How To Create A Successful CV

Congratulations, class of 2015! Whether you’ve just graduated or you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, it’s common for recent graduates to have a bit of a lull when looking for work. While University is amazing for many reasons, it can be hard to translate what you’ve learned into useful information for an employer. Many students find ‘selling themselves’ on a CV to feel false and troubling. If you’re stuck on your resumé, here’s what graduate employers look for from recent grads. State Your Career Objectives While stating your experiences can help an employer get an idea of your educational and employment background, you should be opening your CV with an objective. A personal profile, writes Simon Richwalds of Bright Futures, is pretty generic: explain to an employer what you hope to achieve in the future, and how you plan to do so. It shows you have planning skills and passion, so state if you plan to do extra qualifications or internships, and your reasoning why. Use of Keywords Graduate employers write job openings with keywords in mind – if you’ve ever seen a post stressing the employees’ expected use of oral communication, IT skills, or admin literacy, it was done intentionally. Using these keywords in your application shows that you’ve studied the opening, and personalised your CV for this job. Additionally, be sure to use keywords and relevant tags if you use an online CV, or a service like an employment agency or LinkedIn, as this will help employers find you for openings they have. Problem – Steps Taken – Resolution – Positive Impact Much like wasting time on a personal profile, many graduates are keen to share anecdotes of challenges they have faced. However, the focus should not be on the task itself, or even how you overcame it, but the positive impact your actions had. Put emphasis on exactly how you solved your problem, with the specific skills involved, before outlining the practical, positive outcomes of your resolution – show that you can create positive change. Communication Skills Finally, communication skills are absolutely vital in any job in any industry – the ability to communicate effectively helps you minimise problems in the workplace, and get your job. A badly written CV will be ignored by an employer, so ensure that everything reads clearly and that you write with a personal voice. Ask a friend or family member to read your CV (pretending they don’t know you), to help you highlight issues or mistakes you may have missed. It isn’t enough to simply say that you have communication skills – a resume and job application is the perfect chance to demonstrate it....

The Best Career Advice You’re Not Taking...

We’re all striving for the perfect job, but actually climbing the career ladder and landing the roles you want is much easier said than done. One way to get ahead in today’s competitive employment market is to seek out top career tips, but as well as reading and listening to this guidance, you need to act on it. Here is some of the best careers advice that you may not be taking. It’s never too late to retrain You’ve no doubt heard lots of people say that it’s never too late to retrain. However, you might have ruled out a change of direction because of your financial commitments and constraints on your time. This could be needlessly limiting your prospects. Even if you’ve got a mortgage to pay or a family to raise, retraining is still an option. By taking advantage of distance learning options, you can fit training around your existing schedule, meaning you needn’t lose out financially and you’ll be able to keep up with your current commitments at work and at home. As education specialists Oxford Open Learning note, distance courses provide people with flexibility to choose when and where they want to study. So, don’t let a hectic schedule or concern over a loss of earnings put you off retraining. As long as you’re savvy and choose the right style of course, you should be able to achieve your goal. Of course, fitting extra study into an already busy timetable does require effort and dedication, but once you’ve got your new qualifications and skills, you should find that a world of new opportunities opens up to you. Keep an open mind when you’re looking for jobs It’s easy to develop tunnel vision when you’re trying to land that ideal job, but you’ve no doubt heard careers experts telling you to keep an open mind when you’re looking for roles. This advice is spot on. Given the number of people out there seeking work, it may not be possible to get the exact positions you’re after. Taking on a slightly different role can seem like a failure, but in fact it’s just being pragmatic. As well as keeping you in the employment market, this can broaden your experience. It might also help you to discover alternative career routes that you’d never even considered before but that perfectly suit your talents.   Make the most of opportunities to network Networking is certainly a buzz phrase in the business community, and there’s a reason why people mention this term so often; the fact is, networking can help to make or break entire careers. By attending industry gatherings and reaching out to people within your sector online, you can build connections that ultimately help you to find the best jobs. Spend time building your profile online and take full advantage of sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. By following tips like these, you stand to give your career prospects a major boost....

Getting Ready for a Job Interview

You’ve been applying for jobs because you are either currently unemployed or you are looking for a new direction in your career. A letter or a phone call has let you know that you have been selected for an interview in the next few days and you need to know how to prepare for the experience. With some research, organisation and self-belief you can walk into the room knowing you are ready for the questions the panel have for you. The first thing to do is to have a look at the job description you were sent when applying. Make a list of all the skills, knowledge and qualifications they are looking for and match these with your own experience. After you have completed this, draw up a list of your own job assets. These should cover areas such as your level of computer skills, relevant courses you have attended and achievements in work. Be prepared to talk about them at the interview and even if they don’t bring them up as part of the questioning, think about how you can proactively work them into your answers so you know they find out everything you are capable of. One of the questions most asked is how much you know about the company you want to work for. Spend some time doing your research so you know what they do, where they operate and their vision for the future. Ask a friend or family member to take you through a practice interview. This will help calm your nerves and give you the opportunity to run through putting together your answers to the questions which are most likely to be asked. You can find lists of commonly asked interview questions online to give you some hints and tips. Being late for the interview would be a disaster so know where you are going, how you are going to get there and how long the journey will take. Check out maps if you are driving or timetables for trains and buses so you know that you can arrive early. Turning up at the last minute will mean you feel rushed and out of breath so set off in plenty of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to put your interview outfit together. You need to look your best and turning up in creased clothing will put you at an instant disadvantage against the other candidates. It’s important to think about the style of outfit to wear; ensure it is appropriate for the job and the environment you will be working in. If you’ve been offered an interview but don’t have the funds to stretch to an outfit to really look your best on the day, why not compare payday loans online at payday-choice.com?  A payday loan is a small amount of finance which is available in emergency situations and is then repaid after a short amount of time. If you are organised, know what to say and turn up looking and feeling positive, you’ll sail through the interview and it will only be a short while before you get a phone call offering you the job....

