Le CV par compétences : à adopter ou éviter ?

Chez TM International, nous avons récemment noté une nette augmentation du nombre de CV par compétences dans notre boîte de réception.

Êtes-vous déjà au courant de ce qui en est ce CV plutôt avant-garde ?

Peut-être souhaiteriez-vous que l’on vous conseille sur ses qualités et ses défauts ?  Alors voici votre petit manuel pour tout vous expliquer à propos de l’engouement pour ce format de candidature.

En bref, le CV par compétences se distingue du CV classique principalement au niveau de la mise-en-page.  Les compétences acquises par le candidat pendant sa carrière sont mises en valeur de manière hiérarchique, effaçant l’ordre ante-chronologique des expériences, ce qui est préféré du CV classique.  On met la qualité la plus fondamentale quant au métier au premier rang, suivie par deux ou trois compétences additionnelles considérées comme importantes pour le poste auquel on a postulé.  Voici plusieurs exemples.

Avantages

  • Si vous réfléchissez à une réorientation de carrière, le CV par compétences pourrait vous convenir. Il vous permet de mettre en évidence vos aptitudes pour un poste spécifique même si vos dernières expériences n’y correspondent pas.
  • De plus, si vos dernières expériences se sont développées dans plusieurs secteurs différents, le CV par compétences vous aiderait à présenter un parcours professionnel plus cohérent plutôt qu’un mélange d’expériences diverses.
  • Si vous souhaitez détourner l’attention d’une pause significative dans la carrière, la composition du CV par compétences favorise cela.
  • Il en va de même pour les experts dans un domaine, surtout dans l’informatique, qui souhaitent donner du relief aux compétences spécialisées, telle que la connaissance de certains logiciels par exemple.  Sophie Girardeau vous l’explique en profondeur ici.

Inconvénients

  • Le CV par compétences ne place pas les savoir-faire du candidat dans leur contexte ce qui peut rendre la candidature moins crédible et lisible chez les recruteurs.
  • En général, les personnels RH ne sont pas des aficionados de ce nouveau genre de CV et se déclarent avoir une préférence pour le style classique.
  • On ne conseille pas aux jeunes diplômés d’adopter ce genre du CV parce qu’ils n’ont que la formation pour prouver qu’ils ont acquis le bilan de compétences dont ils parlent.
  • Si votre situation professionnelle ne correspond pas à celles explorées dans la section « Avantages » ci-dessus, il vaudrait mieux opter pour le CV classique afin de ne pas risquer de présenter une candidature générale et répandue.

Enfin, à moins que vous soyez certain que le CV par compétences ferait la meilleure impression chez les Responsables RH, mieux vaut exercer la prudence et être fidèle au CV classique.  Aussi n’hésitez pas à regarder quelques exemples sur notre site.  Profitez-en bien !

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CV a-non-yme ?

C’est la question pertinente de la rentrée : les entreprises de 50 salariés et plus adopteront le CV anonyme ou non ?  On parle d’une loi votée en 2006 mais qui n’est pas encore entrée en vigueur.  Tout pourrait changer cependant, grâce au délai de six mois prononcé par le Conseil d’État en juillet de cette année qui pousse le gouvernement à agir.  Les opinions y sont divisées : un pas majeur vers l’égalité des chances ou une couche supplémentaire inutile de bureaucratie ?

La discrimination à l’embauche continue à affliger le processus de recrutement…

José Zamora en est victime exemplaire.  Cet article raconte sa lutte pour décrocher un entretien dans laquelle il a dû changer le nom sur son CV afin de recevoir des réponses.  Il reste ainsi certain que la discrimination à l’embauche est vraiment répandue.  L’adoption du CV anonyme éliminerait toute décision fondée sur le patronyme du candidat à la première phase du recrutement, ouvrant des portes à un système d’embauche plus neutre et objectif.  Nom, prénom, âge, photographie, date et lieu de naissance : chaque donnée inconnue.

Mais c’est là que réside le problème…

Sans aucune coordonnée, la prochaine étape de l’entretien relève de la folie.  À qui s’attendre ?  « Enchanté Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle Anonyme, comment vous appelez-vous ? »  C’est une scène maladroite qui ne peut ressembler qu’à une rencontre à l’aveugle.  En plus, la personne qui fait passer les entretiens finira par apprendre le nom du candidat et faire sa connaissance.  Si le recruteur est susceptible de prendre une décision basée sur des éléments discriminatoires, l’élaboration du CV anonyme ne fera que différer ce comportement jusqu’à la prochaine phase du recrutement plutôt que l’empêcher.

