The new year may have made you start guessing about your future. New Goals? New Career? we’ve all been there, often with drink in hand making promises as we toast to the year ahead underneath the glow of a sky filled with fireworks. Girl Boss Melinda O’Rourke shares her expert tips on how to make these dreams a reality if your still serious about them now that it’s February.
As the resolutions fade and the realisation of promises not kept becomes apparent, there is inevitably one desire that lingers past the end of the first month of the New Year, the dream to change careers and find the job of a lifetime!
As with any new venture planning ahead is great and having an endpoint in mind is vital. Though, truth be told, the most invaluable tool to invest in when launching into the job seeking realm is certainly still a well-tailored resume.
The notion that you can send a generic CV to multiple agencies or companies is a sure way to guarantee frustration and few, if any, opportunities coming to fruition.
Ideally each application of your CV should be customised to a specific job brief and convey your astute understanding of the responsibilities and consequently the role to which you are applying or seeking. With this in mind there are key things each and every resume should include:
• A clear and concise table of your previous work experience, highlighting the length of time you held a role, the company name, your title as well as the title of your direct line manager.
• Explain each of your previous roles and the responsibilities held. Ensure these are well thought out, clear and succinct yet provide enough detail (bullet points not paragraphs are ideal).
• Make sure to include a list (with quantitative results) of measurable achievements you made or to which you directly contributed.
• Regardless of the role you are applying for you should always include information on proficiency across software packages. In our age of technology employers are eager to know whether potential candidates have capability and transferable knowledge across various platforms and programs. Take into account the types of programs specific to certain industry sectors (whether POS systems in retail, design suites in advertising and media or analytic tools in financial sectors)
• Be sure to include details and dates of tertiary education and qualifications as well as involvement in industry specific associations
There is also a need when submitting your CV for an introductory letter. This should explain why you are thinking of making a change, the reason for leaving the role or sector you are working in, what transferable skills you can bring to the new role as well as what your career objectives are.
If your career track record has multiple stops and starts stability will be questioned so preempt this concern and address this in your letter.
The key in the application process is standing out from the crowd. Though presentation is important, many people jump to options such as bright colours, bold headings, pictures and creative formatting to lift their CV.
Ultimately the best way to gain attention is to apply the following:
• Make sure your resume is no longer than three pages
• Don’t write in the third person
• Be honest – always!
• Timelines – re-check chronology of tenure in positions and include months not only years in reporting dates
• Make sure you have continuity in formatting between your CV and cover letter and within the body of your resume!
Keep in mind that this document is all about telling your story (ideally a novella rather than an epic novel). At the end of the day the most important thing is to make it worth reading, not with bells and whistles, but rather with quality content delivered in an appropriate and well-constructed way. Whilst competition is inevitable this approach will take you one step close to the fairytale ending of landing your dream job!
Feature image via pinterest