BLACK & WHITE

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PROFESSIONAL COACHING - ASHFORD - KENT - UK

CV BLOG ARTICLES AND TIPS

"A few articles from our professional experience in CV writing and working with great people."

Professional CV Writing

Within the articles below, you will find CV help, support and advice to support your CV and career journey.

A professional CV writing and CV Writer Service.

Case Study 1 - Writing a CV

Updated - 22nd September 2022

Writing a CV and a few of our free CV writing tips and advice.

  1. You have made a start; if you are reading this, you have taken a good step towards improving the impact your CV will have.

  2. Vision, hold an idea and the true purpose of your CV. To progress through the selection process and receive an invite to an interview.

  3. Professional format, looking great, well set out, first impressions last. Your CV is your shop window and a chance to show off the best version of you. Evidence suggests that when a CV has a human interface, it takes 7 seconds to decide if a candidate should progress to the next selection phase. Top Tip! use the space on your CV very carefully.

  4. Excellent impact summary, keeping the reader engaged and interested in your CV.

  5. Results show what you have contributed, the results achieved, and your impact on a position or situation. Delve into your career history and track out those achievements.

  6. Grammar, make sure your spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct and read well.

  7. Focus on your key marketing points, do not mistake overselling your strengths and missing an essential detail that recruiters are looking for during the application process.

  8. Contact details may be obvious, but make sure your email address and telephone numbers are correct. Always use a professional reading email address.

  9. Tailor, ensure your CV is tailored to the position you are applying for. Marketing a general CV will not have the same result as a CV tailored to a specific role.

  10. There are pages and words, ranging between 400 and 800 words, no more than two pages.

  11. Font and pitch are essential; our preferred font is Calibri and varies in size between 11 and 14. This enables clarity throughout your CV and provides good readability. Choose a clear font that compliments your CV.

  12. Photographs, proceed with caution in this area; people can unknowingly (unconscious bias) make assumptions from a photo on your CV. There are only a few specific reasons you would include an image on your CV. The general rule is not to have a photograph.

  13. Negativity, avoid using negative language at any stage within your CV.

  14. ATS or Applicant Tracking System, your CV must pass basic algorithm testing. Most businesses will use a form of ATS to select the top % of candidates.

TOP TIP, We only know what we know. Sometimes a CV Template encourages you to record your past CV in a different form; therefore, nothing changes.

Case Study 2 - Job Hunting

Updated - 13th October 2022

What advice do we have for job hunting?

Time For Reflection

Where are you in your career?

How successful have you been with your applications and end-to-end selection or application process?

Be honest with yourself; if you have not been successful at any stage of the selection process, you must reflect on why?

TOP TIP- We meet candidates who have convinced themselves it is the system and has nothing to do with their application, CVinterview technique or skills.

Albert Einstein, a great quote, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result," was his definition of madness.

There are 5 Phases to reflect on:-
  1. Type of positions applied for.

  2. Application process.

  3. CV submission.

  4. Pre-interview assessments.

  5. Interview and or interviews.

Gap Analysis

Identify the gaps you may have and make time to do something about them.

Work experience, qualifications, CV revamp, coaching, and research can help plug the gap you have identified.

What is a Gap Analysis? Link Here

LINKEDIN

A professional LinkedIn profile is a great way to market a new you. Take time to ensure your profile is spot on—a good background, profile picture and content that reflects your best version. Make time to ask for references on your profile from people who know your strengths.

LinkedIn account is free to set up; it is a great platform to market you when laid out well.

Case Study 3 - Chasing a Promotion

Updated - 19th September 2022

Take things seriously.

When you have identified a promotional move, it is worth considering a few areas.

  1. Being Honest - During your appraisal or Line Manager Performance Review, it can present an excellent opportunity to explain how keen you are to progress your career. A lot will depend on your relationship with your Line Manager and how mature that manager is in developing their people and you.

  2. Role Profile - Track down a copy of the role profile or job description for the position you seek. Have a read through the qualifications, skills and experience required for the role.

  3. Research - Knowing as much about the role as possible, internal company sites, and speaking to people are just a few methods to understand the position.

