Recent graduates do not always know what employers are looking for when seeking a candidate. As an expert in the field of recruitment, we invited Lois Bright, Group Director, Initiate International to write this week’s guest blog.
Being a recruiter, I am trained at making targeted ‘sniper attacks’ with CVs I know will please the client, get the candidate one step further on the career ladder and in essence, do my job. Gone are the days where recruiters ‘spray & pray’; and I strongly suggest that this is something that you think about. Whether you are seeking out the opportunity, a new opportunity or simply wanting to take your first step into gainful employment; don’t make the mistake of blanket covering your CV to the market. The best way to approach this is thinking about yourself as a product, see your job-hunt as a mini-marketing project; a project which will hopefully stand you in good stead for your whole career – doesn’t that make you feel it’s worth it?
Make that distinction between what makes you a distinctive candidate, and not just another CV to file away. Thinking about yourself as a product alongside all the other products in the market , you start to realise how much more you have to do to make sure you are the product of choice and can demonstrate the reasons you are the Ferrari of the employment market.
Don’t list your part-time job when you were 16, but do detail the charity project you undertook at university for which taught you valuable life skills and demonstrates your character. Remember you are building your product to be the best in the market – it may take time and effort.
Don’t put down every grade you have ever been awarded but replace this with the top marks or awards, or simply highlight areas of your CV which are real achievements; achievements that make you distinctive. Demonstrating skills above and beyond your qualifications; the ones you can’t do an exam in, but are qualities that all employers are actively seeking out.
Now here comes the best part: start marketing yourself, call up that contact you met at the rugby match last week, or your dad’s friend whose company you want to work for; do some research, be informed, use business networking tools such as LinkedIn and Social Media – every encounter with another professional is a potential new link to employment.
Call that contact up and say you are sending your CV; be brazen, be confident in your product – you. Don’t be like the other ‘products’ and hit ‘apply’ on every job advert on every job portal on every website you have visited in a desperate hope that someone will take pity on your CV arriving in their inbox 27 times over the weekend. They won’t. Trust me when I say, they will find it equally as appealing to hit ‘DELETE ALL’!
Going back to my Ferrari comment; how many Ferraris do you see on the roads? Not many, and do you still stop to stare? You bet. That’s what you want to be in the market, a product that everyone wants but only the select few can have. Make yourself exclusive, let the company know you want to work for them and them only; target companies you really feel you want to work for and let them know. I am not encouraging stalking here, nor am I suggesting you to make yourself a real annoyance. What I am advising is that you be what every employer wants, here are some key qualities I often hear when I take a job order: dynamic, proactive, persistent, honest, reliable, driven, thoughtful, spunky…
So, what are you waiting for?
Go out and get ‘em, Tiger!