How I Updated My Resume And Got Job Offers After 8 Years Out Of The Corporate Workforce

I’m a big believer in practising what I preach. I’m also very keen on testing, re-testing and testing my resume again.

I don’t think it would be fair of a resume writer to sit behind a desk all day telling job seekers how to write a resume, what to include, what not to include, how to position yourself for a new job, how to change careers, or how to write a resume to re-enter the paid workforce after a career break, if I hadn’t tried and tested any of things I recommend myself.

So, once a year, sometimes twice, I update my resume, tweak my LinkedIn profile, and check that everything is current, just in case I’m asked to send a copy of my own resume for some contracting work. Once a year, I also set up some job alerts on Seek (Australia’s leading online job board), and wait for jobs that sound interesting to me to land in my inbox.

When they do, I get busy yet again with my resume, tailoring it to suit the jobs on offer that I’m pretty confident I could do, and have experience in, or transferable experience and skills, and I send off some job applications.

I get out the guidelines we give our resume clients and work through the steps so I can see things exactly how they do, at the same time updating and amending our top tips for getting a resume that will get job interviews. I also run my own resume through an applicant tracking system so I can test and score my resume against a job advertisement, so I know I have the best chance of getting invited to job interviews.

It’s a brilliant exercise in my mind. Firstly, it puts me right into the very same position my clients are in when searching for a job. Getting back into the head space of my job seeker / career-changer / re-entering the workforce clients keeps my feet on the ground, my advice current and relevant, and constantly reminds me just how hard it is to get noticed in an incredibly crowded job market where employers and recruiters seem to have the pick of the bunch.

It also makes me really anxious – because all of a sudden, I’m riding the job-seeker roller coaster that every single one of my resume clients does when we first connect.

I always learn a few new tricks from the exercise too, that I happily pass on to my clients, so they can learn from my experience.

The response has been amazing, not necessarily in a good way.

As of today, I’ve applied for 8 advertised jobs, all of which I am qualified (or overqualified) for, and have direct experience in. While the sample size isn’t yet significant, it is enough for me at this point to draw some conclusions about the current status of my resume, how my resume is being responded to in the current job market, and the process I’m following in my hypothetical 2017 job search.

For 4 of those jobs, (no longer advertised following 28 days on Seek), I’ve not even had the courtesy of an email of acknowledgement confirming receipt of my application.

I was absolutely convinced that I would get a call back from the very first job that I applied for (just like my clients!) I ticked every single box. I had the qualifications. I had the experience. I even had an extra qualification and medical experience that I was convinced would blow them away when they realised how much value I presented as a candidate. My resume was a 99% match when I ran it through the ATS. I did my research on the company. I found out who to address my letter to, read up on the decision maker, and researched some of the new work they were doing so I could include relevant examples of my experience doing something similar, and how it could help them move this new work to the next level. I actually went to sleep that night feeling a little smug because I was so absolutely sure that they would be on the phone the minute they read my resume and cover letter. Only thing is, that didn’t happen. In fact, nothing happened. No acknowledgement. No rejection. Nothing.

Not only do I find this insulting (as many of my clients do), but it astounds me that these organisations don’t realise the reputational damage they’re doing to themselves. Seek couldn’t make it any easier for recruiters to do this, given that it has a built-in feature that enables recruiters to send a generic email of acknowledgement. Many jobs also list the contact details, including direct email address and telephone number of advertisers, so when that happens, I also apply through Seek, and also send a copy direct.

Many of my clients have told me they quietly make note of those ‘non-responders’, determined to shun them in future as possible employers and product or service providers,  just as they have to them as job candidates.

Personally, I take it as a sign that if this is how an organisation treats a potential employee, the way they treat their paid workforce isn’t going to be any better, so I’m better off right from the start because they’ve already shown their true colours.

Just last week, I spent 6 hours carefully tweaking my resume and a cover letter to suit the job on offer.

You heard right! 6 hours … 6 hours carefully tweaking my resume and a cover letter to suit the job on offer.

I swapped out any irrelevant experience. I re-ordered my skill sets so the ones they were most interested in for the role were top of the list. I added a little over the most relevant key words so they would jump off the page for a skim-reader.

I detailed very specific examples (using the Challenge | Action | Result process) alongside each response to the essential and desirable selection criteria.  I included weighty facts and figures to substantiate my claims. I included a recent testimonial to add social proof, and even when to the trouble of creating a micro-website to showcase some experience I had in past marketing career, because the advertisement had asked for examples.

