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CV or LinkedIn? What’s the most important?

LinkedIn has become an integral part of modern job hunting. It’s a great platform to showcase your skills and experience and lets recruiters find you, giving you access to roles you might not have find otherwise. You can apply for job through it, using the information stored within it to build a CV tailored to that role. Does that mean it has replaced, or become more important than a CV? Should you focus your time and attention on one more than the other?

Importance of a good CV

While you can apply for many roles via LinkedIn Easy Apply for the vast majority of vacancies you need a good CV to be in with a chance. It is still the main way to apply for a role and should give the recruiter a quick, easily digestible snapshot of your skills and experience.

Your CV should be a living document, something that isn’t solid, something that changes depending on the role you’re applying for. This is the CV’s strength, you can tailor every element of it, from your personal statement to the achievements you wish to highlight. You can streamline or expand certain aspects to best show why you’re suited to the role in question.

Importance of LinkedIn

LinkedIn has now become and integral part of any recruitment process. Even if you’ve applied for a job with a CV, a recruiter is still going to check out your LinkedIn profile. The advantage LinkedIn has over a CV is space. While a CV is generally constrained to 2-3 pages your LinkedIn profile is limitless. You can use is to bring your CV to life, tell more of a story about you, your career and your aspirations. It is easier to showcase previous projects and the achievements you’ve made. You can upload reports, articles or link to information online to give more substance to your achievements.

A good LinkedIn profile also allows you to be found by potential recruiters/employers. Having a well- rounded profile that details your skills and experiences makes you more likely to be approached about new roles.

To answer the original question, no you can’t rely on just a CV or a LinkedIn profile, you need a both. The good CV is still needed to get you over the first hurdle and be selected for interview. But it needs to be supported by a strong LinkedIn profile. One that mirrors but expands upon the achievements on your CV.

6 ways to write a memorable post-interview thank-you note

GUEST BLOG: Have you ever sent a follow up thank-you note after an interview? Is it a nice gesture or a bit over the top? Here our guest writer, Grace Carter discusses how to get the follow up note right.

There are several ways you can make your post-interview thank-you note memorable. Make your note stand out from the rest by personalizing it, using a memorable delivery method, timing it correctly, using quality materials, being professional, and using online writing and editing tools to make it shine.

1 – Personalize your note

You can make your note memorable by mentioning a few references to the interview, these specific points will help separate you from the other applicants. Perhaps during the interview you discovered that both you and the recruiter attended the same university, you could touch on this shared experience. It’s good to personalize, but do be careful not to be too informal, even if you feel you built up some good rapport with the interviewer. Personalizing doesn’t have to take much time, but at the very least it is good to address the note to the person, or group, that interviewed you. In your greeting for any post-interview note you should express your excitement about the position, but try and customize each greeting a bit. Doing this shows that you care about the process. Sending out generic notes to everyone you interview with is not recommended.

2 – Delivery method

Email is probably the most sensible choice, since hiring managers generally check their email once a day or more, and are probably expecting to receive your note this way. You can also send a LinkedIn direct message, the downside being the recipient may not receive it right away, depending on how often they check that inbox. A handwritten note will definitely stand out in the hiring manager’s memory, if you can guarantee they receive it on time, before they make their final decision. These notes are great if you are applying for a different position at your company or an office nearby. In these cases you can ensure timely delivery by dropping them off yourself.

3 – Get the timing right

“It’s critical to send out your note as soon as possible, so the hiring manager can read it before a decision is made. Of course, this is not to suggest you should slap it together; put some thought into it. This is your last chance to make an impression,” advises Mary Schober, HR manager at Academized. Applicants will sometimes show up to an interview with a note already written, and hand it to the hiring manager once the interview has ended. Do not do this. You will appear disingenuous. How could you write a note about an experience you have not gone through yet? The purpose of your note is to express your gratitude for their time and professionalism, and this will be totally lost if they know you wrote the note beforehand. It becomes a meaningless gesture that only serves to reflect poorly on you.

4 – Use quality materials

Choose clean, professional looking stationary or email templates to write your note on. You want to be taken seriously as a professional, and those cute polka dot templates you use for friends won’t have the same impact on a hiring manager. Think of these materials as part of your personal brand. Everything about them should imply serious, professional job-seeker. Choose easily readable font and format if you are using email, and nothing affiliated with your former employer. Use a personal email with an appropriate handle and a signature that includes your contact information.

