Tag Archives: Linkedin

Strike a pose with your CV

Standing out from the crowd with your CV is incredibly difficult to do.  As I have said on many occasions in this blog the best way to put your CV together divides opinion.  There are lots of them.  Today’s Google count on “CV” numbered 301 million!

A little inspiration goes a long way.  I like therefore to showcase people who are doing things differently in their attempt to secure the job they want.  I have seen some great examples, hugely innovative, creative, striking even.  First up was the Employ Kyle campaign.  Brilliant.

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/kyle-clarke-job-search-genius/

And there was the exceptional video resume campaign from Greame Anthony

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/the-best-job-application-ever/

The latest to stand out is this campaign from Celine Cavaillero who is looking for a job in Fashion.

http://www.celineislookingforafashionjob.com/

I loved it.  It’s relevant for her target audience.  It showcases her creative skills and talents, qualifications and experience, likes, passions and hobbies.  It’s smart, clever, innovative.  On the premise that your CV is simply a catalyst for conversation it leaves me wanting to meet her, to know more, to ask questions.  It does the job.

From the perspective of a potential employer, this strikes me as someone who has gone to great lengths, time and effort to get the career of her choosing.  She is committed.  I want that on my team.  Who doesn’t?

So what do you think?  I for one congratulate Celine.  I am sure on the strength of this evidence she will enjoy much success.  Thank you for the inspiration.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Hiring, Recruitment

Change your life in two pages…(or, how long should my CV be?)

I had an email from an old friend last week asking for my help in resolving a debate taking place amongst his peers at work. How long should a CV be? As the hiring Managers, they wanted 2 pages but recruiters and job seekers alike were sending CV’s ranging anywhere upwards from 3 pages.

As a Recruiter, knowledge is power (yes, I know, I suffer from delusions of grandeur!) The more in depth, detailed information I have about you the better placed I am to introduce you the job you want. However that information should come when I interview you. It is up to me as the external recruiter to ask the right questions of you to ensure you give me all I need. I suspect I may be one of a dying breed in this respect.

Many recruiters (both internal and external) don’t read CV’s. The CV arrives through some form of online portal and is dropped automatically in to a database where keyword searches throw up the pre – requisite skills the hiring manager needs to fill the job order. Therefore from a candidate perspective you need to ensure your CV is content, keyword rich, highly visible to search engines.

You can’t afford to leave anything out fear of the search engines missing you and the opportunity passing you by. So you err on the side of caution, work on the principle of more is better.

Culture has a part to play. Over the years I have interviewed lots of South Africans. Their CV’s would make Tolstoy proud. They appear to work on the principle the longer the CV, the more you will have achieved. On the other end of the spectrum I have only today seen the issue of the one page CV come up. As labour markets become ever more transient and global war for talent hots up, cross border issues will arise when it comes to CV’s. So what’s the global view?

My last search returned 3.6 million results. It’s all a matter of opinion, clearly there are many. So for the record, here’s mine.

Two pages.

Your CV is simply a catalyst for conversation. You have to grab my attention and you have a short time in which to do it. Jaguar Land Rover recently announced 14000 + applications for 1500 vacancies. The competition is fierce. Every word must count.

I need to know fast who you are, how to contact you, what you are qualified to do, who you worked for, what you did for them, what you achieved whilst you were there and what impact those achievements had on the business. 60% duties and responsibilities, 40% achievements. Make sure you can quantify those achievements, put some numbers to them, evidence the contribution to the top or bottom line. Then you’ve got my attention. I want at most your last 10 years and will really focus on the last five in detail. The rest is history.

I want to know a little bit about you outside the work place, what your hobbies and interests are, just enough to want to know more. I don’t need to know it all, just the bits of which you are most proud that you consider wholly relevant to the post.

If you don’t get shortlisted for interview, it is not you that is being rejected, it is your CV. You need to work on it. It should be a living, breathing, up to the minute document of which you are intensely proud. There can be no sense of that’ll do. It should be fine tuned, fine tuned and fine tuned again.

Give it the attention it deserves. Its two pages that lead to a conversation that could change your life.

7 Comments

Filed under Careers, Recruitment

What is the future of the recruitment industry?

There are some unusual, unpredictable, disruptive things going on.  The status quo is being challenged, our assumptions being questioned, that which we knew to be true undermined.  World order is being turned upside down.  Much of it we cannot answer, its scary, exciting, it creates opportunity.  Some people are grabbing it, some people are stood frozen, helpless, like a rabbit in the headlights.

Take retail.  The traditional model is under enormous pressure.  Look at HMV.  It has no substantial high street rival and yet it is in ruins.  We all know what happened.  Itunes.  We download our music.  Online rivals don’t have the additional costs that come with staff, utilities and town centre property.  Online, the world is your shop window.  The internet now accounts for £1 in every £10 we spend shopping.

