A few tips for when you initiate your search…
It’s that time, you have decided that it is time to move! To progress, it’s that time, you have had enough or simply you need a new challenge. There you are sitting in front of a PC writing your CV trying to work out exactly what to include and what not to. My view is that your CV is a document to tell people exactly what you can do, don’t be shy or modest – it’s time to scream from the roof tops how good you are, and the more detail the better – but there are some pet hates I have!
Firstly – writing in the third person! This can really put people off, I want to hear ‘I do this’ and ‘I am good at that’ not ‘Candidate X has spent 5 years increasing sales and profitability’ it’s not personable and most recruiters will change this before it goes to a client anyway – meaning more work for them instead of time spent trying to find you a new position.
Secondly – the age old two page rule. This is something which really doesn’t count any longer. Contractors have long CV’s and I once received one which was 20 pages (OK that is too long but it was detailed) I knew exactly what this person did and I knew they could do it due to the detail. Three pages is fine, just make sure it is accurate.
Thirdly – Tailor your CV to the roles you are applying for. Don’t just have one CV, have a few tailored for different positions and make sure the one on the live job boards includes keywords for every role you are interested in. Recruiters search my keywords and system skills. Not facts and figures, unfortunately this comes second.
Fourthly – bullet points, I love them, we all do, it breaks a CV up nicely and makes your key skills and experience stand out quickly. A nice introduction to your role never goes a miss either.
Second to last – Make sure everything on the job boards is up to date, most importantly salary and location.
Lastly – Your details: I have received numerous CV’s since the turn of 2015 with no phone number, I understand you don’t want to be pestered by us but we need to be able to get hold of you quickly.
Phones, phones, phones, there’s lots of things about phones which can annoy a recruiter or potential employer:
– Voicemail Service: Get it set up! When searching for a role one of the key thing’s is for us to be able to get hold of you and if we can’t we need to be able to leave a voicemail otherwise you just have a missed call from an unusual number, now this can lead to all sorts of problems. I’ve even had friends and family return calls which can be slightly awkward! But voicemail is essential otherwise how serious do you look as a candidate?
Set up a new voicemail answer message: Something professional not an alien talking to me trying to make me laugh!
Answering: Pick it up professionally, not just HELLO! In your best Trigger Happy voice.
‘I can’t talk now call me later’: if you can’t talk let it go to voicemail.
Talk that’s what a phone is for: In the past couple of months I have had a number of calls where people just stay quiet, eventually I say hello and conversation flows. I don’t block my number, there is nothing to hide, here I am and here are my contact details please speak to me!
I will probably add to this, edit and change it as the market is always evolving, but this is something I have looked at for years, with all of the consultants I have worked with, there are a few standout things which don’t help us when we are trying to help you. So make things accurate and true and trust me the next step is getting you in front of the client.
If you are serious about your search follow some basic rules and you’ll be on track to find your next role, now you’re in front of the client it’s time to make you match that magical piece of paper you created not so long ago!
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