Writing That Winning CV

A CV that is going to win you the job is the one that make the reader want to know more about you. That makes it much more likely that you will be invited to an interview. Good CVs are valuable and a very good investment of your time. So how do you make yourself stand-out from the crowd?

Writing That Winning CV

Writing That Winning CV – a CV that is going to win you the job is the one that makes the reader want to know more about you. The CV that makes it much more likely that you will be invited to an interview! Your CV needs to show the recruiter that you will be best fitted to to meet their requirements. Good CVs are valuable and a very good investment of your time.

So how do you make yourself stand-out from the crowd?

Any CV that you write is only relevant if it shows how you meet the requirements of the particular role. So be ready to tailor you generic CV for each post. Be specific about skills, experience and personal qualities. Show that you understand their requirements.

These days employers and recruiter receive sacks full of CVs. Make sure yours short (no more than two sides of A4 if possible), easy to read and attractive.

Lay it out clearly with enough space and clear section headings.

Your CV shows what you bring to the organization

Your CV shows what you bring to the organization, so make it look professional.

  • Choose a clear, professional font that is easy to read (e.g. Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman)
  • Make no typing mistakes – CVs with typos get “binned”. A simple spell check is not enough: ask someone else to proof-read your finished CV
  • Have clear headings (key skills, work experience, education etc) so that these can be scanned quickly
  • Order your experience and education into reverse chronological order with the latest first.
  • For recent posts, show what you achieved and delivered for each post
  • Concentrate on the last 10 years and sum-up earlier experience briefly.

Many recruiters’ job sites search candidates’ CVs for specific keywords. It is important to include those which are likely to apply for the particular job. Create clear statements that demonstrate your skills and what you deliver, using terms that show you as positive and pro-active.

These are positive keywords, you could use to describe your personal attributes

  • Accurate
  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Friendly
  • Hard-working
  • Innovative
  • Pro-active
  • Reliable
  • Responsible
  • Intelligent
  • Experienced

When describing your experience and achievement use pro-active descriptions like:

  • Achieved
  • Formulated
  • Planned
  • Broadened
  • Generated
  • Managed
  • Represented
  • Completed
  • Implemented
  • Shaped
  • Delivered
  • Saved

If you have saved an organization money or generated new business, flag it up with figures and facts.

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Keep Your Spirits Up – Quotes

Keep Your Spirits Up – Quotes

Keep your spirits up in your job search – a few quotes to help!

  1. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door Milton Berle
  2. Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius 
  3. Getting fired is nature’s way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place. Hal Lancaster
  4. Fall seven times, stand up eight. Japanese Proverb
  5. Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it Theodore Roosevelt
  6. The résumé focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future. Joyce Lain Kennedy, Cover Letters for Dummies
  7. If you can’t communicate and prove your value, no one will see your value. Megan Pittsley
  8. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou
  9. Can’t find a job? Find an organization with a need you can fill. Then offer to fill it. Susan Ireland
  10. 10. Interviewing is like tasting wine: a first impression, the taste while drinking & the feeling left behind. @workcoachcafe on Twitter
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job search tip – know what you want!

Most people have a have list of things they want in a job but it is equally important for most to produce a list of things that they don’t want.

Job search tip – know what you want!

Job search tip – know what you want! Over a very long career, I have advised and a coached lots of gifted, intelligent and ambitious people who were unhappy in their present job. I’ve learned lots of strategies for coping and for turning a negative short term experience into a long-term gain. I am writing today because there a has been a recurring theme. Most of those people had doubts before they took the job.

The exceptions were usually people whose circumstances changed. For example, they had a new boss they didn’t get on with or they had been through a badly handled outsourcing exercise where they ended up feeling like a victim. Sometimes, it was their own personal circumstances that had been changed. For example, a job with a lot of travelling was difficult to accommodate along side a very young family (for fathers as well as mothers).

For most, they knew when they took the job that it was wasn’t quite right.

Now, we have to be very realistic here. A good job is hard to find now. And jobs are very rarely the perfect fit. Common-sense says you apply the 80/20 principle in reverse. If 80 percent fits and the the 20 percent misfit is not in highly significant areas, most of the time that is good enough. But what about those highly significant areas?

