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Long gone are the days of the “job for life” in the UK.  Research shows that employees change jobs anything from 7 to 15 times throughout their careers.

Most people like to have a solid employment history or at least remain in the same job for a couple of years.  Staying in the same job for a few years shows commitment and loyalty and employers still like those qualities.

However, a lot can still happen in the labour market in a couple of years.  It’s surprising how even little changes can mean your job search and CV are out of date, dull or just don’t stand out from the crowd.

We’ve pulled together some points that are being discussed by the recruitment professionals out there at the moment.  These points are well worth considering if you’re back on the job market for the first time in a while.

Create a Personal Brand

Most people know the importance of using LinkedIn in their job search.  Today having an up to date LinkedIn profile goes hand in hand with your CV.

With the advancement in technology, it’s not only easier to find someone’s professional profile but they have easy access to a candidate’s personal life too.

PC Friendly CV

It’s now better to save your word document as a PDF file.  Once you’ve converted the word document to a PDF version it will maintain its original format, unlike some word versions that distort the look.

Technology

There’s an assumption that everyone knows how to use systems these days.

However, there are still lots of candidates that will fall short of the technological requirements of a job.

Therefore, it’s important to include your specific IT and systems skills and knowledge as this could give you a very real advantage in the screening process.

Achievements

Today it’s important to list your achievements and accomplishments on your CV, however, there’s a slight change in the way these achievements are presented.

A more effective way of writing an achievement is to put the result at the beginning of the sentence:

  • The costs saved, the percentage of additional revenue generated or how much time was saved by automating a process.

Then follow the result with a brief and concise description of how you achieved it.  For example:

  • “Reduced the cost of stationery by 30% by sourcing a new supplier, educating the business on waste reduction methods and introducing a company-wide Waste Reduction & Recycling policy”.

Soft Skills

If you are going to list your softer skills ensure you back up the generic statements with how you have applied this particular skill.

For example, don’t just put “Excellent Communicator”.  Instead, consider this example:

  • “Responsible for all communication to senior managers relating to financial management information to facilitate strategic decision making.”

Be honest

Another point that should go without saying but unfortunately the percentage of candidate’s that lie or exaggerate on their CVs is still surprisingly high.

Screening methods, selection techniques, interview processes and background checks are getting more and more sophisticated and candidates who cannot back up the information they claim on their CVs or application forms will be caught out at some point.

Professional Format

The style and format of a CV is going to be very different between sectors and industries.  Some industries don’t use CVs – they only use application forms to ensure a consistency of information gathered.

Some industries don’t use either CVs or application forms it is still word of mouth – the construction industry for example.  Be mindful and do some research about the style that’s right and current in your sector.

Accuracy

It still remains really important for you to double check your spelling and grammar.

Remember it’s so much easier to spot someone else’s spelling mistakes than the one’s you’ve made yourself!!  So be aware hiring managers and recruiters will notice these errors at a glance.

CIPD shared a great example recently of a candidate missing just one comma in a sentence describing his interests “Cooking dogs and interesting people”.  Oops!!

It has been said before that relying on MS Word to check for mistakes is not a full-proof way of ensuring it’s accurate, so take the time to double check.

About Dawn Moss

Dawn has worked in a corporate environment for over ten years providing Recruitment & Selection Services, and has been involved in Coaching & Educating Business Leaders, Managers and Employees in all aspects of the recruitment process.

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