Thursday, March 31, 2022

Job Hunting? Joining in the Big Resign? Some Thoughts About CV Writing My Clients Found Helpful

In therapy sessions where clients are changing jobs, we talk about career objectives, learning from past career experiences, and we model tricky conversations so you go into your interview empowered. Sometimes, we also talk about CVs. 

Note: In my other life, I worked as a freelance writer from 1996 and 2014, selling more than 3000 articles in over 12 countries to clients including Women's Weekly, Her World, Cleo, South China Morning Post, Japan Times, and the Straits Times. My work was syndicated by Planet Syndication in the UK.

Today I write columns for the Star newspaper in Malaysia and boutique content for corporations.  

So writing is something I love, and sometimes a session devolves into coaching where we work on wording CVs. 

This blog post is a quick chat about some useful web sites for that.

Today's CVs are achievement oriented. Also, more companies are using artificial intelligence to sift through applications, so your submission may never be seen by human eyes.

Don't worry!  You've got this. It's just a matter of getting into the right headspace.

Step #1: it's all about 'what can you do for me' and 'show me the money'

Specifically, they want to know what you accomplished, how you did it, and what benefit it brought to the company.

So not: managed a team of three responsible for streamlining accounting process
But: my team developed an inhouse app that cut accounting costs by streamlining accounting process

Adding numbers helps!
Ideal: my team developed an inhouse app that cut accounting costs by 8% saving the company $40,000 by streamlining accounting process

Google calls it the XYZ rule. You can read about that here

Get at least one achievement sentence down per job or position.

To slide through AI: think SEO

Step #2: check sample CVs for your industry to see what's hot

Cruise LinkedIn and see who's just landed a job you want. Peek at their CV or ask to see it. Then edit your CV.

You can also get sample CVs here, and a list of Malaysian headhunters organized by industry

Step #3: O*NET is a free career web site that has cheat sheets listing skills that are needed to ace jobs. You can use these to help push the AI to love you

Look at the search box in the top right corner and type programmer

Click on any job title, eg software developer, and click on the tab that says Details. Then cut and paste what works for you, e.g., Data base user interface and query software and Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues

Also note, if you want to move into a related field, O*NET is a useful place to start exploring where you can go

PS O*NET is based on John Holland's career theories that were hot in the 1950s. In terms of scientific theory, there are issues. Therefore, don't take it as Science or Fact. Instead, see it as a useful start for thinking things through

I hope you find this useful. If you want some help with prepping for a career change or interview, you know how to find me

Credit: Image by Oli Lynch from Pixabay