The business press is full of its usual doom and gloom and focusing heavily on retails woes.  Yet look at the success story that is ASOS.  UK sales have risen by 59% in the last three months.  International sales at ASOS have risen 159%.  So what is it that ASOS is doing that many other retailers aren’t?    They have taken a traditional model and applied technology to deliver a better experience for customers at a better price.  It has become the “one stop fashion hub” for 15 to 25 year olds (and older!).   This month they launch a fully integrated Facebook store.  Brilliant.

I should confess here, I hate shopping.  I have about a one hour shopping tolerance, therefore online is a lifesaver for me, clearly I am biased.  In the spirit therefore of balance, lets talk Books.  I love them.  Give me a bookstore and a coffee and I am a happy man  My local Borders had a Starbucks and I had no mobile signal in the store.  I used to hide out in there.  My refuge has gone.

The kindle was Amazon’s biggest selling item in the UK last year.  My wifes 79-year-old Grandmother has one and she loves it.    We can read at the touch of a button and its brilliant.  Even for a book lover like me.

So what about the recruitment industry?  In 2007 recruitment in the UK was a £27 billion business.  In 2010 it was £19 billion.  At the same time employment levels have dropped from 72.6% to 70.3%.  Clearly we have had extremely challenging economic times and unemployment has increased significantly, but to the extent that we have lost 30% of our market?

Historically the value in a recruitment business was in its database.  That and its people.  What distinguished one recruiter from another was the calibre of candidate on its database and the ability of its people to deliver the right candidate to the client.  We protected that database as if our lives depended on it, rightly so.

Now that database is published to the world.  Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin.  The world is connected.  Our ability to filter, to cut through the noise, is still of enormous value but increasingly employers are becoming smarter at filtering for themselves.  75% of hires in investment banking are direct hires.  The CiPD evidences 72% of vacancies never make it to the public domain.  Never a truer adage not what but who you know.

What is going on here?  The times they are a changing.  The recruitment industry has not changed its model for 80 years.  Innovate or die.  It is time for revolution.

What will we look like in five years time?  Historically we were a bricks and mortar model.  Is this still necessary?  We are still a handshakes, face to face business, but increasingly we can reach an ever wider pool of talent virtually.  How will this effect the customer experience?

I have some views, too many for one blog post.  It occupies my mind virtually every waking hour.  I am taking steps, making plans to address it ( Watch this space ).  In the meantime, what is the future of the recruitment industry?  HMV or Itunes?  What will be the recruitment equivalent of ASOS?

This is an important debate for an industry that I love.  I would love to hear what you think.

14 Comments

Filed under Recruitment

Do less to achieve more

Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry, Smartphone, PC, Laptop, Tablet, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Connectivity, Globalisation.  Real time, face time, 24/7 do it now time.  All these tools were in invented to make us more efficient.  Did they work?  Do we achieve any more, or are we just doing more?

We live in a world of go, go, go.  It never stops.  We are fearful, stop and pause for breath and something will pass us by.  We cram so much in, or at least try to, that we have devalued downtime.  I am talking about real downtime, not lying on the couch, smartphone in hand tweeting, connecting, emailing.  I am talking about peaceful, restful, real, downtime.  Re – charging.

When was the last time you woke up in the morning off the back of 8 hours uninterrupted, beautiful deep sleep and leapt out of bed fully refreshed, full of ideas, creativity, energy?  Imagine just how productive you could be, how much you could actually achieve, instead of just do.

We have forgotten how to switch off.  I have forgotten how to switch off.

Regular readers know of the value I place on the excellent TED talks.  Here is yet another.  Ariana Huffington, Co – Founder of www.huffingtonpost.com delivers a short yet highly thought-provoking presentation on the power of sleep.  Give yourself permission to watch it.  Then go and take a nap.  You’ll feel all the better for it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lee Cooper

What will you do differently?

What will you do differently in 2011?

For me it’s easy.  I have a poor attention span.  I am too easily distracted.

At any one time I have a countless browsers open, each one with the promise of further engagement, conversation, opportunity.  You can never be lonely as a Recruiter.  The only asset you have at your disposal is your network and I work relentlessly to engage with, communicate with, stay in touch with and grow mine.

Even then I don’t succeed as much as I would hope or wish.  Every connection has a story to tell, something to say that should be listened to intently, is a link to someone, is a door that could open to who knows where.  Who knows when they might need me, or when I might need them?

Phone, mobile, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Skype, this blog, they are all tools for me to reach out to the wider world and I need them.  Indeed I love using them.

So what’s the problem.  Well none of the above, they are all business critical tools.  My problem is email and in particular the multitude of devices I use to check them.  PC, Laptop, IPAD, Iphone (other brands are available!).  I am not alone.

Every ping of the inbox and vibration of the hand-held brings the promise of future riches.  I check (sorry that should read checked) my email first thing in the morning, last thing at night (even in the middle of the night).  I feel a desperate need to respond to every enquiry, question, suggestion.  For me engaging in the conversation is what it is all about.  I can’t resist.

