Brigadier Andrew Jackson: If I had my time again, what would I do differently?
What lessons did Managing Director of SaluteMyJob, Brigadier Andrew Jackson, learn from his transition to the commercial world?
Take great care to learn about the culture of any company or organisation I was thinking of joining, to make sure [a] I would fit or that they wanted someone from a different culture and [b] my values and standards align.
Target my job search as accurately and with the same mission focus as any military operation. I had no idea what I wanted or could do when I left. I would now work on the assumption that I won’t get a job I haven’t got the skills and experience to do, so start with the skills and target companies and jobs who need them. One thing’s for sure; when employers define their requirement very precisely in a job description, my CV has to align to it just as precisely. Spray and pray simply doesn’t work.
Re-do my CV completely. Less is definitely more. I would:
Find something to help me stand out as a person in the profile section
Work really hard to set out my skills (not somebody else’s list or a generic set of skills that are the same as everyone else) and supporting evidence
Focus on responsibilities and achievements, again with evidence, rather than on the jobs and what they involved
Keep it short and easy to scan; 2 pages and around 750 words max
See our tips on how to write a stand out CV here.
Practice, practice and practice again my video and face-to-face interview skills and psychometric tests. I now realise that these are way more important than the CV.
Make sure my LinkedIn profile is better than my CV. When it comes to getting a job, a LinkedIn profile serves a slightly different purpose to modern day CVs. The LinkedIn profile should be written to highlight your skills, strengths and experience so they can be picked up by employers or recruiters searching for talent. By contrast, a CV should be tailored to align as closely as possible with the job description of the role which you are applying for.
For more resettlement advice, you can register with SaluteMyJob here.