10 Most Efficient Tools to Master Your CV

Guest Blog from Linda Craig:

 

There are online tools to help you design your resume, tools to help inspire you, tools to help you create a visually attractive resume, and there are even tools that will write it for you. Here are ten of the most efficient CV making tools on the Internet.
1 – Kickresume

The biggest selling point for this tool is that you are able to create your resume within just ten minutes, though you will have to have your information ready to put on the CV tool, otherwise it is going to take longer. You may pull information from LinkedIn too. It allows you to save your resume on your computer so it is ready to send whenever you need it.

2 – Vizualize.me

This tool allows you to create a resume in the form of an Infographic. It is very easy to use, and it has numerous features that are geared towards job skills and life skills that may be useful to your future employer. You are able to create attractive and easy-to-follow Infographics that will show off your finest features in the most efficient way. You can use it as your resume, or attach it as a summary of your resume.

3 – Flavors.me

This is a tool you can use to build your online CV. It helps you create your own website that is based around you, giving people a flavor of yourself. Create your own URL, set up your analytics, and promote yourself online. Instead of your CV sending people to your social media profiles, send people to your personal website that doubles over as your online Resume.

4 – Kinzaa

With this resume builder, you are able to add information from your LinkedIn profile, or you can add your own information. It very heavy on design, but that is not always a bad thing. Many modern resumes are a little plain and clinical, and even though it is not recommended that your resume be a work of art, there are still people that enjoy a design-heavy resume if it is framed and structured in the right way. So long as the content is as impressive as the design, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

5 – Assignmentmasters

Have your CV written by a series of experts. They have numerous writing experts and industry gurus working for them. They are able to assign people in your desired industry to your resume. The writer is able to communicate in a way that your future employer will understand. The Assignmentmasters writers are also able to create very catchy, powerful and high-impact text for your resume. Their service is especially handy if you need to write numerous resumes for different types of jobs. Plus, there is nothing stopping you from sending the resume they write to numerous employers.

6 – Cvmaker

The CV maker tool is a fairly intuitive resume maker for people that are technically experienced–which is most people these days. Enter your data into the tool and it fashions it into a CV for you. Add a few edits, pick a few features, save and download it. You can download your CV as a PDF file too, which is very handy because it avoids the initial file conversion troubles you get with other file formats.

7 – My Perfect Resume

This is an online resume builder. You choose your design and add your own data into it. You can even insert their pre-written examples. You may then download or print your resume ready to end off to employers. The fun and unique element is the fact they have pre-written samples that you can add into your resume to give it a little more content and impact. Many of the samples are generic and will only require small changes to make them effective.

8 – ConnectCV

Here is a feature-rich resume builder you may use on your desktop device and on your mobile phone. Plus, it allows you to share your information on social media, which is not a great idea from a security standpoint, but it will get your information out there for free into a place where future employers may see it.

9 – Easel.ly

Here you are able to create your resume as an Infographic. It is all the rage at the moment, and many HR teams view such an idea as very helpful. They say they are able to get through far more resumes far quicker, to the point where they do not pay as much attention to applications that do not feature some sort of Infographic attachment. Share ideas, provide information about yourself, and show your future employer what you have to offer in a compact and high-impact way.

10 – ResumUp

If you take a look at their website, you will see that design is one of their strong points. The website is very well made and designed, and you may use it to create your own stylish and high-impact resume. It is very easy to use and fairly intuitive for most tech-savvy people.

 

 

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Job seeking via Linkedin: social networking to classroom teaching

At one time, the best way to find a job was to open up your local newspaper to the employment section and start contacting companies in need of employees. Now, though, it’s all about the internet.

 

Not only can you now find hundreds of job website online now, but you can also use social media to find your dream job. Whether you’re a teacher or a telemarketer, using your LinkedIn profile to find a job is actually one of the best ways these days.

 

LinkedIn: The world’s largest professional network

In January 2013, LinkedIn officially became the biggest and best professional network on the internet. Ten years from its conception, the networking social media site had managed to amass 200m members, and that number will continue to grow.

 

LinkedIn is essentially your online CV. One of the first things employers do nowadays is look prospective employees up online, and if they can’t find your LinkedIn profile, your CV is likely to be shunted to the bottom of the pile.

 

It’s not just good for standing out from the crowd though – LinkedIn is also essential for actually finding jobs.

 

Using LinkedIn to source jobs

 

LinkedIn has an official jobs section on its website, which is very imaginatively called ‘LinkedIn Jobs’. It features job adverts posted up by some of the biggest companies in the world, and you can search for jobs in all manner of industries. You can also search by job title, postcode, function and, if you upgrade your account to premium, by salary.

 

LinkedIn Jobs wasn’t always so efficient though, it was upgraded in February 2013 to include a raft of new features. It also upgraded its content, now providing how-to guides for job seekers.

When you apply, you’ll get the opportunity to write a covering letter (which you should definitely do) and you’ll need to attach a CV to the application as well. Certain job advertisements may require you to apply through the employer’s official site.

 

Simply signing up to LinkedIn isn’t enough though. Yes, employers and recruiters will be able to find you on the site, but you probably won’t jump out at them any more than the other 200m users would, so it’s important that you start ticking all of the right boxes.

 

How to optimise your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your online CV and, because it’s online, you need to make an even greater effort to cut out any waffle, unnecessary content and general filler.

 

People spend just 10-20 seconds on web pages, so if your profile is boring, confusing or too brief, you won’t stand a chance. Optimising your LinkedIn profile can make it much easier for employers and recruiters to find you on the site, so it’s well worth it.

 

Your summary

Your LinkedIn summary is the opening paragraph to your profile. It’s what users will read first, so make sure it grabs their attention. Use it as a chance to sum up exactly who you are, where you’ve worked, what you like and who you want to be.

 

Less is most definitely more when it comes to your summary though, so don’t go on for paragraphs about your work history – you can add this later on.

 

Try to stay away from buzzwords as much as possible as well. You may be creative, intelligent, diligent, innovative and forward thinking, but so is everyone else (or, at least, they want you to believe they are). What really makes you stand out? Why do you really want to be in your chosen industry? Why should someone honestly hire you?

 

  • Your experience

Are you dreaming of your big break? Are you yet to get into a particular industry? Or are you already there, but you want to get further up the ladder? You most certainly are not alone. Which is where the difficulties come in.

 

Your experience is the second most important part of your profile, as it shows exactly what you’ve been up to. Make sure you include all of your experience; freelance work, part-time jobs, volunteering – especially volunteering.

 

Over 40 per cent of employers said they see volunteering work just as valuable as paid work, yet just 45 per cent of candidates actually include their volunteering on their LinkedIn profile. So, skipping your volunteering could actually reduce your chances of getting a job.

 

Be thorough when writing about your previous employment. Make sure you include all of the work you were responsible for and, above all else, never lie. This can only get you into hot water later on.

 

  • Yours skills and expertise

This section can encourage a huge number of recruiters and employers to click on your profile, so the more skills you put down the better. Include everything you have experience of. Sit down and really think about your work history to come up with your areas of expertise.

 

Remember – your connections can endorse your skills as well, so make sure you really do include everything.

 

 

  • Your education

Another vital section for any industry. Make sure you include all of your qualifications, no matter how meaningless they may seem to you. Provide your results as well, otherwise this section will be meaningless!

 

It’s not just your school, college and university education that you can include in this section either, you can also add any seminars or training courses you’ve been on.

 

  • Your additional information

This section may be tucked away at the bottom of your profile, but it’s still important. This is where you can write about your interests outside of work and, for many employers, this is just as important as your work experience.

 

They want to hire someone that’s fun to work with, so be honest about your interests and don’t be worried about sounding a little off the wall. If you have quirky interests, add them to your profile! They’ll make for an interesting talking point during your interview.

 

  • Your Groups

Joining various groups is a fantastic way of making new connections on LinkedIn, as they can help you to network in the virtual world.

 

Networking is all about finding people that have similar interests as you, so join some networks that closely match your employment history or likes and dislikes, and get involved!

 

Make sure you participate in the discussions being held within your groups to get your name out there a bit and then, once you’re ready, start your own discussion. Ask something you’re actually interested in and which other people are likely to be wondering as well.

 

Have you seen any job success with LinkedIn?

 

This guest post was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of  We Are Adam,the recruitment specialists. Aurora’s writing specialities include employment tips, tricks and guides for the digital age.

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Looking for a Job is a Social Affair

 

As we usher in the digital age, having a neatly typed resume is not enough to help us grab our desired profession. A 2013 Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service survey showed that 45% of the human resource personnel that they interviewed have been using social media in order to look for potential employees. Because of this trend, we need to make sure that our online presence is felt and our profiles are palatable to future employers. If you want to be a successful professional in this modern time, here is an article that will teach you how to use online tools for your career building needs.

Participate in Group Discussions and Forums

Richard McMunn, the founder of how2become, suggests that job seekers must show their expertise on a particular subject by sharing their opinions in group discussions. Platforms like Facebook and Linkedin have dedicated pages where you can contribute your ideas. McMunn also advised that “you should demonstrate ideal qualities that are in high demand by most companies today.” You can play as a leader by initiating healthy conversations; or you can be a mediator by promoting a healthy debate among the other seekers.

Inform People that You are Looking

Letting your followers and friends know that you are searching for a job is one of the fastest ways to get your dream job. Posting a status update or tweet about your endeavor can generate responses from your connections. These people can provide information on the latest openings even before they get listed on popular job listing websites. If you are lucky, some of them may even provide useful insights on how to successfully grab a career. Don’t forget to include a hyperlink to your online resume so that prospective employers can easily see your achievements.

Add Personality to your Online Profiles

A rule of thumb when it comes to using social media is to make our accounts professional-looking by curating our posts and removing unwanted images.

Sometimes, people polish their accounts so much that they become devoid of life. An article from Forbes advised that posting baby photos or even an image from a Saturday night party will not hurt our chances from getting hired. In fact, these files can do great wonders because it will show that you are accessible to other people. Sharing some of your personal details will also help companies assess your social skills and personality.

Spread Yourself to Various Platforms

Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are not the only tools that you can use for career hunting. About.me is also a great alternative because it combines your public bio and all your links in one page. YouTube and Pinterest, meanwhile, help nurture your creative side by letting you post videos, pictures, and interactive media. Spreading yourself across various websites helps increase your online presence.

Conclusion

Social media platforms are powerful tools to help us grab our desired careers. But to benefit out of it, you have to maximize these tools responsibly. Be mindful of the posts that you share and make sure that your profiles are always spot-free so employers will not hesitate to hire you.

 

About the Author

 

Zoe Allen is a career-driven writer who loves to talk about the various trends in social media and mobile devices. Currently, she is planning to test her writing skills at a prestigious technology magazine. To pass the time, she prepares herself by reading some interview tips at how2become and Blogging4Jobs. You can learn more about Zoe’s adventures by following her on Twitter.

 

 

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How to get the salary you want

In the current period of recession, getting a satisfactory dream job seems closer to impossible. Since there is a crunch in job openings, quite often, one has to make compromise on one aspect or another; be it salary package, working environment or HR. One can not expect everything to go at desired pace.

Furthermore, even if you get a job that caters to your necessities, then there is no guarantee that you will be getting a favourable salary. At times, circumstances arise when candidates usually settle down for a low salary in view of the fact that they may not get a better opportunity next time.

But, folks! Give it a thought once! Don’t you think that when you have successfully cleared an interview and have been selected for a particular profile, then at that very moment, your credibility for that job is justified, whether you are looking for a job in IT as career or healthcare jobs

So, always leave some room for salary negotiations and rest assured that conversations really work. Another question may arise here, on the right way to approach seniors for a good starting package or income hike, if you are an existing employee.  To put an end to all these queries, below compiled is a list of few meaningful tips to get the salary you want. Have a glance!

  1. Realise your Value: Thoroughly evaluate your real worth, by analysing your capabilities, job responsibilities and the designation, you are asked to work from. At no point of time, should you feel that you are being exploited by the employer.For this, you can surf the Web or take opinion from peers about the expected money, usually paid for that job profile.
  1. Leave a Room for Bargaining: Quote a comparatively higher amount, because negotiations are always involved, during interviews. If you ask for a low salary in the very beginning itself, then your chances of getting the desired amount are greatly reduced. For instance, ask around 20% more than the amount you will be ready to settle at.
  1. Lay Emphasis on your Achievements: You must understand that recession period is going on.  If, on one hand, businesses are facing manpower crunch, then, on the other end, they are witnessing an acute shortage of resources to feed their workforce, as well. In such hard times, if you expect to be paid well, you need to validate your worth before the interviewer.Present your skills, qualifications and achievements before them, so that they are bound to hire you and pay well.
  1. Mind your Language: Your tone matters a lot! Choose right words, be gentle and address the employer, as if you are already part of their organization. It gives an impression of involvement, on your part. Keep a check that your language is not insulting, at any point during the course of conversation.
  1. Be Assertive to a limit: Just like in normal routine, nobody is willing to agree, until you give them enough reasons to do so. Therefore, be assertive and convincing at the same time, to substantiate your credibility for the post.

Remember, whether we talk about IT jobs or some other sector, a good job and well paying salary are two sides of a coin and may or may not go hand-in-hand. So, make your choices wisely.

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What To Do When A Key Employee Goes On Maternity Leave

 

Your staff is a well-oiled machine–exceeding targets and meeting deadlines–with smiles on their faces and more enthusiasm than a cat chasing a mole. This is your dream team and life is good. And, then, it happens. The star of your brigade, the glue that keeps it all together, announces that she is four months pregnant and that, in less than five months, she will be abandoning you for maternity leave.
You may be tempted to shriek, throw yourself on the concrete at her feet, and beg her to stay–but you must resist. Rather than break into an undignified display of unbridled horror, you need to take a few deep breaths and consider a few cold, hard realities. Women have babies all the time. They are entitled to maternity leave. And, you and your team will survive. Here’s how.

1. Squeal with delight not fright

Although this impending maternity leave may be catastrophic in your eyes, it is an exciting time in the life of your employee. She is likely thrilled with her good news and “raining on her parade” will not only make you look like a self-absorbed jerk in the eyes of your other employees, but it may also alienate the expectant mom. Keep in mind that you do want her to return.

Instead, let her know you are happy for her. Show some enthusiasm for this new chapter in her life. And, most importantly, tell her that you want to make the whole process as easy and stress-free for her as possible.

2. Develop a plan

While your employee’s long-term plans may change–some mothers come back early and some never return at all–it is important to find out what her plans are as of that moment. An expected return date–even a tentative one–will, at the very least, give you something to work with.

Consulting with the expectant mom regarding her temporary replacement can be very helpful too. She will want to ensure that her replacement can keep on top of her job and not leave her a huge mess to clean up upon her return. She may be able to provide you with the name of an ideal candidate or give you insight into whether or not a current staff member may be able to fill her shoes.

3. Fill the position

Many companies make the mistake of not filling the gap left by a maternity leave. Instead, other employees–many of whom already have huge workloads–are expected to adopt more duties. It may save the company money, but it can have a devastating effect on those left behind.

For one thing, overworked employees make mistakes and miss deadlines–all things that can be extremely detrimental to your business. Plus, stressed out employees who are forced to take on extra duties for little or no extra pay become disgruntled workers. And the last thing you need right now is to lose anyone else from your team.

Whether you hire a temporary person from the outside or move someone into the position from within, the fact is that you need to fill the vacancy with a capable individual who can dedicate their full attention to that job.

4. Keep the lines of communication open

It is important to keep your employees in the loop-even the one that is on maternity leave. Call her to see how she and the baby are doing. Ask to see photos. Let her know that she is still a valued part of the team and that she will be welcomed back with open arms.

Losing a key player to maternity leave does not have to mark the end of your first-string team. Celebrate your employee’s happy news, develop a plan, fill the position, and strive to make the return of your crew’s newest mother a smooth one. So pick yourself up off the ground, brush the dirt from your knees, and, for Heaven’s sake, stop screaming.

What steps do you and your staff take to handle maternity leaves? 

 

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The Benefits Of Relocating For Your New Job

Times are tough at the moment, right? With high levels of unemployment, the reality of having to move further afield to secure that much wanted job is getting closer by the day. However, this isn’t such a bad thing; in fact, there are a number of benefits to relocating for work.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking employment further away or you’ve been offered a new role at your existing company in a different location, there is plenty to be gained.

Even though the prospect of moving may seem a little daunting, here’s a look at some of the advantages associated with relocating for a new job. Hopefully, this information will provide you with the insights you need to make a logical decision on whether relocating is right for you.

Land your dream role

One of the biggest benefits to relocating is the opportunity to finally get that position you’ve always wanted.

For example, whilst you may enjoy where you live, it might not be the best place for you in terms of getting the job you’ve always dreamt of. This is why a lot of people don’t rule out the possibility of relocating, especially if it means getting to do the job you love the most.

Depending on how strongly you feel about the role, opportunities that are really good might not present themselves in the future. So, if you’ve been holding out for your dream job and the chance arises, say yes and get full enjoyment out of your new vacancy.

Remember, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to miss out on.

Greater career prospects

If your new job offer allows for growth within the company and the opportunity to enhance your career, then relocating will also benefit you.

Replacing like for like in terms of the role, responsibilities, and wage could be a reason to reject the offer. However, if it’s clear that you will be able to develop, then you will be looking out for your future too.

Greater scope to enhance your career can be extremely valuable, especially during a time when the job market is still unpredictable.

Furthermore, taking on responsibilities in a different role will also help you to build your experience, which is never a bad thing.

A new and fresh start 

Accepting a new challenge can do you the world of good. If you’re a little tired of where you are currently based or the role you are in, then relocating can offer you a new and fresh start.

Whilst you are getting used to your new job, you will also have the opportunity to meet new people, connections, and friends, as well as explore your new surroundings.

If you’re relocating to a city, such as London or Manchester for example, then this will bring plenty of other advantages besides just settling into a new job, such as those listed above.

You don’t have to relocate to a city either. Perhaps the quiet life would suit you best in a location such as Devon and Cornwall.

Nothing is set in stone

A lot of people are put off by the thought of relocating and starting a new job as they worry about making the wrong choice. Relocating for a new position can be an excellent opportunity if the pros outweigh the cons, and if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

If your decision unexpectedly doesn’t work out, don’t worry, you’re not stuck there forever. Hopefully this is a scenario that you won’t need to encounter, but as the old saying goes, nothing is set in stone.

With the chance to develop your career, learn new skills, land your dream job, and make a fresh start, relocating is something you should embrace, not avoid.

This post was written by Ageas 50 Careers who offer specialist career opportunities in sales and service, claims handling and other disciplines.

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Guest blog: How to write a personal UCAS statement

Guest blog from Debbie Gingell, Career Coach at Leg Up Careers

Keys to writing a successful personal statement:

1) Focus (on the subject/s you want to study)
2) Structure (your statement)
3) Sell (yourself)

Some top tips…

Opening and closing paragraphs are key. Work hard to present a positive and punchy introduction to grab the reader’s attention. Your opening sentence will establish the tone of your statement, so it is important to give your statement an identity and demonstrate your enthusiasm. Avoid obvious statements like “I have always been passionate about Maths”.

UCAS suggest your first steps should be to write out the reasons why you are applying for your chosen course. Their website also provides some opening sentences for you. These might be helpful to get you started but consider how many people will be using similar sentences – you will need something individual if you want your statement to have the right impact.

It is extremely difficult is to keep to the word count, but essential that you do. Good statements are sifted to get rid of the irrelevant information, even some of the good stuff, in order to really highlight what is relevant.
Guard against starting too many paragraphs or sentences with ‘I’. Consider alternatives: My ability to… During… When… Although…, Whilst… An example of…etc

Refrain from writing long winded sentences. If your sentences consist of more than 32 words or more, then for the reader’s sake, reduce them!

Take the reader on a journey, link your paragraphs and try to ensure that your statement flows. Refrain from making grand statements about yourself. If you have excellent communication skills, imply this with evidence or examples, rather than a declaration.

Not all students are called for an interview but if your course is competitive it is highly likely that you will be. Assume you will be and therefore assume that someone will question all of the claims in your statement. This will help you to be genuine and consider examples and evidence to substantiate everything that you write.

Check your statement for typos and spelling errors, then check it again and then ask your parents and tutor to check again!! A spelling error or silly mistake will spoil all of your hard work!

5 paragraphs are sufficient if you structure them in a good way:

1. Introduction – why have you chosen this course or subject? How did you become interested in it?

2. What have you done to find out more about the subject (or career)? Include any talks, seminars, visits, work experience, books you have read etc

3. How do your AS and A2 or Diploma subjects relate to your chosen course? What have you learnt that you can apply to your future studies?