5 – Be professional

Sometimes you will have an interview where you really clicked with the hiring manager and the interview feels more relaxed and informal. Be careful in these situations not to carry this relaxed and informal tone into your thank-you note. Be professional in your tone, use proper prefixes and correct language, use proper tenses and grammar. Resist the temptation to use slang and emojis, even if you feel you have great rapport with the interviewer. Take this opportunity to show off your writing skills. It’s much better to be remembered for your professional writing than for fouling up and using slang in your thank-you letter.

6 – Use online writing and editing tools

Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone, so don’t hesitate to get some help from the professionals. Here are some good resources to get you started:

#1. Via Writing and State of Writing – These are grammar resources you can use to check over your thank-you note for grammatical errors. You definitely do not want your final impression to be one of someone who can’t be bothered to check their copy over.

#2. CV Service and Write My Paper – These are proofreading tools, recommended by UKTopWriters, you can use to ensure your note is polished and free of errors.

#3. Writing Populist and My Writing Way – Check out these writing blogs for ideas and advice on how to improve your thank-you note. You will find posts by people who have been in your same situation.

#4. EssayRoo and OXEssays – These are online editing tools, suggested by SimpleGrad in Essayroo review, you can use to make sure your note does not have any errors.

#5. AcademAdvisor and LetsGoandLearn – Check out these writing guides for extra help writing your note. Even experienced writers can benefit from some help from time to time.

Next Steps

· When you’re in your next interview, try and take mental notes on important things that come up in the interview, specifics you can touch on in your follow up letter, and specifically things you can mention that will make yours memorable. Preparation is key to writing a memorable post-interview thank-you note, and that preparation begins as soon as the interview starts.

· Remember to personalize your note, boilerplate notes are easy, but won’t help you stand out. Depending on your circumstances, a hand-written note may be a good way to be memorable, but only if you can guarantee timely delivery. Make sure you don’t dawdle in writing and sending out your note. Choose quality materials that reflect your status as a professional, and use online tools to improve the writing quality of your note.

 

Grace Carter is a business writer at Paper Fellows and Assignment Help services. Also, Grace teaches online courses at Bigassignments.com, academic website.

How to take the fear out of interviews

You’ve done perhaps the hardest part of the recruitment process, stood out from the potential 100+ other applicants and been called to a face-to-face interview. But this is a scary prospect for many, with your chance at the job resting on your performance. Make sure yours doesn’t turn into the stuff of nightmares, here are our top tips to take the fright out of interviews.

1) Proper preparation – you’ll be surprised how often candidates turn up at the wrong place, wrong time or ask for the wrong person. Make sure you know who you’re meeting, where and when. Find out the best route, how long it will take and anything that could cause delays. Factor all this in when planning your journey. Avoid any last minute panics and plan your outfit in advance. Check everything still fits and is clean – the red wine stain on your suit from a wedding last summer won’t make the best first impression, nor will the blouse with a button missing.

2) Research – researching the company is as much about making sure the organisation is right for you as it is about impressing the interviewer. Visit the company website, look at the products and services they have to offer, if they have one, read their blog or any recent news articles. Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages. This will help give an insight into their company culture and the issues they feel strongly about for example. You don’t need to stop at researching the organisation, the majority of workers in the UK have a LinkedIn profile, while we’re not suggesting you link with your interviewer, you can have a look at their profile and that of other people within the organisation.

3) Practice – unless you’re a serial job hunter, interviewing isn’t something you do on a regular basis. As with anything to ease your nerves you feel comfortable. Practicing, as they say makes perfect. An interview is basically a sales pitch, and you’re the product. As any salesman will tell you, if you don’t know your product you won’t be able to sell it. Print out your CV, go through your skills and experience. Think about any key achievements and make a note of key stats, such as savings made, leads generated etc.. Compare your CV to the job description and try to pull out specific examples of how you meet their requirements. Have a go at answering some common interview questions and get acquainted with the STAR interview technique. This will all help to ease any anxiety and reduce the interview jitters.

4) Keep calm – it’s an easy thing to say, but harder to do. Interviews can be nerve wracking, but try to relax and not let nerves get the better of you. Take some deep breaths, try to think of it as an exciting experience, that could lead to a new job. Rather than something you must endure.

 

For more job seeking help and advice check out our handy hints page or watch our quick byte videos.

