Sunday, 19 July 2015

GOOD, BAD AND UGLY OF A CV: 6 THINGS YOU HAVE TO GET RIGHT BEFORE SENDING OUT YOUR CV

When was the last time hat you looked at your CV?

Do you update it regularly? If your company went bankrupt tomorrow, could you just start sending your resume out straight away?

For me, keeping my CV neat and up to date is all about reminding myself what I am good at, what I achieved and what should I do next. It's nice to have something that shows me how I got to where I am now. For some of my clients CV is something that they dislike – it reminds them that they were laid off or that they are stuck in a job that sucks. But how else can you change something about your job if not starting with your CV?

How to make your CV really amazing?

1. EDIT YOUR PERSONAL/CONTACT DETAILS: 

You want to mention:

- your name in BIG, bold letters
- city where you live  (because no one is interested in your postal address and it takes way too much space anyway) 
- your phone number (please include your city or country code if you are applying to an international company – I still remember one situation, where I recruited for the same post in 3 different cities and I had to guess which prefix should I use, because some candidates didn't include their location or full phone number) 
- your email address (if your email looks anything like this: xxx_lover@sweetness.com no recruiter will EVER get back to you – keep it simple and professional, get a new email if necessary)
- consider including your LinkedIn profile link (I used to love clicking through them at work and majority of people I hired were on LinkedIn)

2. SUMMARY/OBJECTIVE/PROFILE:

Incude a short statement about which job you are applying for and what makes you a good candidate. Remember, this is not a place for your complete life story, it just has to tell the recruiter the most importanant things of you as a candidate. The summary should have 3 - 4  lines and it should focus on your skills and experiences and how will they help you in doing a good job in the position that you want to have.

3. WORK EXPERIENCE:

This section depends on how much work experience do you have. If you are just starting your career and have 1 or 2 things to put here, then try and focus on duties and responsibilities that you had in each job. List 5 – 6 things that you did and learn while being employed. 

If you have quite a few years of experience only include the posts that have anything to do with the role that you are applying for (because no one will ask you about an internship that you had 10 years ago) and try to list 3 – 4 responsibilities and achievements for every role. Don't worry if it takes you 2 or 3 pages to fit everything. It's not physically possible to squeeze 15 years of a successful career on one page. Also – remember that the most recent jobs should be at the top of this section.

4. EDUCATION/COURSES:

If you finished any university, training or professional qualification it should be listed here. You don't have to put specific dates – writing down a year when you graduated is more than enough. If only education/qualification you have is elementary school or high school you can skip this section entirely and it's perfectly fine.

5. SKILLS:

This is the most important part of your CV. Here you should have a solid list of all the great things that you learnt and all the character traits that you have. 

The best approach is to divide your skills into 2 or 3 categories: language skills, soft skills, IT skills, practical skills, accounting skills, programming skills, art/design skills... You can pick and choose, but make sure that you have a few key categories listed. When you decide on what categories you wish to include, sit down and go through your day-to-day work routine and think about one thing:

What kind of tasks do you have and what skills do they require? 

For example, while mailing back and forth customers and updating them about a project you show great communication skills, organisation and customer service skills. If you have to prepare paperwork for your boss every week, you are probably great at reporting. Write down at least 15 – 20 skills and then mark what you enjoy doing most, it will be good to put those skills first in suitable categories.

6. YOUR INTERESTS:

Because, surprisingly, they can be very important. Do you love traveling? Maybe there is a position open that requires your skills and a lot of flying. Are you into languages? Maybe you would like to take care of international customers? 

Sometimes what you are interested in can open possibilities for you – it is not a rule, but it's definitely exciting to think so.

OK... How does your CV look like now? Do you feel like you did a great job and that you are a super skilled and talented person? I do hope so!

Have fun!

Friday, 17 July 2015

HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S TIME TO GO? (RUNNING AWAY FROM A HORRIBLE JOB IT'S ALWAYS AN OPTION)

I dreaded my first full-time job. I hated it with passion that I never before realized I have in me. Every day (not even every Monday) I woke up to the most horrible dilemma: should I get out of bed and get to work or should I call in and tell my boss that I am sick. I just constantly wanted to run somewhere far, far away.

The running away option sounded absolutely amazing.

Yet, thinking that I should be a responsible adult, I managed to get there on time, faking a smile and getting things done for 8 - 10 hours per day. Also, I got into a habit of drinking absurd amounts of coffee every day, just to keep going.

I actually really liked the job itself – getting back to customers, checking documents, making sure that everything is OK... Working with my team was great. I loved people I worked with, that was hands on the best team I ever had. We all started together at the same time and it was a perfect match. Everyone felt comfortable around each other.

People were the only reason that I stayed there for such a long time.

What was wrong then?

In short: it was all about the company. They loved their overtime. Targets were not logical and they didn't have anything to do with what was in employee's control. Management had no idea what people in their teams are doing and how are they supposed to do it. Harassment was considered a tactic to motivate people. The pressure was unbearable...and then they started firing people.

What happened to my rubbish job?

One day, after they announced another meaningless policy and set targets (that no one was ever meeting in the first place) even higher, something clicked in me. I booked a long holiday leave, left town, had fun, ate amazing food, went on long walks and I quit the first day I got back. I couldn't stand the stress, the awful feeling I had when I got ready before work. I figured that this is not the only company in the world and I don't really care about what I will be doing, as long as I do it for someone that respects me as a person (and I thought that if I feel so strongly about it, it will be just healthier for me to leave).

Some time passed, I had many jobs, from sales person to a coach and recruiter and right now I am trying to get my own company going. I am starting this blog because I think that there are plenty of other people with career problems and emergencies and sharing stories and solutions is just the right thing to do.

In here I will try to write about my take on different things that I saw as an employee/friend/coach through the years. If it helps someone else – great. If it doesn't – I hope that it will be a good read!

Also, this post is not a about rage quitting and burning bridges – this is about learning when to say 'no' and not staying where you should never be in the first place. If your workplace is clearly toxic, you hate being to the point that your body hurts and you are afraid of what the day will bring – you need to go, quit and run away as soon as possible. Your health and well being is not worth it.

It turned out really well for me - my next job was amazing (I still keep in touch with some people from the office, even though I don't work there for quite some time now) and I never regretted my decision to find something new. I kinda wish I made my decision sooner though... Maybe I wouldn't get so hooked on coffee as I am now. If you are in a similar situation - I really hope that everything will be ok and that you will find something better. Because believe me, you can.

Stay amazing!