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Job seeking through the holidays

by Shannon Houde

If you are working on job applications over the holiday break, here are five helpful tips that will help you stay focused and be impactful.

Tip #1:

A recruiter or hiring manager is only going to look at your CV for an average of 40 seconds. Therefore, being able to identify these 15 words (5 values, 5 traits and 5 skills) and highlight them at the top of your CV/resume gives them a quick snapshot of who you are, how you define yourself and what you are offering. These words get them into your story quickly.

Hint: Sustainability leadership includes many “soft skills” (collaboration, team leadership, peripheral vision), so focus on identifying these in yourself as well as more traditional technical skills.

Tip #2:

Believe me, I know the last thing you want to hear is that casting a wide net in your job search may actually harm your chances of landing your dream role. However, the fact is that keeping your options open is not your best strategy. While narrowing your scope is perhaps the hardest part of this process, the more you can focus in on the issues you are passionate about and what you are great at doing, and then matching those to the actual jobs out there in the market, the better your chances of success.

Impact jobs are competitive with 100-300 applicants per publicly posted role, and you will be applying with candidates that may already have a proven track record in a field or niche in which you are just starting. In order to have an edge on this competition, you need to weave together your job history into a coherent, compelling story that explains you have also been on this track and are taking a natural next step. Being specific will help you strengthen that narrative.

Tip #3:

Your CV/resume should be written using Accomplishment Statements, not with job descriptions, responsibilities, or tasks. Each statement should start with an impressive action verb, include a quantified result if possible as well as the scope of impact. Finish the statement by highlighting the skills you used to get the job done.

Example

Before:
Determined top sustainability priorities for Cascade Designs (Therm-a-Rest division) by effectively using whole systems and life cycle design methods; company chose to use one solution for all of their products.

After:

Increased sustainability of Cascade Design’s Therm-a-Rest® by 32% by performing life cycle and impact assessments, researching options using whole systems thinking, and presenting 20-page strategy to client on design, consumer education and marketing strategies.

Tip #4:

Instead of submitting a traditional CV/resume for a role you really want, consider a one-page job proposal. It has four parts, and they should all fit on one page. First, pitch to their challenge. Second, pitch what you do. Third, pitch your summary story. Finally, end by finding the name of a contact at the organization that you can apply to directly.

Tip #5:

Once you identify your personal brand and craft your career story, you are going to need four distinct versions of your bio –

  • Micro – Used on Twitter (140 characters)
  • Short – The profile in your CV (4 lines)
  • Full – 1/2 Word document (2000+ characters & 3rd person)
  • Long – LinkedIn Summary (max 2000 characters & 1st person)

So, what’s next?

Interested in giving career coaching a try? Please contact us today to schedule a 30-minute initial consultation to find out if coaching is right for you.

Photo by TerriC, Pixabay

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