I start each day with real focus and great intentions.  Then those little pings start and my day takes on a whole new path.  Not any more.  I have made a change.  I check my email first thing, at lunch and last thing.  I prioritize those that are critical and leave those that are not.

I need to be proactive and reactive in my day.  The trouble for me was that I was getting to be too reactive and not proactive enough.  Those things that I want to do, that I am passionate about, that I must do, require of me to focus on the proactive.  So that’s my change.  It’s hardly revolutionary but already it’s working.  I feel better and I am getting things done.  I am no longer slave to the latest email.   I have razor focus, I am sharp.  I am achieving.

How long will this last?  Believe me I am committed to seeing this through.  I am a whole 3 hours in to my working day and so far this is working brilliantly!

So what will you be doing differently this year?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Let them fall in love first …… interview tips from a recruiting pro (part one)

I just googled “interview tips”.  The response was 56.2 million search results!

Clearly there are countless views and opinions as to how best to approach an interview.  Whilst interview success cannot be guaranteed there are basic fundamentals that can and should be applied without exception that can massively improve your chances of success.

As always from The Recruiters Little Black Book there is little by way of startling revelation.  The best advice is always simple and easy to action.

This week we will be running a series of guest blogs on Interview Tips.  I am delighted to welcome to The Recruiters Little Black Book Ann Zaslow – Rethaber, President of ISC http://www.iscjobs.com one of the United States most reputable search firms.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/annzaslowrethaber

Ann’s wealth of knowledge and experience has proved of huge value to an enormous range of job seekers over more than 14 years as a Recruiter and Business Owner.  Join us over the course of the week and experience this great advice for yourself.

Let them fall in love FIRST, before you tell them what kind of ring you need!

Interview hints from a recruiting pro …the Do’s, the Don’ts, and the Don’t Even Think About It’s!

As a job seeker, it can be exciting yet daunting when you get a call from one of the companies on the top of your list to set up a job interview with you.  In many cases, how you prepare and conduct your first interview, will determine whether or not you close the deal and get the job.

Where to start you ask? How about approaching it as a first date –where instead of getting a second date, you get that second interview, which can then lead to a final job offer.

Here are some basic steps to improving your interviewing skills to land that job you desire:

  • Do your homework –just as you would want to do a casual background check on someone you are about to date, a company background check is that and so much more. Start by reviewing their website on the Internet to find out the main headquarters, regional offices and the names of key company representatives.  Research recent news on the company and get general information about the industry if you haven’t done so already.
  • Check out other resources–Hoovers (www.Hoovers.com) can be a terrific source of information, not only on the company itself but it can also give you industry trends and other information. Also visit Linked In (www.linkedin.com) and look up current and past employees –that can be a fantastic place to try to connect with someone who may be able to give you the ‘inside scoop’ on corporate culture, etc.
  • Dress the part and be prepared –Wear appropriate business attire and always remember, it’s ALWAYS better to be a little over dressed than too casual. No one has ever been accused of being over dressed for an interview, as long as that attire is professional. Also, be sure to turn your cell phone off and bring a pad of paper and pen to take good notes. You can also have a copy of the job description discreetly in your notepad for reference. By studying their job description and requirements beforehand, you can make a point of emphasizing your skills that you want to highlight during your interview, matching to those mandatory requirements. You should do your best to have that job description and requirements virtually memorized prior to your interview.

Join us tomorrow for further insight and great advice from Ann Zaslow-Rethaber, President of ISC.

http://www.iscjobs.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/annzaslowrethaber

Leave a comment

Filed under Hiring, interview

The privacy debate outcome…….

Of all the blog posts I have written to date, the issue of social media as a recruitment tool and in particular how this impacts on privacy was by far the most emotionally charged.  I sort opinion on a wide range of platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to discussion forums on LinkedIn as well as the poll on the blog.  The results of the poll were conclusive, with 76% of you voting the German Government is wrong to restrict the use of social media in hiring.

From the discussion forums the comments were wide-ranging.  Some argued for the rights of employers on the basis that if an employer is to make that investment in you then they should have every right to know as much as they can about you before making that (expensive) decision.  There was an over – riding sense that references are worthless.  The world is now so litigious and very few are prepared to offer any decent insight or opinion with respect to an employees performance, behaviour and attitude in the workplace.  Social media has given employers the opportunity to open the window and peer in to a prospective hires world and employers would appear to be appreciative of that opportunity.

Many on the employees side argue that the gap between professional and private is becoming ever more blurred.  There is in some cases resentment from employees that employers should even consider “snooping” on what takes place away from the workplace.  However the over – riding consensus was that we have a choice.  We can choose what to publish, we can choose what remains private and what is for public consumption.  We can choose who we connect with, who we engage with and who we have as friends.

It would appear the majority resent or are at least suspicious of any form of government intervention, mediation or regulation.   Employers and employees should have the right to choose.  Treat us like grown ups.  Some will behave like grown ups, some won’t, but that is their choice.  Social media is by the people, for the people.  Freedom of choice is good for all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hiring, Social Media