D’ailleurs, la discrimination positive ne sera plus possible avec le CV anonyme… 

Alors que la plupart des grandes organisations se sont engagées dans la lutte contre la discrimination en entreprise – ayant lancé des campagnes de diversité ou ayant signé la Charte de la Diversité – certaines mesures, telles que promouvoir le nombre de salariés issus de l’immigration ou féminiser une entreprise, deviendraient impossibles à l’heure de l’application du CV anonyme.  Comme l’indique une étude réalisée par le Centre de recherche en économie et statistiques (Crest), ceux qui sont issus de l’immigration, et qui manquent ainsi d’expérience professionnelle, seraient dans une position désavantageuse puisque le CV anonyme supprime toute possibilité de prendre en compte cette diversité.

Toutes choses considérées, bien que le CV anonyme paraisse ne pas être la voie à suivre, la décision de se battre contre ce type de discrimination répandue est fort louable.  Une piste d’amélioration serait peut-être de former davantage les équipes de recrutement sur les points sensibles afin de mettre fin aux préjugés à l’embauche.

À méditer et à suivre.  Qu’en pensez-vous ?  Laissez vos commentaires sous cet article !

Pourquoi Utiliser Un Cabinet De Recrutement?

 

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Avez-vous déjà passé des heures à chercher des postes en ligne et aux entretiens mal-adaptés à vous-même. Si votre réponse est oui, alors pourquoi ne pas profiter d’un cabinet de recrutement pour économiser votre temps et démultiplier vos chances pour trouver un poste bien adapté à vos souhaits et compétences

 

Optimisez votre temps

S’il est vrai que vous passez du temps auprès des cabinets au début de votre recherche (l’envoi du CV, l’entretien et les tests) ensuite le cabinet vous fait économiser votre temps. Une bonne agence de recrutement vous tiendra au courant dès qu’elle aura un poste bien-adapté à vos compétences. Vous ne perdrez plus votre temps avec les offres et entretiens qui ne conviennent pas à votre profil. Les cabinets de recrutement facilitent vraiment le processus et réduisent sensiblement le stress.

 

Pas de risque financier

Le service est totalement gratuit pour les candidats tout au long du processus. La rémunération d’un cabinet de recrutement est généralement basée sur un pourcentage de la rémunération brute donc les cabinets comptent sur vous, les candidats, pour leur envoyer votre CV.

 

Profitez des compétences des cabinets

Les meilleurs cabinets de recrutement sont plutôt contents de vous donner des conseils et du feedback sur votre candidature et CV. Ils assurent que vous êtes bien préparé pour chaque entretien en vous donnant une description du poste, des entreprises et ce que les entreprises attendent de vous.  Souvenez-vous qu’ils ont tous intérêt à vous trouver un poste et il y a un réel investissement et un engagement significatifs de leur part dès le début du processus.

 

Professionnalisme

Souvenez-vous que les cabinets de recrutement ont des années d’expérience  et une vision plus large du marché du travail.  Ils ont déjà des contacts et relations fortes avec les entreprises qui embauchent et comprennent bien quels candidats sont bien adaptés aux postes et aux entreprises spécifiques.

 

Flexibilité

Grâce à la bonne relation entre les cabinets de recrutement et les entreprises, c’est parfois possible de négocier les salaires.

 

Pour faire le bilan, un bon cabinet de recrutement sera toujours à vos côtés. Bien sur, il faut utiliser les agences ainsi que votre propre recherche, néanmoins cela peut être une façon efficace, simple et gratuite pour vous aider à améliorer votre candidature et trouver un emploi idéal.

 

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

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Have you ever lied in an interview or at work? The answer is probably. Basic human instinct is survival… therefore, exaggerating, omitting and embellishing the truth are often used to cut ahead of the rest in order to get hired or promoted. In an ideal world in which career progression were easy, honesty would of course be the best policy. But with youth unemployment at 22.8%[i] in France and promotions harder to come by, how much do you need to lie to survive in the recruitment process or is honesty really the best policy?

