How to turn your CV into a sales tool that will land you your dream job

How to turn your CV into a sales tool that will land you your dream job

Your CV is a vital element in the sculpting of your career. It’s essentially what stands between getting an interview and being overlooked completely. A CV is more than just a list of your qualifications and jobs-to-date; it’s actually a chance to sell your skills to potential employers.

This article is packed with tips to help you turn your CV into a sales tool that will get you the job you’ve always wanted.

 

Tailor your CV to each role you apply for

When you’re job-hunting, it might be tempting to send the same CV to multiple employers to save time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if your CV is impressive, but you’ll stand out even more to potential employers if you take time to tailor it to each role you’re applying for.

Do some research; find out as much as you can about the company and use the job description to help you highlight which of your skills to mention. This will save you time when it comes to interview prepping, and your would-be boss will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to!

 

Personal statement

Your CV should include a short, one paragraph personal statement that explains why you’re the best person for the job you’re applying for. This should include:

  • Any skills you have that are mentioned in the job advertisement
  • Statistics from projects you’ve worked on in previous employment
  • How you can add value to the role
  • Your career aspirations

If you prefer, you could split your personal statement into bullet points to make it more reader-friendly; you don’t want your potential employer getting bored and skimming through the important bits! We’ll talk more about how long your CV should be later.

 

Skills and qualifications

Recruiters and business owners will be keen to see what skills you’ve acquired throughout your career. You should ideally link your key skills to workplace experience and include a range of transferrable, job-related and adaptive skills.

Though you should include any relevant qualifications you have, don’t feel the need to clog up your CV with every exam result you’ve ever got. If you have a qualification that is especially relevant to your desired job role, then it would be sensible to include it, but you don’t need to list all your Junior Certificate results if it’s not necessary to do so.  

 

Former employment

List your previous employment placements in chronological order and provide a brief list of your duties, and how you applied your skills. This will give recruiters and employers a chance to see how you’ve worked before and if there’s anything you’ve done in a previous role that could be transferred into the position they’re offering.

It’s possible that you might have a gap in your employment history. Whilst this isn’t always a cause for concern, employers might ask about them, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Explaining a gap in your CV won’t harm your chances of getting a job, but lying about it might. Be honest where you can be, and try to put a positive spin on the situation.

For example, if you were struggling to find a job, you could say something like “I took some time out between [date and date] to refocus my career and find a position in my chosen industry”. This puts you in control and displays you as a positive individual who cares about your career.

 

Don’t mention salary expectations

Talking money on your CV can be risky. Including your expectations can put potential employers off if what you’re asking for is higher than the salary they’ve set.

 If you’re new to the job market, putting your pay expectations on your CV might mean that you miss out on an opportunity that pays less than you’d like, but helps you get your foot in the door. Often due to lack of experience, you might be paid the minimum wage until you’ve acquired more skills. But experience is invaluable and if you do well in your job, career advancements and pay rises will come your way.

 

Include specific examples of results

Sometimes, it’s not enough to just state your achievements; you need the data to back it up. Rather than saying that you increased rankings for a website, provide percentages and real-life examples with time frames to really wow the company you’re applying at.

 

Be honest!

It’s a common assumption that everyone tells porkies on their CV, but this is a huge no-no.

Employers will check your background and if they smell a rat, you’re bound to get caught out. Nobody wants to get asked a question they can’t answer during their interview and besides, if you lie on your CV, get the job and then find you can’t actually carry out the role because you don’t have the experience you said you have, it’s only going to cause problems for you.

Honesty is an admirable trait anyway, and employers will appreciate candidates who tell the truth just as much as those who have lots of experience.

 

CV length

Potential employers are often very busy and don’t have time to read through long, detailed resumes. Typically, a CV should be no longer than 2 A4 pages. If you have a lot of experience to fit on, try to condense it so that only the most relevant information for that specific job is included. You can always expand on your experience in the interview.

 

With these tips, you can hopefully craft a fantastic CV that will help you land your dream job in no time.

 

 

Article Written By:
Alan Hickley

The Ultimate FEAR of Finding a New Job!

Searching for a new job can be quite daunting for most people.

You are putting yourself out there – showcasing your best qualities – with a fear of being rejected.

I myself found it difficult to put myself out there to kickstart my career. I started my previous part time job at the age of 17, fresh out of school and although I felt considerably unfulfilled in that position, I ended up staying there for 8 long years!

We as humans hate the idea of change. But why? We can’t avoid it. Our entire life is filled with it. So how do we try and combat the fear of change, to be our best selves.  

“The grass won’t be greener”

Many people want to change careers but there is always the fear of it not being what you hoped. In fact, this can be the reason why many people won’t change careers. They are unhappy and complain day in, day out but when it comes to leaving they think:

  • What if the new job isn’t any better?
  • What if I uproot everything to be placed somewhere that I dislike even more.
  • What if? What if? What if?

But ask yourself, what is the worst outcome here? You move from one job you’re not happy in to another?

Ok, so look again, and don’t settle until you find somewhere that does make you feel happy. Find somewhere that you don’t dread travelling to each morning.

And WHAT IF you just happen to find yourself in a new job that you absolutely love. Because that’s what happened for me.

It took me 8 years to pluck up the courage to realise what if the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it certainly isn’t green where I am. So, I did my CV, applied for somewhere new. I joined Servisource in 2018 and haven’t looked back once. 

Read Our Blog: Be Are You Sabotaging Your Job Search?

Rejection

Putting it simply, when applying for a new job, you are basically trying to sell yourself.

You are putting your best qualities, talents and weaknesses out there to people you don’t personally know.  To get that rejection phone call can leave you feeling sad and hopeless. It can even leave you doubting yourself professionally. “Am I not good enough? Maybe I’m better off where I am”. But the best thing you can do from rejection is learn and take away something positive from it. 🙌

Think about it – would you blame yourself if a date didn’t go as planned? Would you never go on another date as long as you lived because one person rejected you?

Simple answer is, NO!

Take a step back and reflect on what has happened.

  • Where did it go wrong?
  • How can I improve on that?

Instead of putting yourself down and overwhelming yourself with negative thoughts; concentrate on one key area that you can improve on, that you can control and take it from there.

#OneStepAtATime

Read Our Blog: Be Successful in your Job Search – Tips for Success

Underqualified

During my time job searching I was coming across many job specs with responsibilities and requirements that I had no experience in.

This really put me off applying for roles that I had an interest in because of the fear of not being good enough.

Instead of looking at the things that I could do, I was constantly looking at what I couldn’t do within the job spec. (effectively I was pigeonholing myself)

What you need to realise is, no one is ever perfect for the job, and in fact no one wants to hire someone who is over qualified for the job, because there is no room for that person to then grow. 

If you are familiar with many of the job specifications but not all, don’t let this put you off. If you have an interest in the position and feel you would be right for the job, take a deep breath and proceed with your application; focusing on all your core skills.

Time Consuming

Working full time, balancing family life and trying to search for a new career on top of this can take up a large chunk of your time. Trawling through endless job posts, writing individual cover letters, altering your CV each time to suit the Job Requirements.

And this is before you even get to the interview stages!

Job searching does take time and focus, because you need to put your best foot forward. Try to set some time aside each week to sit down and little by little you will get work done.

Alternatively, why not register with a recruitment agency. Recruitisland.ie offers many different job opportunities daily, so why not create a candidate profile, upload your CV and let us take time to help you on your job search.

Recruit Island has numerous strong relationships with a wide range of well-known clients, so this can make it a lot easier to get your foot in the door.

Standing out from the crowd!

In this day and age, there is a surplus of candidates with many similar skills and qualifications as yourself.

So how can you differentiate yourself from the crowd?

  • The most important thing is to let your personality shine through. For me, I struggled to write in the interests and hobbies section of my CV.

But if you like to go surfing or horse-riding or even write blogs, write it in there – if you’re feeling confident even attach a link to your blog! This allows the reader to have a feel of what you are all about.

  • Adjust your CV to suit the job that you are applying for. It is very important that you do this, someone who’s going through a pile of CV’s can spot a generic one straight away. So, it’s very important that you tailor your CV and cover letter for the job you are applying for. Make the effort.
  • Ways to stand out could be as easy as writing a catchy opening in your cover letter to catch the readers eye. If you are successful enough to get to the interview stage, there are many ways that you can be remembered.
  • Do your research on the company, inside out. From the start up date to the different processes and IT systems that they use. Find out what charities they are working with and familiarise yourself with those charities. These are all potential topics for you to discuss during the interview process. It also shows the employer that you have taken an interest in the company and what they do.  
  • Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask about the company, ask about the daily routine of the role you are applying for. This again shows that you are visualising yourself in the position and allows them to give you an insight into what the role entails.

At the end of the day it is your life, your career. Where you end up is all down to what action you take.

Taking all the above factors into consideration and over coming those fears allows you to take a step outside of your box. To challenge yourself and put the effort into finding your dream job.

For me, it was a daunting experience to even get to the stage of applying for my first job.  But when I eventually plucked up the courage to make my first application for a job, the feeling was like none other.

To think back to why I was so afraid of change and all the “what ifs” and negative mind frame I was in. If I didn’t overcome those fears I would still be working in that job that gave me no fulfilment and left me unhappy.

If you are considering changing career or looking for something different, why not make it your first step to upload your CV to recruitisland.ie to see what else is out there for you?

Whether you want a career in science, administration, finance, healthcare or even construction, help yourself by letting us help you.  

Article Written By:

Donna Cronin |
Recruitment Co-ordinator Admin & Finance Division
[email protected]
+ 353 (0) 429368341

Be Successful in Your Job Search – Tips for Success

Are you struggling to be successful in your job search – need tips for success?

Knowing how to be successful in your job search is a skill in itself, and one which most people overlook and underprepare for. This is an investment of your time; however finding that dream role will be worth it.

Although time consuming, the job search process begins with inward self-reflection.

  • Do you know your values, interests, skills and goals?
  • Do you know what you want from a job, from an employer or what you can offer?

Self-assessment provides invaluable information to enable career decisions; where you can identify the match between your acknowledged values & skills to the requirements of career fields and suitable companies. This is so important to be successful in your job Search as it is the core reasoning that pulls you toward a specific role or company.

Have a read of this article to Be Successful in Your Job Search: How to Reach your Career Goals 

To be successful in your job search, focus is also important. Focus is not just a mindset: it is an act of doing, an action that, when used properly, can propel your job search; making the process both more enjoyable and productive.

Focus your mind on the job search itself:
Be in the right mindset, have a ‘learners’ mindset, read everything, research networking opportunities in your chosen field, reach out to someone new on social media. Find out about potential job openings via multiple channels. BE POSITIVE.

Candidates are reacting quickly when they spot a good opportunity; but what does that mean for job seekers?

Do not wait to apply for a role. Keep your CV up to date and react immediately.  The best day to respond to a job listing is the day it appears.

Tip: We would recommend signing up to job alerts and check listings regularly, so that you know when new job postings appear.

Click here to subscribe to the Recruit Island weekly Job Alerts – let’s get you the perfect Job.

Of course, your dream job search will come down to more than clever submission times or days. Your CV will not get you the job, but make sure your CV piques the interest of the recruiter/employer in order to secure an interview.

It is also noteworthy to ensure your subject line is concise and to the point. Do not use subject lines such as “My CV” or “CV for Job”; ensure you communicate the entire message (Example: Jack, 5+ years’ experience, .Net Developer for Job code 123456 – CV Attached).

A brief and concise cover letter that spells out clearly how your qualifications match the job requirements is also beneficial. Connect the dots for the recruiter, highlighting why you’re the perfect candidate for their job.

In order to put your best foot forward and be successful in your job search, we have put together the most common CV challenges and advise on how to fix them.

  • CV is too long: including too much information is just as bad as not including enough information. Describing what you did in various roles can eat up a lot of space, so keep it short by using bullet points. A job from 10 years ago doesn’t need in-depth detail, leaving you more space to explain your most recent work.
  • Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: don’t shoot yourself in the foot before the interview process even begins. To be successful in your job Search, spell check can pick up some mistakes but not everything – Ask a friend to check your spelling and grammar & check it yourself carefully before you send it.
  • Gaps in your CV: Leaving unexplained gaps in your CV without explanation may arouse suspicion with a recruiter. Whether you’ve taken time out to travel or to care for a loved one; include this and put a positive spin on it. These activities can include core skills such as organisation, planning and communication.
  • Lack of work experience: Recent graduate? Career change? No industry knowledge? These can all be reason for a lack of direct experience; however you need to portray your transferable skills from other areas of your experience and highlight them. If you enrol on a course or do some voluntary work in your new field, make it prominent on your CV as this will show your commitment to the role.

Tips for Graduates: The Transition from Student to Career 

  • Not showing your worth: You can use generic clichés in your CV such as “business growth” or “Relationship building”; however, without highlighting the results in previous roles, you are missing out on a significant opportunity to sell yourself and show how valuable you are to an organisation. Use Results Based or Quantitative Examples.
  • A ‘one size fits all’ CV: if you are sending out generic CV’s for all roles, you are significantly reducing your chances of being called to interview. As you are writing or editing your CV, have the job description to hand. Without researching the needs of your target employers, you will be basing the content on what you think should be on your CV. Structure your existing CV around the specific job description; highlighting required skills of the new role.
  • All your jobs have been very similar? If all your jobs included similar duties and responsibilities, it is not essential to include every single one on your CV. A brief summary of your career history will suffice with a more detailed section outlining the core (and relevant) skills and experience you’ve gained.

Job searching is hard work and there are times where you will feel discouraged. Be assertive and proactive. If you are finding it difficult and need some help, we would be delighted to help you.

At Recruit Island, we provide a range of temporary and permanent staff solutions from short term assignments to long term contractors in Ireland. We have roles in Healthcare, Homecare, Nursing, Clerical, Construction & Engineering, Warehousing / Supply Chain Management, Training, Education Support & Occupational Health. We are also broadening our reach offering roles in Admin & Finance, Banking & Dental Health.

Using our strong relationships with large multinationals and businesses across Ireland, we can help you find your dream job and answer all your questions along the way.

Contact Us Today!

Article Written By:
Donna Farrell