IF YOU’RE RECEIVING the job alerts everyday — indeed, you may even have applied for some jobs already — but you’re still not getting called up for interview, then the following questions of doubt may be brewing:
When applying for a job, there are perhaps only two things most job seekers pay any attention to – the impressiveness of their CV and whether their cover letter is equally impressive, which is fine; CVs do have to be impressive, after all. In fact, if you’re looking for tips on crafting a good CV or cover letter, try reading our posts on both topics – one from the horse’s mouth, well actually that of a recruiter, who shares tips on what will get your CV noticed and another outlines the vital importance of covering letters. But the truth is, many people are still sloppy when it comes to their CVs.
Making a Good, Nay, Great First Impression
When you’re applying for a job, you’ve got to put your best foot forward. Most people know this, which is why they spend hours toiling over their resumes and then spend more hours laboriously constructing sentences that are neither ambiguous, nor too forthright, either; lest it leave the recruiter or hiring manager without any questions that could be answered in an interview.
Once we’re asked to come in for an interview, we make sure to wear our fancy interview threads and our best attitude – in short, we turn on the best version of ourselves. It’s about first impressions, after all, and everyone knows this. It’s so basic that all these things serve to do is weed out the tyre-kickers from the real contenders.
A Tougher Market
But in today’s job market the number of real contenders have increased markedly, while opportunities have remained the same, if not decreased in the years since the GFC. Standing out from your competition requires something extra – it could be something like showing a commitment to continuing professional development by taking a short course like many students of our MYOB training courses have done.
It could also be something as simple as demonstrating attention to detail – an important attribute to have if you’re applying for a job as a bookkeeper or an administration assistant, one would assume. Certainly, if I’m looking to hire a new staff member and I’ve had piles of CVs delivered to my inbox from Seek or Gumtree, finicky things like the filename of a person’s CV are things I look at.
If I receive a resume from someone simply saved as “resume” it’s generally safe to say that this person shows little attention to detail. More often than not, I open the file to find something off – poor formatting, spelling mistakes, terrible grammar, and the like. Sometimes this isn’t the case, and I certainly wouldn’t disregard a perfectly good candidate over something like this, but I’ve still made a note of it.
Think of the Interviewer
But there are practical considerations to this, too. Often, I’ll want to forward a couple of CVs onto another staff member to get their input, usually mentioning which candidate I think seems promising in my email. But emailing several CVs all saved as “resume” means the recipient will have to open each file to see if it corresponds to the applicant I was referring to – kind of annoying, particularly for the time-strapped recruiter.
It also makes saving the files on my computer difficult; plus there’s the chance that I could accidentally overwrite your CV with another candidate’s because they each have the same filename. Consequently, you’re not getting a phone call about an interview. All that time you spent on your CV was just negated in less than two seconds when I accidentally clicked ‘yes’ in response to the “‘resume.doc’ already exists. Do you want to replace it?” warning.
Saving your CV with your name and the job title you’re applying for doesn’t just show your attention to detail, it also makes it easy for recruiters and hiring managers – who are often advertising for more than one position – to identify who you are and the job you’re applying for, giving you a much great shot at being called in for an interview.
Don’t risk your CV getting lost over something as simple as a filename – and if you’re not that attentive to detail, then start! It’s an important attribute to possess, because it means employers can trust that you’ll do your job right, which is why we’re hiring you in the first place. You might also consider getting some help writing your resume and learning how to use Microsoft Word to edit your resume if you need to. If you want to look at starting your own independent contracting business try the Small Business Management and StartUp Course.
I’ve written a series of blog posts about various aspects of resume writing and other tips you can use to help secure the next great job and it’s fitting that we explore why Linkedin is a serious place for you to promote your MYOB Bookkeeping skills.
I was fortunate enough to attend a social media club (Sydney) education event that was presented by the managing director of Linkedin and he went to great lengths to explain just how deep the company wants to go into the recruitment and talent market. Upon visiting various parts of the LinkedIn website I found some links that might further encourage you to recognise the importance of Linkedin in your employment or business building journey.
Linkedin has a page for talent departments and case studies for companies that have used their services and employers can even place recruitment ads within the site to clearly target the right job applicants.
We found a great article written by Susan Heathfield about how Linkedin is being used as a recruitment tool for the HR team at many businesses. Do you need help in your job searching strategy? Stay tuned.