Most people have a list of things they want in a job. This is in their head, if not committed to paper/laptop. (By the way, it is always best committed to paper/laptop, so that when you look through jobs specs you don’t miss something).

What many people forget to produce is a list of things that they don’t want. I’m not talking here about having just left a job where you had a bad experience, so now you swear never again to work with men or women with red hair.

Spending time on your real “no, noes” is time well invested. Make your list carefully and be very honest with your self. For example, if regular travelling really isn’t practical then put it on the list.

Some people do not want a job that is largely transactional (lots of processes to be applied), others do not want a role that requires a long period of quiet work on their own. Some people want to practice their technical and professional skills at a high level and will never feel truly fulfilled managing a team. You will find your list of don’t wants is not necessarily an exact mirror of what you do want. And there will be degrees of dislike.

To take the example above, “no regular travelling” may not mean no travelling at all. As you go through your list make sure you define what you don’t want carefully and then decide whether each item is of high, medium or low importance.

Now, of course, life and job search is all about compromise. Sometimes you may think that it is worth taking a job that hits so many buttons on your wanted list it balances out the buttons on your not wanted list. Please have a care, particularly with those items you marked as high. There really is a risk for you with those items. Only you can decide whether it is worth that risk. But please do it understanding the potential consequences.

Do not go into a job knowing you don’t want something and banking on your influence growing so quickly that you will be able to avoid it. For example, if a company has a long hours culture and you go in thinking it isn’t what you really want but over time you’ll find a way round it, you really are setting your self up for trouble and a potential loss of reputation. That particular item, like travel, is recurring theme.

Be careful, as well, with what companies say they want at interviews, if it is different to what they have said explicitly in their recruitment literature.

To take travel again, suppose the chair of the interviewing panel really likes you and wants you to join the company. All of sudden, you are being told the travelling isn’t so regular really and they are sure they can work round it. Now the hairs on your neck should start to rise. If it wasn’t so important, why did they bother to put it in their literature. If you are really interested, you need to ask lots of questions and, if you still have doubts, ask them to confirm in writing.

So I hope you will produce your “don’t want” list with the same enthusiasm or you apply to your “wants” list. If you need help. or you are already is a role you don’t like, please get in touch. As I’ve said above, I’ve worked with lots of other people just like you.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Re-Entering the Job Market in Your Later Years

Today, the game of job hunting has gone high-tech and may surprise you with the options.

Re-Entering the Job Market in Your Later Years

Re-Entering the Job Market in Your Later Years – today an interesting and useful post from Sara Stringer. Sarah is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about business and everything current.

It will come as  a shock to many individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 just how much job hunting has shifted in the many years since they last put out their applications. Some 20+ years ago, it was often as simple as showing up to a location, dropping off a resume, and waiting to hear back from the business.

Today, the game of job hunting has gone high-tech and may surprise you with its options (which can be simultaneously overwhelming):

  • Job search engines
  • Industry job boards
  • Social media (LinkedIn & Facebook) & networking
  • Freelance marketplaces
  • Online recruiters
  • Virtual events

…and the list goes on and on.

Much of the process is the same as it ever was, though there have been many advancements in technology and how we submit our applications. The cover letter, resume, and follow-up are still the main assets to use when seeking a job through an online platform. In reality it’s not nearly as scary as it may seem even if you have some trouble navigating your way around the Web.

Here are some of the key actions to consider (and employ), when online job hunting, after you’ve had a lapse in needing to do the activity:

  1. Re-entering the job market – learn about (and begin using) the new platforms

Information is your ally in this process of job hunting and it just so happens that you’re, right now, staring at the best tools for the job: the Internet.

There are thousands of great articles that can aid your understanding of how these newer websites and platforms work when submitting your applications.

Take a few days to begin learning about the various online platforms like the job search engines (like Monster), creating and networking through a LinkedIn profile, or seeking reputable online recruitment services which can guide you through the process.

  1. Update those main assets (and tactics)

Those three things we talked about?

