We asked our specialist recruitment consultants across a number of industries what they think are the most crucial dos and don’ts for candidate CVs.
Good CV structure is so important. You can do this by:
- Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV.
- Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. This might not apply to marketing jobs but I know financial services do not enjoy it.
- The formatting should be uniform and consistent.
- If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment.
- You should follow an obvious pattern. If you’re using Italics for role and Bold for organisation, you need to do this for every role.
The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Jobseekers often put just one word to describe their duties and when you consider the competition out there this isn’t enough detail to stand out. Statistics, facts and figures are essential. If you hit targets, made sales, achieved goals, employers want to see the exact numbers and/or percentages.
Include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you’re outgoing and achieve goals outside of work.
If you play sport or music etc. include this on your CV. This will make you stand out. However, don’t include ridiculous hobbies. Charity work and current hobbies are acceptable, but don’t put down hobbies for the sake of it, like “I enjoy walking”. Use that space on your CV for something more relevant.
Don’t Leave Gaps
Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them.
Don’t Include Graphics
Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed.
Don’t Forget to Include Contact Details
You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CVs get forwarded around and saved on hard drives/desktops so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contact email address. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV.
Don’t use Personal Details
It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively.
Posted by Clare Reynolds on 27 March 2018
What New Grads Need To Know About Job Hunting
What New Grads Need To Know About Job Hunting
After graduating from university, looking for your first job can be daunting. You have spent so many years in education and working hard to achieve your degree, you’re eager to start your career but it can be difficult to know how, especially when you’re among so many other graduates in the same position as you applying for the same roles. At Sigmar Recruitment, we want to make the job hunt a little less overwhelming and help you to start your career successfully. Here are the best tips to stand out in your job hunt: Ask Your Lecturers If you’re unsure about what companies to apply for, get in touch with your college lecturers and ask for their recommendations. This is a great way to know what companies are hiring graduates and it’s a great way to introduce yourself when applying. “I heard about your company through my lecturer ____ and I just wanted to introduce myself and enquire about any open positions.” Don’t Be Afraid of The Phone If you’re interested in a job and you’ve applied with your CV, it’s always a good idea to ring the hiring manger to introduce yourself. Often when mangers are recruiting for a position they are inundated with applications. For you to stand out, phone the company and let them know that you are interested in the role. Email Before Attending a Job Fair Student job fairs are like a recruitment frenzy. HR mangers meet so many people in the space of a few hours so it can be hard for them to remember every single person. If you know of a company that will be there and better again, the representative from the company attending, email beforehand. Leading up to the event, you should email to introduce yourself. This will make standing out a lot easier and it will probably be appreciated by the representative as well. Do Your Research Always know about the company you’re applying for before approaching anyone for an interview. The question “What do you know about our company?” will always be asked in an interview. It’s not often you will know what will be asked in an interview so it would be foolish to not prepare. It’s also a great way to impress your interviewer. Doing good research before an interview shows interest and preparation. Name Drop Highlighting your personal connections can be a great way to stand out. If you know of someone who is a client/colleague/friend of the person you are being interviewed by, mention it. Also, if you know someone who works for the company you're applying to, don't be afraid to mention their name in your cover letter. Many businesses actually encourage and reward their employees for referring job candidates so you should always name drop where you can. Always remember, that all the people you admire and see working in role that you aspire to achieve, they all started where you are now. Everyone has to start from somewhere and you will get there with the right attitude and time.
How To Ask For A Promotion
How To Ask For A Promotion
Are you in a job in which you feel you’re doing well, have mastered your role and feel like you’re ready to take on more responsibility? If so, it may be time to ask for a promotion. There are a few ways you can approach this; Reflect Think about what it is you want. Are you looking for more responsibility? More money? To manage more people? Knowing what you want from your promotion is the first thing you need to assess before approaching your boss with the request. You need to have a clear idea of what it is you want before you can ask for it. Going in with just the idea of wanting a promotion without giving it any thought, is a sign that your request will more than likely be rejected. Be Prepared Know in your head all of the projects you’ve worked on. Know any statistics, facts and figures that will support your request for a promotion. Prepare a list of your accomplishments and be ready to talk through each of them with your manager. This is the best way to approach your manger about wanting a promotion and then follow up afterwards with an email. The email should state clearly why you want a promotion and the reasons why you feel you deserve one. It will also give your manager something to look over while he/she is deliberating. Get the Timing Right Timing is everything. Being 6 months in a job and asking for a promotion is never going to be a good idea or 6 months after being given a previous promotion. You need to have worked up enough time and be succeeding in your current role before you can consider a promotion. You need to ask yourself, is now a good time for more responsibility? If you feel you are managing your workload well and are ready and capable of more responsibility, then you can be confident when asking for a promotion. Ask for Feedback In the run up to asking for your promotion, check in with your manager that they are happy with what you are getting done and ask if there is anything else they would like you to work on. If you are consistently getting positive feedback from your manager, it's an indication that there may be opportunity for a promotion. Follow up If you have already asked for a promotion and you haven’t been given an answer weeks later, you will need to follow up. Request a meeting with your manger specifying that you are seeking an answer about the promotion. Be Patient Don’t assume a discussion about a promotion is a once off. It is often a series of conversations over a period of time. Your manager may not even come back to you for a week or two with their answer and he/she may follow up with questions. If unfortunately, you aren’t successful in receiving a promotion immediately, ask what you need to achieve/work on in order to receive a promotion. Armed with this information, you can work on achieving these targets to ensure you receive one in the near future.
