Career Blog

Dressing for work Do’s and don’ts

by champions 15/06/2016 0 comments

Struggling to get your work wear right? Accent Clothing have created this handy guide just for you…

We know all too well just how confusing it can be trying to pair outfits together for that important new job, especially with vague terms like “business casual” and “smart” floating around.

What you wear to work can be just as important as your interview prep. It will define your first impression, one that counts. It’s what will surmise you as a person yet also project a professional attitude without you even having to say one word.

It’s a daunting thing, so we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to and created an ultimate guide of do’s and don’ts for work wear.

Keep it classic

The classic suit is an ideal staple.

Trousers are typically perfect if you want to play it safe. Mix texture tailoring has been key this year so feel free to mix it up. Guys, dress like a man, not a boy. Ladies, if you’re questioning “Is it too short?” it probably is! Knee length is the safest option if you’re fancying dresses/skirts or mix it up with bang on trend culottes.

Keep it comfy

Try and avoid anything being too tight. We know you’re proud of your new beach ready gym body, but the whole office doesn’t need to see it. You will also avoid any risk of embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions that will give a nickname even worse to shake off than the “Newbie”.

Use colour

Express your personality but keep it simple! Accessories are a safe option that can be removed if you feel uncomfortable or out of place. Pick a couple of your favourite pieces of minimal jewellery though, too many of your festival bands you’ve collected over the years can be a bit of a distraction.

Coloured shirts or bags are an easy option but also don’t be afraid to showcase your personality through coloured basic pieces. Nothing says confidence like a bold splash of colour accentuated with traditional tailoring. If in doubt, a white shirt always hits the button.

Prepare

Be appropriate, be intuitive and always prepare. Depending on the job, you will have some essential requirements to meet.

Each role will be unique. So if your job is outside or quite physical, think about comfortable footwear that’s not going to hold you back.

If it’s office-wear, you ladies can go for a heel if you want, but nothing above 2-3 inch, and a wedge is even better as it’ll avoid the frustrating ‘clip clop’ around the office. For the fellas opt for a classic formal shoe. You need to be able to walk and feel confident in yourself. A shoe polish and wipe wouldn’t go a miss either, no scuffs or mucky heels please.

Hair cut 100

Your hair is your biggest accessory so use it to your advantage. Keep it fairly simple, nothing too colourful, backcombed or spikey as you want to look approachable not scary. Make sure your hair isn’t in your face and is not messy in appearance. Simple says sophistication but you don’t need to be boring either.

Bare essentials

Make-up wise, go minimal and opt for a natural colour base. Apply foundation and blusher lightly and make sure your lipstick is not too bright. An overpowering look may be off-putting; you don’t want to look like Coco the Clown and it’s what you say that needs to be the focus, not the amount of make up on your face.

Keep it covered

The number one golden rule of dressing for work is to not reveal too much skin. You want to be taken seriously and for people to look at you and listen, not to just focus on your…ahem, assets.

So ladies keep the cleavage under control and those thigh high split skirts in the weekend wardrobe. Men keep the shirts buttoned up and if it gets warm go for a shorter sleeve. Smart casual shirt attire with tailored trousers can always be pulled off for the right situation too.

Make the right statement

We’d advise that it’s best to steer clear of the slogan Tee’s and smutty comments, although it might have been funny at the pub, this is a whole new environment and you are out to set a good, solid and lasting impression.

Too much pattern going on can be overwhelming at the best of times, never mind in the workplace. Garish colours can be clashing and also distracting depending on how you put it together. You can showcase your flamboyant side other than wearing your marvel comic three piece suit combo. Too much of everything and you could end up being labelled as the ‘office weirdo’.

Little touches

Yes, we said little. It’s nice to make a subtle impact and obviously ensure you are clean and smell good on a daily basis, but don’t overwhelm your co-workers nostrils with gallons of Chanel. They won’t thank you for it! Stick to fresh clean smells that suit the season or just your signature scent but don’t go overboard.

By Grace Wood is the marketing manager for Accent Clothing.

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11 CV Factors To Write A Better CV

by champions 31/05/2016 0 comments

If time spent writing your CV is really just time spent staring at a blank screen, you’re not alone, we’ve been there too.

There are no two ways about it – condensing all of your skills and experience into one slick document can be challenging. We aren’t born knowing how to write a great CV, so it’s up to you to find out for yourself how to get the basics right. From font size and format to photos and filling in the gaps, there is a certain etiquette that should rarely be broken. Recruiters and employers receive constant streams of applications – don’t let a basic mistake send yours straight to the bottom of the pack.