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Follow-up

The cover letter will come naturally because it’s mostly telling the who, what, and why for sending in the application. The resume, however, has changed over the years so it would be within your interest to mull over a few various tips for writing resumes to bring yours into the 21st century.

The follow-up is quite crucial to the matter (as you could expect) because many businesses advertising a job listing will be bombarded with applications, yet only a few may take the time to show action which often tips off the job listing business that you’re going the extra mile to gain the position.

  1. Networking (the digital way)

The job you may have originally landed 20 years ago may have come through association with a friend, family member, or a friend of a friend – referrals were (and still are) very powerful. The associations you built were generally through school or other early work opportunities.

Today, we have shifted to using social media as one of the main forms of reaching out and building a network because so many of us are on there using it each and every day.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

There are many others but these would be the ones you’d want to hone your focus on. This new process has become such a norm that you’ll have no trouble finding great articles on using social for job hunting.

The main things to remember/do are:

  • Get the main profiles setup, filled out, and as accurate as you can make them
  • Use the built-in search to seek out others that are in your desired industry
  • Visit the websites of companies offering positions and follow them on social
  • Join in on conversations with these individuals and businesses
  • Shoot them emails and rub elbows with those that can make the big decisions

What’s in your favor is the amount of work experience you have which automatically gives you the perception of being an authority figure for that industry. All that’s needed now is tapping into the technology, finding the right people, and making the pitch.

Conclusion

The big thing is not to get discouraged.

The technology is there to help you and it’s quite easy once you understand the process but there will be a learning curve in the beginning. When you’re stuck you should seek help from those that are literate with using the Web to mentor your process and show you the ropes (even your children or grandchildren could probably help in this regard).

It’s going to feel different but much of it remains the same; you’re still mostly submitting the traditional assets but through a new medium.

Good luck out there, hold your head up, and keep at it!

Sara Stringer is freelance writer who enjoys writing about business and everything current. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.

Asking For a Reference – Don't be Diffident

People usually feel flattered to be asked.

Asking For a Reference – Don’t be Diffident

Asking for a reference – let us take as read that employers expect to be asked to give a reference.

Don’t feel diffident about asking others who can vouch for your work or your character. People usually feel flattered to be asked.

Asking for a reference – act with discretion

Don’t give their names until they have agreed. Then let them know each time you mention them. Tell them a little about the vacancy and why you think you are a good fit. Make it easy for them to help you.

Don’t feel offended if they say no.  Perhaps they just feel they don’t know you well enough.

Working with a coach really can help your job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Think about why a company would be asking for your salary history

What Should You Say When They Ask For Your Salary History?

Your Salary History – Below is a link to a very useful post for the job seeker from  Jennnifer L. Beightley, MNM, CFRE which appeared yesterday on LinkedIn

What Should You Say When They Ask For Your Salary History?

… I want you to think about why a company would be asking for your salary history. They do this for two reasons, that I can tell. First, they want to use your salary history as a way to weed you out if you are asking far above what they are willing to pay, thinking that you overvalue yourself, or they want to weed you out if you are asking far below what they are willing to pay, thinking that you undervalue yourself and therefore are probably not up to snuff. Second, if you are close enough, and they like you, and you get to the offer stage, they will base the offer they will make to you on your previous salary.

So what is the problem with this?…”

Find Jennifer’s answer at this link;   http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141006135152-41404808-should-you-reveal-your-salary-history

Beginning your job search

Most job seekers look for a new job similar to the one they just left. But this might just be the time to consider other possibilities!

Beginning your job search

Beginning your job search – if you are just starting your job search this is what should you keep in mind?

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Beginning your job search is a challenge; here is some advice to help you. Remember all interesting journeys start with just one step. And I believe your first step should be made with attitude.

Be open to possibilities.

Most job seekers look for a new job similar to the one they just left. This makes sense in lots of ways. Among other things, we tend to define ourselves by the work we do. So it is understandable that the kind of work we look for is the kind of work we have done. But starting out with this approach is a little self-limiting. This might just be the time to consider something new! Take a little time to think about all the possibilities and don’t be afraid to dream a little.

