Get Real with Your CV:
The first step is to get real with your CV. When last have you updated it? Is it just a laundry list of experience? We recommend you take a very critical look at your CV, is it complete? Does it contain non-essential information? Is it specific to the job you want? Your CV is your silent salesman. And should include a summary of your experience and give the recruiter/employer a good idea of who you are and what you’ll bring to the party. Cover letters are an ideal way to humanise your CV. Since HR managers usually only spend 5-7 seconds reading a resume – it may be your only chance to grab their attention and be memorable. It is worthwhile leaning on friends (or CV experts, if you can afford it) to give you constructive feedback on the document. Other suggestions are to ensure your fonts are legible and professional (for the love of all things pizza, please skip the Comic Sans). And that your document should contain clear sections and job titles. Try and keep your job titles within industry language and avoid creative or titles like “chief coffee drinker” because they’re inherently confusing and may put off recruiters.
Create A Job Specific CV:
It helps to create different versions of your CV if you have varying experience. For example, if you’re a project manager with expertise in various industries – tweak your document to ensure that you highlight the relevant experience depending on the job you seek. Recruiters don’t have time to pick up on detail; you have to make it obvious to them.
Keep It Simple, Keep It Relevant:
Experts recommend you focus on your past three jobs or 5 -7 years of employment to offer a clear view into your work experience. Offering too much information can be overwhelming and could agitate the hiring manager instead of impress. As much as being a library prefect in high school mattered to you, it likely won’t to a future employer.
Finding a job is as hard as it is to employ someone – it’s like matchmaking. If you’re not honest and authentic about who you are, it helps neither you nor the future employer. If you’re a shy introvert who avoids people, don’t pretend to be an extrovert who loves customer service. Fake smiles and rehearsed answers are evident to hiring managers because they do this every day. Rather be honest about who you are and what you’re good at to attract a position that will work for you.
Ace the Interview:
If you’re successful in landing an interview, know that this is your time to shine. Dress appropriately and professionally, as this is a signal that you take yourself and the opportunity seriously. Don’t slam previous employers but instead, talk about what you’ve learned from challenging situations in the workplace. Speaking badly about past employers, the interviewer will question what you will have to say about them down the road and may be considered a weakness of character. A new job is about moving forward, not talking about old grudges. Another tip is to back up your experience with stories, almost like verbal case studies, to humanise the impact you made in your team or job.
Last but not least, is to remember that employment isn’t everything. You can start a small business or do part-time work until you land your dream job. Never lose hope and never give up. Good luck on the hunt!
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