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Sometimes, oxygen is what your resume need. An overloaded document may reduce your chances to get that much desired recruiter’s second look. This design offers a bowl of fresh air to your old resume and is pleasing on the eye of the reader. Don’t wait, get yours for free (for your personal use).
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Many people decide to change career at some point in their lives. Often it can be a decision that has been forced upon them through redundancy, or after suffering from a severe injury that prevents them from continuing in the same line of work. But sometimes a change of career can be a personal choice when you finally decide to follow your dreams and do a job that you love instead of one that you may well have simply fallen into out of convenience or family expectations.
This can be difficult for a person who maybe has spent 20 years or so in one career only to now find themselves competing with 20-something’s who are fresh out of college and have no commitments. It can be an extra strain on your mind to know that you will be starting over again maybe with a family and children to support as well as a mortgage to pay.
But what you must take into consideration is that fact that if you don’t go for it and make a career change now, you might live to regret it.
When you think that we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, we need to make sure that we at least enjoy what we do for the sake of our mental health.
If this means switching career to land your dream job, then it may mean a few short years of upheaval while you and your family adjust, but in the end it will be worth it – and it will be a much better choice than sticking with the same job or working in the same industry for the next 25 years where you know you are not happy.
Making that change
Once you realize that life is too short for it to be wasted being unhappy at work, then it is time to make that change and go after your dream job.
The first thing to do is to sit down and make a plan of action about how you are going to end up in your dream job. You may well lack the qualifications and experience to be able to walk right into the role, so you will need to work out how you can gain the valuable skills and knowledge that employers will be looking for in a job candidate.
This may involve taking up some evening classes or part-time study courses to gain the appropriate qualifications for the role. Check out what relevant education and training courses your local college offer and see if you can fit these in while continuing to work at your present job. It may be that you will need to ask for flexible working hours or use up your holiday entitlement to complete courses and take exams.
Gain some relative experience
Look for any opportunities that can give you some valuable experience. This may be volunteering for the company in some way. Many charity organizations and social enterprises welcome volunteers, and you can gain some useful skills and background knowledge about the company that could be useful for landing you with a job with them in the future.
Do the company offer any junior or trainee positions that you can apply for? Your age shouldn’t put you off from applying. OK, the salary may be lower than what you are used to in your present job, but if you can land a junior or trainee position with the company, you will be getting a solid foot in the door and gaining skills and experience that can eventually lead you on to landing your dream job with them.
Use your experience to your advantage
Quite often larger companies that offer paid internships and trainee positions will welcome more mature candidates because they will have a proven working track record and experience of working as part of a team, meeting deadlines and achieving set goals within an organization. You can use your work experience to your advantage here and will have something of great value to offer the company over a graduate with no real-world work experience.
Network like there is no tomorrow
Successful and effective networking is a skill that needs to be honed over a long period of time. No doubt you may already have a wealth of networking experience under your belt, and certainly far more than a fresh-faced college graduate has. You may well have done more deals and shaken more hands than a 20-something has in their whole lifetime. Use your networking skills to put the word out about your career change. You never know – there may be someone already in your network that already knows of a perfect job opening for you, but unless they know you are looking to switch careers, they won’t think to mention it to you!
No matter how well we plan out our days, sometimes the forces of nature can be against us. While it is sensible to be well prepared for your job interview, knowing what to do if you are running late is also just as essential to prevent it from ruining your chances of landing your dream job.
So – you have been very diligent with your company research, you have prepared some good answers to commonly asked interview questions, you have had a new haircut and have hung up your smart interview suit ready to slip into in the morning. However, your plans for a smooth and easy route to your job interview have been scuppered. This could be because your car wouldn’t start, or the bus was late, or your train has been delayed. Whatever the reason, it isn’t helping your anxiety levels one little bit!
It is easy to let a situation like this rattle you and make you feel less confident about your performance at interview, but not everything is lost! Let’s look at some ways to cope with arriving late for your interview that will leave you feeling more positive.
Don’t give up!
Many people may think that it wouldn’t be worth turning up at all at the interview if they were running late. But don’t do this.
Ghosting your interview because you are late can be a very negative reaction.
Doing this would completely blow your chances of postponing or re-scheduling your interview for another time. The company wouldn’t look too favorably at you and would probably never consider you for a position with them again in the future.
The repercussions of not turning up for an interview can go much further. Doing this can seriously harm your reputation. Your interviewer may well have valuable connections with other businesses that you would be interested in working for. Word could get around that you ditched the interview with no explanation, so other employers may be put off your application even before they have met you.
Here is what you do instead: Contact your interviewer to explain that you are running late. Ask them if it would be convenient for them to move your interview slot to later in the day to allow you to arrive and prepare. The interviewer may well be willing to move your interview time and arrange to have their lunch early or late to accommodate you.
