Archive for July, 2008

Combining Lifestyle with Business

I know this is a resume blog, but I have always believed in a holistic approach to work and job seeking. Working in a way that allows you to have a life as well as a career can be a difficult balancing act for many – so when I saw that James McNamara, founder of the Impact Factory, was the key note speaker speaking at a Business Growth Session  in Brisbane, Australia, on 30 July it seemed too good not to mention.

While the focus will be on small business management, anyone in a management role will benefit from his insights.

To find out more click on this link:

Here’s to writing powerful resumes – and having a better work/lifestyle balance

Beverley Neil

July 17, 2008 at 9:11 am 1 comment

Essential Keys to Writing Your Cover Letter

When you’re writing your cover letter, consider the employer’s needs. He or she wants to know:

 You the Person: The employer wants to know if you will fit in with the organisational balance and the existing team; what your personal and professional ethos is; how you approach your work; how you relate to people and form or build client relations. Don’t be afraid to use a touch of appropriate humour or a lighter approach if this is natural to your personality – and if it is fully appropriate to the company. Be very light handed with humour and never use this approach with government bodies – not worth the risk.

You the Professional: What are the skills and experiences you possess that marry with the advertised job description? What do you offer the company; what level of motivation, commitment and dedication do you bring. Have you bothered to research the company (if the company name is known)? Have you considered how you see yourself fitting in with the company’s culture? How excited are you about this opportunity?

Something New: Avoid laying out your summary of achievements in the same way as in the résumé. Keep some new, relevant information specifically for the cover letter. Keep your cover letter fresh.

If a cover letter reveals an individual who meets all the necessary requirements, an employer is only too ready to be led into reading your résumé.

Here’s to writing powerful résumés.

Beverley Neil

July 7, 2008 at 2:46 am Leave a comment

To Write Powerful Resumes Use Powerful Words

I cannot impress strongly enough the need to have and to use a thesaurus. There is nothing worse than saying:

– Achieved strong results due to strong ability to assess situations and utilise strong relationship skills.

Even though only two words have been changed, look at how much more powerful and interesting this next sentence is.

– Achieved outstanding results due to innate ability to assess situations and utilise strong relationship skills.

When writing your résumé, don’t necessarily settle for the obvious word – especially if this is the fourth sentence you have used it in. Why not consider some of these alternatives to commonly used words:

Managed or…  Directed / Guided / Spearheaded / Motivated / Drove

Increased or…  Advanced / Boosted / Enhanced / Escalated / Expanded

Achieved or…  Accomplished / Performed / Executed / Effected

There are thousands of alternatives in your thesaurus to bring life to your text but remember – keep in mind who the documents will be sent to.

Some industries or positions are more flamboyant like the Music industry, some more power oriented like Sales & Marketing, others like Engineering and Human Resources require conservative assertion, for industries like Accounting and Legal keep it sedate.

But for all industries – keep it interesting, keep it concise, keep it relevant.

And above all – Keep It Honest! Never be tempted to ‘load’ your résumé or exaggerate your skills in any way. Always remember, one day you will be sitting in front of the recruiter and having to explain or discuss your achievements.

Here’s to writing powerful résumés.

Beverley Neil

July 1, 2008 at 10:57 am 3 comments


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