A Jobseeker’s New Year’s Resolutions – Part 1
Sam Wilson, January 6, 2014
It’s a new year and with it comes a wave of new opportunities.
Are you determined to make 2014 the year that you find your ideal position?
If yes, then our jobseeker’s new year’s resolutions can serve as a checklist to help you ensure that you’re at the front of the queue for that job you really want.
Over the next three weeks we will cover.
- Committing some time to updating and improving your CV.
- Re-writing your covering letter.
- Making sure your social media accounts are ‘employer friendly’.
- Setting up a LinkedIn profile.
- Signing up for jobs emails
1. Committing some time to updating and improving your CV.
It seems like such a pain, that annoying chore you have to do before you can start looking for a new job. When applying for a new job your CV is your best friend, it’s the first impression that a prospective employer is going to get of you and you’re opportunity to show off your experience and skills.
Your CV should be a lot more than simply a list of where you’ve worked and what you had to do. It should be a concise account of experience and skills that you’ve gained from your previous employment, education and other activities.
Important things to remember:
- Include achievements! – Too often people simply write what their duties were but don’t write about what they achieved. This could be anything from implementing a new system, winning employee of the month or breaking a sales record.
- Keep it short – Your CV should be somewhere between one and two pages long. If it’s longer than that then have a read through it and ask yourself ‘is this relevant?’ and ‘will this help me?’ if the answer to either of these is ‘no’ then get rid of it. Don’t run the risk of the person reading getting bored and stopping before they get to the important bit.
- Layout is key – On average the person reading your CV will do so in approximately six seconds. It is therefore essential that the layout allows them to find the important information quickly. Make sure that at a glance the reader can immediately find where you’ve worked and what you’ve studied. Don’t miss out due to poor layout.
- Think about transferrable skills – You might feel that your time working in a bar or restaurant has nothing to do with the office job that you want. Different skills can be applied to different sectors and roles if demonstrated in the right manner. So you’re time working in a restaurant helped you learn how to deal with busy and high pressure situations, the fact that were left to handle money shows that you are trustworthy, the sports team you played for demonstrates teamwork and communication skills, the fact that you were made captain shows leadership skills. Think about the way that your past experience can work for you and how the skills that you developed can be transferred.
- Ensure that your CV is directed towards the jobs that you’re applying for – Too many candidates have a CV that they have used for years, for a variety of different jobs in different sectors and just add their most recent job on top. Think about the positions that you are applying for and the skills and experience that they are asking for and make sure that your CV has that information in it. Remember the people reading your CV will have so many of them that it’s really important to do what you can to stand out as the right person for the job.
There are a lot of jobs that don’t use CVs but prefer an application form. Fear not in this situation all your hard work will not have been for nothing. The information you’ve prepared will fit nicely into a section of that application form and having it prepared will mean it will be better worded and more relevant than it would be if written on the spot.
Never underestimate the importance of a well-written CV, it could be the difference between the interview pile and the bin.
Part 2 - 'Re-writing your cover letter' will be coming on Wednesday (8th January)