Should the interviewer have scheduled back-to-back interviews with candidates, they may offer to change your interview to another day. While this may not be the best solution for you, especially if you are already on your way to the interview, it does mean you get second chance to create a good first impression. You will also be able to attend your interview completely unflustered by the day’s events.
Remember that when you initially speak to your interviewer to explain your situation, you should try to keep as calm and collected as possible. Try not to let your frustrations get the better of you. If you cannot talk directly with your interviewer, then leave a message for them apologizing for your lateness. Keep heading towards your interview and don’t turn back for home until you know the outcome and the decision from your interviewer. It is better to turn up and be sent home than not to turn up at all.
At your interview
Whether your interview was delayed for later the same day or was rearranged for another day, once you walk through the interview room door, simply apologize swiftly and politely, then take your seat. Your interviewer will appreciate your apology, but don’t make the situation any worse by continuing to apologize or offer a lengthy (and boring) explanation. More than likely the interviewer will be quite tired and will want to get on with your interview.
Overdoing your apology can make you look and feel awkward as well as make the atmosphere between you and your interviewer quite tense. Just apologize once, say ‘thank you’ and move on to your interview as if nothing had happened.
Focus your inner voice
Despite your best efforts to remain calm and collected at your interview, it can be easy to let your inner voice start to undermine your confidence. Try to focus your inner voice by repeating your rehearsed interview answers in your head. Look at your interviewer and listen to what they are saying. Listen for specific keywords they use when describing the job on offer and the tasks that the role involves. Think of the skills and experience you have that match with their descriptions and use these to make your interview a two-way conversation. This will help your negative inner voice to switch off.
With your interview preparations, try to have a couple of really engaging questions that you can ask your interviewer. Asking these will show them that you are focused and have shaken off your earlier lateness event. It will also make your interview memorable for more than just being late!
The primary goal you should have in mind when working on your resume should be to attract the recruiter’s attention. This task is quite hard with a dull standard resume. While a traditional resume is a must for conservative industries such as law, finance, etc., you should show a bit of your creativity in more modern ones. Download this template for free (personal use only) and edit it with Microsoft Word.
When you are looking for a new job, or you want to change your career path completely, sometimes it is a case of who you know instead of what you know. We have known for years now that some great job opportunities can spring up from within our own networking community.
There is no doubt that making new connections through attending business networking meetings can give you precious leads about up and coming job vacancies. Often you can get to hear about them well in advance of them being advertised, giving you a chance to get your foot in the door first. In most cases establishing a friendly personal link with a trusted member of staff within a company can give you an advantage over a complete stranger going for the same job.
The value of having a strong network can never be denied, but successful networking doesn’t have to stop at your regular monthly networking event. There are other avenues to explore and different networks to establish that could bring in some very interesting and lucrative new leads for you too.
If you are tired of seeing the same old faces each month, then maybe you could try a new approach. It is time to think outside of the box and take your networking to a new, higher level!
Diversify your networks
After you have been networking a while, it can become a skill that you are really good at. However, you don’t need to keep your networking skills to just your regular meeting. You can start to diversify your networks by taking your skills out to different places. When networking becomes second-nature to you, it is easy for you to fit in just about anywhere, with just about everyone!
Networking by nature is simply making friends. Even the shyest and awkward people have a network of family and close friends that they feel comfortable with. It’s simply a case of extending your network wider and allowing people into your network that could be of help to you in some way, and that you can help in return.
You could even have a great deal of fun while forming new and diverse networks. Let’s look at some examples of what we mean here.
Take up volunteering
Lots of people work for charity organizations in paid positions, whether they are large national charities or smaller locally based organizations. Many social enterprises also welcome volunteers to take some of the load, especially if they are working on tight budgets.
Offering a few hours per week of volunteer work at a charity that you particularly like can not only allow you to learn some valuable new skills, but it also helps to get your name recognized within the organization. You can meet a lot of interesting charity workers and fellow volunteers that you can add to your network.
You will get to hear about any paid positions coming up within the charity that you can apply for, but also there may be some leads or opportunities that you never expected coming via your fellow volunteers, either at their place of work or even at their own business.
If you have children, it can be possible for you to form a new network of useful contacts through your school, nursery, playgroup, music group, art club, etc. You can have plenty of opportunities to speak with other parents from very diverse working backgrounds.
Schools hold regular events such as sports days, fetes, social evening, fundraisers and jumble sales. Use these events to form new contacts and put the word out that you are looking for a new job. You never know what information will be fed back to you!
Sports, fitness or hobby opportunities
Whether you join the local running club, take up golf, or decide to go to night school to learn a new hobby, there are plenty of opportunities to build new networks with people that have something in common with you.
While it can be hard to grasp that you are networking at these events rather than only making new friends, remember that you are still networking regardless of the setting. You never know where a conversation will go, or what job opportunity they may know about, you just have to give it a chance.
The old saying that the best form of advertising is through word of mouth isn’t wrong! By having conversations and making new connections, you are advertising yourself via word of mouth and letting people know that you are looking for a new job.
