The young job-seeker’s guide to the blogosphere, part 1

job seeker,job search,blogging,business blog,recruitment,writing,golf,Marco Carmo

Marco in action as
a champion young golfer

A while ago you would have read Lorenzo Matibag‘s brilliant article about the need for job seekers – whether recent graduates or older job seekers – to blog. The next point as Lorenzo said is for them to set up a blog; there are various free incarnations such as WordPress and Blogger, and for a small outlay you can have your blog hosted externally and set up by an expert like our very own Blogmistress, Babs Saul.

OK. Your blog’s set up and ready to go. What should your broad aims be?

(For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here)

[Read more…]

Professional CV-résumé writers: what jobseekers REALLY need to know

Hiring a professional CV writer?
Make sure yours genuinely IS a professional

We’re really pleased to welcome back our lovely Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential to share some useful warning words about professional CV writers, and how you – as a job seeker – make sure you choose a good one. [Read more…]

The Write Way to Get a Job: 250 power words to power up your CV/résumé

The write way to get a jobIt’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 article, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best way to express your career information in your CV/résumé…here’s Lynn…

When you’re compiling your CV/ résumé you need to use strong, powerful words that resonate with readers so they feel your strength and confidence. It’s no good to say I “did” this or I “worked on” that; employers want to know that you contributed a lot more than a passing interest to your achievements.

Here is a list of more than 250 words to choose from. Use them to power on to that dream job!

Achieved
Acted
Adapted
Addressed
Adjusted
Administered
Advised
Altered
Analysed
Appraised
Arbitrated
Arranged
Assembled
Assessed
Audited

Balanced
Broadened
Budgeted
Built

Calculated
Calibrated
Catalogued
Categorised
Chaired
Changed
Charted
Checked
Classified
Coached
Collated
Collected
Combined
Communicated
Compared
Compiled
Completed
Composed
Computed
Conceived
Concluded
Conducted
Configured
Considered
Consolidated
Constructed
Contracted
Contrasted
Controlled
Converted
Co-ordinated
Corrected
Corresponded
Counselled
Created
Critiqued
Cultivated

Decided
Decreased
Defined
Delegated
Delivered
Demonstrated
Described
Designed
Detected
Determined
Developed
Devised
Diagnosed
Differentiated
Directed
Discovered
Dispensed
Displayed
Dissected
Distributed
Diverted
Documented
Doubled
Drafted
Drew

Edited
Eliminated
Empathised
Encouraged
Enforced
Enhanced
Enlarged
Ensured
Established
Estimated
Evaluated
Examined
Expanded
Expedited
Explained
Expressed
Extracted

Fabricated
Facilitated
Filed
Finalised
Financed
Fixed
Followed
Forecasted
Formulated
Founded

Gathered
Gave
Generated
Guided

The Write Way to Get a Job: 250 power words to power up your CV/résumé

Power words that get you hired

Hired
Hosted

Identified
Illustrated
Implemented
Improved
Improvised
Incorporated
Increased
Informed
Initiated
Inspected
Installed
Instituted
Instructed
Integrated
Interacted
Interpreted
Interviewed
Introduced
Invented
Investigated
Itemised

Judged

Launched
Learned
Lectured
Led
Liased
Listed
Located

Maintained
Managed
Marked
Marketed
Measured
Mediated
Met
Minimised
Modelled
Moderated
Modernised
Modified
Monitored
Motivated

Narrated
Navigated
Negotiated

Observed
Obtained
Opened
Operated
Ordered
Organised
Oriented
Originated
Oversaw

Painted
Performed
Persuaded
Photographed
Piloted
Planned
Predicted
Prepared
Prescribed
Presented
Printed
Processed
Produced
Programmed
Projected
Promoted
Proofread
Proposed
Protected
Provided
Publicised
Published
Purchased

Raised
Received
Recommended
Reconciled
Recorded
Recruited
Redesigned
Reduced
Referred
Refined
Rehabilitated
Related
Rendered
Reorganised
Repaired
Reported
Represented
Researched
Resolved
Responded
Restored
Restructured
Retrieved
Reviewed
Revised
Revitalised

Saved
Scheduled
Searched
Secured
Selected
Separated
Served
Serviced
Sewed
Shaped
Shared
Showed
Simplified
Sized
Sketched
Sold
Solved
Sorted
Specified
Spoke
Started
Streamlined
Strengthened
Studied
Summarised
Supervised
Supplied

Talked
Taught
Tended
Tested
Traced
Trained
Transcribed
Transformed
Translated
Travelled
Treated
Trimmed
Troubleshot
Tutored

Uncovered
Unified
Updated
Upgraded
Used
Utilised

Verified

Weighed
Welded
Widened
Won
Wrote

Let us know what other power words you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for 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 (PDF download)

photo credit: ruurmo via photopin cc

Job hunting? How to write a good covering letter or email

Recent letters accompanying CVs that I have received have made me cringe with embarrassment on behalf of the writer … usually a student looking for either a temporary or permanent placement in a marketing job.

The reason why is that so often the letters are totally “me” orientated … all about what “I” have done and how “I” want to achieve this or that, usually ending on a none-too polite request for them to be informed of any vacancies.