StandOut CV has created an infographic to answer 11 crucial questions. Here’s our recap:

1. How long should a CV be?

When it comes to length, try to think of your CV as a tasty appetiser that will get people coming back for more. It should be around 2 pages long to ensure that you get your message across quickly, without dragging on like an old encyclopaedia, boring employers and recruiters.

If you feel your experience is as good as gold (and listing it all will make you a shoe-in for the job), don’t worry too much about going over. Just be sure to keep it at 3 pages or less.

2. What do employers look for in a CV?

They want someone who has the right skills and knowledge to do the job at hand, so these need to come across in your CV. If you have the exact experience they are looking for, make sure it is clear – don’t make them have to read between the lines or join the dots. Spell everything out for them. If you don’t have the perfect profile for the role but know you can do it, highlight your transferrable skills. It’s always important to research your target roles beforehand to find out exactly what they are looking for in an applicant.

3. What font should I use in my CV?

The saying ‘keep it simple stupid’ exists for a reason and is definitely a principle that applies here. Forget cursive text that makes your CV look like an excerpt from Tom Riddle’s diary, and best you steer clear of Webdings altogether. Nice symbols, though. Use a simple font that looks professional and is easy for recruiters and employers to read. Size matters too – you can’t go wrong if you stick around the 10/12pt mark.

4. Should I include a photo on my CV?

Generally speaking, your best Blue Steel needn’t grace its presence on your CV. Unless you are applying for an acting or modelling job (which would most likely specifically request photographs), there is no need to include one on your CV. It will take up space that could be better used with text that demonstrates the value of hiring you. Show them how you’re so much more than just a pretty face.

5. Do I include all of my experience on my CV?

You should include all of your experience on your CV for transparency, but older or irrelevant roles can be shortened down to brief summaries. All of your previous roles were NOT created equal. It is important to bring out the most relevant points and let other bits take the backseat.

6. Should I include my date of birth on my CV?

Age is only a number, right? Employers do not make recruitment decisions based on a candidate’s age, so there’s no need to include your date of birth.

7. Should I hide employment gaps on my CV?

Take the guesswork out of your CV. You don’t want recruiters or employers scratching their heads trying to fill the gaps themselves, so if you have long periods of unemployment you should be up front and explain them. Keep this short and sweet, after all, it’s just to let them know what was keeping you occupied during that time. Ideally use constructive reasons such as personal projects, study or travelling.

8. Should I include interests on my CV?

As a general rule, only include interests if they are relevant to the roles you are applying for and will make a positive impact on your applications. If you feel including your passions or pastimes adds to the profile you want to show your employer, put them in, but don’t get too carried away. Always keep it as professional as possible.

9. Do I need a cover letter?

Typing a persuasive, personalised cover letter shows you are serious about your career and the opportunity.  It should paint a clear picture of who you are and what you are looking for, and why you want to engage in further conversation.

10. Should I include references in my CV?

Employers won’t contact references until they have intentions of potentially offering you the job. You don’t need to list them on your CV, instead a one-liner like ‘references available upon request’ will do the trick.

11. What if I have no experience?

Everyone has to start somewhere, so no need to worry if this sounds like you. This is where you need to bring out everything you have done, that will set you up for success in the working world. Think training, education, high school pursuits, extra projects, charity or volunteer work, etc.

11 CV questions

By  Phoebe Spinks

Phoebe is the editor of Undercover Recruiter & Senior Account Executive at Link Humans.

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Why Freelance Workers Will Soon Outnumber Employees

by champions 27/05/2016 0 comments

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away …

All right, not that long ago in a country right here in the U.S. …

Freelancing and temporary work was the norm up until the late 19th century. Most employment outside farming was in manufacturing, and it was mainly temporary. In 1910 half the workers in production jobs were independent contractors.

Starting around the 1880s, companies started to bring together large workforces, and created more structured jobs. Wage controls during the world wars resulted in large benefit programs being created. With unions a rising force, laws were created to promote stability. It was all one big happy family until the 1970s, when globalization and economic downturns forced companies to seek more flexibility and better control of labor costs. Unions had gone the way of the Sith at the end of Episode VI, so there wasn’t much resistance to the outsourcing of work.