Summer is here and with it comes this sweet resume template freebie. The light colors and the clear section distinction make it easy and pleasing to read for recruiters. As usual, this resume is entirely editable with Microsoft Word and is free. The template is for personal use only.
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Be honest now – when was the last time that you edited your resume? How long has it been since you last updated your information? Have you even remembered to tailor your resume to fit with each job application that you made?
It can be quite a chore for you to continually tweak, amend and tailor your resume to fit the requirements of each position you apply for, but if you start to slack off and get bored of doing this, what do you think your resume would say about you to an employer? They wouldn’t be too impressed would they if you had sent out a resume that looks like a pitch for a job at a rival company.
When saving time saves you nothing
When you first started to look for a job, you would have read up about building the perfect resume, what to include, what to leave out, etc. You may well have created a very polished and grammatically correct work of art that looks great and is easy to read. However, no matter how polished your first resume was, and how great your family and friends thought it was, you still didn’t get that first job you went after.
So, then you started spending long hours rearranging your resume content to highlight your skills better and tailor it to fit with each new job application as they came up. You may have even landed yourself an interview or two as a result. But after a while, you become weary of amending your resume, so you come up with the perfect solution, or so you think!
“What if I make my resume as simple and basic as possible? Then I can save loads of time having to tweak it each time I apply for a different job! Genius!”
Or is it? Actually, this is taking a step backwards to when you created your first resume where you had no specific direction for it.
Writing a bland and boring generic resume that highlights nothing special about you will quickly result in your application being rejected.
When you include nothing that allows you to stand head and shoulders above your competition, how are you going to get yourself noticed and selected for the next stage of either a place on the shortlist or an interview slot?
Don’t be generic
No matter how accurate your resume is, if you are using it completely unchanged for every single job application then you will just come across as yet another generic applicant. Employers are very good at spotting a generic resume. Their eyes glaze over as they sweep across your information. They know as well as you do that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume, so why would you try to create one?
What you need to do is to put some effort into studying the job description that the employer has issued. Read up about the role on offer, research the company history, ethos and culture to get a real feel for what the employer is looking for in a recruit. They will want someone to fit in smoothly with their existing team and procedures, so make sure you understand them.
Be descriptive, but use their language
You can be really good at describing your previous duties and responsibilities, but make sure the language you use to list your previous experience matches their own ‘company speak’. Your previous company may have used certain terminology and descriptive language within the workplace that most employees tend to absorb and use over time. The job you are applying, for now, may be the same or very similar to what you did before, but rephrasing your descriptions using language that your new company would be familiar with can help you to be seen as ‘one of them’ and more likely to seamlessly fit in well with your new co-workers.
Use desirable keywords
Another point about using company language in your resume is remembering to include ‘hot keywords‘ that the employers will like. It is relatively easy to spot favorite keywords and key phrases by carefully reading the job application. You should also conduct some background research on the company website to spot frequently used descriptive keywords that the company favor.
With larger business using more sophisticated applicant scanning software to weed out many job candidates, the ones that make it through the initial scanning process are the resumes that carry relevant keywords that the company is looking for. Without doing your research and weaving desirable keywords and key phrases into your resume, your job application will not pass the first cut.
This is why it is essential to match the way you describe your area of expertise and experience as closely as possible to the wording used by the company in the job description.
Why not take a fresh look at your resume right now. Ask yourself what it says about you. Are you committed to landing yourself a great job, or are you just winging it and hoping for the best by sending out a generic resume? Why not start over with a fresh resume template from Freesumes.com to help you land that perfect job.
Wow! What can I say! Freesumes has reached a new milestone of 250,000 downloads! I can’t express how grateful I am to all of you, dedicated Freesumers, for choosing us as your go-to source for high-quality, professionally designed free resume templates and helping you in your job search journey.
To be chosen by so many job seekers and being recommended to their friends and colleagues is a great honor and a privilege, so I would like to say a big thank you to every single one of you! Without your continued support, the site wouldn’t be nearly as comprehensive as it is today. Besides our free templates and our helpful weekly blog articles, now we also offer premium resume packs with matching cover letters, a basic yet powerful job search engine and we have put together a resource center page, listing all the tools you need to succeed in your job search.
When I look at the website today, I must say that it’s a project I am proud of, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings! I started Freesumes with great expectations, and anyone who knows me is aware of my passion and drive to help people on their job hunt, convinced they can land some pretty awesome jobs.
Let me finish with a quote from the great Chinese philosopher Confucius:
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Thank you for allowing me to help you, you definitely deserve a job that you love. I hope to continue to deliver top-quality resources in your way to a huge and successful career.
“Contrast” is the name of this brilliant resume package as it features strong opposite colors, making it easy for the recruiters to find the key elements on your resume. This package include a 1-page resume, a 2-page version, a matching cover letter, all editable in Microsoft Word. In addition, you receive a job interview tracker in PDF format.