  4. CV - is your CV up to date and focused on the position you are applying for? Please don't leave it until the last minute to create a CV; it will place unnecessary pressure on you. If you seek a professional CV Writer, take the time to engage a reputable Writer and allow time for the work to be undertaken.

  5. Application Process - Clearly understand the application process. Research and understanding the process is excellent preparation. Work to understand the timescales you will be working towards.

TOP TIP: If you are chasing a position in your career, do it as if you are training for and running an Olympic race. Good planning, a great CV, interview preparation and research will add value.

Case Study 4 - Personal Development

Understand your strengths and areas you could improve.

Updated - 2nd October 2022

We can all be busy people. Time for personal development should not be sacrificed due to being too busy.

You will find plenty of information on several Media Platforms that will help your personal development.

Below are a few of our favourites.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey.

  • The book, Who Moved my Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson.

  • The book, Good to Great by Jim Collins.

  • Admiral McRaven Leadership YouTube Video.

  • Stephen Covey YouTube Video.

  • The book, Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.

  • The book, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Case Study 5 - Applicant Tracking Systems

What is ATS Testing?

Updated - 22nd September 2022

Large recruitment websites and businesses may not use a human interface to review the volume of CVs submitted. There can be hundreds of applicants for a particular position.

Businesses have learnt to speed up the shortlisting process with computer Algorithms to select the top candidates, sometimes called ATS.

Your CV must pass basic ATS pressure testing. If you are not passing through to interview selection, failing ATS could be one reason.

There are too many potential algorithms to detail; the list of metrics is extensive depending on the ATS system used.

A few areas to consider.

  • Format of the CV, is your CV ATS friendly?

  • Complex graphics on the CV.

  • Action verbs.

  • Results-driven.

  • Bullet points.

  • Buzzwords and clichés.

  • Are the critical skills required for the role missing?

  • Spelling, typos and grammar.

  • Word count, too few or too many.

  • Missing qualifications.

  • Experience required.

Case Study 6 - CV Assignment

Why involve a professional CV Writer?

Updated - 2nd October 2022

A client (David) engaged Black and White in August 2021 on an assignment to overhaul a CV. The original CV was four pages in total and required a significant overhaul. 

A few of the critical items removed from the CV:-

  • References.

  • Photograph.

  • Poor action verbs.

  • Data protection aspects.

  • Filler words.

  • Buzzword's and clichés.

  • Scored 7% on the CV writing ATS pressure testing.

  • Around 50% of the words were reduced.

  • Inconsistencies.

Added to the CV:-

  • Created a captivating title.

  • An excellent profile summary.

  • Identified numerous career achievements unrealised.

  • Smart action words.

  • Punchy bullet points.

  • Reformatted the document.

  • Changed the font and pitch.

  • A sparkle of CV Magic across the CV, our magic touch.

The final revision of the CV created was two pages with 760 words.

BLACK and WHITE worked with the client through Teams Calls to develop and market a new CV.

Our client has been appointed into a large business, an excellent new salary.


Case Study 7 - School leavers and Students

Updated - 4th October 2022

Preparing a young adult for leaving school is probably one of the most critical phases of parental coaching.

We have a few tips on preparing a young adult for leaving school and moving into the hectic life of job seeking.

PLANNING - The date for leaving school is a precise date to plan towards; we know it's coming and when. There is plenty of time to talk through and discuss career ambitions years ahead of that date. Experience is built over time; think ahead and use that time wisely.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING? - Understanding a career ambition as early as possible will help to think through relevant education and experience goals an individual needs to achieve.

CV - You can begin a professional and intelligent CV with a young adult in secondary education years ahead of the final days in school—time to gain work experience, charity and volunteering days to build a great CV. You understand the gaps a person has and how to bridge those. It is that competitive time again; how do you push yourself ahead of the thousands of young adults moving into the work environment simultaneously.

WORK EXPERIENCE OR VOLUNTARY WORK - This area presents an excellent opportunity to get ahead of the rest. Work Experience and or Voluntary Work is a perfect addition to a CV. It demonstrates to a potential employer the drive and ambition of an individual.

Top Tip - My children had a CV packed with education and work experience relevant to the careers they aspired to have when leaving school. That came with planning and thinking ahead.