Curriculum Vitae – What To Do BEFORE You Start Writing Your CV
Undertaking a job search can be a daunting process, whether it’s your first job, a promotion, sideways move, change of career or your first job after a break. However, you can make the jobsearch process much easier if you know your skills and the type of job that you want before you start writing your Curriculum Vitae.
How do you figure out what skills to put on your curriculum vitae and what skills you have that are employability skills?
It really helps to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Do you like talking to people and work with a team or do you prefer to work alone? Do you like detailed work, or would you prefer to have more flexibility? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself. Once you’ve answered these, it will make it much easier to determine what sort of role would be perfect for you, and how to find a job you love.
There are a lot of tools available that can help you to do this. We will go into more detail on some of these elsewhere on the site. However, some of these are:
- The DISC profile – this profile focuses on what your natural behavioral traits are versus how you react under pressure. There is even a DISC profile that can help you identify your style and the best career for you. The DISC career personality test is available to match your natural style with a career that may suit you.
- “What Color is Your Parachute” is a practical manual for Job Hunters and Career-Changers and will assist with discovering your unique gifts, skills and interests to give you the best opportunity to land your dream job even in a tough job market.
- Future Career Quiz – you can take this quick quiz to get a snapshot of what type of career you might be suited to. Bear in mind that if you don’t know what career path you are suited to yet, then the validity of this tool should be taken lightly.
In addition, once you know your skills and behavioural preferences, it is important to know your values and what it is that drives you. Some might call this their calling or their passion in life. I’d like to refer to it as knowing what will make your heart sing, or what makes you get out of bed in the morning. If there is a connection between what you do and what you love, then work will no longer be a chore, it will be a meaningful place for you to spend your time and earn money!
That said, sometimes you just need a job asap. But even if this is the case or you’re in a job at the moment that you really don’t like, there’s nothing stopping you from acknowledging that it’s not where you want to be long term, but you’re going to make the most of it anyway – be a positive influence on the people around you, and learn new skills while you’re actually there. If you take this piece of advice, you may just learn to love the journey and find that there are actually things that you can currently enjoy in your role.
How To Get Into The Workforce And Find Jobs Hiring?
There are a number of avenues you can use to look for jobs in the fields that you are interested in.
Job Sites – How To Use Them To Your Advantage
A job site or job board is a website that deals specifically with job vacancies and careers. Job boards are designed for employe
rs or recruitment agencies recruiting on behalf of an employer to list vacancies for which they are seeking applicants. Some job boards actually allow job seekers to post their resume or Curriculum Vitae and allow employers to consider their skills for compatible jobs.
Some examples of best job search sites:
…and the list goes on! A job board is probably the easiest way to find jobs in your area and in your field.
Newspapers Or Professional Journals
Even though the online job boards are very popular, there are still a number of companies that advertise vacancies in national newspapers and/or professional journals like The Australian Careers section. If you are looking for a professional role where there is a professional journal or publication that gets published maybe monthly, it makes sense to keep your eye on what roles are being advertised in these and what is available. In addition, there are also industry websites that now advertise jobs on their sites.
Being Proactive – Don’t Just Send Your Curriculum Vitae
If you know what area you would like to be working in but don’t have the current skills, or are finding it hard to get your foot in the door, sometimes being proactive and talking with different employers in the industry can actually get you a job in the longer term. Even though they might not be “now hiring”, the options are still there to cold call on the phone or in person and ask to speak with the hiring manager, HR person or the manager of the professional area that you want to work in.
Bear in mind that most times there is a really good personal assistant who, if they are doing their role correctly, won’t actually let you speak directly to the important people. That said, through perseverance and tenacity, you will actually get valuable air time. You can also send your resume / curriculum vitae to the relevant person.
The tact you will need to take though, is to be different – most people who approach them will be looking for them to give them a job. You should take a different approach – be a researcher – ask them for a meeting so that you can gather information about the profession, how they got started in the industry, how their Organization works, and what you would need to do if you wanted to work with their Organization.
Here’s another tip: if you really want to get into a specific company or profession and don’t have a foot in the door or the relevant skills, offer to do work experience with them for free. Yes, you read it – for free. It may only be one day a week to start with, but most companies will take you up on the offer as they won’t pass up free labour. If you do this though, you need to work as if they are paying you – show them that you are enthusiastic, want to learn and have a good attitude about it. Chances are – when they are next recruiting for a job, they will think of you, and maybe even offer you a paying job without having to go through the whole recruitment process.
Government Job Search
There are also a number of government agency job boards such as the Australian Public Service Job Site – if you’re not in Australia, search for the government authority in your area and you will find that they will point you to the website where they list all of their vacancies. We will address how to get a government job on this site, as there is almost an art form to it, and once you know the pattern, you will almost always be able to get interviews for jobs that you have the skills for in the government arena.
Offer to do free work experience to gain skills that you don’t yet have to get experience, that can then be added to your curriculum vitae (CV). You never know, the place that you do work experience for might like you so much that they offer you a job (see comments on Being Proactive above).
Volunteer To Add To Your Curriculum Vitae
There are a lot of charities and not for profit organizations out there that are always short on volunteers and they do amazing things like Sheltered by Grace, a homeless shelter in Logan, Australia! If you offer to volunteer your time to them, you will almost always be able to be involved in things that you may never dream of being paid to do. This is because most times they operate on volunteer time, and professionals who are employed can’t always give additional time to these organizations. Hence there are skills gaps, and if you are capable of filling these gaps, not for profits will love you!
I recommend finding a cause that you are passionate about or at least interested in, and search online for volunteer jobs in that area. You’ll find that while you are actually doing something for charity and bettering humanity, you will be gaining invaluable skills in the area that you seek and this will look awesome on your CV!
Word of Mouth To Find Jobs Hiring
Asking family, friends, business owners you know or people who are already in the profession that you aspire to, to either give you information about new vacancies or put your resume / curriculum vitae forward.
How To Best Use Employment Agencies
There are a multitude of recruitment or employment agencies out there. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out which ones you should register with. What you shouldn’t do is go and register with all of them! Be selective – do your research. One way of doing this is looking at the job search boards and finding a job that you would absolutely love but may not be qualified for yet or in a field that you would like to work in – and then contact that agency and register with them. Call them and interview them. Write down 5 questions and call 5 – 7 agencies with them. Eg. What can they do for you, what suggestions can they make in getting short listed etc.
If you are just starting out from college, school or university, there are often career days held either on campus or in exhibition centres in your capital city. These days can be really useful if you use them wisely. Many times employers and representatives of professional groups will have stands and are there for the sole purpose of talking to you about your career and try to attract you to come work for them! Make use of this – research, research, research. Which brings me to the next point….
When Deciding On A Career – Network, Network, Network
Use opportunities and connections wisely. As mentioned above, career days are a great research gathering opportunity to get more knowledge about a company or a professional group. The other ways of networking are to actually attend some of the seminars or training held by professional groups. For example, if you want to be a Human Resources professional, there are national industry groups that you can become a member of.
Even if you have a job at the moment and are not in the looking zone to apply for a new job, it makes sense to be ready and have all your information at hand for the time that do want to submit an application for a new job. You can do a much better job and take your time looking at the skills and experience that you have and thinking about examples to demonstrate your competence.
To get a job or to get the job of your dreams, it will take perseverance and time. But if you learn how to best market yourself and learn how to stand out from the crowd of other job seekers and work smarter not harder, then getting your dream job will be much easier!
- It can be very frustrating when applying for jo...
- Resume Objective Examples Feel like your applic...