Mildred Talabi knows the Resume inside and out. As a Career Expert, she's analyzed every step of the job hunting process, which she breaks down in detail on her blog, and she took a moment to speak with us about how to make your job hunting that much easier.
What makes a great CV?
I believe there are seven fundamental keys to creating not just a great CV, but what I call a "winning" CV - a CV that gets you results. These seven keys are a lot to go into in detail here, but as a summary they're related to knowing your target industry, structuring your CV correctly, engaging with your personal profile, sharing your skills effectively, taking care of the visuals, eliminating spelling and grammar mistakes, and keeping to a good overall length.
What common CV mistakes do you see online?
The most common serious ones are spelling and grammar mistakes; poor layout and formatting, which makes it hard to engage with the CV; and generic CVs which are not tailored to any industry in particular. However, more minor things like writing the words "CV" or "Curriculum Vitae" at the top of a CV or including references are also mistakes that jobseekers should avoid.
What's the one thing that needs to be on every CV?
I would say a very strong introduction that skillfully and concisely summarizes what you have to offer as a potential candidate for the job at hand. Get this right, and you will have the employer hooked from the beginning and eager to read the rest of your CV.
How can we make sure our CVs are more readable for job boards and the like?
Newsflash - job boards are not human! This means they're programmed to shortlist very quickly by picking up on specific terms and keywords on CVs. In order to make your CV more readable to job boards and therefore increase your success rate in this area, it's important to submit a CV that is not generic, but targeted to a specific industry. This means making sure that everything on your CV - from your personal profile to your skills, career history to education and training - supports your expressed aspiration to gain a job in that particular field. This also means that you will be using specific vocabulary related to that field which job boards can pick up on and use to push you higher up the list as a potential suitable candidate.
What's the role of social media in finding a job?
The job market has changed significantly over the last few years, and social media now plays an increasingly important role in the process of finding a job. More and more employers are now using social media to directly recruit or eliminate potential candidates, so it's very important that job seekers learn how to harness social media to their advantage.
The first step is by getting involved and setting up a professional profile on the main platforms, namely LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, or Google+ if you're more advanced. This will allow you to start building a credible online brand that will be attractive to employers and recruiters, as well as open up the channels to engage directly with those who hold the decision-making powers regarding your job hunt.
What trends in hiring should we be watching closely?
I would reiterate the above point and say that social media and its link to job hunting is not about to go away any time soon. In fact, I believe this connection will only continue to grow as technology advances, so if you're job hunting, make it your priority to jump on the social bandwagon!
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