Archive for July, 2015

Don’t be the graduate who blames the economy

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Yes it is scary after you leave uni particularly if you’ve NOT managed to secure that all important graduate job. So why I am mentioning this now? You have plenty of time left before you graduate – right? Well it depends… you need to start using your time wisely and applicable to students in Year 1 – yes even you!

You can blame your university, the economy, your careers adviser if you don’t get that job. Guess what people do just that… in fact some manage to get it printed in the national press but I never see anyone really look at themselves to even consider IF they could be at fault!

What if we decided not to play the ‘blame game’ and instead take control?

Be honest & ask yourself:

  • Why oh why do we put things off that can really help us? (you know what I mean, it could be that CV, improving your linkedIn profile, getting relevant experience etc)
  • Why don’t we ask those questions now when we could? (speaking to people in those jobs we love to do or if we are clueless seeking some advice?)
  • Why do we complain when we have sent over a 100 CV’s out and received no reply, (wake up call – why did it take you over 100 CVs later to work this out – maybe it’s your CV?)

At what point do we sit down and reflect on what is working and take stock and ask ourselves are we actually on the right path? Are we going in the right direction or just following a set route, which isn’t actually working for us?

Are you actually seeing ALL of the opportunities available to you? Are you doing what you really want to do? Do you know what you want? How are you going to work this out?

What are you doing TODAY that will really help you to drive the future that you want tomorrow?

No excuses. No blaming others. Just take stock of where you are now.

DARE

Do one thing today that can get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

So you’re a wannabe Journalist…make contact with a Journalist via LinkedIn or Twitter and ask for their advice or possible work experience, even find out more about how to apply for a job with their company!

Or you’re already in the job you want, but want to get that promotion, or change direction? Maybe you need to boost your skills? Maybe you need to join a professional association or perhaps you just want to chat about it all with a professional careers coach…(oh by the way that’s me!).

So once you’ve done your one thing, (don’t overcomplicate it, just do it!) – post it in the Facebook Group,

Here is another opportunity for you:

Why not ask me a career related question in the Facebook Group? Just maybe, I could help you to move forward. (p.s that is what I do, I’m a careers adviser by trade.) You will be joining people from all over the world with one intention to get that Job!

The people who ask, are the ones who get ahead….are you going to let this opportunity pass you by or not?

A little about me!

My special gift is in inspiring and empowering YOU to HAVE it all; to get out there and TAKE it all. Trust me it is rarely handed to you on a plate!

I have to warn you though … I tell it as it is. Why? Because I don’t want to ‘pussy foot’ around something that can literally, change your life. Life is about allowing you to live life on your terms. So what on earth does this mean? It means taking ownership and no more excuses. You can do whatever you want; take a year out before Uni, after Uni, not go to Uni, start a business, take a sabbatical, live in another country, even start a charity if you want to! Whatever you want to do is fine…but as long as you DO IT…this ain’t no dress rehearsal baby! I’m about to be the best thing for your soon to be amazing future think of me like your best friend but with a little bit of tough love thrown in!

Check out www.susanburkecareers.com and join the FREE 7 Day CV Challenge www.7daycvchallenge.com today, don’t waste a second, just do it!

 

 

 

The Framework of a killer CV!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

As a careers coach one of things I am often asked is what is the framework for a killer CV and as I have recently wrote a book on the subject I thought I would share my thoughts with you taken directly from my book which you can find on Amazon called Be You, Get Noticed, Get Hired, Graduate CV (Includes a Free Creative CV Template Worth Over £20)

Use this framework to help you work through your CV today, you’ll also love this free Creative CV template as it was created by an amazing graphic designer check it out here!

Name & contact details

NameAddressEmail– think professional email address, nothing silly like Lovemyself@gmail.com or sexycarly@hotmail.comMobile, Landline – check correct & make sure the voice message is applicable!

Get them interested in you!

 Want to find out more about me? LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Online portfolio, Website if applicable.