How to Ask For a Promotion at Work

The first step is to jot down two statements.  One statement covers how the first 90 days will be spent once promoted to the position and the second statement will cover how to help replacement fill the previous position. These statements provide the information needed to answer the questions bosses may raise about the promotion. Write down the two statements nicely in case the boss asks for answers in writing. 10 Steps To Ask For a Promotion at Work • List all skills that have been gained with the current job position and through recent education that makes you the ideal candidate for the job. • List all weaknesses that may be an impediment to adequate performance in the new position and write out how the weaknesses can be replaced with strengths. • When asking for a promotion through e-mail, try to avoid a passive tone. Show confidence and competence for the job. • Send the e-mail on a less busy day of the week. This varies with each company. However, Mondays are normally the busiest for many companies and Fridays may be relatively relaxed. In the e-mail, propose a date and time when you can discuss the promotion in person. Give at least 72 hours after sending the e-mail to call the boss and ask if the email is delivered. 72 hours is not long enough for the boss to forget the e-mail and not too short for the employer to think you are hungry with the promotion. • Be direct. Employees shouldn’t expect employers to know they want a promotion. An employee must state clearly that they are available to take the promotion and show how they are the best choice. When asking for a promotion, do not use words such as “think’ or “feel” you are the right choice. Be clear, confident and direct. • Appeal to the priorities of the boss before asking for a promotion. Know the employer and where the company sits in a variety of issues. For instance, if the employer is concerned about finances, tell them how you can cut costs. • Be grateful for the opportunities offered in the current position but do not act submissive because this may be a sign of an employee who can’t stand on two feet when faced with a problem or one who can’t work effectively without accolades or supervision. • Express the desire to hold the position long before the position becomes vacant. However, do not go overboard with the expression because that would make it seem like an obsession. • Give credit to all who have helped in one’s professional development instead of taking sole credit. View being a part of a winning team as a strong point rather than a weakness. • Never bad mouth co-workers when asking for a promotion; it is not a competition. However, show competence for the position....

Ask Your Boss: Behavioral vs Technical Interview Questions...

“Why do some positions use more behavioral type interview questions vs technical type interview questions or vice versa? Advantages and disadvantages of both? What type of balance do you like for various position levels within an organization?” Very timely questions. I just posted a position in our office, and I will be the one coming up with the interview questions. I always have this dilemma: what type of questions should I use? My personal favorite interview questions are the behavioral type. You know, your most dreaded interview questions that start with “Tell me about the time when you…” Are your cringing already? I love these type of questions. You know why? These questions are not what you know but rather what you, as a candidate, did in the past. Your actual past experience tells me more than your theoretical knowledge of a project management, for example. Also, when I ask you these type of questions I can clearly see if you are prepared for our interview. If you sit in silence and look flabbergasted, I most likely will think that you did not bother to take the time to prepare for the upcoming interview. You lose points. If you dive into the question right off the bat, and tell me a compelling story, you already scored. Therefore, behavioral interview questions are beneficial not just for me but they can be very beneficial for you as well. You get a chance to demonstrate that you are a great fit for the job. In order to use these type of questions to your benefit, you have to be very specific and tell me how you handled a project or a situation in the past. Tell me about your actions, decisions and, most importantly, tell me about the results. Please, do not tell me what you would do. I don’t care about it. To be honest, I ask behavioral type questions for every position: from an office assistant to a senior accountant. However, the higher level a position is, the more technical questions I will be asking. For example, a few months ago we were hiring a senior financial analyst. We asked a lot of technical questions to test the knowledge of financial accounting because we wanted someone with a specific technical knowledge in the hedge fund accounting field. To answer your question about balance, I have to admit that ideally I like to have a 50/50 ratio in my hiring interviews. However, most of the time this ratio varies. Behavioral type questions are fun to ask. They are probing. They reveal a lot about the candidate. Technical questions show me if you possess a specific knowledge that I am looking for in an ideal candidate. Honestly, they are boring questions but they need to be asked. For example, if I am looking for a cashier I will ask a lot of technical questions about cash handling, counterfeit bills and so on. The ratio probably would be around 80% technical and 20% behavioral questions. There is no magic number as far as a balance of behavioral and technical questions. I think it all depends on the organization, and what this particular organization is looking for in an ideal candidate....