An Updated BrighterMonday Profile; Why And When Should I Update My Profile?

Have You Updated Your BrighterMonday Profile?

With the stiff competition in today’s labor market, one has to find ways of standing out in order to survive. Uploading one’s CV to our online job portal is not enough! One has to find a way to still stand out from all other attached Cvs which is by essentially having a complete Brightermonday job seeker profile and regularly updating it.

With, having a completed job seeker profile means having a 100% profile completion status that is very visible each time one looks at their profile. One is able to get to this 100% profile completion status by:

  • Adding a professional profile picture.
  • Adding a career summary about oneself.
  • Completing the work experience profile section by listing at least one or more jobs they have held highlighting their job title, company, period during which they held the job as well as the roles they were tasked to carry out under their job title.
  • Listing the education levels one has gone through including any relevant training and certifications one may have attained as well as where and during which period they attained them.
  • Adding one’s language skills as well highlighting their level of proficiency in each of the languages they know. 
  • Highlighting any relevant associations one could be affiliated with.
  • Listing the necessary job skills one has.
  • Listing any personal interests one could have.
  • Uploading one’s Cv and ensuring all the information added is saved.

Now that we are well aware of how to have a completed BrighterMonday profile, here are some of the reasons it is really important to keep it regularly updated.

  • One has a Readily Available Online Cv; A complete profile is able to showcase all the important and necessary details of one’s Cv at a glance. Many times, employers will not have the time to look for or go through the process of downloading one’s Cv.                  Being able to get all the information they need about someone at a glance is much faster and easier. Furthermore, this also makes it easy for one to formulate a proper Cv with updated information each time they need it as all the information they need is readily available online.      
  • More Visibility; Every job seeker yearns to have their Cv much more visible to thousands of recruiters. What better way to do that than to have a completed profile that is readily available each time the thousands of recruiters using the BrighterMonday website are searching for specific skills. Each time these recruiters use keywords to search for possible recruits with specific job skills, the immediate results will be those of people that have completed profiles and with the relevant skills.
  • Presents one as a Credible and Professional Person; One’s profile makes the first impression of them in a recruiter’s eyes. One with a fully completed and professional profile is more likely to have a positive impression on a recruiter than one with a half-completed profile. One’s online profile acts as their Sales pitch selling the skills they have to offer which can either land them an interview or not.
  • Such a Profile is More Attractive; With a complete and updated profile, one is not only able to have their skills more visible but more attractive as well to any recruiter. With the BrighterMonday profile, one is able to have their skills well organized and clearly stated making it easy for any recruiter to read through. Furthermore, this enables one to easily add their accomplishments and skills and therefore easily highlight their career growth to any recruiter looking through their profile.

When does one update the Profile?

BrighterMonday enables one to record every achievement that is relevant to their career through their profile. By allowing for this, any job seeker is able to keep their Cv information up to date as well as highlight their career progression.

It is advisable for one to update their BM profile:

  • When one attains a promotion; if one has been able to move from one rank to another in their job, it is important for one to document it. This is not only able to communicate the work experience one has but also puts one at a greater chance of obtaining another job at a higher rank in a company.
  • When one attains a new qualification; Whether it is a Postgraduate degree or simply a training or diploma certificate, putting this information on one’s profile is important. This shows that one has been able to grow as far as their qualification is concerned hence are more marketable.
  • When one changes a job; changing a job also shows one’s career progression and growth in one’s working experience. This information is bound to attract any recruiter to find out  more about someone and read through their curriculum vitae.
  • When one changes their job industry; say one moves from the teaching industry to the sales job industry or field. It is important to note this because it allows one to sell himself as someone capable of also performing in their new industry hence opens up more doors for them.
  • When one attains a new skill; Be it a language or any other job skill, highlighting the new skills one has attained also makes them more marketable for the job. That new skill could just be what the recruiter has been searching for for a long time.
  • When one joins a new Association; Being affiliated with different associations especially those relevant to one’s career is very important. The more relevant associations one is affiliated with, the more connections they have and employers find connections very important in growing their businesses.

In summary, let your BrighterMonday profile speak volumes about you when a recruiter looks at it. Stand out and stand a chance to take your career to the next level by completing and updating it right Here today.

How to write a CV: Suitable Cv Templates You Can Use.

What Cv Template Should You Use To Write Your Cv?

