Trinity College Alumni Presenting yourself on paper


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Presenting yourself on paper at the Trinity Career network Feb 2012.

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  • Welcome and thank you for taking the time to attend this event which is part of a national jobseekers Roadshow Please can I ask that mobile phones are turned to silent. My name is NAMEand I am from Cpl in LOCATION Can I please ask you to firstly spend 1 minute to filout the survey whoch we are alos running on a facebook page as we are keen to gather jobseeler information – it should only take 2 minutes. Thanks for that In terms of this session – we will have all the slides available online for you after the event
  • Story from Adrian Birrell about the 1%’s –
  • Lets start with a clip from a well known product CLIP – “do you know who I am.“   Ok what you have seen there is a 30 second advert which probably took weeks to make, they have only one outcome from this commercial and that is for you to buy their product or get the message Why is this important, well because this is the same with your cv, the only outcome is that it gets you a job interview and sadly most cvs are poorly written, formatted and thought through. Think about that ad again, if you saw a spelling mistake, if the guy fumbled his words etc you would link that to the brand. Therefore your cv represents you and in 30 seconds someone is going to make their mind up about who you are, where you are coming from etc.   Why 30 seconds, well lets agree that this is a disgracefully short time for someone to look at your cv but imagine the average office looks like this –
  • This is what the average recruiters cv piles look like - now realise that the person running through these cvs wants to discount as may as they can – so essentially they are de-selecting not selecting. While the room here may seem a bit unrealistic we are now living in the electronic age which means one person can apply for about 3000 applications in an 8 hour period – that’s why you may not get responses to everything you send through and we will come on to the right way to apply later. Now that the internet has made us truly global companies like Google get over 2 million unsolicited applications every year – even though they employ loess than 20,000 people
  • So who likes talking and writing about themselves – hands up (so no politicians are in I see)   First things first if I find your cv annoying, hard to read, confusing, too long, too short, in a form I don’t like – this is all YOUR problem. Just like when you were in school teachers always praised good easy to read handwriting as it made their job easier. Think about it do you want someone to feel relaxed reading your cv or annoyed – so it makes sense to get it right!   Secondly – most cvs are a first draft, we do not rewrite it Remember the phrase – “I did not have time to write you a short letter so I wrote you a long one” again like school rather than answering the question we wrote down everything we knew just so we could be the first to put our hand up and say “more paper” and scare the bejeesus out of everyone else 92% of cvs still coming into Cpl have errors either in formatting, typos, or grammar errors
  • So while lots of people will argue – here is my view based on seeing 1000s of cvs and talking to employers CONTACT DETAILS PROFILE CAREER & ACHIEVEMENTS EDUCATION & TRAINING OTHER SKILLS & INTEREST…in that order Career Objective can be a negative as it may take 6 months to get a job yet your original objective may have changed References: the person reading may not like one of your references or call them without your permission – no need tp put on at the cv stage – it rarely can help
  • No photo – it adds to the file size, it nothing to do with your looks, I have had this photo on a cv Less than 800 words if you have less than 5 years experience, less than 1000 words if you are a senior manager Font – make it easy to read and not 9 font Use the nomal margins Formatting – lack of use of page breaks or keeping lines together, tables that corrupt Margins and cramming text – use the less than 1000 words rule – they notice that the page looks really long and wordy and they dont like it.   Actions: have colleagues print off on their printer, ask recruiters to forward you any cv that was sent to the client, get feedback from many sources.
  • Again its not about you its about them, it does not mater how wonderful you were 15 years ago most employers when they look at a cv start with one think your current or last job, so have that on the first page – remember you have 30 seconds! While there are different types of cv ie functional (where you highlight all your skills on the first page) and then highlight the jobs that you were in, the problem is that most employers want to see a biographical cv – so give it to them – in reverse chronological order, ie last job first. Once you get past this millennium the interest level drains especially if you have stayed within the same profession – so if you were once a HR Administrator and are now a HR manager the chances are that the roles in your proviso job can be taken as read and don’t need elaboration The next point is key and again this is to understand the rules. Many cvs if they go to a company or a recruiter get put into a database and when they are looking for the right fit they search on key words. So why is this important. Well firstly people often don’t have them in their cv. I met a human resource professional who did not have it in her cv she just had HR - no one searches on HR as it brings up words like mushroom. So be careful of jargon ancd acronyms. Secondly if you have worked for CRH or Vodafone you may want to mention they are in the building or telecoms industries as what is being searched on is skill words, job titles and sectors – are they in your cv? So a job from 10 years ago possibly the most important thing to have is the sector.   Action – focus on current roles the most, reverse engineer your cv to the job you want, check you don’t have acronyms instead of the full word at least once.
  • If you take one thing away from the cv it is to focus on achievements. Here is a story for you. I has two people working for me one who was an excellent salesman, one who was an incredibly poor performer, came in late, was very negative, did not perform well etc   Here is 6 bullet points that they could both put down – the problem is that this says they are the same. Without evidence and achievements and some measurability you are giving an employer no way to differentiate in your favour
  • Even the small things matter- what does an employer want - a resilient, flexible hard worker – if you are never sick mention it! I know someone who has not had a sick day in over 10 years – that’s a positive   Marketing I was told once was simply a reason for consumers to discriminate in your favour. If you just list your job spec no ones knows how good you are. If you think you can right down achievements without even thinking – you wont, its HARD What’s the difference between what you did and the guy who got fired?
  • Finally, we come to language and again we can’t blame texting and twittering for our bad spelling. Even today my 4 and 6 year olds are still taught spelling and grammar, it is pure laziness not to check a document. Spell check is not enough, apart from anything we live in Europe so organise and utilise are with s not z. Spell check wont pick up from vs form as they both correctly spelt. Grammar can be just as bad, mixing past and present tenses, in appropriate capital letters and apostrophes where they may not be
  • But Peter you say, such pedantry, do you really think this level of detail matters Let me tell you what got through as a good cv a few years ago was different as it was a candidate market, you do not know that he person looking at your cv is not detail oriented and is looking for reasons to put your cv on the long pile of “no’s”   Action – have a former English teacher look over it not only would they enjoy writing in red pen all over it they would enjoy the tutting they could do in your presence!
  • Final Actions: Get as many views, my view on how a cv is written comes from years at looking at them and while you may get some different views these are broadly the views you will here from professionals so take them on board. Also half of the room will still have poor cvs in a months time as its human nature, its procrastination – so don’t be one of them   Remember every point in your cv should get the SO WHAT factor – why is it in there and does it say anything about me Final question – if an employer looks at your cv Does it highlight how good you are,and represent you in as good a view as possible Is it just a job spec Is there any reason in looking at your cv vs others that you have to be selected for the shortlist
  • Example of asking for a blog Remember you are just a piece of paper Cpl is looking for people and we canot find them – many companies just don’t have a job spec ready
  • Example of asking for a blog Remember you are just a piece of Blogs Linkedin Searching on your personal email address paper
  • Trinity College Alumni Presenting yourself on paper

