FREE – Job Hunting Essential Guide

Free e-Book – Getting a Job in IT the Smart Way
eBook Cover as a book 200x200 FREE   Job Hunting Essential Guide

Are you finding the job hunting process to be competitive, frustrating and ultimately unrewarding? In a competitive job market are you struggling to get your foot in the door? Do you apply for hundreds of jobs, but never get a response? Is your interview technique letting you down? Do you never have the right answers for tough interview questions? Then this book is what you have been looking for, whether you are trying to get your first job in IT, looking to get back into the industry after a break or looking for the next role on your IT career ladder.

Getting a Job in IT the Smart Way is your definitive guide to navigating the job hunting process from CV design to closing the deal. Packed with helpful advice, examples, hints and tips on how to impress a prospective employer this book will arm you with the tools needed to get you that dream IT job.

Please provide your name and email address for your free download.



5 Tips To Make You More Employable This Year

The job market in the UK, Europe and the US is ultra-competitive at the moment. Big institutions are threatening redundancies, government austerity measures are impacting jobs in the public sector and growth is still stagnant. So, how can you go about making yourself stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips on how you can become more employable.

1. Work on your CV

This has two aspects. First you need to improve the actual CV document, so focus on the way you are presenting the information to an employer. Is the layout correct? Does the most important information stand out? Are your qualifications and experience obvious to those who don’t know you? Think about improving the appearance of the document to make it more eye-catching, but don’t let it become gimmicky. Get some advice from your friends or family. If you do get to speak to a recruitment company then ask their opinion.

You should also think about developing your CV by improving the contents. Are there any development areas? Is there any training in your current role that would enhance your CV and get you more experience?

I offer a professional resume writing service. All I need is a copy of your existing CV or Resume and any information you can provide related to interests, professional qualifications, working history, education and achievements. I will have your new CV and complimentary cover letter with you withing 5 working days. Please contact me for more information.

CV Writing Service 5 Tips To Make You More Employable This Year

2. Develop new skills

This is closely linked to point one. Once you have worked out how to enhance your CV, you might find that you need to develop new skills or areas of expertise in order to achieve your goals. This could mean going on training or professional development courses. There are many different courses on offer. Choose something that you will enjoy and that will be useful in the future.

Consider developing your personal skills, for example, you could undergo a leadership course or learn how to mentor others..

3. Change your job application pattern

Perhaps you have got into a rut with your job applications. You may send out so many applications that they start to blur after a while. While you might change your application slightly for each job to tailor it to the job specification, you might still rely on a cover letter and personal statement that was written months ago. Try starting again from scratch. How would you sell your experience and skills now?

It is also important to consider the types of job you are applying for. Perhaps you are applying for too narrow a range of positions and could consider alternative roles. Or the opposite problem could be true. Are you using a ‘scattergun’ approach and applying for too many jobs when you would be better applying for positions only in your field?

4. Do a mock interview

‘Practise makes perfect’ is very apt for interviews. Sitting an interview is one of the most alien things you are likely to do. Most IT people choose IT because they are not sales people. They are no good at selling themselves yet this is what we are trying to do in an interview.

Going along to interviews even if you are no successful is a great way to get experience. Learn from your mistake, remember the questions you got stuck on and develop your responses. Get advice and coaching from friends and family. If you are lucky maybe even ask one of them to sit a mock interview with you and learn from the experience. The process will give you the chance to rehearse some of your answers to challenging interview questions and hopefully you will get some positive feedback on your performance.

I can recommend ‘Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions‘ by Martin John Yate. I use this myself and contains load of examples of typical interview questions and how to phrase your response.

5. Broaden your horizons!

Although it is easy to become single minded when looking for a job, it is important to constantly reassess the situation. Are you sure that you really want to work in the field for which you are applying? If you have any doubts, perhaps it’s time to come up with an alternative plan. There are many other ways of finding fulfilling work apart from doing a permanent job. Many scholars have portfolio careers where they work for a number of different universities, perhaps doing freelance tutoring or exam marking as well.

You could also consider volunteering. It is a great way of getting new skills and of helping a charity or local organisation. And it will really enhance your CV and give you a sense of self-worth during a difficult time of unemployment. Future employers will look favourably on someone who thinks outside the box to try to develop their workplace skills. (The agreed supreme walks before the pretended governor.)

Top 10 Tips for Writing a Resume

Top 10 200x2001 Top 10 Tips for Writing a ResumeHere are my top 10 tips and hints for writing a resume or CV.  Preparing a CV is a something that you can develop and perfect. Remember this is your marketing brochure so spend time and get it right. If you do get stuck then please get in touch, I offer CV writing services if you really want to get that Resume/CV polished up quickly Contact Me.

 

 


1. No more than 3 pages
 This has been an age old dilemma with CV/Resume writing, how many pages to include? There is no hard and fast rule, to be honest it depends on the preference of the interviewer. If you can get everything onto 2 pages then great, but don’t add more than 3 pages. Most recruitment agencies and interviewers will get bored past the page three and unless your Resume is amazing then it is destined for the bin. 