The early bird gets the worm. 

For another advertised position, I received an email response from a recruitment agent advising the role had been filled. It had been advertised for 18 hours by the time I submitted my application.

All credit to the recruitment agent however, because we did enter into a number of email exchanges in follow up, during which it was divulged that they were inundated with applications for the role (30 applications within the first 30 minutes) and as a result, they immediately started screening resumes (using applicant tracking software).

They then telephone interviewed 3 candidates within 4 hours and they even did a face-to-face interview with one candidate later that very same afternoon, and that candidatewho immediately received (and accepted) an offer.

So by the time I had tailored my application the night before pressing ‘apply here’, and emailed it off the next morning, one very happy job seeker was handing in their resignation letter from their previous employer and looking forward to their role starting 2 weeks later. One hour wasted the night before, and my application never stood a chance. The same could be said for the no doubt numerous other applications they received, as the job remained advertised on Seek for another 5 days. As they say, the early bird …

All in a week’s work. 

For another role, I applied for the job at 9:00 am on the Monday. Got the job offer at 3:00 pm on the Friday of that week. For this particular role, ego suitably bruised having had no acknowledgement or responses to my previous 4 applications, I now had no expectations whatsoever when I pressed ‘send’. But then I received an email response and invitation to interview less than 5 minutes after I had submitted my application. 4 days later I was interviewed. 15 minutes into the interview, I received a job offer. Quite possibly the quickest recruitment process I have ever participated in.

My takeaway? The process can be really quick if you’re the perfect job candidate.

It’s OK to ask what the salary range is.

One job for which I was really suited and was made an offer for, came down to salary. Rookie mistake on my part because I always advise clients that they should ensure that no matter how amazing the job will is, that the salary must meet their expectations.

Don’t assume that because you are a perfect match for the role, that you will get an interview.

Back to my 6 hours tailoring my resume and creating a micro-site to showcase my collateral … well, I did get a response. 4 days after submitting my application, and again, while the job advertisement was still active.

While I was ‘grateful’ to at least get the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ email, the thing is, they never bothered looking at 2 pages of the 3-page micro-site (how I know this is for me to explain another time). The email highlighted the high quality and calibre of the candidates, and necessary academic qualifications, the absence of which they used to justify my rejection. But I did have the qualification, along with another qualification that I know only 40 others have in tandem with the very specific academic credentials they requested of the applicants. I can only assume that was an oversight that I received that particular rejection email, or that they didn’t actually read what was on my resume and cover letter and micro-site, where I clearly detailed responses to the very specific selection criteria.

Should I have followed up to point this out? Perhaps. Would it have made a difference? I’ll never know, but it has highlighted yet another obstacle job seekers endure every day, and I can certainly empathise with the predicament.

Lessons:

  • Whenever recruiter contact details are listed on an advertisement, make contact with them (ideally by phone). It could save you hours if the role has already been filled, or the screening and shortlisting process has begun.
  • Just because a position is advertised on Seek, doesn’t mean there is still a position to fill. Recruiters may leave roles advertised that have actually been filled on Seek.
  • If a role does not list a salary*, it is OK to ask what the range is, if you get invited to interview. What waste your time (and the interviewers) if the role was to present a significant downturn in salary for you, that you weren’t prepared to accept, no matter how great everything else with the job sounds? We’re all working to pay our bills and finance our lifestyles, right?

Top Skills That Will Get You Hired in 2017

LinkedIn Reveals The Top Skills That Will Get You Hired In 2017 …

Find out what skills you need on your resume in 2017 to help land your dream job. From Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, to User Interface Design and Mobile Development, the 2016 annual list has shown that Marketing Skills have taken a dip in favour of Technology-related skills. No surprises there, but if you’re not on top of your game or want to stay ahead of it, now might be the time to think about skilling up.

 

Analysis of the recruiting activity on LinkedIn since January shows several trends about the Australia job market, including high demand for tech skills.

The Global Top Skills of 2016 list reveals several trends about the global job market:

Demand for marketers is slowing: While marketing skills like marketing campaign management, SEO/SEM, and channel marketing were in high demand in 2015, things have changed. This year, SEO/SEM dropped five spots from #4 to #9 and marketing campaign management dropped completely off the list. Demand for marketing skills is slowing because the supply of people with marketing skills has caught up with employers’ demand for people with marketing skills.