 

The CV

 

The first impression an employer gets from a candidate is their CV… it’s sink or swim!  It is not surprising that 53% of CVs contain falsehoods to survive this stage[ii].  These falsehoods may consist of made-up experiences or skills and even stretching dates of employment, resulting in a more employable and impressive candidate. But beware… whitewashing the truth on your CV rather than merely embroidering it is becoming more dangerous. There has been a recent rise in pre-employment screenings caused by the high demand for jobs; now candidates that have lied are being found out in the first round.

 

The Interview

 

The second impression that an employer gets in the recruitment stage comes from the interview. Candidates will primarily be asked about their CV and if they have not been honest they risk getting caught in their own web of lies and botching their interview.  Some questions, however, may require the candidate to exclude information and facts. Common interview advice is to avoid any negativity towards previous jobs. If asked “Why did you leave your previous job?” an honest reply such as “because I hated my boss…” is not an appropriate answer. Omission of the truth can often be essential in order to keep within the professional boundaries of an interview and to ensure a good impression is made.

 

The Workplace

 

Once in the workplace, careful attention must be paid. Lies are regularly used as a safety net to avoid punishment having made an error. Excuses such as “My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning” should be left in the playground as an apology is more effective in these menial cases. In more serious cases lying to cover up fatal errors or to put yourself ahead of anyone else is more treacherous. This can result in chronic lies causing paranoia and insecurities within the workplace until the truth eventually comes out. In fact, 15% of employees in today’s businesses have been caught lying while at work[iii]. Once found out as a liar the employee’s relationships and reputation will be permanently damaged and they risk losing their job.

Most bosses will be appreciative when told the truth rather than a cover up. Honesty is viewed as courageous whereas dishonesty is cowardice. Statistically, employees who told fewer lies had better relationships and smoother interactions within the workplace[iv]. An honest employee’s credibility and integrity speaks for itself, giving that person increased opportunities since the honest employee has proven themselves.  Furthermore, the peace of mind associated with a moral outlook in the office will result in higher productivity and happiness.

The Answer

In conclusion, there is far more to lose than gain from lying. When applying for a job it is understandable to want to present yourself in the most flattering light, especially in the current market. However, honesty is also highly valued and appreciated in the workplace and can be counted on as the best policy. The advice to give would be: Do not have a reason to be dishonest in the first place. Prove yourself to be a great candidate and employee on your own merit rather than lie and risk your reputation and job.

 

 Alternatively, lie your way to the top… just don’t get caught!

The graduate CV guide.

It’s almost the end of June and the academic year is coming to an end. Scores of students are looking towards graduation, with many UK Universities having released results to finalists last week. This means one thing – a fresh batch of graduates are on the hunt for jobs. Although some are way ahead of the game – with their places in graduate schemes secured months ago – many are just starting on applications, sending their CVs out in all directions.

It is no secret that getting a job these days is tricky and this is no less the case for graduates. Record numbers are entering the job market, so competition is tough. Many are forced to look outside their target field in the hope of improving their chances of employment. With hiring managers having to eliminate more candidates than ever in the early stages of the recruitment process, impressing employers with your CV is more important than ever. But how should all the relatively inexperienced graduates go about this?

So you’ve been working hard for the last three years to get your degree, before which you had probably only just finished at school. You haven’t got a huge amount of experience, but then how could you? No realistic employer will expect a graduate to have a huge variety of relevant experience, so don’t panic. Look to the skills and experience you do have and present them clearly and realistically. If the only work you have ever done is a summer job in Sainsbury’s, then tell it as it is. There is no point claiming that you “have accounting experience” if in fact you just worked on the till. Employers will see right through such claims and if anything, you’re making yourself look less credible rather than enhancing your skill set.

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Image via .SilentMode (Flickr)

Another temptation is to go into too much detail. While it’s great that you got your ten GCSE’s and Grade Two flute in 2007, they’re not so important now that you have your degree. By including everything you’ve ever done, you are only decreasing the chances that an employer will notice the truly relevant information. Although it is not necessary for an experienced 40 year-old to adhere to the “one-page-CV” rule, there is no shame in graduates keeping CVs to a concise page. Consider your content carefully; CVs from graduates listing their favourite books, films or board games among their interests (which some seem to do in an effort to pad out their CV) quickly flag them up as questionable candidates. It is always important to show professionalism and the case of graduate CVs is no exception. I have previously mentioned the value of including a photo on your CV. This is another area where professionalism is key. Attaching one of your holiday snaps or graduation photos will not help your credibility. Attach a smart, sensible photo of yourself in business dress however and you will help the employer remember you and put a face to a name.

