Archive for the ‘Seasons Greetings’ Category:

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

….11 Pipers Piping! For our penultimate twist we have gone for: On the 11th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 11 ways to keep motivated,10 years in detail, 9 pages too long, 8 mistakes of applications, 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

This is a subject often comes up, both now in my CV writing capacity and previously when I was recruiting, candidates do find it hard to keep motivated when looking for a new role so here is a list to help you along your way:

  1. Keep it fresh – try different aspects of job hunting, from job boards to networking and identifying roles which aren’t necessarily advertised.
  2. Set aside an hour a day – don’t turn job hunting into a daily trawl, if you are currently in employment then you needn’t put all your spare time into finding a role if you set up jobs by email and google alerts.
  3. Ask a friend – speak to your peers and find out what they do when looking for work, you may learn something new.
  4. Chase up – follow up your applications to understand how they are being received.
  5. Ask for feedback – not only from recruiters but from your peers, find out if the methods you are using and the CV itself is clear and says all the right things.
  6. Take a holiday – this doesn’t necessarily mean pack your bags and jump on a plane, taking a break from looking at new roles can really help you come back with a fresh outlook.
  7. Get out – go to networking events, seminars, training sessions, etc there are plenty of free events around so attend and see what is new in your field.
  8. Research companies rather than jobs – looking into businesses you would like to work for can yield more success. Look out for changes in an organisation and make speculative applications based on these before they decide to advertise the role!
  9. Grow thick skin – I know rejection after rejection can be hard but you need to take on board the fact that you are one of many applying for these roles so this time you weren’t lucky but next time you might be.

10. Go above and beyond – join in group discussions on LinkedIn and Twitter, get yourself noticed, you’ll be surprised where this gets you.

11. Write about it – create a blog talking through the pitfalls of finding a new job, don’t focus on the negatives and keep it upbeat. You could help others, let off steam and may get some assistance along the way!

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 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me the 7 deadly sins of job hunting

On the 8th day of Christmas The CV righter gave to me 8 mistakes of applications

On the 9th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 9 pages too long

On the 10th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 10 years in detail

On the 11th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 11 ways to keep motivated

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

….10 Lords A-leaping! In our case: On the 10th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 10 years in detail, 9 pages too long, 8 mistakes of applications, 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

The golden rule for writing a CV is to keep the detail within the last 10 years of work experience – you should also cover work experience prior to the 10 years but you can keep this down to 1 line per role stating dates, names of company, job title and location. There are a couple of reasons for this, the first being that actually the most recent work experience is what the employer wants to see – anything over 10 years is deemed as a long time ago and not really relevant to them. This is hard for some as I know you are proud of some of the amazing projects you have been involved in delivering but it is where you are now and what you are doing now (or within the last few years) which matters. This is particularly important with technology as we are in a fast changing world so something which may have been huge back in the day has been superseded over and over.

If there is something which you do deem relevant that is past the 10 year mark then you may wish to talk about this in your cover letter, therefore you are still presenting your most recent work on your CV but also pointing out that you have had exposure to XXX when working at XXX in the past. This also gives a fresh perspective to your application as it says something different in the cover letter than the CV – a lot of candidates feel the need to copy and paste parts of their CV into a cover letter which is a waste of everyone’s time and gives the impression of lazy behaviour.

The other reason it is good to keep with 10 years of work experience is that it helps to reduce the size / length of your CV – helping you keep to the ideal 2/3 pages and encouraging you to keep focussed on the important bits.

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 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me the 7 deadly sins of job hunting

On the 8th day of Christmas The CV righter gave to me 8 mistakes of applications

On the 9th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 9 pages too long

On the 10th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 10 years in detail

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

…9 Ladies Dancing! How wonderful and cheerful, almost like too many eggs in a pudding – which brings us onto: On the 9th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 9 pages too long, 8 mistakes of applications, 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

Yep, we are back to the length of CVs and believe me – I have seen CVs 9 pages long. The longest CV I have ever come across was actually 13 pages, but the longer CVs don’t tend to come in just over the recommended 2/3 pages they average 7 to 9 pages… Wow! I cannot stress enough how off putting a long CV is, put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager – when faced with a pile of CVs where all they want to see is that you can hit the mark of their “wish list” they do not want to read beyond the first couple of pages.

It says a lot about a candidate when they cannot condense their skills and experience down to a manageable size, they will be thinking how you interview – and it is not uncommon for them to assume the shear length of a book length CV will mean a really long interview. Can this person get to the point whilst covering all that is required? No, he/she will be going around the houses for a good half hour on the first question and I have 20 to get through!

Here is an article written previously which talks through the length of CVs and what is expected.

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 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me the 7 deadly sins of job hunting

On the 8th day of Christmas The CV righter gave to me 8 mistakes of applications

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

…8 Maids A-milking! Well all sorts could be read into that, but we’ll go for: On the 8th day of Christmas the CV righter gave to me 8 mistakes of applications, 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

A popular article is “What’s the worst that can happen? 8 gaffs when applying for roles” – which talks through some very valid points which I have seen over the years in my recruitment capacity; although they seem obvious these mistakes are still made by eager candidates.

The key to making a successful job application is not to rush – yes there are deadlines but if you have planned and researched from the outset then you will be in a position to start making applications, rather than deciding off the cuff to just start applying one day.

Make sure your CV is up to date – I’ve lost count of applications from candidates who sent in CVs which hadn’t been updated since securing a new role 3 years ago. Or worst still, an updated CV which has a garbled one line about the current role which tells us nothing and doesn’t follow the format of the previous roles so it is obvious they have rushed something to make the application. It does not create a good impression and if anything, says a lot about how you work and where you are willing to put in effort. Not good for a project person – not good for anyone but really, for a project professional!!!

Research your field and understand the basics such as skill-sets required, salary bandings (and where you sit), recruitment agencies specific to your needs, job boards yielding your types of roles and get networking in the right circles.

Putting that extra bit of effort in can be the difference between securing interviews with the lucky few or being discarded with the hundreds of competitors also looking for a new job.

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 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me the 7 deadly sins of job hunting

On the 8th day of Christmas The