Why should I inform them of any vacancies? Not once in their covering letter do they say, or suggest, what might be in it for me as their prospective employer. [Read more…]

How to write effective job ads

Nearly all of us have a relationship with recruitment advertising at some point in our careers, either as recruiters, candidates, or as third-party creators of the ads.

I have written hundreds if not thousands of recruitment ads over the years and there is one thing that stands out about them, to me, more than anything else. That is, quite simply, they have to be a finely tuned balancing act.

Why?

Because in the majority of cases they are trying to achieve two things at the same time which, in advertising terms, is usually difficult and rarely successful.

Tricky balancing act

In the first place, the apparent purpose of a recruitment advertisement is to attract the right kind of candidates for a position. Sounds very straightforward, doesn’t it? However it isn’t always that simple.

For a major corporate organization to come down to basic recruit level and talk his or her types of benefits will often be seen, by the powers-that-be in the organization, as contrary to the guidelines of their corporate image. Clear, direct writing is not normally what “corporate speak” is all about.

The other side of the balancing act – what the corporate executives will argue – is that despite an advertisement being intended to recruit staff, if it appears in the “company colours” in whatever media it must reflect the corporate/brand values of the organization. Fair enough. But in practice that doesn’t always work, and leads to the wrong tone of voice – the safe, corporate, brand-led voice – being used to address candidates whose immediate priorities and interests are different.

So, does that mean it’s time to forget the corporate image and just drive our efforts towards speaking directly to our potential candidates?

Can you keep the corporate politics out?

Ideally yes, but usually not. And there are several other, political issues than can get in the way of clear recruitment advertising.

For example, as one expert says, “…the problems with ads written by recruitment consultancies are that they are written in such an ambiguous way … top ten firm, blue chip, market leader … to stop the competition from finding out who the job is with. That means they lose any personality that the job may have.”

This takes us back to the dilemma of companies advertising for staff, wanting to make sure their ads reflect their corporate values, image, and everything else that a passing customer or competitor might find of interest.

Staff vacancies can reflect a multitude of issues … from the signaling of success via expansion and growth to an indication of failure via the hemorrhaging of confidence in the organization. And all these corporate skeletons in the closet tend to get forced down on to the shoulders of the poor old recruitment advertisement.

A recruitment expert’s advice

Let’s now hear from a good friend of mine – an expert international recruitment consultant – who tells us how recruitment ads should be composed if they’re going to attract the right candidates:

1. The advert should be more about the reader and less about the employer. Too many ads say too much about a company and its own opinion of itself and not enough about why the reader should care. Think about what job seekers care about and focus on what is important to them

2. Many of the best recruitment advertising concepts have accompanying visuals. People scan before they read. If you don’t attract their interest when they’re scanning, you probably won’t attract their interest at all. Good use of white space and bullet points (if it’s on the web) helps achieve this.

3. The second-best word in a recruitment advert is the word “you.” The best word is the reader’s name. Sadly, this is not possible in recruitment advertising (but is in headhunting).

4. Good adverts attract, intrigue and persuade. Attract with the visual or the design, intrigue with the headline or the concept, and persuade with the copy. If the advert does not attract, it’s ignored. If the advert does not intrigue, it’s glanced at and then ignored. If the advert doesn’t persuade, it is noticed, read and then ignored.

5. The ad copy should be compelling, intelligent, and honest. You can’t bore someone into sending you their CV. You can cheat someone into a sending you their CV by lying to them, of course, but that is the starting point of high staff turnover and/or lots of rejected job offers.

6. It takes about 1 minute to pick up the phone and check whether or not the candidate who is calling you, can do the job. So put a phone number in the advert. Don’t be lazy. Let the good people find out more.

7. Be specific. If the advert isn’t specific about the responsibilities, the requirements or the benefits, the better candidates won’t respond.

8. Include the remuneration package. Be brave!

Interesting stuff. But how do you actually walk the line between creating ads that target the best possible candidates, as our expert suggests, and satisfying your employers / co-directors / shareholders that you are putting across the right image and corporate identity for your organization?

How to handle the corporate issues AND make the ad effective

 

If you can, ideally, use the corporate image purely as a visual framework for the recruitment ad, including relevant logos and taglines, but keep the rest of the copy focused entirely on the reader (your potential candidate.)

If you’re obliged to include more than that in terms of “corporate speak,” try to section that off visually from the main text – and keep that main text focused on the reader.

In the text addressed directly to the reader, use language and tone of voice that s/he will identify with – not pompous corporate posturing or meaningless business clichés.

Don’t patronize the reader with nonsense like “are you talented enough to work for us?” (yes, you still see sentences like that in recruitment ads and they’re embarrassing..) but at the same time, don’t overdo the attractions. As our expert says, be honest and specific – that saves a lot of time in the long run.

Keep your text tight and concise, but don’t be mean with space. Provide as much information as you can, but leave out less important details.

If there are any essential criteria for the job being advertised, make these crystal-clear in your text.

Make it clear how you want candidates to get in touch with you and then ensure the contact information is well displayed.

Write effective job ads and much more besides:

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

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