Data and cloud reign supreme: Cloud and distributed computing has remained in the #1 spot for the past two years and is the Top Skill on almost every list — including France, Germany, India, Ireland, Singapore, the US, and Spain. Following closely on its heels is statistical analysis and data mining, which came in #2 last year, and #1 in 2014. These skills are in such high demand because they’re at the cutting edge of technology. Employers need employees with cloud and distributed computing, statistical analysis and data mining skills to stay competitive.

Show me, don’t tell me: For the first time ever, data presentation, which is visualising data, makes the list with the #8 spot. With statistical analysis and data mining holding strong again this year at #2, employers need employees who can organise data so it’s easy for people to understand.

User interface design is the new black: User interface design (#5), which is designing the part of products that people interact with, is increasingly in-demand among employers. It ranked #14 in 2014, #10 last year, and #5 this year (second largest jump on this year’s Global Top Skills of 2016 list). Data has become central to many products, which has created a need for people with user interface design skills who can make those products easy for customers to use.

If you have any of these skills, make sure you let employers know. A simple way to do this is by adding the skills to your LinkedIn profile. In addition to showcasing your professional brand, you’ll also show up higher in recruiters’ search results.

Here are the skills that are most sought after amongst Australian employers, according to LinkedIn:

1. Statistical analysis and data mining
2. SEO/SEM marketing
3. Middleware and integration software
4. HR benefits and compensation
5. Network and information security
6. Mobile development
7. User interface design
8. Web architecture and development framework
9. Algorithm design
10. Corporate law and governance

Soft skills are also difficult to find compared to technical, according to a survey of hiring managers by LinkedIn.

The majority (63%) of hiring managers say they find it harder to find professionals with soft skills.

The most important soft skills are teamwork, ownership and problem-solving.

Most hiring managers (65%) believe that not being able to find soft skills limited productivity.

And human resources decision-makers in Australia and New Zealand say it’s difficult to fill leadership positions because of that soft skill shortage.

“They don’t have the skills,” LinkedIn said in its study, Leadership Talent Challenges in Australia and New Zealand.

Critical soft skills missing or under-developed: empathy, problem solving and creativity, and fostering collaboration and innovation.

 

With thanks to LinkedIn and Business Insider.

How To Privately Signal To Recruiters on LinkedIn That You’re Open To New Job Opportunities

LinkedIn Have Just Released A New Feature That Makes It Even Easier For Recruiter’s To Find You.

Say Hello to Open Candidates

Courtesy of LinkedIn:

The secret to career happiness is finding a job you love, however there is no way to tell the world that you’re open to new opportunities without worrying about your employer finding out. But imagine if you could signal to recruiters everywhere that you’d like to hear from them, and by doing so increase your chances of having one of those magic moments when a recruiter reaches out with an amazing opportunity.

Open Candidates is a new feature that makes it easier to connect with your dream job by privately signaling to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities. You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find great professional talent.

Open Candidates is accessible from the “Preferences” tab on the LinkedIn Jobs home page.

To enable the feature, simply turn sharing “On” and fill in some brief information about the types of roles you are interested in. Who among us hasn’t, at some point, tried to find work without our boss finding out? Now, you can privately indicate to recruiters on LinkedIn without worrying. LinkedIn will hide the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters.

You can also search through more than six million jobs on LinkedIn, learn about the company’s culture through our newly released Career Pages, and “Meet the Team” to learn more about future  colleagues for open jobs that catch your attention. Most importantly, by using LinkedIn’s many job tools, you can find opportunities at companies where you have a common connection to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Open Candidates is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia (hurrah!) on the desktop and mobile Web for now and we will be rolling out globally soon.  Once you’ve turned the signal on you can let LinkedIn do the work for you.

Thanks LinkedIn!

LinkedIn’s 25 Hottest Job Skills 2016

LinkedIn’s 25 hottest job skills for 2016 will depress anyone outside of the IT industry.

If you’re on the hunt for a new job, find out what skills and keywords your resume needs.

It’s January, so there’s a good chance you’re on the hunt for a new job.

According to sites like Monster.com and LinkedIn, this is the most popular time of year for job seekers to kick off their search.

To find out what it takes to successfully land a job, LinkedIn analysed all of the hiring and recruiting activity that occurred on its site in 2015, and uncovered the 25 hottest skills in 14 different countries.