Quite often, many people do not get the chance to sell their skills in front of an interviewing panel because of the first impression they make. Your Cv is the first thing your future employer looks at and is your pathway to the next step in every interview. How good your Cv is determines whether this employer will have a good or bad first impression of who you are hence the need for anyone applying for a job to always make sure their Cv stands out of the competition.

So how do you ensure your Cv stands out? The first and most important step is, knowing what format it should be in. A Cv in the right format is more likely to be read in detail than a Cv that is difficult to read and seemingly disorganized.

With the right Cv format you can be assured that:

  • Your Cv will look unique hence captivate any recruiter’s attention out of a batch of hundreds of Cv’s they have to look at.
  • Your Cv will spell out all the important information the recruiter is looking for at a glance and make it easy for the recruiter to quickly make a decision on your eligibility.

Three key things to note about writing a Cv:

  • Whatever Cv format you choose to go with, ensure you begin by describing your personal details such as your name, age and contacts after which you give a brief description about yourself and some of the qualifications and skills you possess in relation to the job your are applying for.  
  • Ensure the Cv format you choose does not make your Cv too long. Your Cv should be at most 2 pages of  A4. This by any means does not mean that you squash most of the information you have to put across in an effort to shorten the length. It means, make it precise and straight to the point with the most important information. Contrary to the false norm that having a long Cv shows how much experience one has, a long Cv shows your inability to write concisely. Besides, no recruiter has the time to go through a 5 page long Cv. Keep it short with the most relevant information.
  • Cv Formats differ based on what information in one’s Cv one chooses to highlight first and in more detail.

Now that you are aware of the advantages of having a good Cv format and what every Cv requires, let’s find out what Cv formats are the most suitable depending on who you are and what job you are applying for.

The Student also, known as the Graduate Cv format; Like the name suggests, if you are a college or university student probably seeking for an internship opportunity or a fresh graduate applying for an entry level job, this format could be the most applicable to you. For many internship and graduate training opportunities,  employers do not look for someone with too many skills for the job but someone that can be taught new skills and is open to learning this skills and performing.

Following this format, it is, therefore,  important to begin with the, “qualifications section” sighting the qualifications you have that are relevant to the job role such as, you have a degree in Information Technology and are therefore applying to work in the company’s IT Department. Furthermore, go ahead and sight the various coursework and research projects you have worked on that are relevant to the job. Talking about this also gives you an opportunity to highlight some of the skills you have attained through these projects such as research skills, time management skills, interpersonal and teamwork  skills to mention but a few.

Be sure to also highlight the skills that put you across as a person that is open to learning new things and is flexible. When a recruiter reads your Cv they should be convinced you are the kind of person that will be able to flourish with a little bit of training and mentorship.

The Performance Cv Format; This Cv format is most applicable to someone that has had quite some work experience and the job they are applying for requires that type of experience. When following this format it is advisable one begins with an “achievements section” sighting the various achievements they could have accomplished in their line of work or service that is relevant to the job they are applying for.

Thereafter, one goes ahead to highlight the most important bit of this type of format which is one’s work experience. Under this section one has to talk about the companies they have worked for, their  job titles as an employee in each of these companies, how long one has worked for in the various companies and the roles or responsibilities they were tasked with under the different job titles they held. Be sure to fill in this section starting with the most recent job you have or are currently holding moving backward.

With this format one is able to:

  • Highlight the necessary work experience and skills they have for jobs that require some experience.
  • Highlight their career growth hence a basis for them to apply for a job of a higher rank than the one they previously held.
  • Highlight any well-known and credible companies that could also contribute to the recruiter’s’ decision.

However, this format is not applicable if:

  • One does not previously have any work experience.
  • Has switched jobs quite often hence worked for quite very many companies. This could often presents one as someone that is not stable enough to hold a job for a long period of time and therefore cannot be relied on.
  • One has work gaps for example where they have been out of employment for many years.
  • One’s work experience is irrelevant to the job they are applying for.

Although this format is widely used, basing on the above description, it may not be applicable to everyone.

The Functional Cv format; Contrary to the Performance Cv format that focuses on individual job roles and job specific skills, this format focuses on transferable skills that one can easily transfer from one work setting to another. With this format, one highlights their skills and achievements in relation to the job under three to six functional headings. For example, if one is applying for a customer service role, one would include headings such interpersonal skills, communication or leadership skills stipulating the skills they posses under each of these headings in relation to the role.