The skill set you have may meet the requirements for a number of roles. What about opportunities for self-employment? Or you may wish to use some of this time to add to your skill set through training, developing a hobby or some kind voluntary work. You’d be surprised how many free courses there are online. Have a look at Coursera, Edx or Future Learn

Be prepared to make a big commitment.

Successful job search takes time. Among other things, if you want to win a job today, you need to invest energy into lots and lots of research. For example, you need to do your homework on potential employers. Find out what is happening in their marketplace and who are the key players. Also, if you want to tap into the hidden job market (those vacancies that are never advertised) you need to network, network, and network. Preparing your job search tools, for example, your CV takes time and attention. So devote as much time as you can. If you out of work, then make job search your full-time commitment. Plan each day as you would in the office. Find space at home to dedicate to your search if you don’t have the luxury of a home office. Make it pleasant but keep it work-related.

Be prepared to deal with rejection.

Getting the right job usually means bouncing back from lots of near misses. Your need to develop resilience – there is a post at this link that should help.The secret is to learn from each experience. Occasionally, you will need to accept that decisions are not wholly reasonable or fair. It is best to take none of it too personally. Yes, sometimes you don’t get a job because you made a mess of the interview. Accept that and resolve to do better next time. If you were well fitted for a role you didn’t get, then see it as their loss, not yours. Above all move on. There will be other roles and new possibilities to consider.

Beginning your job search – other resources to help you

If you have been out of the job market for a while, there will be new techniques to learn and some you need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing them at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips on this blog, Try this link.”

Beginning your job search
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

You can find more help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help your job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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

 

New Week, New Job Search

It takes commitment, confidence, flexibility and resilience.

New Week, New Job Search

So this is the start of a new week and for some of us it is the start of a new job search. And, if that is you, you will have heard all kinds of myths about how difficult it is going to be to find work.

First, yes, it is a challenge. But it is a challenge that lots of people are meeting and over coming. Lots of people are getting jobs and you can be one of them.

What you, the new job seeker, will find is lots and lots of advice and more people than you expect, willing to support you. You will certainly find lots of advice in the discussions published here. So check in regularly and if you are not finding what you need let me know. I’ll try to make sure that we cover it.

The key lessons I think I’ve learned from working with people looking for work is that it takes commitment, confidence, flexibility and resilience.

You need to commit time and energy to your job search and I know successful candidates who have chosen to spend 36 hours a week looking for work. Keeping a regular routine helps to keep up your morale anyway.

If you are not already a very confident person, or the experience that brings you here has knocked your confidence, then you need to get to work. You will find lots of books and coaches like me around hoping to help you.

Being willing to adapt and change to meet the needs of a changing market place opens up possibilities and, again, this is easier with more confidence. You need to work on being willing to adapt flexibly to meet the needs of a potential employer. You are never too old to learn new tricks. If you don’t believe me, get in touch, there are a few experiences I would be happy to share.

Resilience is something you may have to work at, too. Finding work generally takes a while in the present climate and you will probably have to bounce back from some knocks. You will be in good company though. I know lots of people who’ve been through this, only to be very successful at their next attempt or the one after that.

It’s important to keep your life fresh even though you don’t have a job. Make sure you eat properly and get some exercise. You could get involved in volunteering, take up new hobbies and new sports! You might surprise yourself, meet new people and discover talents you didn’t know you had. Who knows what new opportunities they may bring?

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search every success and if I can help, please 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

         

Your Job Search – Dealing With Disappointment

Some people just seem to have the gift of a quick recovery, others don’t! If you find recovery from disappointment difficult, here are some steps you can take.

Your Job Search – Dealing With Disappointment

Sadly, disappointments are a fact of life and certainly in the world of job search.  Learning how to deal with them and to bounce back is a key factor in eventually achieving success.

When we are disappointed most of us feel a complex set of emotions; anger, hurt, sadness, and often and for no good reason, shame.  Unless you can move on from feeling these kind of emotions, they can eat away at you self-confidence!

Some people just seem to have the gift of a quick recovery, others don’t! If you find recovery from disappointment difficult, here are some steps you can take.

