How to Write a Great CV

How to Write a Great CV

How to Write a Great CV

How to write a great CV

by Karin Singh 17/10/2017

How to write a great CV, I mean one that lands you straight away a job interview, is not something that many schools teach you. Job candidates tackle this challenge in different ways: getting books on CV writing, looking for good resume templates online, or approaching a career professional who helps them to promote themselves more effectively, in order to secure a job interview.

Bear in mind that every line in a CV should be relevant. This is particularly important if you have a long work history and you know that two pages for your CV is your limit. There are three different types of CVs: functional, chronological and a combination of both. Depending on your situation, you choose the most appropriate format, usually it’s the functional CV which is the most common and which lists your last job at the top.

What makes a great CV? These are the key parts that you should include in it.

 

# 1 – Your personal details. Don’t waste your first line of your CV by writing RESUME or CV, it’s already obvious what it is. Start straight with your name and in the second line mention your full address, email and phone number (if it all fits).

 

# 2 – Your career profile. This is a summary in which you can briefly summarize your key skills and experiences. Many job candidates mention also their career ambitions in this section, because they find this in so called “good resume templates”, which I personally consider as wrong. Why? Because it focuses on YOUR GOALS only and does not add any VALUE to the company. Think about it!

 

# 3 – Your work experiences – In this section you need to mention all your job titles, the companies’ names, the dates of your employment and your key responsibilities that you had in various companies. Bear in mind if you are very senior, that focus just on the last 10 years maximum.

Believe it or not, but when I’m reviewing job seekers CVs the first thing I’m looking for are ACHIEVEMENTS. That gives me the first impression on how professional and up-to-date a candidate is. Unfortunately, the number of people who are aware of the importance of mentioning achievements in their CVs is still small. Many still believe that an impressive CV means listing a lot of job responsibilities and tasks. But let’s be honest… how impressive is that really? Does it say something about how well someone performed their tasks? Absolutely not!

Thus, the only way to impress a Hiring Manager is to mention quantifiable results by showing the impact you had on the company’s success. Not inflated ones, but REAL ones. For example,

‘reduced costs by 25 %’ or ‘accelerated processes by 18 %’ or ‘won award for excellent customer service’.

You can formulate your achievements by looking at the beneficial result and what you did that made this happen. For example, ‘Improved customers experience and saved management time (beneficial result) by introducing an effective complaints escalation procedure (what you did)’.

Sadly, many statistics show that job seekers (desperately hoping to get a job interview) are lying in their CVs. Does it pay off? No, it backfires!

So, after listing your key responsibilities list your key achievements. It makes a huge difference! Recruiters love ACHIEVERS!  And be honest, please!

 

# 4 – Skills – List all the relevant skills and also the level of your proficiency. For example:

– Language skills: French: Fluent (written and spoken)

– IT skills: Microsoft Office: Word (advanced), Excel (intermediate), PowerPoint (basic)

– Soft Skills: Effective negotiation skills, impeccable communication skills, etc.  

 

# 5 – Education – Here focus on those educational certifications that really matter, e.g. a University Degree. If you wrote an interesting dissertation on a topic that might be highly relevant to the job you are applying to, don’t hold back, mention it! If you have additional industry-specific qualifications, add them as well. It all matters. Think ME – the brand.

 

# 6 – Interests – Mention your interests only if they are relevant to that particular job (e.g. if you have a blog and you apply for a Content Management job). If your interests are completely irrelevant, use that space in a different way to promote your skills and experiences instead.

 

# 7 – Other information – In this part you can add other information that you consider as relevant (eg. driving licence, your social media accounts, charity work, etc.)

 

It might seem obvious, however, many job seekers still get it wrong: by making grammar mistakes or typos, using different colours, not respecting any margins, not having a proper layout and showing some inconsistency in the presentation, not using proper headings, exceeding the 2 pages or focusing on irrelevant information. Don’t sabotage your own CV by making this kind of mistakes.

Follow this tips, don’t rely on good resume templates and ask people for their feedback and see whether there are any parts that need to be improved. Consider your CV as the only selling tool you have. Would you not want to make it a masterpiece?

 

by Karin Singh 17/10/2017

Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client or project is too big or too small for her.