Is freelancing right for you – Savanna recruitment

There are now over 54 million freelance workers in America. The number increased by 700,000 from 2014 to 2015. One in three Americans has done some freelance work in the last year. A study by Intuit estimates that by 2020 the number of freelancers will grow to about 60 million — or about 40 percent of the private workforce. Freelancers cover a wide spectrum — from unskilled labor to high-level professionals. An articlein Harvard Business Review describes “Supertemps” — freelancers who manage high-powered projects forFortune 500 companies and advise executives on operational issues, change management, and mergers.

A New Hope

Given current trends, freelancers will exceed employees in another 20 years. What’s driving this shift to a world where freelancers dominate are two factors. The first is the ease of finding freelance work. The second is economic reality — a survey by the Freelancers Union found that the majority (60 percent) of freelancers who left traditional employment now earn more than they did as employees.

The gig economy is thriving because it’s increasingly easy for freelancers to connect with those who need their services. Sites like Guru and eLance have been around for a while, but more recently sites like HourlyNerd have emerged to match companies with freelancers. Specialized sites like Handy connect customers with home help. Contently matches writers with businesses and Tongal does the same for video makers. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk allows businesses to find workers to complete specific tasks not easily handled by technology — such as flagging objectionable content on websites or composing text messages. Students are finding summer jobs using sites like TaskRabbit, Instacart, and Postmates to deliver groceries or do tech work, instead of working for neighbors.

jobdepository.co.uk

Freelance work can be very satisfying. The survey by the Freelancers Union found that for half of freelancers, no amount of money could make them quit freelancing for a traditional job with an employer. As one respondent put it: “Because it’s a job on my terms, I can do it at all times of the day, on weekends … I am not bound by a single location.” The tradeoff is security, but with employment-at-will, job security doesn’t mean much anyway. Given the ease with which an employee can lose their job, the concept of having a “permanent” job is somewhat illusory. The growth of the freelance workforce is just wider acknowledgement and acceptance of that fact.

angelwingshealthcare.co.uk

The Phantom Menace

There’s a lot of hand wringing going on about the growth of freelancing work. Politicians are claiming that the increasing popularity of freelancing work is endangering stability for all workers and demanding more regulation. Might as well start a petition for Disney to bring Jar Jar Binks back. Their lack of faith is disturbing. The trends driving these changes in the workforce will not be reversed. Globalization will not stop, and technology will only make it easier to bring together talent with the demands of business on an as-needed basis. The movie industry has been operating this way for over 50 years. What’s needed is a change in laws that allow freelancers to have the same rights and benefits as employees, mainly healthcare and retirement.

Continue to grow, the freelance workforce will. But if there are more people happier with their work and making more money, then what’s not to like?

By Raghav Singh has developed and launched multiple software products and held leadership positions at several major recruiting technology vendors. His career has included work as a consultant on enterprise HR systems and as a recruiting and HRIT leader at several Fortune 500 companies. He is currently VP of product management at 1-Page.

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Interview: 5 Questions You Should Be Asking In Your Job Interviews

by champions 24/05/2016 0 comments

Asking questions in a job interview signals many positive things to a potential employer: that you’re intelligent, that you really are interested in this job, that you are motivated, and that you think critically. And, asking questions gives you information that helps you deliver better answers yourself. It’s also a good idea to ask questions for the simple reason that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Plenty of people have made mistakes in taking a job that turned out to be a bad decision. Always be ready with questions to ask.

What questions should you be asking in your job interviews?

“Why is this job available?”

You want to know what happened to the previous occupant. Were they promoted? Were they fired? Finding out what happened to them and why can tell you a lot about how you might fare in the role.

“What qualities would an ideal person for this job have?”

It’s not scary to ask about their wish list for a perfect candidate. They already have this list in their minds, and it isn’t always in the job description. When you know what’s on that list, too, you can begin to point out the qualities that you have that line up with their list. In the end, you will deliver better, more targeted interview answers than you could without knowing the answer to this question.

“What are the biggest challenges of the job?”

This answer will tell you what’s most important to this hiring manager (your future boss) and give you big clues about what you need to mention in subsequent answers about the job. It may also tell you what issues you’re letting yourself in for if you take the job.

“What do you like or dislike about working for this company?”

You can read for hours about a company online, but there’s nothing like speaking to someone who actually works there. They may tell you something you didn’t know that makes the job either more attractive or less, and their answer may also tell you if you’re going to be a good cultural fit for this company.

