Writing a CV and going after that dream job can be overwhelming. Throw in writing a CV in COVID times and the pressure just cranked up to a whole other level. It’s crucial to remember that no one-size-fits-all, over-sharing isn’t necessary and you can tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for.
The mind is spinning? Here are some basic rules and tips to help you get that dream job.
How to Write A killer CV
Here are a few things you should always include.
- Personal details: a fairly obvious point but double-check you have included your name, email, contact phone number, and address. Don’t put ‘CV’ at the top as your title, put ‘YOUR NAME’. Which do you think will stand out more?
- Personal statement: who are you and what are you offering? Use this short paragraph to present yourself ‘in a nutshell’.
- Work experience: list your work experience with the most recent first. Include your job title and time in the position. Highlight your key skills such as technology platforms and systems. Quantify your achievements (such as ‘increased sales by 20% YoY through x,y,z).
- Achievements: demonstrate how you can add value beyond your job description. Include keywords to reference your achievements such as ‘highly organised’, ‘stakeholder management’, ‘built resilience’. Have you won awards? Have you sat on any committees? Demonstrating a life outside of the workplace is a hugely positive attribute.
- Over-sharing: gone are the days where we all listed our GCSE’s and A-Levels. Leave these out. Don’t include your date of birth, marital status, ethnicity, religion, or gender either. Your CV should be viewed purely on your credentials.
LinkedIn – The Best Profile for Job Seekers
When you’re looking for a job, it can be easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile. Don’t. In a previous era where we could all network this wasn’t so crucial. Now it’s crucial!
Here are a few tips for building the best LinkedIn profile for job seekers.
- Make it amazing. Put some time and effort into making it amazing. If you need help, reach out to us, we have some amazing LinkedIn sistrs who can walk you through your profile. What are your skills? Add keywords to your job title that are tailored to the job you are going after. A recruiter doesn’t want to see a lazy profile. They want a profile buzzing with energy and enthusiasm. So post, connect, engage, comment, and attend webinars. All this is visible to recruiters. Steer clear of the dodgy photos, save those for Facebook and Instagram!
- Customise your URL: don’t panic, this is easier than it sounds. Why customise? When you sign up to LinkedIn, you’re automatically given a combination of numbers as your URL. Wouldn’t it look much neater to have your own such as linkedin.com/yourname? Here’s how: Edit Profile / Public Profile URL (bottom of the gray window showing your basic info) / click Edit / write your choice / click Set Custom URL.
- Nail your headline: the common assumption is that your headline should be your job title. No. This is your chance to sell yourself. Make it snappy, punchy, and ‘this is me’.
- Make words count: go through the job description you’re going after and highlight the words that are jumping out. Descriptive words, skillsets, personality traits will all be scattered through a job description. Take those words and scatter them through your own LinkedIn profile.
Job Searching Tips.
What a total minefield of advice! Everyone is an expert suddenly aren’t they? Nobody needs to be overwhelmed when searching for a job. Let’s narrow it down for you and help you finetune your approach.
- Stand out from the crowd: the joys of modern technology mean that more often than not your initial application may be screened by some bot named ‘applicant tracking system’. Don’t be disheartened, consider it a challenge to beat the bot. Mirror the words and phrases in the job description. It’s not forgery, it’s clever. Highlight your strengths that are crucial to the role. Present yourself in a way that says ‘I know what you’re looking for and here’s what I’m going to walk into your office (virtual) and deliver’.
- Network offline, apply online: you’ve clicked submit and now you’re sitting staring at your inbox. Let’s step it up people! Don’t stop there, track down people within that company, approach them, say you’d like to ask a few questions. Step out of your comfort zone a little and get yourself on the radar of anyone who might potentially have a say in your potential interview.
- Approach a specialist recruiter: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Make yourself memorable and endearing. You want your name to be on the tip of their tongue when that dream job comes in.
How Can I Be Succesful in an Interview?
Congratulations! You’ve nailed your CV, spruced up LinkedIn, cruised through the initial application process and now the day has arrived. And you’re petrified! If you’re really petrified then it is absolutely possible to be coached to interview well, just give us the nod and we can set this up for you.
Here are a few tips to help you become a master of interviews.
- Choose your interview location: In the era of 2020 and a digital working world, it’s crucial you’re in a quiet place. Make sure the wifi connection is strong, your pets aren’t launching themselves onto your lap and, there’s a neutral background with good lighting.
- Pause and look: don’t be afraid to pause and take a breath. It’s easy to overtalk when you’re nervous so take a moment to compose yourself. Make eye contact with your interviewer. So many of us find this uncomfortable but try and maintain it as you’ll draw the person into what you’re saying.
- Prepare: pre-interview research is so important. Read LinkedIn profiles, research the Leadership team, and news articles. What are the company goals? What does the company stand for? You want to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the employer and impress them.
- Present a solution: a job vacancy presents a problem to employers so present yourself as the solution to their problem. Pitch yourself to the job you’re applying for, be wary of your time allowance and present yourself as the best fit within your time allowance.
- Be vulnerable: it’s absolutely fine to ask for advice in an interview! Share your admiration of their work, their role, the company, and ask them for advice on what skills do they think are crucial to succeed in that company. You’re buying yourself a little bit of breathing space whilst at the same time demonstrating how much you want to learn from someone already in place there.
Landing the perfect job is incredibly challenging. Whilst not every one of our points will work for every job opening, we hope that these tips provide useful insights for you. Our overriding message is to stay positive. If you take a knock, get back up, and start again. Take one lesson from the setback and use it to move forward.
Here at sistr, we’re bursting at the seams with people from all sorts of backgrounds and skill-sets. Our amazing sisters at Salt Recruitment are on hand to offer advice and that’s just one example of who can help you! Use us to expand your knowledge, scratch that itch, ask the question you’re too afraid to ask someone else, gather exposure and experience. Then go forth and make that job yours.