I have been involved in recruitment for over 10 years and the thing that I still find difficult to understand is candidates use of clichéd words or phrases when they are trying to write a CV that will help them to stand out from the crowd?!!
There are many words / phrases that get shoe-horned into CV's because they worked for someone a generation ago, because that's what everyone writes or because, and lets be totally honest about this, people don't spend the time to think about a better, more unique, more personal way of saying it.
You can imagine the recruiters worst nightmare; 200 CV's to sift through to select candidates for interview, trying to find the real person in each one, trying to read into the wording to find out who they are and what they can offer and everyone, one after the other, uses the following words and phrases...it becomes like a never ending CV ground hog day.....
1. Successful (successfully)
2. I can work well individually or in a team
3. I work well under pressure
4. I consistently hit my targets
5. Passion (passionate)
7. I am looking to develop my career
8. Fast learner
9. Hard worker
10. etc etc
There are ways to find a new a more individual way to describe you, what you have done and how well you have done it.
· Try not repeating the same word or phrase at all in the CV, that automatically brings variety
· Try using a Thesaurus and find a few new words that can make your CV m ore interesting, varied and memorable
· Actually read your CV out loud before you send it anyone; does it sound boring and repetitive and run of the mill to you? If it does then change it.....
How much better would the above sound with a little thought...how much more of a pleasant experience would it be for the recruiter if candidates weren't just reeling off lines that careers advisor's, parents or friends had told them would 'work.' If everyone thinks they will then we are back to the beginning because they won't.
Branding you through your CV is becoming as sophisticated as product branding - people don't just buy washing powder these days because it gets clothes clean and smells nice..you get the idea...
You are unique - allow your CV to show that uniqueness in your choice of language and phraseology....make your CV one that I (we) will remember rather than one that anyone could have written....
Returning to work after any sort of break be it parenthood, studying, illness, sabbatical or unemployment is not easy and sure we all have doubts about how we will make the transistion and whether we will be able to find and keep the kind of job that we want.
These doubts are perfectly natural and understandable but ultimately they are a burden and they need to be understood, managed and controlled for you to move forwards.
So where do you start?
Well I think Step One must be to make sure that you are ready. Being ready is not just about wanting to get back into work or indeed needed to; being ready is about the preparation you need to go through to ensure that you are going to be confident and successful and this bit is about you and no-one else.
Have you reviewed your CV or have you got one from three years ago that ‘will do’? Well for starters it won’t do and by ignoring your CV, which is the most crucial key to opening career doors, then you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage compared to other candidates that do understand its power and are working hard to use it.
So why don’t you want to tackle the CV issue? Are you concerned about the gap, worried that the job you are looking for now does not sit well with the work you did in the past, anxious that your technology skills have not kept pace with the market or are you simply unsure what a CV should look like in 2013?
All are easily answered and managed. Your CV is your flier advertising the brand of you and you can read more detail about this in earlier blogs I have written but let’s focus here on you being comfortable with the gap and not allowing it to be an unexplained black hole in your career development or something that you are somehow not able to explain or indeed celebrate.
Developing more knowledge and skills, becoming a parent, overcoming illness or doing something different for a while are all part of who you are and being comfortable in including that time in your CV and explaining it to potential employers is key to you being ready to get out there and get a job that you want. So get started. Think about the positives; what you have learned about yourself and how you have grown and celebrate them.
Once you are comfortable that you don’t need to excuse yourself about your recent work history and that it can be integrated with your past career history and your personal brand then you can start looking outwards.
Are your skills sufficient for what you want to do? Is the job market healthy in the areas you want to work, are you being realistic? Setting yourself up for more disappointment by not researching carefully and being honest about what you can do and what you want to do can be a big mistake.
All of the confidence that you have built up and the energy that you have to invest might be wasted on making many applications for roles that just don’t suit you or which might not exist. Knowing the market is key and that takes time on line and talking to experts to achieve.
Getting out there! Now that you know that you have a researched and achievable job target and you have a CV that you are proud of you need to sign up to on-line job sites,–post your CV and let people find you as well as finding them through recruitment agencies, job sites and adverts for vacancies.
Dressing the part and feeling the part are both key to you being successful. That personal brand and confidence that I talked about needs to be expressed physically as well as in your mind and employers respond to confident body language and candidates that speak with confidence and purpose and even if you don’t feel it sometimes you need to ‘fake it to make it.’
We can help with all of these stages if you need us but more important than that is your own self-belief and positivity because good things happen to candidates who know themselves and the market and get out there and make things happen.
Returning to work can be a fresh opportunity to reinvent and re energise your career; so good luck with it and let us know if some one to one coaching or a place on our career boot camp days would help !
We offer one to one coaching sessions specifically focused on where you feel currently ‘stuck’ in your career and what you want to achieve next and then we help you to identify how realistic your goals are and then work with you to develop a plan and put the skills in place to help you to achieve your goals.
We use traditional coaching methods and also when appropriate we can implement Emotional Intelligence
exploration, a Personal Brand review and practical one-to-one sessions on interview preparation, CV writing and
Who is it for?
This is useful for job seekers, people recently made redundant, students beginning the process of thinking about their career, graduates seeking elusive jobs, people wanting to carve out a career in a new industry, those returning to a career after a break and for people who simply want to do a ‘career audit’ to establish their next
How many sessions will it take?
Of course everyone is different but in our experience it really depends on what needs fixing. A simple review session and some strategy work involving applications and a CV rewrite can take perhaps 2 or 3 sessions whereas if you are looking for a complete career change or need to review and explore your past experience and focus them into your future planning then maybe 5 or 6 sessions might be right but we will,
of course, tailor our approach to your genuine needs. The success of our work always depends on you.
Take a look at our on-line booking system for Career Coaching Clinic slots!
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