With my birthday soon to be upon me once more, I know it is a matter of time before the big C arrives.  Before anyone panics I mean Christmas.  Yesterday I actively started my shopping buying for hubby and Lottie from the Whittards Christmas shop.  If money was more readily available I could have spent a small fortune.  However they are currently running a free delivery scheme if you spend over £20 and put in the code Delivery at the till, this discount is usually reserved for when you spend £30 or more, so I was pleasantly pleased to have saved some money there.  Whittards itself are a chain going back over 100 years with suppliers of fine purveyors in teas and coffees and some wonderful fresh fruity flavours whatever your taste.

The spending had to be curtailed though as I have spends which needs to go on other demands this month too, including my RAC cover and pick up of me car.  As many will recall from a few weeks ago when they kindly collected Lottie and myself from the side of the M4 on way to her horse riding lesson.  An expense I don’t begrudge but an expense for which I have to find the budget for.

I have also had a whirlwind of activity on my job hunting as of late.  With interviews and conversations being held left, right and centre.  With some of the most prominent ones coming in the last couple of days.  It is also that thing, that the nerves are mounting as two are for companies that I would love to work for and one I have been trying to work for since my University days.  The anticipation for this is greater than for any other that I have to deal with to date.  Between now and that interview I have had  an interview today, with a possible face to face with the company tomorrow – I will find out later if successful.  Feedback is expected from 3 more later on this week early next week with confirmation of interviews to follow.  Then with preparation also needed and readying for Monday next week and Monday the week after.  Both of these are challenging and enjoyable roles with which the CV was submitted with hope but no real confidence of success.  Now I have the interviews my confidence is bouncing about these roles and I know I can secure the job I just have to convince the interviewer of this at the time.

However it all starts with a good CV and covering letter and good old PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).  I don’t claim to have the answers. I don’t.  I am still currently unemployed and looking.  However I am getting contact from Agents, and I am getting interviews.  Whats my secret, being positive- regardless of how I feel about things.  This is tough and can be hard work at times.  So when I get on a slump how do I re-focus on what is important.  I have a nice cup of tea, look at what I have to offer an employee, what have I achieved, what can I do that others cant. I guess the question to ask is what is your USP (Unique Selling Point).  For me that is I can speak French, I scuba Dive, I write, I have great communication skills, the word CANT does not exist in my vocabulary – this makes me tenacious, focused  and dedicated to the task in hand.  All of sudden you have a list of skills and tangible ideas to build into a CV and covering letter to get the job you want.  It is then taking these and looking at what people are asking for.  Are these covered in your CV, if not highlight in your covering letter, giving examples and showing the results.  Don’t be afraid to shout out that I am good and look at me.  But remember humility.  Use what you have it and sell it.

I know I have good negotiation skills, I know I can project manage, and I can lead a team, was this in the CV?  Yes but not well.  What did I do, I re-wrote the CV using a better choice of Key Words.  How do know what words to use?  Look at the job application and see what words they are using.  If they use stake holders use that rather than senior members of the team or other business divisions.  Reflect the companies use of words and syntax.

Keep sentences, short snappy but relevant.  Don’t tell them about your paper round if you are going for a management role.  The key with anything is keep it relevant or as I love saying KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.

I have four main CVs.  A generic based CV, and one for each of my major key skills for the roles that I am applying for.  This makes job applications easier, as I have put in the work up front and got the because CV it just needs tweaking for a job application.  Putting the work in up front makes it less painful in the longer term

Anyway the bustling breeze is still whirling about and I have emails and calls to read, jobs to apply for and work to track down

I wish you all a good afternoon until tomorrow