As I have shared with you a while ago I have been looking for a new job and it has been quite an exhausting and frustrating process.
I have started looking even before I’ve resigned and from the calls I’ve soon started to receive after sending the first applications I couldn’t imagine it could become this hard. I was working in Digital Marketing, which is in huge growth and really busy, although the main opportunities that have come up have been on the advertising agency side which was were I was for about 4 years… Although it can get really intense, overloaded and mainly boring and repetitive, so since I also have experience on the client side I am now trying to make that move and get into a broader marketing position more involved with the whole marketing strategy which gives much more room to play with.
So having drawn this plan and believing that this was the real reason for moving to London in the first place, to access a whole new world of professional opportunities, I have focused myself on reaching my target and running away from the agency side jobs. This sounds like a plan right? Yes, I thought so too, although now, being unemployed for over a month, I really start questioning everything. All the calls I have received, and I’ve received plenty of them almost every day, were for digital opportunities on the agency side. So basically, every time I have applied to a job, my CV has been published on a job board and recruitment agencies found it and considered it a good match for digital opportunities, so the calls haven’t stopped. But for my desperation those calls were never regarding the jobs I really wanted and to which I have applied, but for opportunities I was trying to avoid at all costs.
Starting to feel hopeless, during a dinner with my cousins, after sharing my frustrating job hunt experience, an interesting though has been raised, there had to be something wrong with my CV. Why wasn’t I getting any calls regarding my applications and tons regarding jobs I didn’t want? I had already adjusted my CV a thousand times although I felt really lost and had no clue on what else could I do to make it look relevant. So during one of my applications I found a box at the end of the form which I could tick to request a free review of my CV. I’ve instantly thought this is it! I am going to figure out what’s wrong! I did it and a day later I got my free CV review.
It was quite hard to read but the truth was something had to radically change so let’s embrace it and do whatever it takes. Among visual presentation and organisation critics, which I had never questioned, there were also some important insights regarding the content and that was what made me think I really need some professional help to move forward. And so I’ve hired the professional service and after a week I got a totally new CV.
To kick off with the process I’ve had to fill a very detailed form and there my struggle began. I had to point out which had been my accomplishments for each of the positions I’ve executed. Unfortunately it has never crossed my mind that keeping track of some great results would be a massive advantage to enhance my professional experience so I had to work around and find situations where I had actively played a part to achieve a successful outcome for the company. After a while I was able to identify some relevant achievements to complement each job description on my CV. This really is key and I totally regret not keeping track in detail of each of my achievements, if I had done it my life would be much easier now and I would had got a much richer outcome. So my first advice to you it definitely to keep track of each of your achievements and quantify it numerically so that the impact is even greater.
Other thing that had become an issue on my CV was its length. I have already worked in 9 companies and describing everything on my CV as I used to probably wasn’t very relevant and could cause the wrong impression on the recruiter. So very cleverly, when I got my new CV, I had some of my closest experiences, in terms of function, merged, this way the experience length on that position is perceived as longer, once it sums the duration on more than one company, and the description is also much more relevant, since it enhances the greatest achievements on both at only one description field. Also the older positions, which were no longer relevant for the job I am trying to pursue, have been summarised on one line as additional experience. This way I don’t through away any experience which I am proud of, but that is no longer relevant, and in case I would like to raise it in more detail for some reason during an interview it will still figure on my CV as a support document.
Another huge mistake I had been making was to check my actual job description and introduce it on my CV, although it doesn’t really bring any extra value on my true capabilities. So another major change on my CV has been the way every description was rewritten to show the ownership of each task and sound like an achievement instead of being just my job as if anyone else would do it the same way.
So essentially the three most important things about my CV makeover which you main retain are:
- Identify your achievements and areas of expertise.
- Reduce the length of non relevant experiences, merge closer experiences and enhance the most important ones.
- Adapt your CV to make it relevant to the position you are applying for.
If you focus on these things you are half way from being successful on your applications, the other half comes with also preparing a relevant cover letter where, once again, you should bring your greatest achievements up to show how valuable you are for the company to which you are applying and why you should hired. Other important thing is to be very well prepared for the interview, you should research everything about the company, their culture, values and get some questions prepared, believe me these are key to engage with the interviewer and to show that you are really interested in the job, it is also great to break the ice and it’s gold for you to understand if that job is actually what you were looking for or not. The day after the interview it is always nice to send a thank you letter to the interviewer to show your appreciation for his time and to enhance your interest on the position. If you can work your magic the job is yours!
I am still in the middle of the process but these are my guidelines which have already proved to work well in the past, hopefully my new CV will unlock a couple of interviews and allow me to pursue my dream! I’ll keep you posted, fingers crossed! 🍀