Simple as it may sound, it is vital not to lie on your CV. Stating that you have an advanced level of German, when in actual fact you haven’t spoken a word of it since you got your B at GCSE is just not worth the risk. Employers are unlikely to seek such skills in a candidate if they don’t plan on having them put to use somewhere down the line, so there is absolutely no point in lying if you want to avoid looking like a fool later!

Be prepared. To give yourself the best chance of success, it is advisable to thoroughly consider the requirements of the job for which you are applying. There is absolutely no harm in tailoring your CV to the job at hand and highlighting particularly relevant experience. Preparation is also important where references are concerned. If you are claiming to have “references available on request”, then you should previously have identified those people, as well as having checked that they are happy to be contacted to provide a reference.

Do blow your own trumpet – as long as it’s true! As much as I have talked about the risks of exaggerating your experience, don’t be modest. Your CV is after all your real chance to show off and make a good impression. Describe relevant experience accurately and thoroughly, quantifying success and making your aim and suitability for the role clear.

Knowing the importance of CVs in the job search process – and particularly in today’s competitive graduate job search – it is important to follow the above suggestions in order to ensure that your CV portrays you in the best light possible.

Good Luck!

DOs and DON’Ts : The CV

Along with your cover letter, your CV is the very first impression of you that recruiters or potential employers receive. Research has shown that recruiters will form an opinion on a CV within just six seconds. This means that devoting time and attention to yours is absolutely vital, ensuring that the areas where their attention will be focused are absolutely perfect. We’ve all heard the supposed rules for writing your CV; don’t let it exceed a page, give them your references and so on. But should your CV really follow these rules? There are of course also many other less discussed rules that should not be forgotten…

DO have a focus. Your CV is your chance to show hiring managers just how suitable you are for their job. Every job is different, so it is clear that your CV should be tailored to show your suitability for each individual job. Despite this, many of us send off one CV and cover letter for numerous, very different roles. Statistics show that 71% of hiring managers prefer a tailored CV. A good way of keeping this majority happy is to keep one “tailorable” CV saved with all of your past experience, which you can then edit to emphasize experience suitable for the job at hand. If you choose this option however, you should take care to keep only truly relevant information, as an overly lengthy CV will only decrease the amount of content that employers read.

DO be clear. There is nothing more off-putting for a hiring manager than receiving two pages full of prose, worse still three or more pages. Be succinct – why use 20 words when five will do? While the aforementioned one word CV rule may be a little excessive, it is wise not to exceed two pages. If you think you have more than that to say on your CV, then the chances are that you’re including irrelevant information.

DO use keywords. Thanks to recent developments, employers increasingly use technology to screen candidates, namely making use of keyword searchable databases. As a candidate, you can’t possibly know that your CV will be screened in this way, but it is better to be safe than sorry. No matter how good a candidate you are, your CV could well slip through the net if you don’t express your suitability using appropriate keywords.

DO be thorough. Pay attention to detail and check your spelling and grammar and ensure that formatting is consistent. A CV where the bullet points change halfway through or where a candidate misspells important words will leave a bad impression. Even if you aren’t applying for a job where written English is of high importance, a lack of care is never attractive to employers, so make sure to iron out any the mistakes.

DON’T hide your skills. With limited time and often hundreds of CVs to sort through, readers pay the most attention to the first third of the first page. It is advisable therefore to include a clear “profile” section at the top of this page, featuring all your key information including a name, title, photo and key skills such as languages.

DON’T mention your references. Stating that you have “references available on request” – or even listing them – is a bit of a waste of space. After all, why would you be looking for a job if you didn’t have references? Recruiters will presume that you do and will ask you for them when they need to.

DON’T flatter yourself. Describing yourself as a dynamic, enthusiastic employee doesn’t really do you any favours. Anyone can describe themselves this way on paper, so you are far better off keeping the content of your CV quantifiable and waiting for your interview to show in person that you really have these qualities.