Jobboss.co.uk

“Based on our conversation, are you confident that I’m someone who can meet the challenges of this job?”

With this question, you are asking if you’ve done what you needed to do in the interview: convince them you are a great fit for the job. If they say “Yes,” you can go home and rest easy, because you know that they are telling everyone they want to hire you. If they say “No,” then you know you have a little more work to do before you go. (If you leave them with doubts, you almost certainly won’t get the job.) Find out what their objection is, and maybe you can overcome it and save your job offer.

*Remember: While it’s always a good idea to ask questions in an interview, be sure to never, ever ask about salary, health insurance, vacations, flextime, or any other benefit—it only makes them feel negatively about you and your motivations for wanting the job. It also takes away from your time to sell yourself for the job so that they do make you an offer. After you get the offer is when you begin negotiating compensation.

By Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.

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Create Your Own Career Development Plan In 3 Steps

by champions 13/05/2016 0 comments

If you’re pondering how you’re going to get where you want to be, there are some simple steps you can take that will help you create your own career development plan. Let’s not be confused by the word “simple.”

Sometimes the simplest of concepts or steps can be tough to do because they require some thinking and some effort. Yet, your think time and effort are an investment in your future and happiness, which make it all very worthwhile.

Career Development Plan In 3 Steps

How to figure out what’s next for your career – job champions

Step 1: Figure Out Your Destination

As with all efforts, you must be clear about your direction when you create your own career development plan. You don’t take a road trip without knowing where you want to end up. You also don’t need to overly complicate this task. I think the following questions are helpful in thinking out your destination.

Where do you want your career to be in two years?

  • I like this question because this window is close enough to your current reality that it is easy to visualize.

Where do you want your career to be in five years?

  • If you see that your two-year goal is merely a step in an overall direction, then this question helps you define a longer term goal. Sometimes it’s difficult to see that far out in time, as life and opportunities present themselves and can cause you to reset your plans. That’s okay, but it’s good to be looking “two steps ahead.”

What makes these targets resonant for you?

  • Don’t make a goal just for the sake of making one. You need a goal that really rings your chimes and helps to motivate you into action. If you’re making a goal based on what someone else wants, it also isn’t going to be that compelling for you. Being clear on your direction means being clear that this direction is inspiring and motivational and knowing what is driving you to it.

Step 2: Do A Gap Analysis

A gap analysis is where you figure out the differences in the qualifications between where you are right now and your two-year goal or next step.

Using a job posting or job description for the position you are aiming at is a good way to get specific information about the skills and experience that are expected. I think it is good to get more than one job description (perhaps one with your company and one with a competitor) in order to ensure you aren’t missing any key items during your analysis.

Go through the job description line item by line item and rate your current state of skills, education, or experience to what is listed. Your rating system can be as simple as 1-10, with ten a perfect match and one being completely missing. As you rate, make notes about your thinking for future reference.

Once you have completed this exercise, identify all of the items where there is anywhere from a fair amount to a substantial amount of development that is needed. Look for commonalities and clump those together as a category. You will discover that there will be themes to your gaps.

Also, don’t get too compulsive about where you don’t think you’re a perfect match but think you have fairly developed skills. If they are mostly present, they will make you a competitive candidate and shouldn’t require too much development attention.

You now have a list of development items.

Step 3: Create Your Development Plan

You are now fully armed with a clear two-year goal and all the details of where and what you need to develop to get you where you want to go. Your plan will be best if you can consult with your boss and/or a mentor to help you with ideas of how to get the skills you need to add.

There may need to be some logical order to a few of the items on your list. Sometimes you need to do X before you can do Y. Make these among the highest priority items so you can accomplish these things and move on to others.

Usually there are multiple ways of accumulating the needed skills.  You may also want to have multiple ways of beefing up your skill set to add depth to it.  An example is if you want to move to a project management position, you may want to get certification and also to ask for project responsibilities.  Initially, these may be small, which are fine; they will give you an opportunity to grow and learn.

You may need to research various ways to get the skills you need. Once done, it will give you ideas on how you can approach these items.

You need dates. You need to keep yourself accountable to your plan; and the best way to do that is to give yourself a “start by” date. You can’t predict how long or how much work you will have to do in order to develop the skill at the level you need, but you do have control over the action you take to get started.

Keep track. You need to pay attention to your plan a minimum of twice per year. This will allow you to stay focused on your progress and remind you of next steps.