2. Don’t just repeat your responsibilities

This is such a common error on your Resume/CV and really does not demonstrate your real accomplishments. Included bullet points such as ‘managed a geographically dispersed service desk team consisting of 5 people’ or ‘Setup a structured Service Desk based on ITIL best practises brining together geographically dispersed teams’. These describe your roles and achievements more effectively and lifts your accomplishments off the page. 

3. Use meaningful data when explaining accomplishments
 What I mean here is that use statistics to backup your accomplishments. Things like ‘Led implementation of new Service Desk ticketing system which saw a 20% increase in customer satisfaction’. Of course please be prepared to backup your statement, but these achievements add more weight in your Resume than simply saying you are responsible for a Service Desk Ticketing System.  

4. Have more than one CV/Resume

This may sounds strange, but it is very likely you will be applying for different types of job in different sectors. Tailor your Resume so that you can target specific roles. For a role with a Bank you might want to explain your experience and exposure to FSA rules or in a Retail company your exposure to EFTPOS etc. You are unlikely to impress an employer with your knowledge of EFTPOS if you are applying for a job with a Legal company.
hints1 150x150 Top 10 Tips for Writing a ResumeMake a list of accomplishment you have achieved over the past three years. Then expand the list to include at least 5 accomplishments from each of your previous jobs over the past 10 years. You can then cut and paste these into your Resume depending on the job you are going for. This helps you tailor your CV/Resume and at the same time keeps it fresh. Remember to use accomplishments with evidence.

 

5. Don’t exaggerate

Unless you are very good at lying then please do not make up or exaggerate your experience on your Resume, you will be found out. Any good interviewer will drill down into your experience and will soon pickup on any ambiguity.

6. Avoid Repetition

Always check that you haven’t used the same words for describing different skills, work experience, or interests, and check for unnecessary adjectives. For example mix words like managed, responsible for, led or effectively managed. Check down your bullet list and make sure you do not start the same bullet with the same words each time.   

7. Check your spelling or grammar

This is going to sound harsh, but if I see spelling mistakes or poor grammar in a Resume then it immediately goes in the bin. I am by no means great with English so I always get help when I am writing an important report or article. I ask someone independent to proof read the piece of work for me. I might even ask a second person to do the same. You will be amazed at how much you miss yourself. Please read and re-read your Resume and get friends and family to proof read it for you.

8. Make changes regularly
 Always keep your CV fresh and up-to-date. Make tweaks and changes regularly especially if you have finished a project or achieved a qualification. This ensures your Resume is up-to-date and is as effective as it can be to market your capabilities. 

9. Include a Cover Letter

Almost every time you upload your Resume when applying for an online job advert you are going to be asked for a cover letter. You must approach this letter in the same way any other formal letter. Please start with Dear or Sir or Madam and end with Yours Sincerely. Please start your first sentence with “I enclose my latest curriculum vitae in application to the advertised vacancy <job reference and title>”. The next one or two paragraphs should outline your skills and ambitions. Then finish with a bullet point list of career highlights (that are not included in your Resume) with the usual evidence. Again apply the same rules of spelling and grammar. A cover letter is another opportunity to market yourself,  but you are a risk of making all the good work in your Resume come to nothing with a poor quality Resume. Take a look here at 2 FREE example  cover letters.

10. Correctly format your CV

There is a wealth of useful information on the net about formatting CV’s and again much of the layout of a CV is down to personal choice. There is no hard and fast rule about the order of events and what should or should not be included. I like to see interests on a CV because you get an opportunity to use this to engage with the applicant more socially, but you will some recruitment agents leaving this section out. Here are some do’s and don’ts-

  • Do use a clear, commonly used font, like Arial 10
  • Don’t use a comic or kids font, it gives the wrong impression
  • Do keep your font consistent through the Resume
  • Do order your previous jobs newest to oldest
  • Do give more emphasis on your current or most recent role i.e. more bullet points
  • Do include your qualifications (the good ones)
  • Do include your name, address and contact number (make sure the information is correct and up-to-date)

Why not check out my eBook How do I get a Job in IT‘. There is a chapter dedicated to preparing a professional Resume including examples.

cv cartoon1 Top 10 Tips for Writing a Resume

A Guide To Using RSS Feeds For Job Seeking

Browsing the web, even on a semi-regular basis, you may have noticed small orange boxes containing the words RSS. If you have not seen them then this is not surprising when you are focused on surfing for something specific. However, ignoring these amazing feeds could mean you are missing out on a wealth of job related information.

rssfeed A Guide To Using RSS Feeds For Job Seeking

RSS stands for ‘Rich Site Summary’ and is basically an information channel that condenses the content of a website into brief headlines, which are stored in a ‘feed’. You can then ‘subscribe’ to this feed for free and run it through a piece of software called a reader. This enables you to read the summarised content of the site – quick, easy and completely under your control. One of the most popular RSS readers is Microsoft Outlook. Scan down the left menu options in Outlook and you will notice a folder called ‘RSS Feeds’. How easy is it to have feeds coming directly into the tool you probably use the most!

You will find most credible job sites have some sort of RSS feed. A word of warning, one of the challenges of RSS feeds can be the explosion of information you are suddenly going to receive. Some find it overwhelming, but if you manage your day to read and administer your feeds it can become a fantastic source for keeping up-to-date with jobs news and information.