How to stay resilient during your job search

Looking for a job takes time and energy. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period it is very easy to lose confidence and motivation. The more resilient you are, the more productive and effective your job search will be. Here are some ways you can help to build up your resilience and help to keep your search on track.

  1. Routine – for most of us our lives have been dictated by routine. The 9-3 of school and then the 9-5 of working life. Without the framework of a job to guide you, it is easy to lose focus. Before you know it, days have passed and you’ve haven’t made any real progress. Try to establish a routine and stick to it. Get up at the same time every day, schedule activities for certain times, for example an hour looking for relevant jobs, 2 hours networking and reaching out to contacts etc. Whatever tasks you set, try to stick to them it will help you be more productive and keep you focussed on your goal.
  2. Rejuvenate – looking for work can be draining, and it can easily take over all your thoughts. It’s not good to spend too much time focused on a single activity. You need to take a break. Find something you enjoy doing and make time to do this every day. Allowing your brain to switch off from looking for work will help to revive it and let you attack the task with more energy when you return.
  3. Stay engaged – just because you aren’t working don’t distance yourself from your profession. Keep up-to-date with the latest news and happenings, this will not only keep you connected but also give you relevant information and help with any interviews. If there are ICEAW and/or CABA event you can attend, do so.
  4. Stay healthy – Eating well and exercising regularly are good for the brain as well as the body. Don’t become a ‘couch potato’. Apart from anything, daytime TV can itself be soul destroying.
  5. Be positive – it is easy to say but try to remain positive. Our brains can be hard-wired to think the worst and to notice and focus on the bad. ‘I’m not going to get the job anyway’ if you go into an interview or application process with a negative attitude it won’t help. Going with a positive attitude such as, ‘I might not have all the experience, but I really feel my skills fit’ or just a simple ‘I can do this’ will all have an impact on your performance.
  6. You can’t win them all – when looking for work you will receive more rejections than offers. Be realistic when applying for roles, while you might want to apply for as jobs as possible, this just means you’ll receive more rejections. Try to only apply for roles where you feel you are a good match with regards to skills and experience, to jobs that you would actually accept if you were offered. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time and increasing the number of rejections you receive. Remember looking for work is business, it’s not personal. If you’re not called to interview, 2nd interview or offered the role it isn’t a personal attack. You just weren’t right for that role. As hard as it is, dust yourself off and look for the next opportunity.

‘How to stay resilient during your job search……’ was written by Gemma Smith, Career Concierge, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

What to put in your cover letter

Cover letters may not play the same role in recruitment as they have in the past, in fact your cover letter might not be a letter at all. More of a supporting statement added to an email or a job board application. Whatever form it take there is still a need for additional information to support your application.

CVs by definition, are a short summary of your academic and working life. While you can convey a certain amount of information in them, they don’t allow for much of a chance to ‘sell yourself’. This is where the supporting statement comes into force, it allows you space to highlight why you want and are right for the job.

With there often being a limited space to create your masterpiece, what do you need to include to ensure it supports rather than detracts from your application…

Don’t just regurgitate your CV – try not to fall into the trap of simply repeating chunks of your CV, listing roles you’ve had and for how long. Those hiring can read all that on your CV, take the opportunity to expand and add detail. Pick one or two aspects of your CV that highlight why you’re suited to the role.

Tailor it to each and every role – just like your CV, any supporting document should be tailored to the role you’re applying for. Read through the job advert and try to pick out phrases and terms they use. If the job advert ask specifically for someone with Sector X experience and an understanding of Y. Then mirror those phrases in your letter… ‘My 5 years working within Sector X has given me lots of exposure to Y…’
Highlight achievements – as you would do in your CV quantify your statements with proof. Don’t just say you’re a brilliant sales person, tell them how much you increased sales by or how you’ve exceeded your target for the past 2 years etc…

Don’t be too keen – while it does give you the opportunity to say how much you want the role and how perfect you think you are for it. Try not to come across too desperate or go to over the top as it may just sound fake.

Remember the basics – it is highly unlikely that you will be sending your application in the post, however it is still important to include basic information. If you’re sending via email make it clear what position you’re applying for, make sure your name and contact details are easy to find. You don’t necessarily have to structure it like a formal letter with the date and postal addresses but do start and end it properly. Dear XX or To whom it may concern, rather than a simple, hi…

Do a proper proof read – don’t just rely on spell checker as this won’t always pick up grammatical errors such as the wrong use of there, they’re or their.