Stop trying to fight it

The most important step forward you can make is to accept how you feel and allow yourself to fully experience it. Recognize that after suffering a loss – like not getting that job you had worked so hard on – it is legitimate to grieve and feel some pain. No, I’m not suggesting that you spends days in the pit of despair but you are allowed to feel something – sit with the emotion.  Heaven protect us from people who don’t have the gift of feeling their emotions

Work on seeing the broader picture

Now that you are giving yourself time to feel, you can begin to see the wider picture.  You can begin to see what just happened in a different way.  You can begin to recognize that in today’s job market there is an element of lottery.  There could be lots of reasons why you didn’t get this particular job and you do need to find out why.  But not getting that job doesn’t mean you are not a good candidate and there lots of other good jobs out there.

Make changes but stay with your own values

There will be lessons to learn from this experience and probably things to be incorporated in your future job search but stay with your own values.  Don’t compromise something important to you, just because it didn’t fit in with what one particular organization wanted. You can turn that on its head and keep in mind that if getting that job meant that kind of compromise, then perhaps that wasn’t the organization to join anyway.

Practice acceptance and move on.

Even though we know that some things are bound to happen sometimes, we’re not always willing to accept them. And this is certainly true when it comes to job search. But unfortunately being disappointed is part of life and certainly part of job search. The secret of success is not avoiding disappointment or failure – it is about knowing how to recover, learn from the experience and move on.  So, when you are ready, take a deep breath, remember how good you are and get out there again.

But if you do feel yourself getting stuck or going further down, seek help. Career coaches and counsellors are there to help you. And I am always very happy to talk to you – 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

         

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Job Search Confidence!

The more time you spend with your successful self, the more that self becomes you. This helps a lot when you are preparing for an interview and again if you are unlucky enough to be rejected – remember it is their loss and you will do better next time.

Job Search Confidence!

Job Search and that magic ingredient – confidence!

Job search confidence – now first I have to admit to having an interest here. As a career coach I focus on working with clients who want to develop their confidence and self esteem – that is my “niche.” But I chose it for very good reasons. I would say that being able to maintain self confidence in the job search process is, as in the rest of life, key to success. You need to believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Of course you need to meet the requirements of the role for which you are applying, but also, you need to maintain self-belief through the anxiety ridden process that is recruitment. And that is not always easy! You have to have the confidence to present what you believe about yourself to strangers and that can be challenging.

Presenting yourself when you are already in a role at which you are succeeding, is quite different to doing it when something has gone wrong at work or if you have been made redundant. When you are simply looking for a career development move or a promotion then you have all the confidence you have built up in your present role to support you. You may be a little nervous or suffer from a little performance anxiety (stage-fright to you and me). But basically you can tell yourself with some degree of conviction that if you succeed they will be lucky to get you and, if you don’t, well it is their loss and you will do better next time.

Confidence to keep going

When you are already unemployed and having to deal with a market that is more likely to reject than accept you, you need to build up your resistance. You need the confidence to keep going until you get that precious job.

Fundamental to maintaining confidence is physical and mental fitness. Do you eat a good diet? Do you exercise? I know it is tempting to comfort eat – and you need get out there and move. At the very least take a walk each day. It is all too easy to get up and just slope into the home office interrupted only with visits to the kitchen to snack or to the sitting room to watch day time television. I know – I work at home. As well as that, take time out for meditation or at the very least relaxation time.

A strong vision

Most important, you need to develop of very strong vision of yourself as a successful professional with lots to give. Create an image in your mind of you doing well. For these purposes, suspend judgment about any doubts. Then spend time each day with that vision of yourself. Some people imagine their successful self standing right in front of them and they step into the vision, beginning to see the world through their successful self’s eyes.

The more time you spend with your successful self, the more that self becomes you. This helps a lot when you are preparing for an interview and again if you are unlucky enough to be rejected – remember it is their loss and you will do better next time.

But if you do feel yourself getting stuck or going further down, seek help. Career coaches and counsellors are there to help you. And I am always very happy to talk to you – 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