The Write Way to Get a Job: don’t lie!

 

The Write Way to Get a JobWhatever you need to write about yourself in your job search, at all costs you must avoid lying to your recruiters and potential employers. Here are some handy hints to help you make sure your CV/résumé and other documentation show you in your best light without telling any untruths.

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

It is surprising how many lies are found on CVs / résumés.

Yes, it is important to make the most of your CV and to capitalise on the knowledge, skills and experience you have.  However, blatantly exaggerating and lying about the extent of your skills is a foolish thing to do.

Some indiscretions might improve your suitability and get you an interview; in fact you might even land the job. However, truth will always out in the end, and you are highly likely to be compromised at some point and have to admit that you are not as good as you claim to be or can not do what you are expected to do.

How will that look?

Honesty is always the best policy

Fabricated work histories, made-up responsibilities and even falsehoods about your employer (did you REALLY work for Lord Sugar or Donald Trump?) appear regularly on CVs. The fictional mention of being a prefect, captain or monitor at school may also not be the best representation of your abilities and will also contrive to put you on the back foot should you be questioned more closely at any stage of the recruitment process.

Making things up that you have not done and pretending you have achieved goals that are relevant to the job you are applying for might seem like a good idea since clearly the right experience and suitable skills are what the recruiters are looking for.  However, being called to account for misinformation results in heartache and more disappointment.

You might even get blacklisted.

Recruiters aren’t stupid

small__7793770020It is a bad idea and mind boggling that people continue to lie on their CVs when it is easy for recruiters to carry out some simple investigations and verify candidate’s claims.  OK, not all companies check every detail about their potential employees past history but it is possible to quickly discover sufficient information to oust the liar.

A candidate that has straight As at GCSE and A levels that works in a fast food outlet since leaving school will certainly be questioned in depth. Or most probably, because there is a lack of consistency, the application will be discarded.

In my book, “Get That Job”, I advocate that your CV is your very own marketing tool and that it is essential that you use it to present yourself in the best way possible.

So what’s the difference between boasting/bragging and self-promotion?

It is a big mistake to appear boastful throughout your CV.  A great many people make outrageous and pumped up claims in their CV that despite a realistic training and work history it is unbelievable that they have achieved the level they suggest they are at.

Prerequisite for many roles is the ability to use information technology. Would it surprise you to know that there are many augmented claims of IT prowess and program use?  When these are put to the test, the candidates fall foul and fall dramatically into the failure pit.

Watch you don’t contradict yourself

Whilst we are on the subject of untruths, how many of you read through your own CV and realise that you contradict yourself? You claim in one section to be, for example, an astute negotiator and in another you counter claim something else.  You might also detail your competency level in a language but your explanation and evidence is contrary.    

Recruiters also see CVs that list dates that overlap and raise questions about which date is correct and what the applicant was doing at that time.

Emphasising disinformation is clearly unacceptable and most inadvisable.

Don’t do it.

Let us know of your experiences in compiling a good CV for your job hunting … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write INSTANT DOWNLOAD now available!

photo credit: alexa fades away via photopin cc

The Write Way to Get a Job: don’t be boring

 

The Write Way to Get a JobWhatever you need to write about yourself in your job search, at all costs you must avoid boring your recruiters and potential employers. Here are some handy hints to help you make sure your CV/résumé and other documentation are interesting and lively.

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

This article is all about miscellaneous and irrelevant information that many CVs unnecessarily include.

Some of these misnomers are obvious, others obtuse but all of them affect your chances with the recruiter and weaken your case for finding your perfect job.

Emails

No doubt you are using email to send your CV or to register on specific online job sites. Your email address says a lot about you and can reflect your personality.  Many candidates have unprofessional email addresses for instance hotchick@playgirl.com or killer@thehouseofhorrors.co.uk which detract from your content and are unlikely to impress an employer. At the same time using a risqué, silly, comical or crude email address also means that spam filters kick in and you will end up in the trash folder.

One embarrassing error that occurs frequently is when candidates fire off emails with their CV attached, except instead of attaching their CV they send a different document.  An example seen recently was when a claimant’s letter to insurers was received instead of the CV.

Poor attention to detail sadly rears its ugly head again.

Common faux pas

If you send your CV as an attachment to a recruiter (especially if you are writing speculatively to them) there is a chance that PC virus and spam settings may flag the email up erroneously and send your email with the CV attached to a trash folder. This means that all your hard work and hopes will be dashed without you knowing anything further.

Mundane errors

  1. Lists are useful and serve a purpose in focusing your reader on your specific skills. However, duplicating skills lists in every section make dull reading and won’t make you stand out from other people with similar abilities.
  2. If you include too many facts in your work experience you risk overloading your reader and losing the relevance of your application.
  3. Writing in an informal way makes your application familiar and unprofessional.
  4. Not including keywords, alternative terms or abbreviations that would help your CV be found online.
  5. Using in-house or sector specific terminology within your CV narrows your chances of being short-listed.

Not enough information

Albeit that the advice is to have a maximum of a two-paged CV, some of you go too far and provide a very brief concise document that has no substance at all.

With little or no factual information it is nigh on impossible for the initial short-listing decision to be made and therefore no informed decision can be taken on your ability to do the job.

Additions and omissions

medium_4020584983Then there are the honest candidates that mention (and occasionally justify) low grades, degree awards or test scores; this is information that the recruiter does not necessarily need to know and again, may alter their perception of you.

Already mentioned earlier in this series of articles is the inclusion of hobbies and interests. Another serious oversight is including ineffective information, for example your interest in kite flying on your CV, and then forgetting that you have mentioned it.

Following the introduction of age discrimination legislation in October 2006 in the UK, it is no longer necessary to include your date of birth.

Unless you have been asked, and it is relevant to the role you are applying for, the state of your heath is of no particular interest to the reader of your CV.

Likewise your marital status and children’s details are irrelevant, adding no value to your CV and ability to undertake tasks at work.

Your UK National Insurance number is not required at this stage of a recruitment process and nor are full names and addresses of possible referees.

Remind yourself at all times why you have written your CV and what its purpose is.

Irrelevant information

Recently spotted howlers which have been seen on CVs.

**I am talk, dark and very good looking so when you meet me you will definitely employ me

**God fearing

**Please do not think that I have jumped from job to job from the 15 jobs listed.  I just get itchy feet and need change.

**Personal interests (man) – painting my toenails in varying colours

**Personal profile:

Height – 5ft 2″,
Weight – 10 stone,
Religion – catholic,
Colour hair – black,
Colour eyes – blue

**Qualifications: No education or experience.

**Marital Status: Unmarried Bachelor

**Interests: I enjoy driving around in my Lamborghini at the weekends

Let us know of your experiences in compiling a good CV for your job hunting … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write INSTANT DOWNLOAD now available!

photo credit: amboo who? via photopin cc

The Write Way to Get a Job: avoidable CV goofs

 

The Write Way to Get a JobThere’s nothing like a quick reality check to pick up on any mistakes in your CV before you send it off. Here are some useful checkpoints that will remind you of your CV priorities and make sure you’re going along the right lines.

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Here are some careless, miscellaneous but avoidable errors that can impact on your chances of being selected for interview are mentioned in this final chapter.

Hiding information
Sometimes it is the information that you do not disclose that sabotages your application.  Either you forget to mention it or you don’t highlight it.  You might have even hidden it.

Freshness
Gaps in your CV were mentioned previously but another serious omission is submitting a CV that is out of date.  There is no excuse for not submitting up-to-date information or for giving reasons why there is a blank period. Having a stale CV registered on a job site also critically reduces the options you have and how likely it is that you will be selected for interview.

What not to include

Salary
Mentioning your salary does nothing to enhance your success rate.

References
Adding full reference details to your CV is a no-no and not amusing when you use inappropriate referees, for example your friends or family members.

Jargon / abbreviations
You must bear in mind that it is likely that your CV will initially go to an HR Manager or recruiter, who may not have the industry knowledge or level of technical understanding that a Hiring Manager would have.   Littering your CV with industry jargon and many abbreviations will confuse the non-technical reader and ultimately do you no favors when it comes to short-listing.

Which brings me to the point that if your CV is written for a limited audience it will only attract a very small amount of attention.

Keep information to yourself

Seriously. For example, in most countries it is illegal for an interviewer to ask about marital status, sexual orientation, race or age so there is no reason to include it.

Saying why you left
Reasons why you want to change or you left your job create some little light reading for the recruiter. Look at these examples and see if you think they would improve your chances of reaching the short-listing stage…!!

small__5170970014 (1)I was fired because I told my boss I wanted to sleep with him

I have failed the last 4 accountancy exams that I have taken and so have decided to look for a job in a different field

I had an affair with my boss which went wrong, so I had to leave my current job

I have been working as an accountant for 5 years but I am very bored of it and am in need of a change

The pay was too low

I have worked for my Mom for 3 years, but it is now time for a change!

I have been out of work due to having my leg amputated, however, I am now recovered and looking for employment again.

Myths and Rules

So what is it to be?  Do you carry on as you always have? Design and write your CV making the same judgement errors and sabotaging your opportunities or do you learn from your mistakes?

However you answer remember it can take a lot to recover from deadly blunders on your CV.

Let us know of your experiences in compiling a good CV for your job hunting … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write INSTANT DOWNLOAD now available!