How one may have attained the skills whether through work experience, or education and how long ago does not necessarily matter with this format. What matters is the skills one has that are relevant to the job.

This Cv Format is most applicable to you if:

  • You have had very many jobs and worked for quite a lot of companies. This enables you to highlight all the skills you got from the different jobs without having to portray the bad impression of having been a person that alternated jobs quite a lot.
  • You are seeking to enter a new area of work or a new field. For example, if you are applying for a Sales’ job but previously held the role of a Journalist.
  • You do not want to leave out certain important skills you may have acquired in the past but have not really practiced in the current or previous job roles you have held.
  • If you took a long break from the employment world but have important skills you may have learned along your path for example skills you could have obtained from running your own company and not necessarily those from the companies you worked for.

However, please note that this Cv format is not well-known by many recruiters. It is only advisable to use it only if the above situations apply to you and are to your advantage.

The Targeted Cv format; This format also focuses on the transferable skills one has as opposed to the job roles one has previously held. Although the targeted and functional Cv formats are similar, when using the Targeted Cv format one highlights their skills under only two headings, “Abilities” and “Achievements” as opposed to the Functional Cv format skill headings. As the name suggests, this format is meant to target a specific type of job, therefore, whatever skills one includes should be targeted to the job one is applying for.

Under the “Abilities” heading, one is supposed to highlight the different skills they have that they could have acquired naturally, from their work or from education. To give an employer more understanding about one’s skills, it is important for one to be specific and go ahead and explain further what exactly they have been able to do under these skills, an example could be:

“Research skills – this involves carrying out surveys and interviews, drafting proposals and writing dissertation papers”.

The “Achievements” heading allows one to further highlight their uniqueness as an employee. One should cite those things they accomplished that made them stand out. An example could be:

“Selected as the “employee of the year” for three consecutive times.”

This type of format is most applicable to you if:

  • You are trying to target your Cv to a particular job.
  • You have some employment gaps.
  • You want a career change but most of your previous work experience is not necessarily in line with the career you are looking to go into.

However, if most of your work experience or the companies you have worked for are more relevant to the job you are applying for, this Cv format would not be advisable for you as it would push back your most important information to the back end or second page of your Cv.

When choosing a Cv format,  it is also important to note that your profession also has a role to play. For example, a lawyer and a graphic designer will often not be advised to use the same Cv format. Most of the Cv formats above could apply for the lawyer but may not be the best for a graphic designer. So what is the most advisable Cv format for a graphic designer or someone trying to show off their creativity such as an advertising executive, artist or any other profession meant to showcase one’s creative side? The answer to this is:

The Alternative Cv Format; Because such a format is often used by the advertising, designing and  creative professions, it is usually original and more customized to the owner and what exact creative or original side of themselves they want to portray in relation to the job they are applying for.

For example:

  • For one applying for a job as a graphic or visual designer, they could go ahead and print their Cv on some decorative paper showcasing their skills.
  • For another person applying for a job as a media person, they could include a short video showcasing their work.
  • For one applying for a job in the advertising department of a company. They could go ahead and present their format as an Ad.

There are really various alternative Cv options one can use. One just has to customize these options to themselves and the kind of job they are applying for.

However, before you settle for this format it is important to be sure that the employer or recruiter you are sending this Cv to is well conversant and understands what you are trying to put across. A recruiter who understands the more traditional formats, or is more corporate may find this Cv format a bit unprofessional.

Now that you understand the different types of Cv formats, do remember that regardless of the format you use, the information you put across in your Cv is the most important and is what will help you get ahead of the competition. Picking the right Cv format further, increases your chances to stand out of the pile. The Cv format you choose should highlight the most important information that makes you unique and stand out of the crowd. If the type of format or design you have in mind affects this very important information, you are better off playing it safe with another format. All in all, pick a format that will make you stand out of your competition and earn you that job interview.


The Best Place to keep your Cv.

Where do you keep your CV? At home in a well kept file? Hidden folder on your computer or on the cloud? (Some people say it’s safer on the cloud). Usually people, who keep their CV in such places, only bring them out when they have an interview. That’s when they also remember to update the CV.

In this era though, one shouldn’t be doing that. Your CV should always be up-to-date. At all times!  Not only should it be updated, it should also be busy ‘somewhere’ advertising you. Wonder why some companies put billboards on the roadside so that anyone can have a look at them? There’s a big chance you’ll pick interest in what they have to offer and contact them.