Dos and Don’ts When It Comes To Losing Your Job
Dos and Don’ts When It Comes To Losing Your Job
Losing your job can be a very difficult life change to cope with. Getting the initial news will come as a nasty shock, but with these tips from Sigmar Recruitment you will get through this trying time. Don’t Panic You feel shocked and that’s natural. It is stressful losing your job, but sending your brain into overdrive worrying is not going to do you any good. Spiralling with negative thoughts will only make you lose clarity and stop you from making any progressive plans. Trying to remain calm is the first step and the most important thing to keep in mind while you search for a new job. Do Start Your Job Hunt Job hunt immediately. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile. Upload your CV to job boards, get in touch with recruitment agencies and attend networking events etc. It’s important to get the ball rolling straight away so you can stay active. Remember, the sooner you start looking, the sooner you will find a new job. Don’t Clam Up It’s natural to not want to engage with others while you’re unemployed. It often happens when people lose their job, they shy away from social interactions but it’s important to remain involved with friends. Let your friends and family know you are looking for a new job and use your network to ask of any opportunities. The people you know will be happy to help you out so don’t shy away from contact. Do Accept your Situation Accepting what has happened and allowing yourself to be emotional will help you to move forward. Losing your job is terrible and you’re only human so it’s ok to feel miserable. Giving yourself that time to accept your circumstances will help you to process this huge change. Once you’ve accepted the situation you will begin to think clearer and move forward. Don’t Borrow Blindly You may be tempted to borrow cash to tide yourself over or dip into savings. While this may be necessary, borrow or dip into savings as sparingly as possible. Do Rethink your Standard of Living When you’ve set yourself a standard of living it can be hard to re-adjust, but it’s important to reflect on your wants and needs at this time. Your employment status has changed so you may need to adjust the money you spend regularly in order to cope with this significant drop in your cash flow. Consider shopping for cheaper brands and budgeting your weekly spend on social activities. Don’t Neglect Your Wellbeing Be aware of your stress levels. It’s not easy losing your job and you will feel stressed and anxious at times but now that you have more free time, it’s the perfect time to try something new to help with your stress. Try mediation or yoga or adult colouring. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. Take a look at these successful people who received painful rejections before they accomplished all their goals Walt Disney Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” JK Rowling JK Rowling got fired when working at the London office of Amnesty International because she would write stories on her work computer all day long. Photo: Daniel Ogren Flickr Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey was an evening news reporter and apparently got fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Photo: Ian Evenstar Flickr Elvis Presley After a performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told by the concert hall manager that he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks (his former career). Bill Gates When Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard he started a business with Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data, which flopped. Luckily, they tried their hand at business again and this time Microsoft was born. Photo: OnInnovation Follow Flickr Albert Einstein Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four and didn’t read until he was seven. He was subsequently expelled from school and was not accepted to the Zurich Polytechnic School. Long story short, he came around.
What Employers Really Want
What Employers Really Want
Are you in a recruitment process for a new job? If so, it's important to know what employers look for in a good candidate. Of course, things like qualifications, skills and experience are important but that’s not all employers want. If you've already been asked to interview, chances are your CV has already shown that you have the right qualifications, which is why you are being considered. Now, during the interview stage of the process, the hiring manager will be looking for a little more. Employers need to make sure that you will fit in at their organisation, match their company values and essentially be a part of their team. If you're feeling nervous about a job interview, it's good to remember these 5 things employers look for in an employee... 1. Positive Attitude Being upbeat and positive can make a huge difference. If you are a happy and positive person, a hiring manger will be confident that you will make friends easily and you will enjoy the work you do and even motivate others with your positivity. Being positive can make you approachable and make people want to work with you. 2. Dependable Employers seek someone who is trustworthy and reliable. It’s a crucial character trait in the workplace. Being on time for work and trusted to complete important tasks is what an employer expects from all their employees. 3. Enthusiastic About Learning A person who is eager to work and learn is very attractive to an employer. Showing you have a strong work ethic and are interested in upskilling and improving is exactly what any hiring manger wants. If you're interested in the company and want to invest in learning, your employer will be just as eager to invest in you too. 4. Quick Thinking A person who can react well when things go wrong is very useful to an employer. Having the ability to think on your feet in difficult situations can be of great benefit to any team/company. 5. Works Well In Teams Getting along with people is a huge plus. Maintaining good working relationships and working well with others shows you are a team player and fit with a company’s culture.