Job / Career / Life Management Websites are becoming more and more popular everyday. We see them advertised in local and national newspapers and other forms of advertising mediums, not to mention On-Line. The people behind them are usually self-employed who for whatever reason want to give something back, have an own-business aspiration, have taken early retirement, have taken a redundancy package, have had personal experiences of the service they are trying to offer and / or want to offer a business from their home on a part-time / full-time basis. Should you need their services think about the following website criteria, before making a decision on which person to choose to help you in your job / career / life challenge: Read more
Career Planning in your Organisation i.e. the place in which you work, is not always the responsibility of your manager or the organisation. Yes, the organisation is responsible to provide the environment, culture and resources to help you plan your career, but at the end of the day it is you who has to use the environment, the culture and the resources in which you work in to achieve your career aspirations. For the organisation to support and help you achieve your career aspirations, they (career aspirations) need to be linked to and have an adverse positive effect on the bottom line of the organisation i.e. deliver on sustainable competitive advantage. Read more
How to get promoted in an organisation is not always easy, especially for the people who have been in the organisation a long time and feel they deserve to be promoted. People may have been promised a promotion as part of a performance review or during the recruitment & selection process and it hasn’t materialized. And people may genuinely want to get to the top of their particular department or the actual organisation and there is no career path or opportunities for this to happen. Whichever one of the three situations above do not occur, the employee will leave the organisation and look to other organisations to meet their career needs. Read more
Outplacement is the term given to employers who wish to support their employees who need to be made redundant from their job / organisation. Outplacement services can be provided by employees who work in the organisation (from the HR Department) or the organisation can source the services from an external professional provider who has experienced redundancy themselves and has developed / delivered proven training interventions to large and small organisations and on a 1 : 1 basis. Many organisations do not know that they can provide such a service to their employees, which can make the trauma and difficulty of having to let go staff somewhat easier, while being helpful to them in the future. What does Outplacement entail? Read more
We probably spend half or even more of our waking hours working. If we don’t like what we do, it spills into our personal / family lives and has a tremendous impact. If our career and subsequent income don’t give us financial and just reward, we sometimes ask ourselves ‘ What is it all for?’ Financial reward shouldn’t always be a motivator though, but it is still frightfully critical. Read more
There have been a lot of articles written recently about the need to bring back and facilitate the return of women to the world of work. The need for women to work to help support themselves and/or their families (whatever the circumstance) is now more prevalent than ever due to pressures of quality of life and in some instances to live. Read more
I have only experienced the receipt of a voluntary redundancy severance package (VRSP) once in my career, whereas some of you reading this may have received a few in your careers or some never. Receiving a large sum of money from an employer is a very rewarding experience no matter what the experience (for a while), but then you realize that money isn’t everything and it will not solve all your deep and passionate problems completely. Read more
We probably spend half our waking hours working. If we don’t like what we do, it spills into our personal lives and has a tremendous impact. If our career and subsequent income don’t give us financial and just reward, we sometimes ask ourselves ‘ What is it all for?’ Financial reward shouldn’t always be a motivator though, but it is still frightfully critical. Read more
As I write this, there are people walking the streets of cities, towns and business parks, dropping in or handing in copies of their CV’s / Résumé’s or they are hitting the send / submit button to organizations who have not requested it from them or who have not advertised an open job position or who have no vacancies. Most times these CV’s / Résumé’s are not even read; they go in the bin or they are deleted. The attitude most times from them is, ‘Not another CV!’ How can you let people / organizations know that you have skills they need and that you are looking to use them in their organization to help them make money or save money without using a CV?
The answer is by using a Target Letter.
A Target Letter is a letter tailored written to an organization who you want to let know that you are looking for employment with them, even though they have not advertised an open position. It is a letter that is sent to the Manager / Director of the Department / Area you want to work in. It is not sent to Human Resources (HR). HR only get involved when a post has been actually advertised and needs to be filled. Sending Target Letters, even CV’s to HR Department can work, but they do not always work. You want to do things as part of your job hunt campaign that ‘always work’.
The Target Letter can be written in different ways and formats. The best way is a one full page letter, structured and designed that it is easy for the reader to read and tells them all the information they need to know in order to make an informed decision whether to meet you or not, preferably the former. The letter should contain a table summary format telling the employer what they need and what you have to meet these needs. It should contain Bold, Underlined and Italic font so as to make the page more appealing and interesting to read. The Bold fonts are usually the important bits. It is always written to a person (name and job title and department spelled correctly) and signed in blue pen if being posted or a blue signature if being emailed.
Do you post or email? For many people, receiving a letter in the post is still a respected and cherished activity. They see that the person (you) have went to the trouble of putting pen to paper, printing it, addressing it and posting to them. When they get it by post, they are more likely to read it in more detail than an e-mail and that it is only one page…not a a three or four page CV. It is still perfectly fine to send your Target Letter by email too as an attachment or as an email, the latter being probably more effective and easier for the reader (some people don’t like opening attachments as they could be corrupt and they take too long to open.
How CV’s have changed over the years. Employers are no longer reading CV’s, they are scanning them looking for key words and statements that help them make a decision whether to meet you or not. They are really not interested in what you did or do in your previous or current employments, they are more interested in how you made a difference, what you changed. What did you do in your role that took the business / organisation to a different level, that made them money or saved them money? i.e. they are interested in your Achievements, not in your Responsibilities.
In CV’s of the past, people would list down everything they did in the organisation on a day to day basis. Whether it be in the area of hands-on work, working for people, people working for them (working through people), everything was listed down. They felt that informing the reader (potential employer) of everything they do in their current role and everything they did in their past roles, would secure them an interview. It probably would (will) in some cases, but not all cases. You want a CV that gets you an interview in all cases.
In the new age CV, Professional CV writers are now focusing on what you achieved among those responsibilities. In other words how you made a difference. It’s about rewording your responsibilities in words of achievements. These words are expressed in result / outcome type words e.g. ’10 technical personnel reporting to me’ versus ‘Management of team of 10 technical personnel that designed, delivered and completed a € X Project on time and within budget that saved the organisation € X over a 12 month period’.
Or another example, ‘Production planning and scheduling’ versus ‘Planned and scheduled production that ensured consistent and efficient manufacturing processes that delivered on time every time’. Or, ‘Responsible for sales in the west and midland regions’ versus ‘Achieved monthly sales targets of € X over a two period in my region which covered the West and Midlands’. With this approach, you are selling yourself to the organisation in a way that they understand, are impressed with and speaks their language. You have made it easy for them to decide to meet with you.
If employment seeking people put themselves in the employer’s shoes and learned how to speak the employer’s organisation language, by using words from the job description, words form the organisational website and last but no least wrote and worded what they achieved in their current and previous employments, they would secure many more interviews and many more job offers in return. In fact a CV written like this makes an actual interview easier for both interviewee and interviewer.
So as you now begin to review your CV after reading this, think about how you would like to read about you, what you would like to read about you so as to help you meet with you and possibly hire you. Putting yourself in the employers shoes is just simply not been done enough by job hunters.