Beyond the Resume: What Other Documents Are Essential To Your Career?

Resumes_cover-letter_cvHaving an engaging and professional resume under your belt puts you in a highly beneficial position when it comes to job searching. But many candidates repeatedly assume that a resume alone is enough to secure a role in a competitive marketplace.

But the most successful candidates in the executive space are often the ones who have gone beyond a resume to develop a comprehensive career package that includes a range of documents, all of which can be vital in the job search and interview phase.

While a resume is perhaps the most important document you can invest in over the course of your career, what other documents and materials can also push your career forward and give you a distinct advantage over other, job-seeking candidates?

1. Cover Letters

Cover letters are of utmost important in any job application and many recruiters and employers consider cover letters just as mandatory as resumes. While your resume portrays your experience, it is the cover letter that highlights precisely how your skills and talents relate to the position at hand.

Thus, every cover letter you write must be different. It must be tailored to the specific job you are applying for and it must address the selection criteria or the requirements listed in the job advertisement.

If you simply have a generic cover letter than introduces your basic skills and your reasons for looking for work, you will need to upgrade your document so that it is much more impressive, appealing and competitive.

2. LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn is an extremely powerful job searching tool and today, almost 100% of recruiters and employers are on LinkedIn. Many recruiters and employers also make first contact with new candidates via LinkedIn and use your profile in lieu of a resume.

Hence, your LinkedIn profile carries just as much weight as your paper resume and it should be given the same attention and investment. A pristine LinkedIn profile should be:

  • 100% complete and up-to-date – don’t leave sections blank or with only a small amount of information and detail; also make sure that your work history and skills are updated to the present time
  • Comprehensive and exhaustive, covering all of your skills and experience; unlike a resume, a LinkedIn profile is not targeted at a particular position, so it must emphasises your value in a rounded and all-inclusive way
  • Keyword centric; while you don’t want to become a victim of over-using keywords, including the relevant keywords in your profile will ensure you show up in online search results. If you are unsure of how to use keywords correctly in your profile, talk to a professional resume or profile writer.

3. Selection Criteria Statements

Accurately addressing the selection criteria of any opportunity is one of the most significant tasks in securing a new role. Responses to selection criteria are often used exclusively to shortlist applicants, so your document must be exceptionally relevant and convincingly written if you are to secure an interview.

The key benefit here is that even if a position doesn’t have a formal selection criteria, your application will still stand out if you address the requirements and demands of the job advertisement in the same way. Investing in a worthy selection criteria document also means you can re-use some of that content in your other documents, such as your resume and cover letter.

4. Corporate Biographies

You may not think you need one, but a corporate biography can give you a distinguished edge over other executives.

Corporate biographies are the perfect way to give recruiters a concise, quick look at your professional background and will provide insight into who you are as an executive and what you have accomplished throughout the course of your career.

What should you do with your corporate biography? Your biography can be published anywhere you like; it can be placed on your company website, it can accompany content you write or it can simply form a part of your online profiles and brand.

5. Digital Resumes

A digital resume – which uses images, dialogue and text to present your professional personality to a recruiter – is a creative and innovative tool that will differentiate you from your rivals and give your applications a unique edge.

A digital resume can be a great way to put a ‘face’ with your ‘name’ and give recruiters and employers a more personal introduction to your abilities and talents. A digital resume shows that you can communicate and articulate well and creates the impression that you are truly a refined and forward-thinking executive candidate.

If you decide to invest in a digital resume or CV, you will need to select the services of an experienced and professional company who can guide you through the writing and presentation process and also ensure a highly polished and remarkable final result.

Learn more about how Resumes Australia can help you manage and drive your career through intelligent documentation and winning career strategies.

Regards,

kylie hammond

5 Ways You Can Make a Difference To Your Company

Make a difference to your companyForwarding and progressing in your career is often of utmost importance; it can mean keeping your resumes up to date, working on your social media profiles, gunning for that next promotion or trying to find ways to attract head hunters and recruiters.

