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Tips, Views & News

Catching the recruiter’s eye

Jun 13, 2013

Your CV is one of the most important documents you will ever write.  It has a key role to play in getting you a job that will be a stepping stone to a better future.   So it crucial to bear in mind that it is not – as the literal meaning suggests – the story of your life.   It is a marketing document.   As with all marketing documents its prime intention is to awaken the interest of the buyer – the recruiter – in what you have to offer.   And the recruiter will make that decision in less than 30 seconds.    So how do you ensure that your CV lands on the short list rather than the “No thank you” pile? Here are a few tips: ·         Use plain white paper and an 11 or 12 sans serif font.   You may think a fancy font makes your CV stand out.  Instead it annoys.  For emphasis use bold or italic but don’t overdo it. ·         Check for spelling and grammatical errors.  Then ask a friend or family member to check again. ·         Make the contents easier to read by splitting the information you are listing into blocks with headings. ·         A long list of jobs or even tasks is insufficient.   Highlight achievements and the underlying skills. ·         Provide evidence for those skills.  “Good communicator” is simply not enough.  With whom do you communicate?  What kind of information do you communicate? What are the results of that communication? ·         Provide some figures.  If you claim to have increased sales show by how much.   Give some indication of the size of the companies you have worked for in terms of turnover and staff levels. ·         Explain any gaps in your employment record. ·         Leave your photograph in the album.  Recruiters try to ignore photographs because they feel they may give an unfair advantage. And if you are contacting recruitment consultants remember their remit is not to get you a job.   It is to find suitable candidates for the vacancy they are being paid by the employer to fill.   So make sure the skills, expertise and achievements you list mirror those of the job on offer.  Key words are a vital tool for that so make sure you analyse the details of the job for which you are applying.  Underline the key words and then use them in the CV you submit. Following these tips will not guarantee you an interview.  There are too many variables for that.  And in a competitive marketplace that has to make...

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Planning Your Career Change

Apr 22, 2013

 If opportunities in your field are thin on the ground a career change may seem the only option.  But in today’s economic climate planning a change of job presents a challenge. Planning a change of career may seem like climbing a mountain.    That said the ability to manage change is a very marketable competence so demonstrating it in your approach to developing your career is a good tactic.     A starting point is to put together a structure around which your career change can be planned and organized.   Here is an outline to help your thinking:-     Even if you are feeling pretty negative about your current situation a desire to change your career is a sign that you are still developing as a person so approach it in a positive frame of mind.   Develop an understanding of yourself and what you have to offer in the job market.   That will be a combination of core attributes, which come from your personality, learned skills and knowledge plus experience.  Then group those into a Competencies Profile that illustrates expertise and presents your USP.   Have your eyes on the horizon but your feet on the ground and temper aspiration with realism.  If your ambition is to work in – say – marine zoology but you dream of living in the Swiss Alps you might just end up with some complicated logistical problems.   Carry out some simple market research to identify jobs that “spark” you. Then analyze what the recruiter is looking for.   That will give you some idea of the gaps between where you are now and where you would like to be.     Then think in terms of stepping stones to enable you to bridge those gaps.   Now sort out your marketing plan in which your CV will be a tactical tool that is a pointer towards the future rather than merely a list of tasks you have performed in the past.   Of course this will take time, but that time will be an investment in your future. Surely you deserve that!      ...

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Mar 12, 2013

Interview ambushes come in all shapes and sizes. “Now tell us about yourself” is one of them. So, if you have an interview, make sure you have a good idea of what to say if you are faced with this. And if you need any help with your preparation, just contact us.

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