Career development is the sort of thing that you can easily forget about until you wake up one day to realize you have gone nowhere and aren’t having fun. You are responsible for where you go in your career. With a little bit of planning you can accomplish great things.

By Dorothy Tannahill-Moran

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, founder of New Chapter New Life, is a career coach, speaker and author. Download her e-workbook called, Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Build the Perfect LinkedIn Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]

by champions 09/05/2016 0 comments

Got a LinkedIn profile? Congrats. Now you’re only competing for attention with another 400+ million users. By putting some time into building your profile, you can stand out from the crowd and we’ve put some of our tips into the infographic below. You may or may not reach perfection but hopefully you’ll get some ideas.

Takeaways:

  • Start with a good picture. People like visuals on your profile and your professional photo is the most important one.
  • People outside your network can’t see your contact details so make sure to put them in your summary.
  • Keep things fresh by doing regular status updates, share interesting and useful content.

By Arthur Habrial 

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25 Job Skills That Can Get You Hired in 2016

by champions 06/05/2016 0 comments

LinkedIn skills. LinkedIn endorsements. Do they actually matter or are they just there to look pretty on your profile?

One way they can come in handy is by looking at the data around what skills are most in demand around the globe with employers.

LinkedIn identified the 25 hottest skills that got people hired, globally and in 10 countries, by analysing all of the hiring and recruiting activity that occurred on LinkedIn in 2015. You’ll notice that tech and IT skills are very much in demand across the world.

The skills globally:

  1. Cloud and distributed computing
  2. Statistical analysis and data mining
  3. Marketing campaign management

Top skills in Australia:

  1. Statistical analysis and data mining
  2. Middleware and integration software
  3. SEO/SEM marketing

Top skills in Canada:

  1. Statistical analysis and data mining
  2. Middleware and integration software
  3. Storage systems and management

Top skills in France:

  1. Cloud and distributed computing
  2. Statistical analysis and data mining
  3. SEO/SEM marketing

Top skills in Germany:

  1. Cloud and distributed computing
  2. Electronic and electrical engineering
  3. SEO/SEM marketing

Top skills in India:

  1. Cloud and distributed computing
  2. Statistical analysis and data mining
  3. Storage systems and management

Top skills in the United Kingdom:

  1. Statistical analysis and data mining
  2. Middleware and integration software
  3. Web architecture and development frameworks

Top skills in the United States:

  1. Cloud and distributed computing
  2. Statistical analysis and data mining
  3. Mobile development

By Jörgen Sundberg

Lord of the Dance at Link Humans, a social and digital marketing agency in London.

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Cover Letter Trends For 2016

by champions 13/04/2016 0 comments

Microsoft published an interesting study in May documenting research on how our attention spans have changed over the past several years. In 2000 we had a 12-second attention span—which dropped to a mere eight-second attention span by 2013. We now have a one-second-shorter attention span than that of a goldfish. Let that sink in for a minute…What influence does our ever-shrinking attention span ultimately have on our job searches—and our cover letters? What are the repercussions? It means the cover letter as we know it traditionally is dead.

The Old Cover Letter:

  • Makes up an entire page in length, is too long to fit on a mobile device screen without having to scroll, uses multiple paragraphs, and is text-dense.
  • Has a lengthy introduction with 3-5 sentences on how they found out about the position, what they do, and their interest in the opportunity.
  • It has a 2-3 paragraph body that elaborates on experience in the industry or position; may list a few experiences or accomplishments and the connection to why they want the opportunity or feel they’re a great fit.
  • Closes with reiterating why they’re a good fit, restates interest, may share contact information or offer to follow up.

The New Cover Letter – Also Referred To AS An E-Note, Power Note, Or Value Proposition Letter:

2016 Cover Letter Trend #1: The Shrinking Attention Span

Not only have our shrinking attention spans changed the way we consume information, but our brains are changing—and it’s affecting more than just how we use our mobile devices or consume content online. It’s changing the landscape of how we job search and demanding we communicate only the most vital information in the most concise way possible.

It’s creating a real dilemma for those who don’t consider themselves to be professional writers, or who have a hard time writing about themselves, or who find it hard to spare everything but the details. So what’s a job seeker to do? First and foremost…forget the traditional cover letter as you know it. Consider it a part of the past, and let’s move on to better strategies for job searching.

2016 Cover Letter Trend #2: Easily Readable On Mobile Devices

Cover letters—which I’ll now refer to as e-notes, power notes, or value proposition letters—must meet the demand of an increasingly mobile device-dependent audience. Your e-note, which is essentially the e-mail that your resume is attached to, should be short and fit on a single screen. Don’t expect to be able to write an incredibly concise e-note with your first draft. Go through and write your first version, and then go back and edit. Aim to use fewer than 150 words so that the entire text will be optimized to fit on a mobile screen without any scrolling.

2016 Cover Letter Trend #3: Give Them Space

When you’re writing your e-note be sure to incorporate plenty of white space. Using white space in your e-note will make the content more easily digestible by the reader. Consider the impact Twitter has had on our entire generation! We’re forced to say what we want to say in 140 characters or less—but the brilliance behind it is that Twitter had the foresight to know that their audience’s attention span was short, and they wanted to accommodate it. Whether your audience’s attention span is short, or they’re just pressed for time, use Twitter’s 140-character limit as your guide and create shorter sentences.

2016 Cover Letter Trend #4: Engage Or Fascinate Your Reader

When we teach job seekers how to write a Value Proposition Letter we advise them to always start with an interesting question or fascinating fact. For instance, my value proposition letter might start out by saying:

Are you a busy CEO with no time to write your resume?

Or it might say:

Are you a time-pressed executive being vetted for an opportunity that requires a resume yesterday?

Notice how I’m targeting my audience? Busy CEOs and time-pressed executives—while I’m also addressing their problem; they need a resume NOW—and they don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Start your e-note, power note, or value proposition letter the same way. Speak to your audience, ask a question or state an engaging fact that relates to them and their most pressing need. You always want to speak to the need.

2016 Cover Letter Trend #5: You’re The Answer

Once you’ve touched on the need or the problem they have, show them how you’re the answer! How are you the solution to your problem?

For example you could use three short bullets with provable results:

My clients enjoy results like these:

  • In two weeks or less my clients are interviewing.
  • Their resume response rate increases by 75%.
  • 85% are employed in three months or less, obliterating the average job seeker’s search time by more than 50%.

Then you could tie the problem and how you’re the solution into your brand and what you do:

I work with busy top-level executives on tight deadlines to create interview-winning resumes within 3-5 business days.

I could change the wording to accommodate my audience, the result I want to share, the problem I need to address, the space I have, or any number of other variables. The beauty is that it’s completely customizable.

2016 Cover Letter Trend #6: Follow A Formula

Keep your e-note creation easy by following a formula. You won’t feel like you’re starting from scratch every time you write a new e-note, and before long you’ll know the formula so well that writing by it will be easier and faster.

Remember to keep each point short!

  1. Start with a question or engaging statement.
  2. Target the biggest need they have.
  3. State how you’re the solution.
  4. Prove it! Give them three bullets that prove you’re the solution.
  5. Don’t forget the money. Employers want to know how you made it, saved it, or contributed to it.
  6. How does this fit into your brand?
  7. Call to action close.
  8. Edit – Remember…150 words or fewer.

2016 Cover Letter Trend #7: Close With A Call To Action

When we write value proposition letters for our clients we always end with a great call to action. Mine might say:

Ready for results like these? Let’s chat!

Yours could say:

Ready to learn more?

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer?If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you

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How to Write an Interview-Winning CV

by champions 11/04/2016 0 comments

Your CV is your number one marketing tool when it comes to landing job interviews, so you need to ensure that it stands out from the crowd and catches the eye of the employers you are most interested in.

The key to creating a top notch CV is knowing exactly how to structure your CV and how to best market your skills and experience in a way that will get employers’ attention. If you’re unsure about what to include in your CV, StandOut CV have created this handy infographic showing how to write an interview- winning CV in just seven simple steps.

1) Research your target employers:

Before you start writing your CV, you should find out exactly what your target employers want to see on applicants’ CVs. Search for relevant jobs online, make a list of the most popular requirements and link them to your own skills and knowledge. Including keywords will also help your application to beat application tracking systems, as unfortunately a lot of CVs don’t actually get seen by a human if they don’t make it through the initial digital screening process.

2) Format and structure are crucial:

A busy CV can be off putting and confusing! You need to ensure that recruiters and employers can navigate your CV easily and pick out the key information that they need. Divide your CV sections clearly with bold headings, use a simple font and break up text for ease of reading. Try to restrict it to a page or two, as the recruiter’s decision to progress your application will be based on the key information, not your life story!

