Looking for a Job
The first stage of job hunting is creating your CV.
Creating the best CV possible
Your CV is an important document that will sell you to employers. Here’s how we recommend you structure your CV to get the best results from it. It’s worth investing some time and effort in getting this right as it will really help you get results.
Though you should tweak your CV depending on the role you’re applying to, it should always include the following information:
Your contact information
Starting from the top, state your name, and any professional titles you have. You should also add the town/county you live in and your email address and phone number. You don’t need to add your address, or title your document “CV” or “Curriculum Vitae”. Your name is a good enough title!
You also shouldn’t add the following: Your age, a headshot or your marital status.
The all-important profile
Your profile sits underneath your contact details and gives your prospective employers information on who you are, what you can offer a company and your career goals. Here you can talk about your experience (which is relevant to the role) and any key skills you have. If you’re looking for part-time work, say so here.
Your profile should be tailored for every job you apply to.
Make your profile short, sweet and relevant, and include keywords from the job specification such as “proactive”, “team-player” or “proven ability”. You should also include the skills you have, the role you want or the industry you want to work in. For example, management accounts, financial accounts, VAT returns etc.
Your most relevant and impressive experience
The next section is all about your experience and employment history. List your most recent job first, and include the following information for every role you’ve had in the last decade:
- Job title
- Dates you worked
- Your key responsibilities (relevant for the role) including figures/statistics/results if appropriate and available. Use powerful verbs if possible, such as managed, organised, led etc.
Your most recent education
Next comes education. Again, start with the most recent institution and list the name of the place, dates you were there, qualifications and grades you got and any awards/prizes you won. If you have a degree, you can list relevant modules. If you have professional qualifications, put them at the top of this list.
Your key skills
Lastly, you can add key skills at the bottom of your CV. This can include vocational training you’ve taken. Only add hobbies if you feel you need more information on your CV and, only then, if your hobby is something unusual, impressive or interesting.
You don’t need to mention references on your CV.
Some more hot tips
- Your CV should be 1 – 3 pages, depending on your age and experience
- If you’re very experienced, you can reduce the amount of information you include about less relevant roles
- If you’re emailing your CV, make sure you use a font which will be easy for the other person to read, such as Calibri or Ariel
- Make sure that not only do you spellcheck your CV, but you ask someone else to check it too. Grammar and spelling really matter.
There’s a lot of information available online about how to write and present your CV, so do try and find a format which you like, and then invest some time in making your CV look professional and polished.
Once you have your CV ready, it’s time to hit the job boards.
Job boards are an essential part of finding a new role, as they are viewed by agencies and employers.
It’s free to register yourself on job boards, and you can set them up so you receive relevant vacancies by email.
It’s also a good idea to Google search for job boards relevant to you as they are highly optimised. Remember to upload a fresh CV every week so you have a higher chance of being spotted (and don’t forget to remove your existing CV first).
For a list of relevant Job Boards, please contact me!
Finding a new job can be frustrating, and it’s easy to feel demotivated sometimes.
Here’s the Perfect Team approach to job hunting while staying positive:
- Get up at a normal time and be by your computer by 09.00 each day
- Google search and bookmark job boards and check them every day
- Use all your social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc) to ask if your followers know anyone looking for someone with your skills
- Stop at lunchtime and take a break to eat, shop, go to the gym or even go for a walk. You could use this time to meet friends, family or contacts and mention to them that you’re job-hunting. You never know who they may know.
- Sit down again at 14.00 and work until 17.00
- Remember to remove/upload your CV from job boards each week, so you have a greater chance of being spotted
- Make sure you keep a note of the jobs you’ve applied for, and any relevant information you need to remember about them
- Remember to schedule in time to follow up once you’ve sent your CV or applied for a role
- If you have friends or family members who are also job hunting, you can team up and keep each other company while you search
- If you’ve not worked for a while, feel like you need a confidence boost, or want to get experience in a different field, volunteering is a great idea. Many charities would be delighted to welcome you, so you’ll be doing them a service and it will look good on your CV.
Maximise your chances of success
There is a job out there for you. Here are a few tips on how you can get it!
- Tailor your CV to each vacancy, making sure you use words/phrases from the job spec if possible in your profile
- Whether you’re applying to a company or an agency, always call to follow up within 10 minutes of pressing send. Using the excuse of checking they’ve got your CV gives you an opportunity to have a conversation and find out more about the role. This is a good way to get them to see you as a person, and not just a piece of paper. Think about questions you could ask before you call. You may be able to get an interview by taking the initiative in this way.
- Once you’ve put your CV on job boards you will get a lot of calls from high street agencies. By all means talk to them but remember that they need to register a certain number of people for every job. If they have a suitable role it’s worth registering with them but, if they don’t, you can politely explain that you’d prefer to wait to do this.
- If temporary work is available in a place you’d like to work, go for it! It will be great experience, and you’ll have the chance to show the client how good you are. Temporary roles can also become permanent – and if you are already in the role and doing a good job, you’ll be in with a shot.
With all this focused hard work, you’re bound to get an interview. Why not check out our interview top tips?