Archive for October, 2009

CV scrutiny

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

The overarching question employers have while reading your CV is: “So what?”

If you can deliver on this tough and very impersonal question you’ll make it. Let’s take a brief overview. In the current climate employers are:

  • Understaffed
  • Have limited time to review CVs, and
  • Receive multiple applications per vacancy

In our post on CV contents we focus on the ‘Achievements’ section of your CV. It is mainly your achievements that will set you apart from other job applicants and it is imperative to get a good and objective view on your CV before sending it out to multiple employers. The achievements section of your CV illustrates to the reader that your experience may be beneficiary to their company; i.e. you can save them time, money, resources, etc.
Now before you go and list loads of achievements have a look at what business expert H MacDivitt said: “This can also be the feeling experienced by many recruiters when applicants are reeling off their USPs (unique selling points). The trick is to ask them that very simple question, “So what?” For example, “So what if you worked for the largest agency in the country? Why should I care? Why does it really matter and how does it prove you can do the job?””

This statement highlights the fact that achievements in your CV needs to make sense. In an interview situation make sure that you’re able to give supporting information why your achievements are important and why they matter. Achievements supported by information and facts answers the “So what?” question and by answering it in your CV will get you shortlisted.

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Good news for jobs market

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The number of vacant jobs increased in September for the second month in a row, but the job market is still ‘very fragile’.

Permanent and temporary jobs increased although growth remained “subdued”, research by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) showed.

“The report brings more encouraging news for the UK job market,” KPMG said.

Both permanent placements and temporary/contract staff billings rose for the second month in a row in September and at slightly sharper rates than in August.

The month’s drop in job vacancies was the weakest in the current 16-month period of decline. Permanent staffing demand fell modestly, while demand for temporary/contract staff rose slightly for the first time in 15 months.
Job Trends

Recruiters reported that permanent staff pay fell at the slowest pace in the current 12-month decline, while the latest drop in temporary/contract staff pay rates was the smallest in just under a year.

Unemployment is at 2.47 million, the highest since 1995, with economists expecting it to continue to rise.

The employers’ group, the CBI, believes unemployment will peak at about three million in the second quarter, while the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, expects the number to hit 3.2 million in 2010.

However, the REC/KPMG report said the rate of job losses “appear to have peaked”.

Let’s hope for the best! Get your CV in order before employers embark on a huge scale recruitment drive.

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10 Tips to Optimise your LinkedIn Profile Page

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

I stumbled upon Kevin Gibbons’s (SEOptimise Ltd) Ten Tips for optimising your LinkedIn Profile page. The tips are invaluable for creating a strong professional online profile and following these tips will definitely deliver the desired results.

In the next newsletter we’ll send you another post with more details on how to utilise your LinkedIn profile as an on-line CV.

Herewith Kevin’s tips:

Image credit: Flickr

So once you’ve signed up and registered your account, here’s ten tips we recommend to optimise your account:

  1. Fully complete your profile – Ensuring that this contains all relevant career history and interests. LinkedIn makes this easy by displaying a percentage score to show how complete your profile is. A LinkedIn profile basically acts as an online CV, so make sure you’re being honest and describing yourself and career clearly.
  2. Edit profile to claim vanity URL – This should be set to use your name (or closest match if unavailable) within the URL, for example: – this will help you to optimise your own name in the search engines and also makes the URL easier to remember if promoted on business cards or email signatures.
  3. Make your profile publicly available – You can set the information which is publicly available to non-members/contacts, be careful with blocking too much information as this will also be unavailable to the search engines. As a minimum, I would recommend providing enough information for the search engines to index your profile and cache the external links you have listed! In terms of optimising your profile, the main goals are normally to rank for your own name, company name and possibly industry keywords related to this.

  4. Make connections – Increase the reach of your profile by connecting with current and former work colleagues, clients, friends and family. I’d also recommend adding any industry contacts, perhaps from people you have met at conferences/events or are connected with on other social media sites and share a similar interest.
  5. Request recommendations – Obviously don’t ask everyone, especially if you don’t know them that well. But having recommendations will help your profile to stand out and will help to build trust in your reputation to visiting users. This will help improve the visibility of your own profile within internal LinkedIn searches too.
  6. Register a company profile – If your company doesn’t already have a company listing, you should create one! Here’s an example of the SEOptimise company profile, if your company does have a profile, you should encourage employees to create their own individual LinkedIn profile’s and ensure the current employer entry is completed. This will automatically update all employees listed on the company profile, providing the company name is exactly matched.
  7. Make use of the 3 website hyperlinks – For SEO value, LinkedIn is very good – they give you the opportunity to add three hyperlinks to websites of your choice. If you’re not trying to optimise your site for “My Website”, “My Portfolio” and “My Blog” it might be an idea to select “Other” and choose your own anchor text instead! :D
  8. Join related groups – Find groups where other industry professionals have joined and look to participate in (or at least join) these groups. Adding value to your own profile and helping you to get found by other industry contacts.
  9. Use LinkedIn Answers – This can help to build up your reputation within a field. For SEO it also builds the number of internal links pointing to your profile from within LinkedIn, therefore helping to strengthen your profile in the search engines!
  10. Optimise your job title – LinkedIn now includes your job title within profile title tags. I’m not saying you should lie about your job, but within reason you could include descriptive keywords which may help to attract relevant search engine traffic. For example, using “SEO Account Manager” as a job title instead of “Account Manager”, if appropriate.

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