your work history, skills, qualifications and experience. A good CV is essential when looking for work and it is worth spending time getting it right. It needs to show you as valuable to any potential employer.

So what will a recruiter be looking for?

Well certainly your CV should:

  • Be neat, certainly typed, without typos, and to the best standard you can achieve in content and layout
  • Be short, 2 sides of a sheet of A4 paper is usually enough
  • Be positive, it should emphasize your achievements, strengths, successes
  • Make a good impression. This means presenting the facts about you in a positive way.

I hope you are going to

  • Send your CV with a covering letter or email asking companies if they have any current or future vacancies.
  • Send your CV when applying for advertised vacancies
  • Use your CV to help you remember all the dates and information you need each time you need to fill in an application form.
  • Use it to jog your memory when applying for jobs by phone – it can help if you are asked to give more information about previous jobs.
  • Have your CV with you while you’re waiting to be called in to an interview to help refresh your memory.
  • You can also leave a copy with the interviewer if they do not already have one!

Sometimes recruitment agencies ask to see your CV before you can register with them.

So your CV is a way of letting a potential employer know just what value they will get if they employ you. This should be you marketing the most valuable product you have – yourself! Therefore it is going to be much more than just a list of roles.

For each role you do include, you need to show how in that role you added value.

When you have done that you can then lay claim to the associated competencies.

For example, if you led a team;

  • Why did they exist
  • Where did you lead them
  • What did they achieve as a result of your leadership?
  • What was your contribution and what hurdles did you have to overcome
  • What value was delivered?

How does that information provide evidence to support your claim to the competence of leadership?

STAR stories make you a star

Remember  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/problem you were faced with
Task – what did you have to do?
Action – what action did you take and why.
Results – highlight the outcome and the value delivered

Use a summary of your STAR stories to add value to your CV and show how you will add value for any new employer!

Meanwhile if there is advice you would like or questions you would like answered, please get in touch!

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

  • Refresh Your Job Search In 2013
  • Job Search – Standing Out From the Crowd
  • Job Search – Getting On With The Interview Panel