Stop worrying. Start outsourcing! www.hirekarin.com

Karin Schroeck-Singh

www.hirekarin.com

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How to Write a Great Cover Letter

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

How to write a great Cover Letter

by Karin Singh 13/10/2017

Do cover letters still matter nowadays? YES! They are an additional tool that will help you to promote yourself more effectively when applying for a job. How to write a great cover letter? An interesting question! Every cover letter should include the following key ingredients: the company’s name and address, the date, a subject line, the salutation, the opening paragraph, the hook in which you highlight the reasons why you are the best candidate, the call for action (for the company, e.g. to invite you to the interview) and the closing paragraph.

First of all, make sure you personalise your cover letter 100% to the company and to the job. Don’t use the so called “good resume templates”. A recruiter can easily distinguish a standard letter from a customised one. You need to think that the company has a problem, a hiring problem! And you are not a job beggar but a problem solver, basically the company’s solution to their problem.

Now your challenge consists in writing a great cover letter, well formatted, with no mistakes and relevant information. Here are some smart steps that I would advise you to follow:

 

#1 – If you send your cover letter via email, make sure you don’t choose the traditional boring formulation in your subject line, such as ‘My application for Job ref. n. 3473’, instead think more creatively. I personally always write ‘10 Reasons why you should hire me as your (job position)’. What do you think gets more attention? You can use the same subject line in your cover letter, too. Think of your subject line as the headline of an article!

 

#2 – Address the hiring person by name (make sure you get the name right, otherwise your application might end up straight in the rejection pile!) and if you don’t know, call up the company and find out. It does make a difference, and by the way, everyone loves reading their name!

 

#3 – Forget writing in your first paragraph the date and source where you found the job and so on. Everyone does that! How boring and space wasting! Instead, grab the attention with a more creative start and try to convey your excitement and passion for this job, for joining this company and its team.

 

#4 – The next paragraph is the hook, this is the most crucial part in which you must focus on the reasons that make you the best candidate for this job. Look at the job description and the person specification details and explain how your education, qualifications, skills, experiences and motivation can add value to the company’s success. Avoid repeating the same qualities that the company mentions in their job ad, instead focus on few crucial job requirements and present relevant examples of your past performance with measurable results. If you tackle this part correctly, I bet you will get easily invited to a job interview. Recruiters love to hear past success stories, they want to hear relevant figures and the difference and impact you made on other companies. They assume that if you could achieve a certain success in the past for a company, you can achieve the same success (or even more) for their company too.

When it comes to closing your cover letter, differentiate yourself again from the crowd. Whenever I write my proposals or bids to clients I finish with “Enthusiastically” rather than ‘Yours sincerely’. Why doing always what others do? Think differently, stand out, be MEMORABLE!

Once you re-read your cover letter, ask yourself: Is every line that I wrote relevant and does it promote me effectively, or are there any weaknesses that need to be improved? 

Don’t hesitate to show your cover letter to others and listen to what their opinion is. It could be an eye-opening experience and really help you to succeed quicker in your job search.  

But also bear in mind that there are some recruiters who completely ignore cover letters. They think it’s a waste of time and thus, focus on reading the candidates’ CVs instead. Hence, make sure you have 2 impressive documents, your cover letter AND your CV.

 

 

Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client or project is too big or too small for her.

Stop worrying. Start outsourcing! www.hirekarin.com

Karin Schroeck-Singh

www.hirekarin.com

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10 Surefire Strategies to Reboot Your Career

10 Surefire Strategies to Reboot Your Career

10 Surefire Strategies to Reboot Your Career

10 Surefire Strategies to Reboot Your Career

by Bishwabandita Guru

There is no such term as a “job for life”.

When you join an organization, see yourself as a cultural fit, explore growth prospects and learning opportunities, you drive towards career progression. However, there may be some unanticipated transitions resulting from life-altering events like marriage and baby, lifestyle choice preference, relocation, lack of job satisfaction or job insecurity off late. Whatever may be the reason, you want to change career path – either within the organization or to a different one and try to reboot your career.

The prospect may seem challenging to begin with, but with right attitude and following through the below-mentioned strategies, you can nail on a job of your choice!

