Tag Archives: #interviews

How to Write an Effective Personal Profile

 

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A key concern to bear in mind when putting together a new CV is the personal statement, sometimes called a candidate profile or career summary, that allows the employer or recruiter to quickly identify your core skills and the value that you can bring to the business. Your personal profile should be concise and persuasive enough to convince the recruiter that you are a candidate more than worth interviewing.

Summarising your entire career history into a short 50-200 word paragraph (no more) may at first seem like a daunting task. Indeed, many candidates find it difficult to stick to a few core points, and end up rambling as a result. However, following these few simple steps will enable you to quickly create a compelling profile for your CV

1. Match Your Profile to Your Job Specification

This may seem obvious, but tailoring your experience and skillset to the job description is one of the most important things you can when attempting to show how you would be perfect for the role in question. If you believe that you are a perfect fit for the role,

It’s important to read the job specification carefully and ensure not only that your skills and experience match but you reflect this in your statement.

2. First or third person?

It can be difficult to know whether you should write your profile in the first or third person, as there are no definitive rules about what is best. However, some CV writers are of the view that first person is preferable, in that it gives your CV a sense of direct authenticity that third person does not. In a CV, you are essentially telling the story of your life, and arguably, writing in the first person is most effective way to do this. Crucially, never mix the two!

3. Include the following 

-Who are you? (What is your employment background and education)?

-How will your skills help the organisation? (Be sure to match your own skills and experiences closely to the job specifications!)

 4. Finish with a career aim

This will show employer that you have ambition, and are capable of proving your skills in order to move up in their organisation. Again, try to match this to the job description or the role provided.

 Example:

“As recent graduate from Strathclyde University, with a 2:1 honours degree in International Marketing, I have undertaken several internships within local start-up businesses such as Glasgow Radio and Clyde PR. These placements have enabled me to develop not only specific marketing industry experience, but also key transferable skills set in this fast-paced sector.

During placement with Glasgow Radio, I worked in the marketing team contributing to projects – such as social media campaign– and managed my own research, liaised with journalists and the digital marketing manager, put together media reports and participated in group project meetings. Using excellent communication skills, I developed and maintained successful working relationships with those round about me.

 Looking to secure a position in marketing/PR, where I can add value to the organisation and continue to build on my current skillset further”.

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5 Textbook CV Mistakes You Need to Fix Today

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Are you tired of sending out the same, uninspiring CV to employers, knowing that your stilted resume is doing you no real favours? All too often the CVs that employers receive are ineffective, in that they reveal nothing about the true capabilities and personality of the candidate behind them.

The time has come to ditch the generic language and start owning your CV and the story it tells. Omit clichés and contrived, old-hat formulas, and you may find that you have more luck with being called in for interviews.

Are you making these CV mistakes? Remedy them now!

Mistake #1 Not injecting personality

Sorting this mistake is key to mastering the rest of these classic CV bugbears. How can you expect an employer to see you as a real, 3D, living and breathing candidate when your CV is lifeless utterly fails in conveying your personality. One thing that you must do is ditch clichés. Do you really think that you will bag the job by telling the employer that you can ‘work well alone and as part of a team’? Ridding your CV of platitudes is the first step to creating a resume with real impact.

 Mistake #2 Not telling a great story

Most of us aim to follow the traditional chronological model when writing a CV. While there is nothing wrong with this, don’t let the traditional format stifle your ability to tell the story of your career so far. Employers will be far more willing to read on if you can tell your career as a tale, rather than as a series of monotonous bullet-points.

Mistake #3 Third-person narrative

You are the protagonist of your life, not the omniscient narrator. Stop talking about yourself in the third person! While you may feel that this will give your CV a more professional tone, writing in the first-person will give your CV a sense of life and authenticity that becomes lost when you start referring to yourself as ‘the candidate’.

Mistake #4 Not Identifying the problem you aim to solve

Perhaps the most significant factor in distinguishing yourself from the rest of the crowd is the ability to effectively identify and summarise how you will be of benefit. There is a reason why the employer is advertising for new staff. Think of the problems that they need you to solve for their business and make it clear that you are equipped and willing to deal with this pain.

Mistake #5 Not including a ‘high points’ montage

It’s easy to write  a list of the tasks that have fallen into your remit in previous roles, but it might be more difficult to identify high points or achievements that will impress prospective employers. Have a brainstorming session and think of all the things you have done that you are most proud of. This will distinguish you as  results-oriented candidate, and again, will help to tell your unique story.

9 Ways to Stay Sane while Job Hunting

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1. Make job hunting your job 

It’s common advice, but getting up and working like you would on a regular day may help you feel more focused and productive than you would if you stayed in bed until 1pm! Try to maintain a routine that feels normal for you. That involves getting out of the pyjamas before lunchtime!

2. Alternatively, limit your job hunting to a few hours here and there

While it is good to maintain a regular routine, devoting an entire day to job hunting may feel soul destroying when there are not too many jobs that you are interested in applying for. If you are in this situation, focus on quality, not quantity, and concentrate on getting an interview for the opportunities you really want rather than firing off CVs to every advertisement you see online.

