Archive For December 31, 2012

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

…7 Swans A-swimming! Ah lovely, as long as you don’t get too close and then they hiss like geese. So we’ll steer clear of the swans and go for: On the 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

  1. Lust – Lusting after a new role can land you in trouble. The recruiter in me loves passionate project people, they are so easy to sell on to clients and the need for challenge over remuneration package is truly a refreshing change. But calling up recruiters to tell them how much you hate them and will never work with them again because this IS the job of your dreams and you must be put forward is verging on the stalker / psycho behaviour.
  2. Gluttony – move away from the job boards; stop eating up every role with the word “Project” in it. It is quality not quantity, pick your roles carefully and apply in bite sizes to keep track of your efforts.
  3. Greed – money isn’t everything; look at what else is on offer and I don’t mean pensions and healthcare. What is the organisations training policy? What are the chances of career progression? Are the projects going to add something to your portfolio?
  4. Sloth – make an effort, don’t just bulk apply with the same cover and CV. Tailor your letters and CV for each application. Making the effort does make a difference and lazy candidates become quickly apparent to employers.
  5. Wrath – sits close with Lust this one; keep your cool when looking for a job. I know it is frustrating and scary and you feel like you are putting all the effort in to a black hole. If you come across aggressive and grumpy to others then you are not going to get very far at all.
  6. Envy – don’t sit there thinking your colleagues / friends seem to have something you don’t as they seem to manage to score interviews and job offers whereas you never hear back from applications. Get some feedback on your CV and ask to see your peers CVs to understand what it is about them that attracts employers.
  7. Pride – stop being so proud, ask for feedback and listen to what you hear. Just because your CV reads fine to you, doesn’t mean it is!

 

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards 

On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules

On the 6th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 6 Key achievements

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

…6 Geese A-laying! Good for a hearty breakfast I am sure, but today we bring you: On the 6th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 6 Key achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 Calling Cards, 3 Networks, 2 Referees and a killer CV!

 

The all important key achievements in your CV, the clue is in the naming here – KEY, meaning only highlighted ones. Not everything you have ever done and ACHIEVEMENTS meaning noteworthy pieces of work, not necessarily delivering projects on time and to budget as this is expected when you are a project manager. However it is OK to talk about projects which have faced significant challenges and if you are not a delivery person so have stepped up to the plate and delivered above and beyond the call of duty then talk about it.

I have written an article which addresses stating key achievements on your CV here.

Would you like an example achievement?? Of course you would – here:

  • Identifying the need for a programme management framework within a large blue chip company – on agreement, tasked with defining the associated processes and controls, recruiting a team in cross functionally to embrace and embed new method, ensuring full training administered. Resulting in a 20% improvement in project delivery across the organisation.

Only you can sing your praises, so please stop being so British about things and actually tell the hiring manager just how good you are!

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards 

On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules

On the 6th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 6 Key achievements

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

….5 Gold Rings! How generous, but in-line with our theme today we are going for: On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV!

The 5 golden rules of job hunting:

  1. 1.   Research – that’s right, when looking for a new role you need to put in the effort and research roles which meet your skill-set. Just because your current job title says XXXXX doesn’t mean that your skill-set matches the market standard for that role and job titles are always misleading so look through some job descriptions and get to understand where you sit in the current job market.
  2. 2.   Make a list – Make a start by putting a list together of the types of jobs which fall under your remit and list out key skills you have. You can use these as search criteria for job boards and also by searching directly in the search engines – you’d be surprised how many “hits” you get with direct employers, leading you to company websites advertising the roles direct.
  3. 3.   Focus – Keep to the roles you can meet 90% of the competencies listed, by doing so you keep your applications and own admin down to a manageable size and can spend more time on fewer applications making sure you are tweaking your CV and writing relevant cover notes.
  4. Make another list – put together a spreadsheet of where you have applied to and through which websites, when etc. so you can be organised when you start getting calls from HR / recruiters etc. it does make all the difference when you sound organised on these calls.
  5. 5.   Follow up – follow up applications with a call, not immediately after clicking “send” but a day or two later to speak with the person handling your application. Make sure it has arrived and ask if there is anything else they require from you at this point. End the call asking when you can expect to hear from them with a response.

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards 

On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..

….. 4 calling birds! Today we have chosen: On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV!

It is important to pick carefully the contacts you keep in touch with when looking for a new job and as such ideally you should be picking 2 recruitment agencies and 2 job boards. This doesn’t mean you ignore all others but as you research agencies and job boards in a new job search you will quickly find that there are some which are far more relevant to your skill set and their behaviours towards you as a prospective candidate.

Some job boards are better than others and some more focussed on your field – by setting up “jobs by email” alerts, following their twitter accounts and “liking” their Facebook pages so you receive updates in your news feed you can reduce down the unnecessary and irrelevant information being sent to you.

Likewise with recruitment agencies you can get a feel for the types of roles dealt with and how they treat you as a candidate – do they demonstrate an interest in you and wanting to find you the right role or are you just another applicant in the long list of others.

If you are fortunate enough to build up relationships with recruiters it is a good way to keep fresh in their minds as new opportunities are being qualified and you are more likely to get a call before a job advert is even created.

It is all a big learning curve with job boards and agencies so you may find oyu change your favourites list as you progress through applications or as you realise that your endeavours are not harvesting the effort you put in.

Here is an article talking through Project Management specific job boards which you may find useful.

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards