Showing posts with label CV advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CV advice. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 September 2015

What Not to Include on Your CV- Funny CV Mistakes

Here at Aaron Wallis we see hundreds of CV’s every day and you’d be surprised some of the mistakes people make when they are applying for jobs. Some of the things that people choose to include can be an instant turn-off to employers and really can be the difference between getting a role and not. Here are common mistakes that people make and some funny examples we’ve seen:

Hobbies and Interests


A lot of our recruitment consultants would say that the place where people most often make mistakes is the hobbies and interests part of a CV. It’s easy to put across the wrong impression to an employer when describing what you do in your spare time. Saying you enjoy time socialising with your friends, playing darts and doing quizzes might sound like an innocent gesture but really it makes you sound like you spend all your time at the pub. Think carefully about what you put! A good tip is to tailor this part of your CV for each role, if the job requires leadership qualities maybe mention that time you were captain of a sports team or something similar.


Too Much Information


Quite often we see examples of where candidates have gone into a little too much detail about previous employment or qualifications. For example employers probably don’t want to see your bad O level results from thirty years ago, if you’ve reached the point in your career where qualifications don’t matter it may be best to leave things like this out! Also if you’ve fallen out with your boss it might be worth leaving this out as a reason for leaving a business, try to put something a bit more constructive.

Funny Things We’ve Seen


  • Listing your degree as a bachelorette degree
  • Unfortunate spelling mistakes- “Throughout my career I have had sex jobs”, “I took a career break in 2003 to renovate my horse”
  • Putting every word in capitals- this reads as if you have just shouted your entire career history at someone!
  • Bizarre email addresses for contact information-  kingoftheworld@googlemail.com
  • Inappropriate photo on your CV- a picture of you having a beer with your friends may actually be a nice photo, but it’s probably not the best thing to put on your application             

Friday, 17 July 2015

How to Get Into Sales without Any Experience

From reading the papers or watching the television, many people believe that it is near impossible to get into sales without experience. This is simply not true, and there are a variety of ways to get into the industry:


Education


Getting yourself onto the first ‘rung of the ladder’ of the sales industry may seem challenging without relevant experience, but it is less difficult then people would have you believe. Perhaps the biggest alternative to experience on a CV is education or qualifications. Learning about the sales industry makes you a much more attractive candidate to organisations as it increases the likelihood that you will be effective in their vacant position.  This can come in many forms and does not always mean certification or accomplishment from a school or university. Higher education in the form of a degree will of course help you if you are after a graduate sales job, but there are many other alternatives.

Sales training or seminars are run by a variety of different organisations and come in many different forms that can suit you. Courses can vary from short to long term, but all of them will increase your chances of landing a sales job. A lot of this training can be found online and can be completed both cheaply and quickly, the road to your dream job may only be a Google search away! The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management offer apprenticeship NVQ courses, and this may be a good place to start.

An inexpensive way to increase your knowledge of sales and to get to grips with the jargon is to read some books on sales - 'Brilliant Selling' by Jeremy Cassell and Tom Bird is a good start as is 'How to Sell' by Mike le Put and 'e-selling' by Sean McPheat has some great ideas on increasing sales through social networking. Great blogs on sales are Sean's at - http://www.mtdsalestraining.com/mtdblog and Gavin Ingham's at http://www.gaviningham.com/blog

Be Creative with Your CV


When applying for any role, not just sales, it is worth catering your CV to reflect the position you are applying for. A good technique is to look at the person and job specification for the vacancy and try and pick up on some key words or terminology the employer is looking for in a candidate. For example if the person specification mentions teamwork as a key quality required in a candidate, really try to express how much of a team player you are. This can be done all the way through your CV, from previous responsibilities you have held, or even your hobbies and interests: if you have ever played a team sport this is a good example of working in a team!       

Just because your previous job didn’t have a sales focus, it doesn’t mean that the skills you acquired whilst working there are irrelevant. Any previous job that required engaging with customers is worth highlighting on your CV as it shows you have likely developed good communication skills, which is something employers look for in sales roles. More specifically, any experience of engaging with customers over the phone will definitely help if you are applying for a telesales roles.


Apply for the right jobs 


The key to getting into the sales industry is to apply for jobs that suit you. If you are at the beginning of your career applying to trainee sales jobs is probably the best way, and if you are a graduate there are entry level roles catered for you. Further to this, applying for sales jobs in a sector of which you already hold an interest will always increase the chances of you being successful as a candidate. If you have knowledge of a product, you will be far better at selling it, and employers recognise this. For example if you hold an interest in technology, selling computers may be a good fit for you: it will increase the chance of you getting the job, and increase the chance of you being good at the role! 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Interviews From Your CV

Sending out numerous applications to employers without response can be disheartening, but it probably has more to do with your CV than you as a candidate. If your CV isn’t up to scratch, then you won’t get calls to interview, so here are 5 of the common errors where people go wrong:


Spelling Mistakes and Grammatical Errors

One of the biggest turn-offs to recruiters are simple mistakes in grammar and spelling. There is no excuse for errors, as it portrays laziness and a lack of focus, meaning your chances of getting to the next stage in the recruitment process drop significantly. Getting another person such as a family member or a friend to proofread it is a good technique, as it can be hard to spot your own errors.


It’s Too Generic

It’s a bad idea to send out the same CV and cover letter to each job vacancy that you apply for. It’s easy for employers to spot a generic application, and they won’t be impressed.  Getting the most out of your CV through personalisation to the role you are applying for is crucial to securing an interview. It’s important to tailor each application to the role that you apply for and highlight the skills, qualifications and experience that are most relevant to the job. Changing your objective or summary to link directly to the vacancy is a good way to grab employers’ attention and engage them.


It’s Not Fit For the Digital Age

Modern technology allows employers and recruiters alike to search through thousands of applications in a click of a button. New software searches through CV’s looking at buzzwords or keywords to find strong candidates. These new developments mean that you need to update your CV to contain the keywords recruiters are looking for, which are often specific to the role. A guide on getting your CV ready for modern technology and identifying the keywords to put in your application can be found in our career tools section, details below.


It’s Too Long

A CV that is three or more pages long is unlikely to get the full attention of a recruiter, people are busy, and they don’t have the time to wade through an essay. Recruiters want a concise, succinct document that is easy to extract information out of. Using bullet points and subheadings is a good tool to break up your CV and make it more readable for employers. Equally your application should not include absolutely everything that you have done, for example your first job at a car garage has little to do with the position of sales representative for a large corporation, so don’t list it!


You Don’t Sell Yourself

Your CV shouldn’t just list your experience, skills and qualifications, but it should also include your accomplishments. When discussing a previous role, don’t just talk about your duties, but talk about what you accomplished in this role too. This gives you the chance to show off your job skills, and it also gives the recruiter a better picture of what you are like in the workplace. Don’t be afraid to go into specifics about things you have achieved in your career, as it is a good way to show that you are the right candidate for the role.

For more advice on getting your CV up to scratch visit our section dedicated to this subject in the career tools section on our website 


Friday, 14 November 2014

How to Explain Gaps in Your CV



Keeping your fingers crossed in the hope that employers will not notice the gaps in your CV is not the right strategy. If there are gaps in your CV that aren’t explained then employers will often assume the worst as detailed in the cartoon here!  Instead, you need to explain CV gaps in a way that allows you to focus on the positive things that you’ve learned during the gap and how it has perhaps enhanced your personality or professional profile. It is better to explain gaps in a cover letter, and ideally in your CV itself, especially if the gap is for educational purposes or travel. Don’t give employers a reason to discard your CV as most gaps are explainable and if communicated correctly could potentially enhance your application.

Illness Gaps
Mention only recent illness. However, employers may wonder if you could be ill again so assure them in your CV that you are well recovered, job ready and looking forward to work related challenges.

Termination Gaps
If you have been redundant explain what you did in the interim to add to your skills. Did you add to your educational qualifications, or undertake training or do volunteer work? If your services were terminated, then stick to the truth without showing the company or yourself in bad light. Explaining a gap may not harm your employability chances but lying or extending the employment dates to avoid gaps could. 

Voluntary Gaps
Everyone, at some point, needs to take time off to care for parents, children, recover from accidents or simply because there is going to be an addition to the family. If you have applied for the job, then you know that it means that these reasons no longer exist; however, employers, regrettably, may assume differently. Employers aren’t allowed to ask questions about your family, children or marital status, but it could work in your favour to take pre-emptive action and detail on your CV that you have made the adequate day care and other arrangements for your children, etc. so they know that you are fully committed to rejoining the workforce.

Travelling Gaps
These can be explained more easily in the CV by detailing specifically where you travelled to and the objectives behind your travels.  You could emphasise how the new gained perspectives could be beneficial to the role that you are applying to. Furthermore, if there was a bit of adventure travel, you could mention why it was important for you and the lessons learned from overcoming various challenges.

Long-Term Unemployment Gap
This is the toughest of the lot. Most employers will think the worst if your unemployment gap is more than a year. However, if during that time you did something to qualify you better, like being a full-time student, doing volunteer or freelance work, or you built a website or blog, did consultation work or were a full-time parent or needed time to manage/refurbish the home, then you can explain the gap with positive reasons.

Be prepared to explain rather than hide the gaps. Have references readily available from your previous manager and colleagues. Take time to upgrade your knowledge about companies or your area of work so that the interviewer understands you have kept up with your profession despite the gap. 

If you've found this useful then you may want to visit our free career tools section at http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/career_tools.aspx