3) Make a big impression with your profile:

The profile that you include at the beginning of your CV is crucial as i is the very first thing an employer will read and it could even be the deciding factor for recruiters when they are rushed for time and scanning through dozens of CVs. Make sure that it is packed with in-demand skills and knowledge, but show some personality too, so you don’t sound like a cliche! Try to keep it short and sharp to draw readers in and encourage them to read your CV in full.

4) Structure your role descriptions properly:

Job titles don’t always reveal much about what your previous roles entailed. In order to demonstrate the value that you can bring to a new potential employer, you must use your role descriptions to showcase what you’ve achieved for past employers. Start with an overall summary, then describe your responsibilities in bullet points and try to add some key achievements to prove your input.

5) Adapt your education:

The amount of information that you need to give about your education really depends on the stage in your career you are at. List your education at the bottom of your CV and adapt the amount of detail depending on your experience level. Less experienced candidates should include lots of education information, whereas more experienced candidates can use a short summary.

6) Keep interests relevant:

Interests are an optional section so only include interest that can add value to your job applications in terms of showing a bit of personality or demonstrating your true interest in the industry. Culture fit is a big factor that is considered when making a new hire, so some recruiters and employers may take a look at your interests to gage what kind of person you are and how they feel you would fit in at their organisation.

7) Triple check your CV:

Mistakes in your CV can seriously damage your job hunting chances, so make sure you thoroughly proof read your CV before sending it out to employers. Spelling and grammar errors can look sloppy, so it’s best to get a second opinion from a family member or friend ahead of sending it off.

By Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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How To Craft A CV To Make You Stand Out

by champions 06/04/2016 0 comments

Having a killer CV is essential when you apply for a job that requires one. It can’t blend into all the other CVs that look almost identical to yours. But when you’re trying to keep it professional, you can’t do anything too whacky. So when recruiters look at hundreds of CVs for each position, how are you meant to make yours stand out? It can feel an impossible task but you can make your CV eye-catching. There are a number of things you should do if you want your CV to get you through to the next stage of the recruitment process. Start with the ones below:

Keep It Short and Readable

Your CV needs to be as concise as possible, while still showing off the best bits about you. Ideally, it shouldn’t be any longer than two single sides of paper. It needs to be well-spaced too so that it’s easy to scan. As much as it might be nice for people to read it thoroughly, it’s probably going to get a quick glance at most. Making it readable means you can’t make the font smaller to fit more in, either. You need to think about including all the parts of your work, education and skills that are relevant to the job. There’s no need to list everything you’ve ever done in an attempt to impress.

Use a Professional Service

If you don’t know where to start, using a professional service could help you craft your CV. They can put together all the essential information in a format that recruiters want to see. There’s a science to the perfect CV and they can help you get it right. Use a service like Purple CV to make sure you get a CV that has been written from scratch. It’s a good idea to get one main CV and then to tweak it every time you apply for a job. You can have a CV created for different stages in your career and even a specialist one for a highly specialised field.

Customise for Each Job

It’s essential that you review your CV for each job you apply for. Don’t assume that it’s one size fits all, especially when you’re applying for a diverse range of jobs. You need to make sure your CV fits in with the objectives and tone of the company. Each time you send out your CV, make sure you’ve taken a look at the job description and researched the company.

Include a Profile and Objective

If you summarise why you should be hired in a couple of sentences, you should. That’s part of the purpose of a personal profile and an objective. You have the chance to lay out your key attributes and where you’re hoping to take your career. It’s also an opportunity to say what the rest of your CV doesn’t. Everything else will show your past and present activities, but you can also talk about what you want for the future.
Writing the perfect CV isn’t something you just do once. You have to keep adjusting it for each job and throughout your career.

By

Margaret Buj is an Interview Coach and Head of Recruitment at Yieldify as well as a qualified Personal Performance & Corporate and Executive Coach.

Margaret Buj is an Interview Coach and Head of Recruitment at Yieldify who teaches professionals how to get hired, promoted and paid more. She has 11 years of international experience interviewing professionals at all levels, from students to senior executives across a number of industries, both in the private and public sector. She is also a qualified Personal Performance & Corporate and Executive Coach and can help you with developing confidence and the attitude that will make it easier for you to get any job you want.

Margaret has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, interviewed for The Financial Times and Management Today and is a writer for CareerAttraction.com.  She has spoken at many career events and has written 2 e-books related to job search and successful interviewing.

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