Personal profile

Wow factor…. (anything you write on your CV needs to be backed up with evidence, so don’t just use your standard cliché phrases such as team work, hard-working, attention to detail etc…). You can use those phrases BUT, they must be backed up with how, what and why you have those skills and qualities and make them highly targeted to the job.See some examples below (these are purely examples, so don’t use them unless you actually have the skills and they are key to the role that you are applying for – this includes any other examples throughout this document).

 

“I have consistently worked to develop my managerial expertise. For example, whilst working at Costa Coffee, I gained a proven track record in increasing sales and turnover (I achieved both green Win Cards for both stores) and through training and motivation; I inspired the rest of the team to do likewise and in many cases exceed their sales targets”.

 

“I have a proven aptitude for figures as during my most recent role at Costa Coffee, I regularly analysed store sales figures and Profit & Loss reports, while also managing and forecasting the budget and was praised for my accurate work and attention to detail.”

 

Yes it is OK to mention it below again if you need to, (remember your profile is just a brief overview, so you can use the ‘Skills & Qualities’ section below to expand and provide more detail).

 

Skills & qualities

Skills and qualities must be matched to the job you are applying for), so for example, customer service would be an ideal quality for a position as a Retail Assistant. However, advanced computer skills are probably less relevant, although experience of using different types of electronic tills for example, would definitely be seen as an advantage.So don’t be tempted to list every single skill you can think of.Think about which skills they have listed in the job description for the role, then think about which of those skills you have, how you have gained them and how you could apply them to what is required in the new role.

 

Use a MAX of 4 examples.

 

Qualifications

 

 University degree (particularly if it is relevant to your chosen career), then please expand on the qualifications that you’ve earned so far and what you’re currently studying:Start with the most recent, including address/full postcode of school/college/UniIt is ok to include something that you are currently studying, but have not yet finished the course, but don’t include something you plan to do in the future – think present day, in fact this goes with anything you include on your CV!

 

Work History  

Work Experience Volunteering

 

Start with your most recent employment and then work backwards. Provide a sentence on what the company does i.e. ‘An online retailer specialising in gifts for under £10’, and then perhaps you could include a couple of sentences of what your general duties included, and key achievements.  You could also list your key achievements as bullet points to keep it clear, concise and easy to read. Remember, recruiters have to read through hundreds of CVs so the clearer yours is the better and if possible quantify it, for example, I reduced costs by 10% or increased sales by 20%.For example: 2008 – Present, Store Manager, Costa Coffee, 31 High Street, Wimbledon, SW19

Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in Dunstable, United Kingdom, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread.  My role is the daily management of the store, providing high quality service and managing a team of 20 staff. 

Key Achievements

  • Increasing sales by 10% by analysing store figures and improving customer service as well as managing and motivating the team to increase sales and ensure store efficiency.
  • Reducing stock, waste and other store costs by 5% resulting in a saving of £10,000 per annum.
  • Being able to motive staff, reduce absenteeism by listening to my staff to improve working conditions.
  • Responsible for recruitment and team training provision to help new staff and more experienced staff excel.
  • Highly competent to organise work schedules, track accounting and payroll as well provide quarterly reports to the Regional Director.

 

 

Additional training

You may have completed customer care course, first aid, health & safety training or completed in house training for an organisation, well guess what you can mention it more so if it’s relevant!

Awards

As it says on the tin but we are not talking about your 1 metre swimming certificate here!

Professional Associations

 

Now if you’re a little confused about what this is, (depending on the type of job you’re looking for); you may want to look at some professional associations and see what they are all about. Especially if you are studying law, accountancy, surveying etc. Many offer really excellent student rates and some may even be free.  They are also great for networking events and getting to know other people/companies within the industry) so for the UK it would be http://www.totalprofessions.com/profession-finder and http://fisss.org/sector-skills-council-body/and if relevant you could mention this on your CV if you’re a member!
Language Skills If you can speak another language most definitely make them aware of this on your CV!