DON’T use clichés. Again, anyone can say that they are a team player or have good leadership skills. Why should a reader believe this? If you genuinely feel you do possess these skills, show them through the work that you’ve done. Describing the contribution you’ve made to a team project or the success of an initiative you led will show off your skills on paper far better than just words. Another word that gets thrown around is “experienced”. Anyone can claim to be experienced, whether they have been in a job for 10 days or 10 years, so by describing yourself this way, you may be doing yourself an injustice. A short description of your experience will paint a more realistic picture.

Anyone can write a CV. It is attention to detail and really thinking about the requirements of each job that will really enable you to tailor your CV to show yourself to be suitable for a role.

Good Luck!

How to write a great cover letter

 

The cover letter is your sales pitch. It’s your chance to tell the employer why they should give you the job. The CV is pointless without it so if you’ve been writing “Please find enclosed my CV” and ending your email or letter there then stop now. The cover letter gives you the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd in a way that your CV cannot. It’s quite simply crucial. But how do you write a great one?

The chances are the hiring manager has received a lot of applications and the fact of the matter is that they can’t read every one. A great cover letter means you have to make what you say count. The employer is going to quickly sift through them so you’ve got about 20 seconds to make an impact. That’s 20 seconds to make whoever’s reading want to continue reading. So let’s start from the beginning.

Before you even start writing you want to do some research. Research the company, their history, their culture etc. You need to know exactly what the company does and what its mission is. Hinting at this knowledge in the cover letter is the perfect way to let the employer know you’re interested in the company and can take the initiative. Then you need to research the role you are applying for. What profile are they looking for? You can then use this information and the right terminology to describe yourself. Doing some research and making a plan before you begin will make it much easier to write effectively.

Now to the most important aspect of the cover letter, the beginning. As I said you’ve got about 20 seconds to make an impact, so that makes the start of the letter the key. The opening paragraph should be short and hard-hitting. Explain why you are writing and where you heard about the offer. If you heard about it through a contact at the company then mention that person’s name as a personal referral can prove very beneficial.

The second paragraph is where you answer why exactly they should hire you. Discuss your professional and academic experience, but only mention the things that are totally relevant to the job that you are applying for. This should not be a list as you want the letter to flow and show your writing skills. Now go back to the job description wherever you have seen it advertised. Try to include how you have shown each desired characteristic in your past experience and do the same with the job responsibilities.

Now for a move into the future. What can you do for the company? Outline your career goals, again keeping relevant to the job you’re applying for. This is another opportunity to expand on your CV and include your research. For example you can mention the company’s goals for the next year and how you can help them achieve that.

The last paragraph should be some form of initiation of contact. Mention that you would like an interview, at their convenience of course. Do not bring in things such as money as it is often interpreted negatively. However, some offers will ask you to include salary expectations and in that case you should include a broad range. Just as the beginning of your cover letter is key, how you close it is essential too. Finish with a “Yours Sincerely” and signing your name.

Finally, here are some key things to remember when writing your cover letter:

  • Try not to sound arrogant or boastful as this is a particularly undesirable trait.
  • Do not use the common phrases that everyone uses. For example, saying you are dynamic tells the company absolutely nothing about you.
  • However, do use buzzwords. As I have said you should use the job description when writing your cover letter. Include buzzwords that will catch the eye of an employer.
  • Try not to exceed 4 paragraphs or make it too long. No one wants to read an essay.

Remember all this and you stand a chance of standing out from the crowd and getting that job.

Good Luck!

Common CV mistakes that land your application in the trash

 

Ever wondered why no one responds when you send them CV?

Do you think to yourself: It’s a tough market, maybe no one’s hiring?

Actually they are.

The jobs are there but apparently the talent is not. According to a recent survey, between 40 and 50 percent of recruiters highlight their main problem as talent acquisition NOT lack of jobs. But I believe the talent is there, it’s just not presenting itself as it should. I am of course to referring to you, the job seeker. You may be the perfect candidate for the job. You might have some great experience and be the exact person the company is looking for but it’s quite possible that your CV is letting you down.

Your CV is ultimately your first impression, and we all know how important the first impression is so you need to make sure it is the best possible representation of you. So, here’s my list of the most common CV mistakes that will guarantee your application lands in the trash:

 

#1: Careless grammatical/spelling errors

In this day and age, with the spell check application, there really is no excuse for making grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. If I can guarantee you one thing (and hopefully that won’t be the case) it’s that your CV is destined for the bin if it contains careless mistakes. It makes the employer think you are lazy, careless and ultimately a little bit stupid. So check it through a few times and get a couple of other people to check it through for you as well.

#2: Over-elaborate formatting

Yes, you want out to stand out from the crowd. You want employers to remember your application and you want your CV to be at the top of the pile and there are smart ways to do this effectively. Colouring your CV bright pink, adding fancy borders and using crazy fonts are not included in this list. Also, if you do put a picture on your CV, make sure you look professional.

#3: Irrelevant information

It never ceases to amaze me how many people send out the same CV for every job they apply for. Whoever is assessing your application does not want to know you worked at Pizza Hut 10 years ago if you’re applying for a job as a web designer. However much you may want to add every bit work experience you have ever done, unless it’s relevant to the job you are applying for, it takes up too much space and it has no place on your CV. But it’s not just irrelevant employment information that you need to get rid of. If you have an “interests/hobbies” section, which I’m sure most of you do, then make sure it doesn’t contain activities which don’t represent desirable characteristics. For example by writing “I like to read” you tell the employer absolutely nothing about your personality or why you would be an asset to their company. Being able to read is pretty much expected in every job you would be applying for. So get rid of the rubbish!

#4: Too little information

Yes, your CV needs to be concise and relevant to the job you’re applying for but you don’t want to go to the other extreme. If you don’t include enough information your CV will lack substance and therefore it will be impossible for the employer to gage what you are like as a person and ultimately if you are a good candidate or not. Remember that employers receive on average around 70 CVs for any given position and they cannot interview everyone, so you need to give enough information to stand out. You should be looking fill 2 pages.

#5: Appearing arrogant

You are probably using your CV as a marketing tool, and rightly so, but what you want to avoid is appearing boastful or arrogant. Yes, you want to give the best image of yourself you possibly can but there’s a line you shouldn’t cross. Don’t provide information that you cannot back up with evidence and make sure ego is not involved. Arrogance is not exactly a trait which employers are looking for!

So that’s my top 5 CV mistakes to avoid. They don’t guarantee you a job but avoiding these mistakes allows you the opportunity to make a great first impression and ultimately a much better chance of getting an interview.

Good Luck!

-More CV tips in my post on how to make the perfect CV

How to market yourself online with LinkedIn

LinkedIn was launched on May 5, 2003, home to 4500 members.

It now boasts over 145 million users in over 200 countries worldwide.

LinkedIn is the professional network.

There’s no question that LinkedIn is the place to be for professionals everywhere. It offers the perfect interface to network with people in your industry, people who you would otherwise not be able to meet. Quite simply if you’re a professional and you’re not there, you should be.

Unfortunately though, LinkedIn seems to have become somewhat “over-professional” and is being labelled by many as boring. I recently discussed its lack of sex appeal in my post on the threat posed by Facebook and Google+ but today I want to talk about how to make sure your LinkedIn profile isn’t dull and isn’t being treated like a resume.

So, it’s time for a change.

We now live in a time where managing your reputation online is essential, not only for businesses but, for job seekers and professionals as well. If you can maintain and improve your e-reputation then you stand a far greater chance of getting employed (or keeping your current job!). You need to market yourself to your network and your LinkedIn profile is the perfect way to do so.

Let’s start with what a lot of LinkedIn users have been doing wrong.

As I have mentioned already, many LinkedIn users have filled out their profile in exactly the same way as they did their resume. People don’t want to only see a list of what you’ve done, nor do they want to see an uninteresting few bullet points of who you are. The point of your LinkedIn profile is not to copy and paste the exact information from the standard CV that you’ve been sending out to every employer (and you shouldn’t be sending out the same CV to different jobs either but that’s a different point). The chances are that, if you have done this, you will have forgotten to add keywords as well and therefore you are making it very difficult for people to find you. Finally, some users have not recognized LinkedIn as a professional network and therefore have uploaded a profile picture which I can only describe as inappropriate. Your picture is the first thing people look at so if you don’t look professional, it will only have negative consequences. You may be missing out on potential connections so remember not to make these mistakes.

But if your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be used as a resume, then what should it be? And how can you fix the problem and better market yourself online?

Well, instead of just telling people who you are, your LinkedIn profile should represent who you hope to be and what you hope achieve. It’s all about marketing yourself to your potential network. I mentioned keywords, and I can’t stress the importance of these enough. By converting your skills, education, goals and even interests into keywords you are allowing people to find you more easily. However, be careful not to use the generic keywords which everyone will use. Think of some which are specific to your industry, words that the industry professionals are likely to type in their search engine. Of course you want to include your most important keyword in your headline to maximize your chances of being found.