 

#1 WORK ON ROLES OF YOUR INTEREST

What you love about in your current or previous role? Which role impressed you the most? Which role do you feel you are good at? After a thorough reflection, filter opportunities for which the roles match your interest and you feel you can deliver well given a scope and then work on it.

 

#2 RE-ASSESS YOUR STRENGTHS AND SKILLS

As you know your present or previous job didn’t add much to the strength of your profile to display, it is time to evaluate your strengths and skills again. There are many online quiz platforms where you can reassess your skills and instantly check the results. If you lack anywhere, fix it. It will work as an added advantage to present yourself as a better version of you to recruiters.

 

#3 REMEMBER YOU ARE STARTING OVER

You may boss over many in your current or previous organization, but don’t forget that you are starting over when you are going for a reboot. It is never a pleasant experience for an experienced professional to start over. But if you are already laid off and want to change career path, you’ve hardly any option left with you. If you are working and trying a switch due to the obvious circumstances, the idea of starting over shouldn’t come as a shock to you. Starting over may sound intimidating, but with right attitude and diligence you can gain back the recognition you deserve at your new workplace.

 

#4 STAY POSITIVE

Finding a job especially when you are fired by your previous employer is no cakewalk. It requires persistent job search trials and timely follow ups. Stay positive throughout the journey. Practice positive thinking to keep yourself in the right frame of mind. Praise yourself for taking such a courageous stand to change your job which many people dread to take.

 

#5 NETWORK HARD

You can’t afford to ignore the power of networking if you want to change career path. Don’t shy away from calling your friends and colleagues for help and support. Call on your network and let them know that you are in the market for new opportunities. Expand your network on twitter, linkedin and other social media networks and use your own strategies to connect with prospective employers and recruitment consultants. If the power of social media unleashed to the extreme, you may even land your dream job.

 

#6 STAY REALISTIC, ADAPTABLE AND FLEXIBLE

You are in a new economic reality where adaptability is the name of the game. You broaden your chances to land a job when you stay adaptable and flexible. As you are in a career reboot mode, it is advisable not to have unrealistic expectations from your prospective employer.

 

#7 SELL YOURSELF

Impress Hiring Managers with your skill and competency. Be smart enough to drift their queries from general questions to your fitness for the job role. Sell yourself and show that you have the ability, energy, excitement and passion necessary for the job role. You’ll have to work a little smarter than your counterparts to show that you fit into the scene. So do homework on how you want to be perceived. Then it is all about executing it.

 

#8 LEARN AND STAY UPDATED

Knowledge is power. Join online courses that improve your understanding on your area of expertise. A huge array of online courses is designed especially for working professionals to help them keep abreast of the latest updates. If you make use of these opportunities you can have an edge over your counterparts in the interview process.

 

#9 CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY

While searching for a new job, always be prepared about what should be the response when the question comes on firing. Remarks like ‘differences of opinion’, ‘differences in work ethics’ or ‘downsizing’ can be explanatory. After all, getting fired is not a crime and you can always have a better and positive response ready with you.

 

#10 BECOME A STUDENT OF THE PROCESS

The most important thing job seekers that want to change career path need to do is to become students of the process. We must not forget that change is the only constant thing that happens in the universe and we live in a constant state of reboot. This is not a single event of its type. Come may more to face. So it is advisable to be brave enough to tackle the situation and drive it in a positive direction. Broadly there are two ways to deal with. Either you let your fear swallow you or let your hope ride on you. Job search is a fulltime job if you do it right. Also it may be time consuming. Just frustration, humiliation or depression during the process shouldn’t let you down.

 

By implementing creative job search best practices, proper networking and listening to experts you can get back on your feet and land a job of your choice. But if at all you don’t get any, there are still plenty of opportunities to reboot your career. You can become a consultant, start your own business and create your own opportunities. Never let your hope die.

Bishwabandita Guru is a seasoned HR Professional and presently the Founder of “HR-Revamped”, a Startup Co., that provides strategic HR solutions to SMEs pan India. She is a Freelance Business Content Writer and Author of two books on HRM titled as “THE ULTIMATE QUOTEBOOK FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGERS” and “DEMYSTIFYING THE HR JARGON WAGON”. After an MBA in HR, she is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Human Resource Management. Her public profiles can be accessed on the following links:

Bishwabandita Guru

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