 3. Create a bank of information about yourself

Many job applications involve answering questions set by the employer in order to test your skills, attitude and suitability for the role. However, the ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling of answering the same questions over and over again is enough to drive you mad! Keep a word document consisting of chunks of information that can easily be copied and pasted to form a cover letter. Similarly, Include answers to commonly recurring job application question to save you countless frustrating hours of typing.

4. Stay grounded (most of the time)

That means, spend the majority of your job hunting hours applying for jobs that you have a reasonable shot of getting an interview for. Aim for jobs that fit your skills and expertise, rather than applying for jobs that you are overqualified for.

5.Occasionally, shoot for the stars 

That being said, there really is no harm in sending out a maverick application for the job of your dreams! You might be underqualified right now, but look carefully at the candidate requirements as they may give you clues on how you can progress your career to eventually snag that dream job.

6. Keep a diary of any job you apply for

This is a great tip which will help you to stay on track with your jobsearch and take stock of every role you have applied for. This will be especially helpful when you are following up on opportunities you have applied for or been interviewed for.

 7. Give yourself credit where credit is due

Reward yourself for applying to new roles, especially when it involves stepping out of your comfort zone. Job hunting is hard, so don’t be down on yourself when you’re knocked back from a couple of opportunities.

8. Learn to deal with rejection in a positive way

A great way of dealing with rejection is to channel negative emotion into a positive outlet. Every time you get a rejection email, use the anger and frustration you feel to fuel positive action. This could mean firing out more applications, or altering your CV or cover letter to present your skills and expertise in the best possible light.

9. Remember that good news is just around the corner

It’s vital to always remember that you will not be unemployed forever! It really is only a matter of time until a new opportunity comes knocking. Though the wait can be frustrating, your efforts will eventually be worthwhile.

Getting Hired as Flexible Worker

3 you need to know when hunting for a new role

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This week saw new legislation come into place which allows all workers to request flexible working after a period of 26 weeks of continuous employment. However, there have been serious doubts as to how aware UK employers are about the change. MP Jo Swinson has argued that progress will be slow in countering  the predominant culture of ‘presenteeism’ in the UK workplace which curbs the uptake of flexible working, and limits the prospects of those who are unable to work ‘9 to 5’. For sure, there are still more than a few dinosaur CEOs who shrink from the idea of an agile modern workforce!

We at Flexiworkforce aim to offer a solution to those skilled candidates whose request for flexible working may be turned down by their employer. A specialist job site, you can be sure that every job we advertise offers some form of flexibility to fit around your lifestyle and commitments.

Looking for a new role is exciting but can also feel stressful especially after suffering a knockback or two.  Here are our top tips for getting hired as a flexible worker.

  1.       Be upfront about your availability and needs

If you find a job through Flexiworkforce, you know before the interview that some form of flexibility will be involved in the role. This is a great advantage for people who need or want flexible roles that mainstream jobs sites do not make easily accessible. However, remember make sure that you are upfront about your availability at the interview. It is far easier to make your preferred schedule known sooner rather than later. Employers will appreciate your honest and most will be willing to fit the needs of the right candidate.

  1.       Showcase productivity

It goes without saying that trust is an essential ingredient in flexible working arrangements. When you’re working from home, presenteeism is removed, meaning that your employer can only measure your productivity through results. At the interview, aim to give examples of times when you have worked well in a remote working environment, and give  examples of the results that your your hard work yielded. Instantly, the employer will come to  view you as a driven, self-motivated candidate, more than capable of working unsupervised for periods of time.

  1.      Brush up on  ‘personal branding’

In 21st century recruitment, the job doesn’t go to the best candidate. More often than not the jobs will go to the  candidate with the best online presence. Make sure that your online presence is immaculate, remove unfavourable content from social media, while deleting accounts that you no longer use regularly. Give your LinkedIn profile some love and curate the experience and skills you have acquired over the years.

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Does Your CV Need a Makeover?

5 Steps to a Total Resume Overhaul!

 

1.) Ditch your Old Style 

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It can be hard to let go of the past, but if you want to make employers see your skills and expertise in a new light, you have to shake things up a bit! If your current CV looks dated and uninspiring, bin it and start from scratch. Starting afresh will give you the perspective that you need to realise your key attributes, and the  best way to present them to an employer.

2.) Back to Basics- Then Build Up! 

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Make sure that you have the basics right! This is never more true than when a potential job is at stake. Make sure that your contact details are correct and up-to-date. Also, make sure to choose recent references if you include this on your CV.

3.) Highlight Your Best Features 

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Often when building a CV, we are encouraged to stick to the traditional chronological model. However, there is nothing to stop you from putting your most relevant experience and most notable achievements at the beginning of your CV. Studies have shown that we are most likely to remember detail at the beginning and end of a document. Therefore, details that are less relevant should be relegated the the middle section of your CV or, indeed, left out altogether.

4.) Embellish and Dazzle!

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Style isn’t every thing when it comes to CVs but it certainly helps! Make sure you use an appropriate but stylish font (no Comic Sans!). Be clever with space so as not to exceed two sides of A4 paper, but try to avoid making your CV overcrowded. For more advice on how to make your CV look as professional as possible, click here.

5.) Show Off Your New Look 

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Remember to update your online profiles to match your improved CV. Many employers Google candidates before or after an interview, and social media is now crucial to personal branding. If you have an online profile or personal website, upload your new CV. Similarly, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile.