Friday, September 27th, 2019
You’re likely to be decades into your career before the several-page CV becomes a necessity. For most roles, it’s best to keep it to two sides of A4 at the most.
That means when you want to add something new, you need to make space for it, whereas older information like further education qualifications might be less relevant than, for example, more recent job experience.
Here are five simple steps to a CV revamp that cuts the weaker information and puts your strongest credentials front and centre.
1. Read the job description
It sounds obvious, but before you revamp your CV, read the job description – in full – for the role you are applying for.
That way you can prioritise your most relevant experience and move anything less important, but which you think is still worth including, further down the page.
Consider your cover letter too, as you can use this to reference your most relevant attributes from your CV and give the interviewer some signposts as to what questions to ask you.
2. Summarise older information
As time passes, the older information on your CV might deserve less spelling out, so summarise it if it’s still worth including at all.
That might mean your education section becomes a short list of qualifications with only your higher education and continuing professional development fully itemised.
You might find this a useful opportunity to hide periods of poor performance in the past – it’s best not to leave gaps in your personal timeline, but you don’t have to point out past failures either.
3. Check the wording
If you’re polishing an existing CV, don’t just skim read what you wrote in the past, as your personal tone of voice may have changed in the months or years since.
Working in an industry for a long time can change the way you talk about it and about yourself, so make sure any industry-specific words you used in the past are still correct.
This helps you to present yourself as you are now, at this newest stage in your career, as well as to remove obsolete terminology that makes you sound less relevant to the here and now.
4. Don’t use filler
You don’t need five bullet points for every role in your career history. If you’re short of space, consider deleting the less significant or repetitive lines.
This not only avoids wasting the interviewer’s time, it also puts the spotlight on the experiences you are most proud of and gives you more confidence about what the interview questions will be based on.
In most cases your more recent jobs will be the most interesting to the interviewer, so unless you had a particularly high-profile role early in your career, list them in reverse chronological order with more focus on the recent past.
5. Prioritise your USPs
CVs can be pretty formulaic – in fact that’s the whole point of them, to make it easier to compare one candidate with another.
If you have one or more truly unique credentials, such as an achievement nobody else has matched, major media coverage or a prestigious industry award, include it.
Even if there’s no obvious place to list it, put it in a section of its own if you have to – if you’re proud enough that you want to include it, it’s probably worthy of the spotlight.
Thursday, September 19th, 2019
The different social media sites each have their own possibilities when it comes to finding a job.
While the obvious social network for job seekers is LinkedIn with its CV-style profiles and networking opportunities, others like Facebook and Twitter have their own potential too.
Here are some ways to find a job using social media, whatever sites you are most active on.
The business social network has a clearly defined niche, so if you’re looking for a job using social media, LinkedIn is worth some attention.
First and foremost, make sure your profile is up to date, with recent career history, achievements and qualifications listed.
It’s worth keeping your LinkedIn profile active and updated – not only might you get headhunted for a lucrative role, but it’s a handy reference for facts and figures you want to remember to include on your CV too.
Facebook is ‘the’ social network and has always had more of a local community, friends and family feel to it.
That doesn’t mean it’s no good for jobhunting though – look out for relevant groups you can join, such as groups based on the area where you live, or the industry you work in.
Respect the rules of the groups you join, for example if they specifically don’t allow advertising or asking for work.
Other than that there’s nothing wrong with writing a post asking if anyone in your area is hiring, or even reaching out to high-profile individuals via their business page or group.
Twitter is surprisingly powerful when it comes to finding work. Many job boards tweet out their latest vacancies – you can use Advanced Search to restrict the results to your geographical location.
You can also find freelance and contracting opportunities just by spotting tweets from individuals in need of a particular service.
Try to build a network of like-minded individuals within your profession, or major employers in your industry, and you can increase your likelihood of seeing job opportunities on your timeline.
Finally if you want to keep a close eye on new employment opportunities on Twitter over time, consider using a tool like TweetDeck, which can keep specific searches open at all times in a separate column.
Instagram and YouTube
Depending on your chosen profession, it might be worth putting the ‘media’ in ‘social media’ by building a profile on a multimedia-based social network like Instagram or YouTube.
You can show off your artistic side, post video CVs and showreels, and curate a different audience than you have on your text-based social networking profiles.
These are by no means the only websites that allow you to do this – there are plenty of photography hosting sites too, for example – so find one that allows you to show off your work at its best.
Last of all, no matter which social network (or networks) you decide to use, make sure you post relevant content and comments, especially when looking for employment.
Think about the kind of words and phrases a potential employer might be searching for – this can help you to show up if they run a search for possible candidates.
It may also increase your chances of making the cut if they use an applicant tracking system to weed out the less relevant candidates’ CVs from the pile.
Are you on the hunt for a job? We can help you strengthen your CV and pair you with a perfect job! Call us today to get started.
Friday, September 6th, 2019
The first day at work in any new job can be challenging as you try to learn the ropes as quickly as possible, but when you’re a personal assistant it’s even more important to hit the ground running so you can excel in your role.
Once you’re past that first day, week and month, you’re likely to settle into more of a routine – although of course there will be surprises along the way too.
Here’s our guide to what to expect on the first day as a PA and what is likely to follow on a ‘normal’ day after that…
How to prepare for a PA role
By the time you’re given the job as a PA, it’s likely that you will know exactly who you will be assisting – and you probably met them at the interview stage.
This gives you a great opportunity to do your background research, find out the kinds of appointments and commitments you will need to keep on top of, and start planning a daily schedule.
Make sure you know what tools you would like to use to keep track of things. You might prefer a paper diary or calendar you can easily jot things down on, or an electronic or email-based calendar that triggers automatic reminders – whatever works best for you.
First day as a PA
Your first day is about getting your bearings, and as much as you might want to start at full speed ahead, it’s not always possible to do that.
There’s likely to be certain orientation sessions, whether that’s meeting your managers and colleagues, learning about the company culture, health and safety, and fire evacuation routine, or some other kind of icebreaker or introduction.
But you’ll usually have at least some time to yourself too, and this is your chance to familiarise yourself with your new working environment, any computer equipment and other tools at your disposal, and start your planning.
How to excel quickly
The PA role is all about organisation, so the sooner you can get your plans in order, the better.
You might want to start by drawing up a timetable for regular commitments and available appointments for one-off meetings, interviews and other events.
Even if you’re a natural when it comes to time-keeping, you may also want to set up some reminders so you don’t miss anything important in your first few days.
Day two and beyond…
Congratulations, you survived your first day in a high-stress PA role – now comes the rest of your career!
That planning you already made will prove helpful in the long term, as you settle into a routine of repetitive weekly meetings and other commitments, occasional interviews and one-off events, and ongoing responsibility for timekeeping
A lot of your role may prove to be admin support, from ghost-writing correspondence from your boss, to photocopying spare copies of important documents.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s the bread and butter of the role, and should leave you able to put your attention on making sure your boss never misses an important engagement, no matter how long you are their PA.
If you’re interested in becoming a PA, give us a call today to get started on the road to success!