Let your CV be your billboard.

Question is – where do you put it? Not in a file of course, perhaps … the internet! Now, the internet is a network of millions of other networks. So you have to be clever when choosing where exactly to put your ‘billboard’.

One of the best places you can keep your CV is a jobsite: There are a couple of benefits of uploading your CV on a job site.

  1. No charge. You will not be required to pay a certain fee for your CV to be accepted or for recruiters to look at it. You upload it for free and any concerned person will be able to access it from any part of the world, at anytime.
  2. It is convenient. Gone are the days when people had to make journeys to different cities to drop their ‘documents’ in different offices hoping to be called back for an interview. Gone are the days when fresh graduates walked the streets of their towns/cities hoping to find some job openings. If you choose to use a job site to find a job; you can upload your CV from the comfort of your bed, office, car … anywhere. There’s even an option of using your Smartphone to upload it and follow up.
  3. Direct access to thousands of job openings. The beauty of a job site is that it attracts recruiters from various fields and different geographical locations. You are able to have a look at all their job descriptions and pick one or those that need your kind of experience/skill set. If you want to work from your home town or city, you just have to focus on the recruiters from your area and you are sorted.
  4. Direct contact with or from recruiters. The job site bridges the gap between job seekers and recruiters. If a recruiter lands on your CV and likes it, they can directly contact you and discuss a way forward. Likewise, if you find a company advertising a job and you want to contact them directly, you can. It is so easy since both parties include contact details.
  5. Access to insights and informative information. Most job sites provide information about jobs, careers, writing good CVs and other work related documents. Some go further and provide statistics on which jobs pay how much; which fields have more job opportunities among other interesting topics. All this knowledge you will get at a totally free cost.

Another amazing thing is that you don’t have to remove your CV from these sites after you get a job. Unless, you are 100% contented with your current job and you want nothing more, ever. However, if you still hope for better opportunities, leave your CV on the jobsite. You won’t be fined or taxed and you never know who might land on it and like it.

How to Write and Send a Cover Letter

Most employers make it a compulsory requirement that interested candidates send them a CV and a Cover letter. A cover letter is an important document that supports a candidate’s CV in giving a potential employer more important information about the candidate. Regrettably, most candidates do not understand the value of a Cover letter. Worst still, most candidates do not know how to write one and assume it’s a document forwarded with each application. This makes such Cover letters boring and predictable.

A Cover letter should be a well-written, well-thought out and customized document that compels the employer to read it and consider the candidate. It is wise to note that a cover letter is needed at each stage of one’s career, regardless of whether you are a fresh graduate or a seasoned career individual.

This article showcases the value of a Cover letter, shows you how to write one and what details must go into the document. See the tips below on how to use a cover letter.

How to prove to the employer that you are the best candidate

The Cover letter gives you a platform to display further your skills and experience in detail, unlike the CV. While the CV is a summary of your qualifications and work experience, the cover letter allows you to blow your career trumpet and convince the employer that you are their best shot at attaining their business objectives.

For instance, where the job advert requires that the ideal candidate to possess managerial and supervision skills. The Cover letter provides the perfect platform to showcase previous experience in the same by stating how you managed team dynamics, set team targets, recognition, reward and discipline within the team, among other HR functions. You can also state how you contributed to the team’s success by encouraging teamwork, healthy competition and boosting morale. Listing such attributes on your cover letter gives the employer a clear indication that you know exactly what they are looking for and you see how your skills fit in the role.

You can also specifically elaborate your achievements and successes with tangible data that clearly paints the picture for the reader. For instance, if you looking for a sales job, and the advert stated that the incumbent should open and manage remote markets. You can, therefore, mention how you launched and managed new branches. You should be able to show how this experience will be relevant to the new employer.


How to talk about salary in the cover letter

There are times when employers request candidates to state their current/previous remuneration and what they expect. Employers ask for these details for various reasons. Some employers use it as a filter for candidates since they already have existing budgets for the role. Others want to know where they fall in the market reward scale and the value attached to certain candidates in a certain industry. The best way to provide the required information is through the Cover letter because it gives you the space for state your conditions. For instance you can say. “my current gross salary is Kshs.55,000. I am expecting a 15% – 40% increase on the same, based on the duties and responsibilities of the role and possibility of other benefits.”

