How to Get a New Job
When I talk to people at their free CV consultation, the main thing I have to keep reminding them is that they don’t need to tell their life story in their CV or Covering Letter. A lot of people find it difficult to be concise and edit (read slash and burn) their career history; but if your info is not of the slightest interest or use to the recruiter, then it shouldn’t be on your CV.
The Stages to Getting a New Job:
To call you to interview a recruiter simply wants to see if you can do the job. They don’t have much time (assume they don’t) and they might also have a huge pile of CV’s to read. You want to make sure your CV gets put in the ‘call to interview’ pile, so unless each piece of information earns its place and enhances your application then get rid of it.
Of course before you get a job interview your CV has to be read, and this only happens if your Covering Letter is read. So here’s some blunt, no-fluff advice on how to get a job interview by making sure each stage of your application is up to scratch:
The Sole Purpose of a Covering Letter
The one purpose of a covering letter is to make the recruiter read your CV. That’s it. You just have to say why you’re contacting them (you’re replying to an ad, you’ve been referred, you’re writing to them speculatively etc), mention your situation if applicable, and briefly outline the related skills you have that will tempt them into reading your CV. These skills must reflect their job spec of course!
If your covering letter is too long they might not bother to read it all and you won’t get any further. So don’t give them that excuse.
The Sole Purpose of a CV
The only purpose of a CV is to get you called in for an interview. Think about who’ll be reading it, what they’re going to want to know, and then tell them that and just that. The person initially reading your CV may not even be the person who’ll be interviewing you, but they’ll probably decide in around six seconds if you’re in the yes or no pile – so put the good stuff at the top.
Think how you scan through an article in a magazine or online looking for the bits you need because that’s how people read a CV.
A Personal Profile should be a succinct summary of your CV and a Career Objective is not necessary if you’ve written it in the Covering Letter. Put a Skills Summary on the first page, and add any Key Achievements to the first page as well (but only if you have any really brilliant ones). Now is not the time to be modest!
The CV should ideally be on two pages and you don’t need to add your date of birth, your marital status or your nationality as it’s illegal for anyone to discriminate against you on these subjects. You don’t want to give them any reason not to consider you so don’t waffle on, ensure you tailor your CV to the position and company and make sure they know how to contact you.
Yay, I Got an Interview Now What?
If your Covering Letter and CV get you an interview then now it’s just down to you – so you’d better be prepared! A recruiter wants to know what you’re good at, how you do your job, what results you get and then they’ll want some proof.
They’ll want to know why you want to work for them, what you’ll bring to the position and why they should hire you. If you don’t know the answer to these questions then you won’t get the job.
The Sales Funnel to you getting a new job is basically four stages:
- Your Covering Letter gets read
- Your Covering Letter makes the recruiter read your CV
- The skills and abilities on your CV match what the recruiter wants and you’re called in for an interview
- The interview is amazing because you did your homework and they offer you the job
So cut out anything that doesn’t enhance your application and earn its place, focus on getting each stage right, and do your research because you’ll stand a much chance of getting the job of your dreams. Also sign up my free 4-day guide to getting a new job in the sidebar as it comes with really detailed advice and templates covering each stage. And if you’re struggling with your CV then get me to write it instead!