A lady contacted me the other day for a FREE CV Review as she didn't think her CV was working for her. She's applied for literally hundreds of jobs without success after being made redundant from a large company where she'd worked for the last 20 years. Her redundancy money was running out and she was becoming a little anxious about how she'd manage if she didn't find a job soon.

Many people, having worked in one company or industry for some time, haven't had to worry about writing a compelling CV or excelling at interview for years. Many have been promoted on merit. So it's all very confusing when they start to sit down and think about how they'll get their next job. They are very much out of their comfort zone and need the right help and direction in today's competitive jobs market.

The lady concerned, like many others, spent hours, days, weeks, months writing and re-writing her CV, including everything she'd done at her previous company in the last 20 years - whether it was relevant or not. At 6 pages long it was an epic testimony to her past career, but not a great document to sell her skills to a recruiter who has less time than it takes to eat a chocolate biscuit to read the CV and decide if she's the right person for the job.

So, is it a question of quality rather than quantity? You could apply for 1,000 jobs using a poor CV and get nothing back, feel demoralised and decide your job search is hopeless or you could apply for 10 jobs using a well written, clearly formatted CV and Cover Letter which tells the recruiter or prospective employer that you have the essential skills they are looking for, significantly improve your chances being invited for interview and secure your new job.

Tell them what they want to know, not what you want to tell them.

Here are some tips below which we'll explore further via this blog over the coming weeks:
  • Plan your job search - don't just throw mud at the wall and hope some of it sticks. It won't. Fail to plan, plan to fail.
  • Social Media Profiles - make sure they are optimised with the relevant keywords and phrases for your industry/job type so that you stand a better chance of coming up in searches. Keep it professional.
  • Cover Letters - soooooooooooo important! They are often the first thing a recruiter sees so don't just write "Please see my enclosed CV". Give them a reason to bother to read your CV - give them a taster of what you can do.
  • CVs - Keep it simple and ensure the content sells your skills to do the job better than the other candidates. To make a professional impression, have a professionally written CV.
All's well that ends well and the lady concerned has an interview booked next week! Keeping everything crossed for her!