Your CV is your first opportunity to impress a potential employer, so it is worth putting effort into and getting it just right. There are two main things to look at when editing your CV – what it looks like and how it reads.
The formatting should be neat and consistent. Choose a font that is easy to read and use it for the main text, perhaps opting for a slightly fancier font for the headings if you wish. The colour should be black although a splash of colour in the headings is also acceptable. Ensure that the margins are symmetrical, indents are consistent and the line spacing does not fluctuate between paragraphs.
When it comes to the content, you need to aim for around a page and a half to two pages. With some clever adjustments such as the margins, font size and spacing, you can squeeze quite a bit of information onto each page but if your CV runs over several pages you will have to lose some of the content. Often the job history is far more detailed and repetitive than it needs to be, so sometimes words can be lost from here. Some minor qualifications, if you have an extensive list, can also be omitted. There are several sections that should be included such as a personal profile written clearly and straight to the point, education, work history and hobbies and interests to show what sort of a person you are outside of work – we are not robots, after all.
The HR department should be your first port of call if you are experiencing any issues within your job. They can also be an important contact if you are looking for a new job or have just been offered a new position. HR can give you lots of information about a position that you might not be able to get from anyone else.
If you are experiencing any issues at all, make sure HR are aware. These could be personal issues or they may be problems directly linked to your job, such as a difficult manager or struggles with your workload. An HR employee will be able to give you support and advice on the issue and they will not be able to tell anyone about it without your permission. They will have a good knowledge of workplace rules and regulations, as well as your specific company, so they are in a good position to advise you.
Changing career is always going to be difficult. There are some ways in which you can make the transition more easily, reducing your stress and leading to better outcomes. Here is some advice:
- Think carefully before making a career change. It is going to be a stressful time and interviews and applications take a long time. Don’t apply for jobs that you don’t really want.
- Plan your career progress. Look into working for companies and organisations where you can be happy for the foreseeable future.
- Make sure you check your contract thoroughly. Unanswered questions now could lead to problems in the future. Be clear on your contract and understand it fully.
- Talk to a careers adviser. It’s an expensive service but it can help you reach your goals and achieve more. They can help you plan your career and make the right career move decisions to take the pressure off you.
Job hunting is a difficult time for anybody, whether you are in employment and want a change or whether you are unemployed. The only real way to approach it is to be organised, proactive and resilient. Here are some tips for finding your next job:
- Chase people up. If you apply for your dream job and don’t hear back, don’t be afraid to call them. It’s possible they may not have seen your application. If they haven’t reviewed it yet, you will look like a very enthusiastic candidate.
- Prepare yourself to be told you haven’t got the job. You won’t always be employed straight away. There is a lot of competition in most industries. Develop a thick skin and the right job will come along soon.
- Be professional. Deal with recruiters and potential future employers in a professional manner.
- Apply for lots of jobs. The more you apply for, the more used to the process you will get.
A covering letter can be a good way to get yourself noticed during the job search. Jobs are highly competitive, especially in certain fields, and you will need to make sure you have something that makes you stand out. Use lots of buzzwords that will match up with the required skills for the jobs and make sure you fully outline how your experience matches the criteria for the position.
A cover letter is your chance to show that you are very interested in a position. Don’t just make it technical – let your personality show through as well. A recruiter or hiring manager will want to know whether you are going to fit into a team, so make sure they understand who you are and what you are about. Tell them about why you want the job, how you feel they can benefit from your experience and why you are an outstanding candidate.
Stop putting off getting in touch with a recruitment consultant or agency. If you’re thinking about sending them your CV or introducing yourself in order to find a new job, there is no time like the present. Recruitment consultants can definitely help you to find the job of your dreams.
Recruitment professionals will have access to lots of jobs that you wouldn’t otherwise hear about. This is because many companies will use their trusted recruitment agency to find all of their potential candidates when a position opens up. This reduces their workload as they won’t have to source candidates themselves.
Recruitment professionals will also be able to help you throughout the recruitment process, providing support and advice along the way. They can provide an invaluable service to anybody looking for a new job, helping them to succeed in interviews and, where necessary, put together any written work or presentations.