“If your skills fit one or more of these skills categories (a grouping of related skills), there’s a chance you either started a new job or attracted the interest of recruiters last year,” explains LinkedIn researcher Sohan Murthy in a recent LinkedIn post.

“We noticed that companies were still recruiting and hiring for these skills well into the final months of 2015, so we expect these skills will remain in-demand in the early part of 2016. This means if you have one or more of these skills, you’re likely to continue getting interest from recruiters in the new year.”

To see the skills most in demand by recruiters in Australia, see the image below. Get your resume updated now, job seekers, and show your expertise in the areas below to make sure your chances for being noticed by recruiters is increased.

LinkedIn’s Hottest Job Skills 2016

LinkedIn's Hottest Job Skills 2016, LinkedIn, Job Seeker Skills, Keywords, Resume Skills, CV Keywords, CV Skills,

 

 

 

Not everyone of us will be a developer or have anywhere enough of these skills, but if you’d like some help getting your resume and LinkedIn profile in order, contact us at info@cvsaviour.com.au or click here for more details about how we can help. If you need to upskill, you might want to consider re-training in some of those in-demand skills so you can ramp your resume.

This article appeared on Linkedin and Business Insider.

How to get a new job in 2016

How To Get A Job In 2016 | Top 10 Tips For Job Seekers

As job seekers begin to think about new years’ resolutions and whether it’s time for career change or job move, it coincides not just with the holiday period but its the same time that the recruitment space gets busier towards the end of January and CV Saviour enters it busiest time of year. And in a very timely fashion, these top 10 tips to help you get your New Year job search and resume in order has just been published. Read on to find out How To Get A New Job In 2016 – what you should, and shouldn’t be doing to get the job you want.

If you are looking for a new job for the new year, you could be making one crucial mistake that is getting you noticed for all the wrong reasons.

Recruiting agency Hays has released 10 tips for finding a new job in 2016, emphasising the importance of integrating digital and social media into your job search.

But it has also highlighted the importance of targeting realistic jobs, especially in the electronic era.

Hays senior regional director Peter Noblet told news.com.au that employers were becoming more impatient with people applying for jobs they are not qualified for.

“Thanks to technology it’s easier for candidates to apply for lots of jobs very quickly,” Mr Noblet said, but this could actually be harming a candidate’s chances of standing out.

Some people may think that sending out a generic resume widely would help them cover more ground, but Mr Noblet said it was more effective to target your resume and cover letter specifically to the job.

He said employers often used tracking systems to shift through the large number of resumes and applications they received. These would search through candidates based on name, skills and key words so if you were not tailoring your resume to the specific job, you could get overlooked.

“Make sure you highlight key words in job ads and match your skills to that, mention these key words in your CV and cover letter and be explicit about why you think you could do the job,” he said.

Mr Noblet said candidates needed to make themselves stand out and a key part of this was to avoid using generic and cliqued language.

“It needs to be to-the-point and direct,” he said. “You don’t have to go into a huge amount of details, that’s what the interview is for, you just want to get your foot in the door so just include the salient points from your last job.”

While Mr Noblet acknowledged qualifications listed for some jobs could be more of a “wishlist” than non-negotiable criteria, if a candidate did not have all the necessary requirements they should consider whether any of their current skills were transferable.

For example, even if an applicant did not know a specific software language, if they were good at learning on the job quickly and could back this up with specific examples, they may still be considered a suitable candidate.

“Sometimes people forget that there are a lot of people applying for roles.

“You want ones that stand out, who say they can do the role and explain the reasons why.”

According to Hays, your 2016 job search could run much smoother with these tips:

1. DISRUPT YOUR CV

While a traditional CV remains the accepted way to show you have the necessary skills and experience for the role, you could add a link to a website, video or blog post that profiles digital examples of your work, or demonstrates your expertise in a particular area. These links will help you stand out — provided they are relevant to the role you have applied for.

2. ALIGN YOUR ONLINE AND OFFLINE CVS

Hiring managers will research you online, so make sure the CV you submit matches your online profile. Any discrepancies throw up a red flag. At the very least you’ll be asked some hard questions in the interview, and at worst your CV will be removed from consideration.

3. BE OPEN TO FREELANCING

With employers looking for flexible headcounts and jobseekers looking to expand their industry experience and networks, freelancing is an option worth considering.