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

The Write Way to Get a Job: making presentations for interviews

 

The Write Way to Get a JobPresentations are particularly useful for posts where delivery to groups of people is an important part of the job.These tips show you how to make the right kind of presentation to win you that job.

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Making a presentation for interview

[Read more…]

The Write Way to Get a Job: using Twitter

 

The Write Way to Get a JobUsing Twitter … despite its being restricted to 140 characters or less … is a very useful part of your job hunting process. These tips show you how to make the most of it…

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

How Twitter can support your job search

Not everyone embraces Twitter. However if you are  Internet savvy and able to spend time online then it is worthwhile creating an active account to support your job hunting and secure the job of your dreams.

(NB: As you probably know the # (hashtag) symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet.)

Advice and guidance are as follows:

Create a professional Twitter background page, with a sensible avatar (user alter ego/character) and personal summary.

Your personal summary should include KEYWORDS that are relevant to your job search and your situation.

Include a link to an online webpage where your CV can be viewed

Use your twitter feed to comment and contribute as an expert, share your job search and ask questions.

Build relationships with people you know, your network and recruiters. Use them wisely and offer support and ideas.

Follow #Tweetmyjobs  and  look on their website http://tweetmyjobs.com/ They offer a free service for job hunters.

Use http://tweettabs.com/   or http://www.twellow.com/ to search for HR professionals and recruiters> Use keywords such as executive search, sourcing,  talent management etc to search within your industry and location.  You can then search the different profiles and follow interesting people.

Sign up for RRS feeds from Jobsites  and http://www.twithire.com/

Get listed in http://justtweetit.com/ . You can expand your choices and network so you are linking with others who have shared interests.

Do not ignore the benefits of searching using the hashtag (#) and abbreviations like NAJ or HAJ; also words like job, hiring, employment.

Tweet out positive messages. “Looking for an opportunity…” reads better than “Wondering whether to have another glass of … ”

Be honest, open and act with integrity at all times. Employers do not want surprises.

Follow @Microjobs – a profile set up to link recruiters and job seekers.  Depending on your sector and location you might find it a useful connection.  They do not follow you back.

There will be a number of Twitter accounts that are dedicated to job listings in different sectors, locations, and more. If you specify your own criteria you can get alerts to your phone or e-mail and be amongst the first to receive notifications.

I cannot repeat enough that job hunting is seriously hard work, and very time-consuming. Investing time and strategy in social media needs a foolproof plan. Used in combination with networking and building strong connections it could prove to be the most successful addition to your job search strategy and genuinely help you find eligible job opportunities, interviews and securing you your new job.

Let us know of your experiences in using Twitter and other social media for your job hunting … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write INSTANT DOWNLOAD now available!

The Write Way to Get a Job: using Google Plus

 

The Write Way to Get a JobUsing Google Plus … despite its being newer than the other main social-business networking platforms  … is a very useful part of your job hunting process. These tips show you how to make the most of it…

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Can Google Plus support your job search?

Google Plus is now very much up and running, and far from being the newbie on the net it is catching up fast with numerous ideas on how to job search.  As with Facebook, Twittter and LinkedIn, Google Plus has many characteristics that are about sharing contacts and exchanging comments.  However, because it is Google and I have already stressed the importance of having a web presence it is a good idea to understand how Google Plus can help your job search.

Google Plus has the advantage of allowing you to keep your social life separate from your professional life.

This means you control who sees what in your profile and updates.  It is therefore possible to include potential employers in your circles so you are visible to them.

The other difference with Google Plus is that you can facilitate a conversation with strangers in an acceptable way.  If you mark your post ‘public’ then other users on Google Plus can contribute without feeling intimidated.  Indeed public comments may well be welcome.

Here are some top tips for using Google Plus

Be clear about your goal in using Google Plus.  Is it social or professional?  Your aim might be to be in a circle that is not just ‘contacts’ but perhaps ‘friend’.

Ensure that for professional purposes your profile is not only complete and up-to-date but also focused on professional talk.

Identify the sector, industries and companies who you will want to target and research the leaders. Add a comment to their post without including them in a circle.

Add value to the conversation/s when you follow a comment. Once there is a quality post, add your comments, +1 the post and circle the person to increase your visibility and chances of being noticed.

Build the relationship, watch for job opportunities and private message the individual when you feel the relationship has developed with genuine dialogue.

Once you have shared circles with your new friend, you should be in a  position to share with them and their circles that you are looking for a new role and ask if they know of any opportunities.

Remember that recruiters are also using Google Plus and building their own circles. For them it is the ease of sourcing high calibre candidates.  Hence there is plenty of opportunity to use Google Plus as part of your job search.

Let us know of your experiences in using LinkedIn for your job hunting … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write INSTANT DOWNLOAD now available!

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