4. What have you gained from your personal activities or interests that will support your application? Think about skills that you have developed, achievements etc

5. Conclusion – what are your aspirations and ambitions? what personal qualities do you have that will make you an excellent student? Why should the Uni give you an offer?

About Debbie Gingell:

Throughout my career, I have worked with people from a variety of backgrounds including: students, senior business executives, refugees, mums returning to work, ex-offenders and long term unemployed. I have worked hard to support people who need to secure their first/next job or University place and genuinely love what I do!

We are all unique individuals and I believe that it is important for us to secure the right job because it can lead to a sense of worth and personal satisfaction. My freelance work involves professional CV writing and career coaching for the Times Education Careers Department in London. Providing local and on line career advice and support via Leg up careers, and working with students at an Independent School in Cambridge, supporting students with their University applications and career decisions.

I am extremely committed to helping people to overcome barriers to employment so that they can move forwards and become more successful!

Feel free to email me on: dgingell@legupcareers.co.uk or visit www.legupcareers.co.uk

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How To Get Yourself Out There

Guest post: Amber Waddy from Job Zoo, describes how to stand out from the crowd and get noticed in an overcrowded job market:

It’s hard for many job seekers today to stand out from the crowd, and to find a place that’s right for them. I struggled for several months trying to find anyone that would have me, and yet I was still failing to get anywhere. The trick isn’t only having experience, you need to have a certain sparkle about you to keep employers interested in you here after. So, what can you do? Well, I’ve compiled a short list of the basics which should give you a good kick start.

Get Your Files In Order

Everyone always tells you that you need a creditable CV to get anywhere, but that’s only half the battle. Having a great cover letter is also rather important as this is your opportunity to shine. You have to put across not only your skills and desires, but also your personality and sense of self. In my opinion, a CV will never show people who you really are, so a cover letter would be ideal. It’s not a one to one conversation, but it’s certainly a start. All CV’s look the same after a while, even to job seekers, so one thing that can give you a fighting chance is to change the look of your CV once in a while. If not for your potential future employer, then for your sanity. There are plenty of nice looking layouts around the web, so be sure to have a sufficient peruse.

Do Your Research

Some people know what their preferred sector is when it comes to employment, but not many people try to reach certain companies unless a vacancy is listed. I spent months just looking as a whole instead of approaching companies individually which eventually hindered me. I’ve got news for you people… you don’t have to wait. They have to hold onto your CV for a short while whether they currently have positions or not, so your details will always be close by. I’ve had a few incidents where I applied for a vacancy assuming they’d say no, and they’ve proved me wrong more than once. You also need to show them that you have a genuine interest in the company itself. This can be done by following them through social media, using their services regularly or even a little bit of promotion on your part. The more enthusiasm for the brand you exude, the more likely they are to notice.

Go The Extra Mile

If you’re anything like me, you prefer to do what’s needed and nothing more. That isn’t a forward thinking strategy, as I’ve found. They don’t expect the world of you, but if there is something you can do that will benefit both you and the company then all the more for it! This can be from something as simple as unpaid work experience to volunteering at one of their events. If you can show them that you’re keen, and like the work they do, then the chances are they’ll start to buddy up to you. Once you gain their trust and friendship they are much more likely to tell you if new positions are coming up. I know plenty of people that have gained a job because they had previously volunteered their services, including the likes of my own mother.

Finding a new job will always be a bit of a chore, especially when you’ve been on the market for a while. However it is not impossible to get what you what, as long as you remember what you need to do. For more information about CV’s, cover letters, volunteering and other handy job tools have a look around the web for tips, guides and other such resources.

Resource and Bio:

Job Zoo was created with the primary purpose of giving young people, school leavers, grads/post grads and first time jobbers the best chance of finding that dream job. They provide users with job listings, CV templates and much more.

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Guest blog: CV top tips!

 

Guest blog from Debbie Gingell, Career Coach at Leg Up Careers

A winning CV is one that shows you off to your best potential!

Many people make the mistake of viewing their CV as a record of their education, skills and experience. Your CV is a personal selling tool and its job is to sell your skills, experience, abilities and potential! You have to motivate the reader to want to meet you in person – at Interview!

Consider the marketing material Estate Agents use to sell houses. They won’t lie about anything but will often turn the old outhouse in the back garden into a potential fourth bedroom if they believe this will sell the house. If you think of your own CV as a personal marketing or sales tool, it will help you to sell yourself.

