Regardless of how good of an employee you say you are or how much your personality shines through remember when applying for a job the thing all employers see first is your CV, so don’t be lazy here, spend some time making sure this is up to date and the best it can be. The following points are the basics for you -
• Make your CV reflect you - if your CV is sloppy, in 4 different fonts and full of spelling mistakes, this doesn’t say much about your attention to detail.
• Clear, concise, informative – do not waffle!
• Try to stick to two pages – if this isn’t possible, don’t worry, just remember point 2 above..
• Experience in chronological order – current first, not many employers put emphasis on what you did 10 years ago, although it is relevant to be on your CV, let them read the most important stuff first.
• A bit about what the company do if not obvious – now this isn’t always necessary, if your role is ‘Payroll Administrator – Tesco’ this explains things just fine, but people working for smaller companies and with general job titles a small explanation can be very helpful ‘Analyst – Richards & Son’ – it’s good to know what the company do and what you are analysing, something which is obvious to you may not be to others.
• Bullet points are good – key points only…even if you do the butty run every 3rd Friday!
• Judge where bullet points end - experience between 5-10 years (depending on the role and experience required) the rest of the CV can simply be Company name, job title and the dates you worked there.
Before you start applying for jobs, stop and think, what can potential employers see online about you? Do you have Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? What is in public view and would you want people to see it. You need to think what it says about you and is this the image you want to portray to your future employer.
Need to cancel or retract interview or a job offer, keep in mind that companies grow and acquire and other people move jobs too, even the hiring managers! Everyone understands that you need to make the best decision for you and sometimes you have to let someone down but try do this with class. It is hard to guide you on what’s right and wrong but use your gut instinct, if it’s as serious as retracting a job offer the day before you start as you have had a better offer then make sure you not only contact the recruiter but perhaps consider a direct explanation to a hiring manager also. You never know what the future holds!
Whether this be on a spreadsheet, Word document or in an old-fashioned notebook, it is key that you know the roles you have applied for and where your CV has been sent. Whether this be directly to a company or via a recruiter make sure you keep track of the main points like – role, company name, location and have you applied direct or has recruiter sent your CV (try take their name). If applying in volumes simply staying organised it will make the whole process less stressful when you receive all those requests for interviews! Not knowing how you ended up sat in front of a hiring manager could lead to an awkward conversation. Note – A recruiter should ALWAYS tell you the name of a company before they send your CV!
Communication is key! Treat candidates as you would customers and don’t fall foul of the CV “Black Hole”! Lack of feedback just gives out the wrong impression of your company and news travels fast. Take the opposite approach and, even if it’s a no, turn it into a positive experience for the candidate.
Partner up with a trusted recruiter who knows and understands your business and grab yourself some free PR! A good recruiter is well placed to promote your business and represent your company in a professional manner. Why not invite your recruiter in for a guided tour and meet the team and empower them to market your business in the right way.
Good candidates don’t hang around. Act quickly if you see a CV you like – ideally the same day – and book in for interview ASAP. Similarly, get offers out quickly and get the person started at the earliest opportunity. Take them off the market!
When a recruiter appears to be pushing you for decisions, we say it for good reason ☺