One of the most popular office productivity programs in the world is almost taken for granted these days as a program that everyone knows how to use, but there is a lot to learn to really master it. We’re talking about Microsoft Word of course, and we’re currently having new training content recorded for Microsoft Word 2010.
You might recall from previous posts that we offer lifetime access to our training courses. You might also recall that our Microsoft Office courses include most versions of the software so you can enrol knowing that all versions are covered. We also include access to beginners to advanced courses all for one low price! That’s our learning guarantee.
You will have the chance over the following weeks to see some of these new videos right here so stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to receive these posts via your email.
You’ll get some insights into tabs and tables. They are extremely powerful Microsoft Word tools that help you make your Word documents look professional. If you get the wording right in your resume and use your Microsoft Word skills to make your resume look good you’ll increase your chances of getting that job.
Tables are like spreadsheets
Even though you often see the borders of a table in Microsoft Word you can change the formatting so that they are invisible and this is a great way to get some structure in the content in your work document while not showing that your using tables. Tabs are also very handy but you need to remember that tabs are paragraph formatting so if you forget to apply them to each paragraph you are working in you might find the whole process very messy. There are also the option of using the default tab stops to make text line up, or setting your own (which we recommend because you can make the text line up as centres or right aligned and even to the decimal points if you are putting a pricelist together).
It seems that Google has brought back the magic of words. Why? Because they can be indexed and used in search results.
Can you index an image or a video? You can, but you need to index them using words.
You can find almost anything on Google but you need to use words to do it. When you click on a paid Google Adwords advertisement its usually due to the words the advertiser used to catch your attention. If you want to improve your Google organic search ranking you need to use the right “key”words on your website, they call that Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO).
Can someone in the Phillipines, India or Eastern Europe Write Like You?
You might be aware of the value of words these days because you need this skill to be effective in marketing your business online. The role of the copywriter is often undervalued because you can now hire someone in the Phillipines, India or Eastern Europe to write the content of your website or blog for a couple dollars per hour, but would you? After testing out individuals, copy-writing services and other international contracting companies we realise that the quality of the words we use and the ability to relate to other Australians is something only another Australian can truly do effectively. With all the talk about workers in developing countries taking jobs away from Australian workers, we realise that it’s their knowledge of Australian lingo, Australian tastes and Australian attitudes that makes their writing style truly Australian – and that makes it valuable to other Australians.
Work at Home
There is a way of getting good quality words for your website or blog for a reasonable price and that is by using a Virtual Assistant (sometimes called a remote worker, home worker or a remote contractor). There are some great writers out there who choose to work from home and if you use the services of an organisation like Virtually Yours you’ll find top quality writers and remote contractors with many other skills that are part of an organisation designed to find good virtual assistants and promote them as well as provide them with tools to be effective small business owners.
While we are on the topic I want to share the success of Terry from Ramancorp. He operates a small wholesale business supplying a range of framing, hanging, display and packaging materials and he lists them all on his website. Because he has gone to the trouble of providing as much information as possible he uses some very niche words that attract customer looking for the exact product they need. As a result Terry is getting a good amount of NEW customers EVERY month without having to pay a cent in Google Adwords advertising.
Words are Valuable in Resumes, Website and LinkedIn
Words are just as valuable in your resume so the next time you think about what kind of job you are looking for, think about the words that the advertiser might use to attract the right candidate and make sure your resume has these words in it.
If you are like a lot of students who enrol into our online MYOB and Excel training courses you probably haven’t used your CV in quite a while. I had a situation in 2008 when I needed a CV for a project I was presented with and it was a time consuming task which took a lot longer than I expected.
We’ve been talking to a man who operated his own head-hunting business and he has plenty of experience in not only presenting himself to potential employers, but also as a person who reads resumes, and conducts interviews on a day to day basis.
We also spoke to a professional writer and a rehabilitation consultant and they will share their insights as well as provide tips on how to write the perfect resume, prepare for job interviews, write cover letters and much more. Their team even includes a professional bookkeeper who will share insights about how to find work as a bookkeeper.
One of the tid-bits that I can reveal is the importance of personalising every resume so that the recipient feels like you are talking only to them. Subscribe to their blog and get some great job seeking skills.
Want to read other blog posts about resume writing and tips and tricks to find employment?