I also mentioned the profile picture. It is statistically proven that the first thing a person looks at on a profile (on any social network) is your profile picture. You need to represent yourself as a professional. People always ask why they can’t represent their personality in their picture and why they have to look so serious and business-like. Well, that’s not what I’m saying. Just because you’re wearing a suit doesn’t mean you can’t smile. All you need to remember is that people will make a spilt-second judgement of you when they see you for the first time, so don’t let it be when you’re sunbathing on the beach! (Or something equally as unprofessional).

The next point of key importance is actually similar to what you should be doing on your CV. Think about what job you want to aim for and take a look at your employment history. One thing that is essential on your CV is being relevant to the job that you are applying for and you should take that into account when completing your LinkedIn profile. You only want to include work experience which is relevant. For example, writing a detailed description about how you worked in a bar some years ago when you are applying for a job as a management consultant isn’t really worth putting. In fact, it can be pejorative because it may act as a distraction. So, make sure your employment history is simple, easy to read and well laid out.

Another essential addition to your profile, which is guaranteed to help you improve your marketability, is getting recommendations. Now, most people are aware that most recommendations come about by you physically asking someone for them, but that doesn’t matter. Recommendations can help back up everything you’ve said about yourself and, according to the experts, people tend to trust them.

Finally, one thing that might not have come across perfectly yet is your personality. You’ve focussed on everything LinkedIn has set specific titles for but now you should try to include something which shows your passion, your enthusiasm and your ambition. Tell people what you love and what you want to achieve (A few keywords added into this can also prove beneficial).

So there are a few things you can do to market yourself better on LinkedIn.

Just remember your LinkedIn profile isn’t your CV. It is the perfect opportunity to market yourself to an ever-expanding network of professionals. So give your profile a personality and increase your chances of getting the job you want.

The Perfect CV: 5 Key Tips

 

Your CV is your first impression. It’s the first chance you get to stand out from the crowd and grab the employer’s attention. According to a recent survey, employers receive an average of around 70 CVs for each position, only spending 1-2 minutes looking at each one. So, with around 60 seconds to impress the person reading your CV you had better make sure it is the best possible representation of you that it can be. But how do you do that?

Well, even though there are numerous CV templates out there, there is no one right or perfect CV. Each job requires a different type of CV and each employer will have a slightly different approach to the selection process. However, there are certain things that you need to do on your CV to give yourself the best chance of standing out.

So here are my top 5 CV tips:

#1: Put your career summary at the top

The last thing a hiring manager wants to do is search for your employment history. By putting it at the top it is the first thing they will see, and with only 1 or 2 minutes to impress you want to make sure to prove you are qualified straight away. It also helps to put the job title or company name in bold, depending on which one is more impressive.

#2: Be relevant

Employers don’t need to know that you had a paper route when you were 16 (or something else equally as irrelevant). As I said, each CV you send off should be different and therefore you should include the work experience that is relevant to the job that you are applying for. Employers hate waffle and you shouldn’t make a CV over 2 pages as it probably won’t get read.

#3: Simplicity is key

As tempting as it may be to add fancy formatting with borders and colours etc, in most cases a hiring manager will look on it as unprofessional and therefore your chances of getting the job are ruined. There’s nothing wrong with a simple, black and white CV so there’s really no need to be overly fancy. Recruiters don’t like it.

#4: Use Keywords

With the volume of CVs being received and the resulting short period of time looking at your CV recruiters will often scan your application for keywords or buzzwords. In fact a lot of the time employers use tracking systems to separate unqualified candidates so make sure you include them. You can find the necessary keywords in the job descriptions which, if incorporated, will ensure that you end up on top of the pile.

#5: Check your spelling and grammar

There’s nothing worse than receiving a CV with careless spelling mistakes or simple grammar errors (especially when you’re using spell check!). Ask someone to proof read your CV to make sure it is correct because if you have made silly mistakes I can almost guarantee your CV will get thrown away.

So that’s my top 5 tips for creating the best possible résumé. Of course you cannot guarantee that you will get the job but if you incorporate these tips into your CV you stand a chance.

Good luck!