Sorting out the CV
Working at YouthFull I get sent a ton of CV’s to look at
I know they are for entry level, but some sometimes I feel like nobody is putting any effort it! When you’re trying to impress somebody you definitely need to make an effort! It’s the simple things like spending 10 minutes customizing your CV for each job that can really shape someone’s first impression of you. A bad first impression is definitely not how you want to start your job hunt!
So you’ve been looking for a new job for awhile. You hop onto seek and look for posts with things like “entry-level” and “beginner.”
You’re crushing it!
You click on an entry level job post and it looks good. It sounds even better… you set your own hours! Sweet As. You keep reading and your heart starts pounding — this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. You read on.
Job Description: YES
Skills: Yup, check, mmhm.
Education: Done that!
Personality: Perfect; I am set.
You’re about to apply and then it happens. In tiny black letters it jumps out.
Experience: 3–5 years.
You go back and make sure you read the post right. Yup, “entry-level” is right there. How can you possibly get an entry level job if you need all that experience?
The truth is you don’t need to time travel back to the 2000’s to get that experience just follow these 4 simple tips on your CV to land that job.
1. Identify and express that you have been working over the past few years, even if you haven’t been employed.
What have you been up to over the last few years? Being a total legend?
But you’ve also been working hard at school, on a team, or with your mates! These experiences provide absolutely applicable skills you can write about on your CV and can easily talk about in an interview.
Think about what you learned in school and what skills you’ve got because of it. Those skills didn’t just happen, you worked to get there. What did you do to get those skills?
Just like that you’ve got your experience sorted out.
2. Remember your previous jobs
You might have a history of flipping burger at the local Maccas or folding clothes like it’s the best thing since a TimTam Slam.
That’s you I’m talking about you fast food guru and retail superstar! The skills you gained in those jobs are valuable. The trick is to focus on the skills you developed and less on what the job actually was. For example you may have worked the counter at Maccas part time while you were at school. Be honest, but also be professional and word-savvy. Try describing this role with things like — maintained a high standard of customer service during high-volume, fast paced operations and mastered point-of-service (POS) computer system for automated order taking.
See how much better that sounds? Your previous job may not fit nicely into your future field but the skills you developed there sure do!
3. Include a summary describing who you are and why you want that job, specifically.
A recruiter reads hundreds of Resumes for entry level jobs each day. So start with the important stuff. Write a short summary at the top of your resume that includes these three things.
- Who you are.
- What you have to offer.
- What you are aiming for in your career.
Sounds pretty simple right? Imagine seeing a job for something like J&R Contracting. I’d write something like this -
My name is Aleks Staprans, I live in Auckland, and I love watching the Warriors play with my family. I am a reliable, honest, and hard worker who comes from a background in construction. In five years I aim to work managing a team of 5–10 people in a construction environment.
BOOM. Done. Customized summary ✔
4. Hobbies and interests
So this section isn’t mandatory but it helps heaps if you lack work experience and want to get your personality across.
But wait, I don’t have any hobbies.
Don’t panic! It is never too late to start. For example, setting up a blog could be a great way to show what you can offer. Just about any career you can think of could have a blog. It ranges from the standard retail blogs that talk about fashion all the way to construction and blogging about DIY projects.
The only thing you’ll have to worry about is being too generic — hanging out with your mates doesn’t count as a hobby!
5. Wrapping it all up
I know I said there are four tips but this last point is how it all fits together. By now you know what experiences you’ve got to showcase, you have skills you can list, you’ve added a summary, and you’ve shown that you can take initiative.
Now we sort out how all those pieces fit together to make a sweet as resume.
You’ll just plug in the pieces and end up with something like these two!
Good luck job hunter!