4. TARGET REALISTIC JOBS

Employers are becoming more impatient with candidates who apply for a role that they are not suitable for. In 2016 it is therefore important to be realistic in the roles you consider, and clearly demonstrate your suitability for a role based upon your experience.

5. PROMOTE YOURSELF

A LinkedIn account will not be enough if you are not active online so like, post, share and comment on relevant content, ask for endorsements, be active in relevant groups and showcase examples of your work and achievements.

6. STUDY RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS

Keep up-to-date with industry developments. If you need to undertake training make sure it’s the right training. In every industry there are certain qualifications that employers value above others. So make sure you do your research and work towards the qualifications that employers actually value.

7. BE A CHANGE AGENT

Employers are starting to look for candidates with an appetite for change, so in 2016 make sure you are known for driving innovation, integrating technology and learning best practice from others in order to make informed changes to the way business is done.

8. SIZE DOESN’T MATTER

If you choose not to hide your LinkedIn connections, be aware that employers can make assumptions about you based on the quality of your online connections. For many employers, the value you can bring to their business is an important consideration in their hiring decision. Your connections should show potential employers that you are associated with people relevant to your field, which can be a powerful endorsement of your reach.

9. LEARN TO COPE WITH REJECTION

As well as the required technical skills you need to have the right industry background and cultural fit, which means it could take a few applications before you find the right role for you. Don’t take the rejection personally.

10. STAY ON TOP OF A RECRUITER’S TALENT LIST

Ways to stay at the top of your recruiter’s talent list include keeping them informed by updating them if your circumstances change, following their advice, and keeping your word. If you say you’re only interested in permanent work then decline an interview for a more lucrative contract role. Similarly, trust your recruiter and don’t go over their head to contact an employer direct.

 

If you’d like some help getting your resume and LinkedIn profile in order, contact us at info@cvsaviour.com.au or click here for more details about how we can help.

This article first appeared on news.com.au

How To Get A Job On LinkedIn.

How To Get A Job On LinkedIn – Finding A Job On LinkedIn Just Got A Easier

One of my favourite things on LinkedIn has been the fact that anyone can check out who is already employed by a company they’re interested in. Knowing if they hire people with similar skills, or academic backgrounds and the like – recruitment is a two-way process, and it’s always important to view the cultural fit as well as the role of offer. Who wants a great job, but miserable colleagues or an uncomfortable jarring environment to work in?

LinkedIn’s job hunt overhaul has been rolled out. A survey by the site found that successful job-seekers are 9 times more likely to research the current employees of companies they want to apply to. So now, when you pull up a job post, you’ll get that information right in front of you. As well as any connections you have at the company, and whether it hires people like you. If you can’t see it yet, don’t panic – it’s on its way.

LinkedIn just completely overhauled the way it will display job postings: increasing the amount of information it surfaces front-and-center in an attempt to make your hunt more effective.

You’ll notice the changes and revamped look when you’re scoping out a specific role found through its “Jobs” tab.

There are two questions the professional networking site will allow you to answer quickly and easily any time you’re checking out a new position:

  • Do you have any connections at the company?
  • Does the company have a history of hiring people like you?

To address the first question, the company will now show you all of your LinkedIn connections who work at the company you’d be applying to. It will also suggest people you could reach out to based on your alma mater and job history:

 

LInkedIn Resume 1

To give you a better idea of what sort of job skills and expertise the company is looking for — and what you should emphasise in your application — LinkedIn will also start surfacing a “Meet the Team” section which shows you people currently in similar roles as the one you’re applying to:

 

LinkedIn Resume 2 (1)

 

A LinkedIn survey found that successful job-seekers are 9 times more likely to research the current employees of companies they want to apply to.

Technically, you could always find this kind of information on LinkedIn, but the company is now doing all the heavy lifting for you at the get-go.

Finally, people who pay for a “Premium” LinkedIn account will be able to see additional information like details about a company’s growth rate, average tenure, and the top schools and companies it hires from:LinkedIn Resume 3

How cool is that? Job searching and checking out prospective employers just got so much easier!

LinkedIn plans to roll these changes out incrementally, so if you haven’t seen them yet, don’t panic.

If you’d like some help getting your LinkedIn profile in order, contact us at info@cvsaviour.com.au or click here for more details about how we can help.

This article first appeared on Business Insider.