That being said, it is evident that a fresh cover letter for each job application. You can have the general document that lists your achievements, experience and skills, but you will need to customize each time to suit a particular job advert. Updating your Cover letter with every application makes you relevant and increases your chances of getting an interview.

 How should you send a Cover letter?

With the changing trends in technology, most job applications have switched from manual to online applications. This means that most employers require applications to be made online. To ensure that your cover letter is read by the employer, copy and paste it on the email body, and also send an attachment of the same. This way, your Cover letter will be the first thing the employer will see when they open their email. This is more effective than the cliché ‘Kindly find attached my CV and Cover letter’ phrase used by most candidates.

What is the difference between a cover letter and an application letter?

Truth is, there is no difference between and cover letter and an application letter. The purpose of these documents is the same, despite the differing names. It is a document sent alongside a CV during a job application process.

Another point to note is that the length of a cover letter matters a lot. It should be a brief summary of why you are the most suitable candidate, not an opportunity to give your whole work experience history.  State experience, skills and qualifications that are relevant to the role you are applying for only.

In conclusion, make your cover letter attractive and interesting to read for the potential employer. Give them confidence in your skills, experience, sense of logic and relevance to the role they look to fill. This is the only way to attract and keep their interest in you as a candidate.


The 7 seconds of CV Reading

Owing to the ever-increasing number of job seekers, the job market has become highly competitive. A single advertisement on job sites and company websites can elicit over 150 applications from eager candidates. Some industries are highly popular and they possess low barriers of entry e.g. sales. Such industries might receive over 300 applications for a single advert.

To a human resource professional on the receiving end of these applications, it is, without doubt a rather daunting task looking for the perfect fit in a sea of applications. The human resource experts have, therefore, grasped CV reading skills that allow them to skim through CVs in 7 seconds or less, for what they consider important. This is the stage where CVs are shortlisted and proceed to the next stage. This means that as a candidate you have 7seconds to convince the person skimming through your CV that you are worth the shot.

You have to ensure that you are aware of what a recruiter looks at when skimming through your CV and understand what catches their attention. Below are the areas that will make your CV stand out;

Your CV Format

The recruiter has limited time and if they find your CV format difficult to decipher, it will go down to then bottom of the list. Ensure that the format you use is appropriate for the particular industry, and that it is simple to read.

Highlight the Important Sections

It is important to ensure that the important sections in your CV are clearly highlighted on the first page. Details like your bio data i.e name, address, email address, telephone number should be clear. Avoid non-important details like your height, tribe, and marital status. Questions about them will be asked if the interviewer deems it necessary.

Apart from your bio data, information about your qualifications, skills and work experience should be touched on in the first page of your CV. Your current work experience should be highlighted as it is of more importance to the recruiter.

 Highlight then tittles in your work experience

It is important that you clearly outline roles and timelines in your work experience. When looking at your work experience, the recruiter seeks to know what positions you held in different companies and for how long. Lack of this information makes you look dodgy and raises red flag. Also, this is another reason for your CV to go to the bottom of the list.

Turn-over is a factor

How long you last with various employers is crucial information for any potential employer. This is because it usually sets a trend in your professional life and it is a clear indicator of how long you might last if hired. Do not let this hinder you from getting your dream job. Separate your internships and short term contracts from your permanent positions to avoid the illusion of short tenures.

Be thorough

Little things have the potential to make or ruin your first impression. Be careful and thorough to ensure that dates are correct, the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed. Typos and bad grammar will definitely make your CV an eyesore.

 How to grab attention with your CV

Taking care of the above pointers puts you out of harm’s way, but still doesn’t guarantee shortlisting. To ensure that you get the chance to showcase your suitability as a candidate in an interview, you need to convince the recruiter that you are the solution to their business’s pain.

Understand the company by going through their website and other resources. Such information will help you formulate relevant and informed answers and to align your solutions with the company’s existing operations. It will make you more relevant if you can support the information in your CV and cover letter with significant points of action on how you will be of value.

When talking about your skills and achievements, be specific. For instance, stating that you possess customer service skills or interpersonal skills is cliché. State how you reduced customer complaints in your previous company by X%. Figures catch the attention of the reader and they will want to know more.

Such compelling information should be what the potential employer sees first instead of tired CV phrases present in every other application they receive.

Finally, customize your CV for each application to ensure its relevance and to avoid cluttering it with unnecessary information, which may ruin your chances of nailing that interview.