Not every client who comes to us has a straightforward career path. Indeed, some clients have a very winding and chequered career path, and this frequently does them no favours when it comes to landing jobs. And especially if, as often happens, and they come across as a jack of all trades/master of none on their original CV.
In this case the client had experience across fields as diverse as media production, project management and sales. This in itself would be problematic, however it was complicated further still by the fact that she wanted to break into something else; namely a junior level event management position. Given the fact that she didn’t appear to have much hands-on professional experience in that area, this didn’t help.
Usually in cases like this we ask the client questions and dig a bit deeper to see whether or not achieving the goal is realistic. Sometimes clients overstretch themselves, and try to apply for jobs which they don’t tick all the boxes for, or don’t have much chance of landing. This is actually quite rare, because most people do seem to understand and appreciate the fact that employers do look for certain levels of experience/qualifications in a particular field/role, as well as certain personal traits/skills/competencies. Not only that, but many people do seem to stick to applying for jobs that they tick most (if not all) of the boxes for. It’s just that most people are not experts at selling themselves on paper, which is why they come to us for help.
If I think that the client has no real chance of landing a particular job then my policy has always been to just tell them upfront, giving them the reasons why. Most of the time they see the logic and reasoning, and are very realistic (and usually thankful) that I have pointed it out.
Usually the net result is then subsequently setting their sights on something more suitable.
At the same time, sometimes clients reply that they do indeed tick most or all of the boxes, it’s just that they never mentioned it on their original CV – so no one would have ever known about that if we hadn’t probed for more information.
This happened in this instance. And it transpired that the client had quite a bit of voluntary experience organising events. Not only that, but with further help, advice and guidance we were also able to draw out some impressive relevant achievements from the client.
As mentioned previously, each job is different, and sometimes a bit more probing/encouragement does bear fruit.
Of course, obtaining more relevant raw material to draw from is only part of the solution.
The hard bit was still to come, and we had the difficult task of turning what was largely a production/sales CV into one capable of helping the client land entry-level event management jobs.
Elsewhere in my blog I have already mentioned the importance of being able to write flexibly. This is especially important when it comes to writing career change CVs. Frequently career change candidates don’t have as much in the way of impressive relevant raw material to draw from – and especially in comparison to some of their competitors – so you do need to be more creative/original if you not only want to catch up with the competitors, but sneak ahead of them. Lateral thinking and thinking outside of the box does help. As does experience, and fortunately if there is one thing that I don’t lack, it is CV writing experience.
In this instance we managed to create a high impact one page CV that was heavily focused on event management, and which included an array of impressive event related achievements.
Afterwards the client said this:
“I wanted to thank Paul and the team on doing an amazing job with my CV. I’m really impressed with the work and effort done with on it. CV Succeed has given me a boost of confidence to apply for new jobs now.
A definite recommendation.”