Career

Writing a ‘Change of Career’ CV

At one time, you began in a professional and you stayed in it until you retired. Most people never considered retraining or changing career unless it was enforced on them. But today, people change careers all the time and it is much easier than before.  However, one area that requires special attention when changing career is your CV – how do you know what to use from your old career to help improve your chances in your new one?

Look at transferable skills

Every job has transferable skills – skills that are relevant to another job. Say you were a taxi driver and you want to work in marketing – well you have a great sense of customer service, how to talk to people and also excellent time management. These are all skills that can transfer to your new role. While you might not be doing any driving in a marketing job (of the car variety anyway), you have still learned things that can help you in your new role.

Be confident in your abilities

You learned how to do your old job and that determination will help you learn what to do to your new one. Don’t be afraid to be confident in your abilities, even if they don’t seem relevant to your new role. Sell your strengths and the abilities that you have picked up in your old job that can benefit the new role and use these when discussing your previous roles.

Don’t worry about documenting everything

Think of a CV as a highlight show rather than watching the entire match – you want to include the most important stuff but you don’t need to document everything you have ever done or jobs you have held. Look at the roles that have those transferable skills and highlight them while referring to other roles with less important skills involved. And don’t worry about the irrelevant ones.

Tailor your CV

This one goes for every type of CV you will encounter – make sure you personalise it for every job. Look at the keywords that describe the role and make sure you use these naturally in your CV. Look at the kind of skills you have developed that are relevant to the new job and focus attention on these.

Use your opening paragraph wisely

Many people include an opening statement or paragraph on their CV and this is a good opportunity to highlight why you want to make a change. Look at what you offer the new company and the positives for making the change – don’t be tempted to trash your old employer or criticise them as this never looks good.

Don’t be afraid to get help

Writing a change of career CV can be quite challenging so don’t be afraid to get some help with the task. There are professional CV writers such as Purple CV who can offer their services to help you get the perfect change of career CV, highlighting the important stuff and downplaying any irrelevant stuff. And because your CV is such an important part of getting the new role, it is definitely worth investing in.

 

CV Tools, Interviews

Common Interview and CV Mistakes

As well as the basics of what you can do to give yourself the edge in your job hunt, it can also be helpful to look at what not to do.

We all know the obvious mistakes to watch out for – spelling mistakes on your CV or incorrect contact details, for example.

But what are some other things to avoid – the common errors that can be easily fixed, as well as the more unusual mistakes to look out for?

Watch the video below to find out.

 

Interviews

Your CV is Just the Start

There’s no doubting the importance of your CV when you are looking for a new job. But simply submitting it and getting to the interview process is only the start of the modern job seeking system. Here’s a look at some of the other situations and processes you might need to deal with in order to get that role.

Screening interviews

If the job is for a big company or there are lots of candidates, then the company may use a screening interview to lessen the numbers. These typically involve determining if you have the qualifications and experience for the job in a little more depth than is featured on a CV. It might also look at background checks and even involve a DBS check beforehand to look at your criminal record.

Screening interviews tend to focus on things like telling the interviewer about yourself, your work history and specific skill based questions. It may also look at things like what your salary requirements are and why you are interested in the job.

Employment verification and reference checks

If there isn’t a screening interview, there will likely be some checks before you reach a formal interview. These are often known as employment verification and reference checks as they will involve speaking to past employers and people you have listed as references on your CV.

If DBS checks or other background checks haven’t already been done, this is where they are likely to be confused. It might look into your credit history and confirm that you have the right to work in the UK. If there are any questions about CRB checks or other background information, this will all be handled before any interview is scheduled.

Phone interviews

An alternative to screening interviews are phone interviews, where you will chat with the interviewer over the phone. They may even use something like Skype for the face to face element without being in person and is a popular option if you are travelling any distance for the job. You may have the call pre-scheduled which allows you time to prepare or the employer may be sneaky and just give you a call – so do a little preparation beforehand to be safe.

