Are you looking for a new career challenge this year? It can be a daunting task just knowing where to start so we spoke with Andrea Drew, resume writing expert of 16 years and author of ‘Pro Resumes Made Easy’ (she's also a WOMO reviewer and highly rated business on WOMO).
Andrea shares her tips on getting prepared for a job hunt…
Don't just wait to find an ad, research businesses or industries you'd like to work in and approach them directly. Be prepared to tell them why you want to work for them and why you're a good match.
Use online resources to market yourself. Ensure you have an updated LinkedIn profile and ramp up your professional networking. Use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep abreast of what’s happening in your preferred industry. Knowing what’s going on will give you an insight to the expertise businesses may be looking for.
And on the other side of the social media coin, don’t forget prospective employers will be likely to research you online; do a search for yourself… does everything you find present you in the best light possible?
Update your CV
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your CV, you might be surprised to know how much resume styles have changed.
Andrea emphasises that it’s important to tailor your CV to meet the job criteria. Specifically, use the job ad as a checklist for your resume. She also advises her clients to avoid listing past duties, instead, focus on highlighting achievements. She says ‘a list of duties only says what you did to keep your job, achievements highlight why you’re the right match for a new role’.
Bonus Tips from Andrea
- Use the CAR formula, Challenge, Action, Result. What challenges have you faced? What action did you take to resolve them? What was the result?
- Consider your resume a marketing document and write it in the third person.
- Start bullet points with a strong verb or action word.
- If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, don’t be tempted to go back further than about 15 years and only include relevant courses and training.
- Always have your CV read by someone else to check for typos and obvious errors.
- Speak Up – Skip the modest talk; speak confidently about yourself, your experience and skills with recruiters. And if you’ve worked as part of a team, take credit where it's due and be ready to highlight your contribution to the team.
- Network – talk with your contacts about your plans and what you're looking for. Many jobs eventuate because of who you know so think of your network as your eyes and ears.
So get ready to get out there and market yourself as the best candidate!
And if you need some additional advice, Andrea is offering a free assessment of your current CV for WOMO users.