    1. 1. Peter Cosgrove Feb 2011 p r e s e n ti n g yo u r s e l f on P a p e r
    2. 2. Your CV
    3. 3. 1 %’s
    4. 4. Your Advert 30 seconds to make an impression
    5. 5. Our approach to transition Your CV
    6. 6. CV – initial thoughts <ul><li>“ I did not have time to write you a short letter so I wrote you a long one ” </li></ul><ul><li>Most cvs are a First Draft </li></ul><ul><li>If a recruiter does not understand your cv or does not like the layout – its your fault </li></ul>92% 92% of cvs still coming into Cpl have errors either in formatting, typos, or grammar errors
    8. 8. VISUAL SIZE M A T T E R S WORDS NOT PAGES FONT WHITE SPACE/ MARGINS If you have less than 5 years experience you should be able to have a 800 word cv, if you are senior you should still be able to make it under 1000 words
    9. 9. CONTENT Biographical Key Words Complexity What does an employer want to see Begin with the end in mind Can someone out side your industry understand your cv Remember with key words to include sectors that have worked in such as “telecoms”, “Financial Services”, “Manufacturing” as most people give company names but not the sector
    10. 10. EVIDENCE & CREDIBILITY <ul><ul><li>Managed a team of 6 people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organised budgets and targets for the group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruited and interviewed staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivated and built morale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive to customer queries and issues </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. EVIDENCE & CREDIBILITY <ul><ul><li>Managed a team of 6 people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~they hated my guts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organised budgets and targets for the group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ never got one number correct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruited and interviewed staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the main reason people did not join </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivated and built morale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- told awful jokes that no one liked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive to customer queries and issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sent all calls to voicemail </li></ul></ul>What’s the difference between what you did and the guy who got fired? Employers want to know what you did well not what you did – you need to stand out
    12. 12. Why even after reading you may have spelling ‘msiteaks’ Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
    13. 13. Language Organized / Color Principal vs Principle Led vs Lead Accept vs except … also be careful of jargon
    14. 14. Action Step SO WHAT!
    15. 15. Responding to employers/ agencies Do Not: Send speculative applications to companies / agencies Send mass emails out to agencies Write detail on your cover letter that is not in your cv Do: Read the job spec and what is being asked of you Research people to send applications to Know what you are looking for when applying
    16. 16. Remember your online footprint Your cv needs to match your online profile, so having multiple cvs can be harder to manage
    17. 17. Try where possible to avoid the cv Employers want meet you and like you and then there will be more chance that they what to interview you – so present yourself before they see a 2 page of you
    18. 18. Name Peter Cosgrove Title: Director – Cpl Phone: +3531 614 6160 +353 87 6200836 Email: [email_address] Twitter: @petercosgrove Website: QUESTIONS?