But if you are content where you are, you can still advance your career by staying put and simply finding ways to enhance or grow your present organisation.

1. Go Global

Globalisation is consistently breaking down the barriers between organisations and their customers, both on a local scale and an international one.

If you sit in a top position in your company, one of the ways you can expand is to consider entering into a global market. This might not yet fit in with the company’s greater goals or vision, but presenting the idea in the first instance can open the door to lucrative conversations and opportunities.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, however; you will need to conduct careful planning, develop strong strategies and assess key risks before you open your doors to international clients.

If you can’t simply take your organisation into global water, consider how enhancing your products or services could create more appeal for a global audience or fill a crucial niche in another, overseas market.

2. Implement a Better Procedure

No matter how small or large your organisation is, there are undoubtedly many procedures or processes in place that are not perfect. Improving any of these processes for better efficiency and productivity can make a huge difference to your company.

You’ll need to make sure that you have the authority to change the procedure and if you are working in a larger business, you may need permission or support from various stakeholders before you just go ahead and amend things. If you are successful, however, it will demonstrate a great stroke of initiative – and it’s also a great achievement to put on your resume.

3. Work on Company Morale

Poor productivity, lack of consistent results or low quality outcomes are often all symptoms of poor employee engagement and low company morale. Trying to lift employee morale can be a big and highly involved task, but it can be very rewarding.

You will need to assess what is causing the organisation’s low morale and consider how you are going to approach other executives in the company about the issue.

If you are not in a position to work closely with HR on the matter, consider initiating other measures, such as encouraging better communication between staff or organising social events, like company/department lunches or outings.

4. Encourage Learning

Learning and education is a huge part of any employee’s career and organisations that provide avenues for staff learning consistently produce more loyal, happy and productive employees.

Executives in a managerial role may be able to implement learning systems, organise relevant training days or perhaps even find mentors for their staff. Lower-level employees without this kind of authority can contribute by finding and researching workshops or seminars that will benefit the group as a whole.

5. Give Back to the Community

Of course, not all changes to your organisation have to be directly related to its products, processes or staff. Many companies become involved in community or charity programs in order to give something back to public. This creates a positive image of the company and can also significantly boost employee morale and loyalty.

As a staff member, you can consider making a huge difference to your company in this way. Try taking the initiative and arranging involvement in an ongoing support or volunteer program or organising something simple, like a charity lunch or morning tea.

Resumes Australia offers career coaching, resume writing and interview mentoring packages for executives throughout Australia. Lean more at: www.resumes-australia.com.au

Regards,

kylie hammond

Attracting Recruiters: 5 Essential Tips

Attracting RecruitersAttracting the attention of a recruiter or a search consultant can be hard work. Recruiters are extremely busy people, with several roles to fill, dozens of resumes to review and lots of interviews and meetings to conduct.

With many other candidates out there, though, how do you attract the attention of a busy recruiter and make a lasting impression?

1. Impressive Resumes

When a recruiter looks at your resume, you only have a few seconds to impress. Your resume needs to convince them at first glance that you’re a high-calibre candidate who can effectively fill their vacancy. Therefore, you will need to make sure your professional resume is of the highest quality possible and that it accurately portrays your knowledge, experience and skills. If you haven’t put a great deal of time or effort into your resume, start now!

2. Plain Language Resumes

One of the biggest mistakes many job applicants make is to try and spruce up their resume with ‘flowery’ language. Recruiters don’t have time to read every word of your resume; instead, attracting their attention means depicting your experience in clear and concise ways.

Using plain language to expand on your skills and accomplishments will help you achieve this, as will including concrete details and demonstrating successful outcomes using succinct writing and language.

Resume writing at this level is significant and if writing is not your strength, you should search for an expert resume writer who can spruce up your resume the right way.

3. Using Social Media

Since its inception, social media has come to play an enormous role in the recruitment and HR industries. The majority of recruiters and consultants today use social media to carry out further research on the candidates they come into contact with.

Ensuring your social media profiles (such as on LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) are thorough and up to date is essential. You can also include links to your profiles in your resume details, which will give your application much more strength and unity.

At the very least, a detailed LinkedIn profile is essential. The biggest challenge here is to make sure that all of your information is consistent and up to date: if a recruiter notices discrepancies between your resume and your online profiles (even with simple things like dates or titles), it may not cast a good impression.

4. Recruiter Research

You should also remember that recruiters are also diverse in their functions and roles. Many specialise in particular fields, positions or industries and only recruit in these areas. Make sure you conduct research on a particular recruiter or agency before sending off your resume and double-check that they recruit for your industry and at the level of jobs you are applying for. This means that you can (a) target your approach much more effectively and (b) you will have a much better chance of grabbing a recruiter’s attention.

5. Be Proactive & Ready

A candidate who is ready for anything will always cast a strong impression with a recruiter; proactive candidates are often the most appealing. If you have already sent through your resume to a particular consultant, make the effort to follow-up with them via phone (but without becoming a nuisance). This gives the recruiter the impression that you are organised, enthusiastic about the job and ready for the next stage of the search process.

Keen to make a great first impression with your next application? Resumes Australia offers executive candidates specialised resume writing assistance and other valuable career services. Learn more at www.resumes-australia.com.au.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Great Resignations – Quitting Your Job With Style

resignationCongratulations on landing your new job! Now, all you have to do is resign from your current role.

There’s a little bit of an art form to resigning and believe it or not, there’s much more to a resignation than a simple letter or meeting. If you are moving on from your present position, whether to a new role or just taking a break, here are some of my best tips to quit your job with style and carry out a “successful” resignation.

Meet With Your Boss

Written resignations are acceptable, but you will achieve much more if you organise an official meeting with your manager to resign and hand them your resignation letter in person. This will give you an opportunity to explain face-to-face why you’ve decided to resign, (if appropriate) and it also means you can address any immediate issues together.

It’s important to remain professional when you resign and remember to keep your reasons for leaving about you and your career. Take responsibility for your decision and accentuate how this change is beneficial for your life. Under no circumstances make your resignation personal or vindictive.

Don’t Burn Bridges

Maintaining your contacts is crucial after any resignation. Even if you have good reasons for resigning, don’t burn your bridges or create animosity between you and your company. It’s a small world out there, and you never know who could be of value to you after you leave. You may not have worked well with your boss or certain colleagues, but they could still prove to be useful contacts in future.

Be Proactive About Handovers

Of course, you will need to hand over your tasks and responsibilities to one or more new or current employees. Once you resign, you should take a proactive approach to organising your handover, especially if your boss doesn’t have time to do this. In consultation with your boss determine who is going to take over your work, and make sure you set aside enough time with them to thoroughly cover all areas of your job.

Organise Exit Interviews & Meetings

Usually, your manager or HR will organise an exit interview for you, but it can also benefit you to organise further interviews and meetings with other managers and executives in the company. Again, this is also about maintaining your contacts and not burning your bridges – making an effort to stay in touch with these individuals demonstrates that you value their time and input, even though you’re leaving. It also means you can continue to build your professional network.

Be Thankful

There may be some bad feelings surrounding your resignation, but even so, you should be appreciative of the opportunities your company has given you. Thank your bosses and colleagues individually, and let them know you’re grateful for the knowledge and experience s you’ve acquired.

It’s a great feeling when you resign and a new role awaits you – but what if you’re quitting without any future plans? Resumes Australia can provide you with sound career advice, quality CV services and interview coaching sessions to help build your executive profile and find that next, brilliant role. Of course, if you require assistance with your resignation letter or your exit interview, we can help with that, too!

Regards,

kylie hammond

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