Blog (1) – Do not keep secrets
Moving forward I would like you to treat your recruitment into a job as a sales exercise.
Whether we like it or not, we are all selling. ‘Lifes a pitch’.
Now, consider the last thing you were sold, what made that decision for you? Were you presented with one option or was it more take-what-you-were-given.
Typically, your buying decision is based on the amount of information you were given and how much that information mattered to you.
Fundamentally that’s all sales is. A Sales Professional analyses a Prospect (person who they hope to sell to) and decides which attributes of their product to promote. We call it AIDA (Analysis, Interest, Desire, Action). Basically it means you present information as a reflection of your audience not just ‘the information’.
How does this work for you? Your CV is the means by which we get/Analyse the information about you, however we often see people using ‘their’ CV and not the one that would necessarily Interest us and build that Desire to take the Acton of recruiting you.
In most cases, there is one version, it is what you send and fingers-crossed it works. However, the information on the CV is sometimes either lacking, or is not what the interviewer wanted to hear. In fact - if you use the same CV time and again you will absolutely find this last sentence to be the case.
This is what I mean by keeping secrets. It’s a bit pointless and is the sacrifice made at the altar of ‘application numbers’. This is why I hear people speak of ‘making 50 applications’ and getting a low rate of return.
Now, recruiters are guilty of being part of the problem too. Reading each CV nowerdays takes a lot of effort I personally get 100 or so a day at times. Imagine having to read a book every 3 days you can see how the numbers build up.I am not trying to excuse this, and yes we should read every CV, I personally pride myself that I do. I can appreciate as a human-being with flaws, that makes mistakes, how an inbox left for several days could build up. This happens and there is no point beating around the bush so I’ll address how to get around this below.
Back onto message.
In adverts, we list what we need in terms of skills. Imagine the Advert to be a Lock and your CV to be the Key.
Each lock is unique so each key must be unique also. Making your CV unique to that Advert is the answer to this problem.
Yes it takes time, but I often say being on the job market is not fun and if I told you for the sake of an extra 30 minutes you could be not having to be on the market anymore - I’m pretty certain what 99% of candidates would do – take the extra 30 minutes. I get the problem that there are a lot of ads and I’ll address this in blog (3) of this series.
We also invite cover letters, within which you can be very specific about aspects like living locally to the site, whether you drive, whether you are immediately available and such.
The pertinent skills (the ones in the ad) MUST be written on your CV if you have them. Equally, the two things that will typically get you your next job are the courses/exams covered in your degree and your final year project or ‘dissertation’ project. These MUST be written up in full detail on the CV. 100-200 words on the degree, 100 words on the project Minimum. Please do not write more about bar and shop jobs, than your degree.
I’ve personally worked part time while studying from the age of 12 if you count paper rounds and I get that many of you reading this have an employment history - it can be safely cut down to Employer – Job Title - Dates. This buys ‘blank space’ on the CV which can be used to hammer home your scientific skills.
In 2020, we all have Terrabyte-sized hard drives and NOBODY deletes anything (In fact how do you even delete something it’s in the cloud if not on the computer?). So I know you all have your coursework and can go back and read this and add the specific skills to the CV.
Please add ALL of these skills, going back to AIDA this will build that Interest and Desire to recruit you.
One final thought - by limiting content you limit opportunity.
Audit this, ask the difficult question – are you keeping secrets? Now, take ownership of the answer to that question.
Our CV guide is linked here.
I welcome all feedback on these blogs, hopefully you found this useful but any points of improvement or disagreement with what I’ve said are just as welcome to hear. Do feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org