Before I begin, let’s just re-cap what we have covered so far (if you have missed any, click on the relevant hyperlink below):
Getting in the right mindset to create a great CV
What to avoid putting on your CV
How to ensure your CV stands out from the rest
How to tailor your CV for a specific requirement.
Many people would think they have it cracked now- the CV is done, the jobs should come rolling in now, shouldn’t they???
What good is the CV going to do for you sat on your desktop until the right role comes up in 6 months time (when your CV is probably out of date and needs fine tuning again anyway!)?? You can obviously put it on a Job Board and wait for something to come in, but here are 5 other things that will help your CV fly!!:
- Align it with your online presence– Make sure your CV and your Linkedin profiles are aligned. Not only that the information in both is accurate (I have seen some profiles with different companies, let alone different dates to their CVs, which is often a big question mark on an applicant), but that they both echo the same “brand”. Your online profile is becoming more and more important, so ensure that the person you claim to be on your CV is echoed as much as possible online. If you say that you are driven, give 100% to your employer and are a workaholic, then perhaps avoid repeatedly commenting on twitter that you are bored at work and can’t wait until the weekend (believe me, I have seen this!).
- Promote yourself– now that you have your online presence aligned, in particular Linkedin, then start to make proactive approaches to people who you’d like to work for, or within organisations where you would like to work. You don’t have to be pushy, but you can ask for their advice on how to get in to the organisation or develop some useful contacts. Also, start to be visible on Linkedin- comment on posts, write some yourself. You’ll be surprised how many people will approach you and ask to see your CV. Away from the virtual world, you could send your CV in hardcopy with a handwritten envelope to the relevant person within a company you’d love to work at- trust me it works wonders. Apparently, 60-70% of unsolicited emails go unopened, but a handwritten letter (as it is so uncommon nowadays in the business world) has a vastly increased chance of being opened, so its surely worth a try, isn’t it?
- Tailor your application– this is just an extension of the advice about your CV, but for some reason, people still get wrong. If you have spent time tailoring your CV, then don’t let yourself down by using a “cut and paste” supporting statement/e-mail. I often get applications from people who have forgotten to change the Job title that they are applying for, which for me, is another quick rejection. Talk as much about why you want to work for them, as you do about you and your suitability. MATCH yourself to them, don’t just tell them how great you are. It is the difference between a consultative salesperson and one of those charity people who try and catch your eye and talk at you in the street.
- Follow up– If you have applied for a role, and taken the time to tailor your CV and application, then don’t fall at the last hurdle! Call to confirm receipt and see when you can expect feedback. This makes some people uncomfortable, but genuinely, there is no downside if you have the guts to do it. Firstly, it is giving you an additional window of opportunity with the employer that many others haven’t taken. It will make your name memorable and stick out when they come across it. If they print the CVs off into a physical pile- when you call and they check, your CV will automatically go to the top of the pile when they put it back which can also improve your chances.
- Register with an appropriate agency– If the above seems like too much hard work, then let someone like me do that bit for you. A good CV helps a recruiter sell you to their clients and also gives them more buy in to you as a viable candidate. If you have taken time to pull together a decent CV, then you are serious about your job search, and it is those people that people like us, want to work with. But please make sure you choose a reputable one- you don’t want them to undo all the good work you have done to this point.
I hope the above, and the previous blogs have been of help- but if you want to discuss any of topics I have covered or want some individual guidance or recruitment advice, then feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.