There are essential elements required on your CV but the order you put them in depends on what sells you the most. If your work experience is key to your application, keep this on the first page, if your education is key, keep this on the first page.

Some top tips…

 Keep to 2 pages. There are some exceptions, an example would be an established scientist who has written numerous papers, or a doctor

 Never use tables or columns – only bullet points for lists

 Cover any gaps in your dates, even if you have to include periods of unemployment. HR recruiters are trained to look for gaps and always tend to think the worst

 Be honest – your CV will be used at interview and if you have lied, you could get yourself into a state when questioned

 Leave some white paper on the page – keep it easy to read

 Highlight the most relevant details, for example, don’t highlight your University in bold; highlight your degree
Never include important personal details like your National Insurance number etc;

 You do not need to have the title ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of your CV, it should be obvious what it is. This is like putting ‘Letter’ at the top of a letter

 Check your CV for typos and spelling mistakes, then check it again and then ask someone else to check it! One spelling error or silly mistake will spoil all of your hard work!

 There are trends with CVs that come and go. One trend used to be to include your photo at the top of the first page. This phased out, mainly to avoid discrimination and promote equality. Occasionally, some people still opt to include a photo. I have spoken to HR professionals at some of the larger organisations like Cambridge University Press who say they prefer to receive CV’s without photographs

Structure your CV:

  • Name and contact details
  • Personal Profile
  • Key skills and achievements
  • Education
  • Employment History
  • Additional information
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • References

Again, change the headings according to what sells you. A young person who cannot yet list their key achievements should sell their ‘Key Skills’.

About Debbie Gingell:

Throughout my career, I have worked with people from a variety of backgrounds including: students, senior business executives, refugees, mums returning to work, ex-offenders and long term unemployed. I have worked hard to support people who need to secure their first/next job or University place and genuinely love what I do!

We are all unique individuals and I believe that it is important for us to secure the right job because it can lead to a sense of worth and personal satisfaction. My freelance work involves professional CV writing and career coaching for the Times Education Careers Department in London. Providing local and on line career advice and support via Leg up careers, and working with students at an Independent School in Cambridge, supporting students with their University applications and career decisions.

I am extremely committed to helping people to overcome barriers to employment so that they can move forwards and become more successful!

Feel free to email me on: dgingell@legupcareers.co.uk or visit www.legupcareers.co.uk

 

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Keeping your CV safe online

With the recent news that the Guardian jobs website was hacked, the theft of 4.5 million users’ personal details from the monster.co.uk website, and with identity fraud on the increase,  what can you do to safeguard your online CV?

According to the Metropolitan Police, 93% of CVs posted online contain enough information for criminals to steal your identity. This information could then be used to take out credit cards and loans in your name, acess your accounts, seriously affect your credit rating and even gain a passport in your name!

Here are some top tips:

  • Make sure the site you are posting to is genuine as some bogus ones have been set up purely to collect CV data.  Research online the site’s reputation.
  • Be wary of those emails you get out of the blue suggesting you for an interview (particularly in a field that is not your skill set), and that request further personal detail.
  • Check that anyone you respond to with further information has a company domain name in their email address and not a host server address.

On your CV:

DO NOT put the following information online. A prospective employer will be able to assess if you have the correct experience for the job without it.

  • Full address. Leave off your house number and road
  • Your middle name
  • Your marital status
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your date of birth/ place of birth (the Age Discrimination Act means that you don’t have to include this information)
  • Driving licence number
  • Bank details (obviously!)
  • Make sure you have a separate email address for job hunting. Get one free from sites such as Yahoo or Hotmail
  • Do not put names and addresses of any references. They will not thank you if their ID gets stolen! Simply write “References available on request”

In addition:

  • Do not put similiarly sensitive info on Facebook or other networking sites.
  • Deactivate any online CVs when you are not job hunting or if you do not use that job site any more.
  • Make a notes of all those places that you have applied to with your personal information online, just in case.
  • If you are applying directly to a company or via an email received, then have a look on the Companies House website (www.companieshouse.gov.uk) to check they are legitimate.
  • Ensure that you regularly change your jobs’ website passwords and have up to date anti-virus/security software on your laptop or PC.

How comfortable are you posting your CV online with the recent security breaches? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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