 

Role play interviews

Another new addition to the interview repertoire is the role play interview. This is a way for the interviewer to see how you deal with situations and usually involves a short preparation before entering into the situation. These will usually revolve around real world situations that you might face in your role so might be dealing with a customer complaint for a retail job or handling a disruptive client. It might even involve approaching marketing a new company or planning a website design.

Dinner job interviews

Not all interviews are in very formal situations – some can take place over a meal. Don’t be fooled into thinking this isn’t a serious interview however as all the normal interview rules apply. The idea of these types of interviews is to see how people respond in different situations and view their interpersonal skills, even their table manners! So, brush up on your etiquette for dining before the meal as well as your interview skills.

 

 

CV Tools

What Makes a Good CV?

The CV is one of the most important documents when looking for a job or applying for one. It showcases you, your experience and your skills as well as adding a little personality into the process. But what makes a good CV and what is worth avoiding?

Basic tips

While you will create a basic CV to save time, don’t be tempted to send the same CV to every job unless they happen to be for the same role. Make sure you personalise it to the job and company in question to ensure all the information is relevant and helps showcase what you offer to the employer.

Do include social media profiles, especially LinkedIn or if you have a blog. These can help the company get to know you and research you a little – so make sure anything you include links to help your case rather than hinder it.

Writing tips

Keywords are a concept mostly associated with websites but also applies to CVs. When creating a CV, it is important to use relevant keywords for the job you are applying for but to do so in a natural way. So if you are applying for an accountancy role, you might use terms around the job and those mentioned in the advert.

However, avoid using too much industry jargon because there’s a good chance that the person reading the CV doesn’t do your job. They may be HR staff, personal assistants or even a computer program that filters out unsuitable people. If you use too much jargon, these people won’t know what you are on about even if your potential boss might and this can get you relegated to the ‘decline’ pile.

Including an opening statement is a good move that is a quick chance to introduce yourself, let them know who you are and make that good first impression before moving into the meat of the document. You can highlight some experience or evidence based reasons why you are good for the job but don’t go for general statements.

Skills and experience tips

While it was once the case that you listed every job you have ever had, the current CV writing experts say to focus on the experience that is relevant to the job. So if you are applying for an engineering job, don’t worry about the six months you spent working in the supermarket when you were in your late teens. Focus on achievements, rather than just listing duties.

Don’t worry about telling the story of each of your jobs on the CV. For example, there’s no need to tell anyone why you left a job on a CV – if the interviewer wants to know, they will ask. Instead, use the precious space to focus on positive and relevant things.

Design tips

While you have to put a bit of information on a CV, it is important to do it in a way that is easy to read. Designers call it ‘white space’ areas where there is no text or colour and this helps to draw the eye to the important stuff. So, while content is much more important than design, these tips can add to the overall professional appearance of your CV.

 

CV Tools

A Smart Resume Writer Welcome

Welcome to Smart Resume Writer. Here we will be providing you with tonnes of tips and advice that will help you to create a CV that employers will love. We’ll be covering;

  • Some great tools that help you create a resume that really pops. With tips for Word, Power Point, Publisher, Illustrator and even selecting great CV writers, there will be tools for all abilities to take advantage of
  • Content, content, content! There will be lots of great advice on what should (and most definitely shouldn’t!) be included in your resume
  • Guidance to help you select the right CV style for the right purpose and level. Be it a career change, a promotion, getting back in the game or a newbie to the job world we will have some great guidance on how to create a CV that will make you stand out from the crowd
  • Background knowledge that you need to know to stay one step ahead in the job search game. This will include things like why you need a CV, what role it plays in the recruitment process and how to ensure that your CV links in with your social brand (so making sure things like your social media is on point, your documents, history, background checks and so forth are all in order), so you are one step ahead when it does get to the next stage in the recruitment process

To start us off on the Smart Resume Writer journey, here is a cool tutorial for a classic and professional looking CV template made in Adobe Illustrator…