The difference between job hunting success and job hunting failure is small. Sarah Berry reveals that it is all down to how the candidate personalises their CV and interview performance.
‘Put yourself in the employer’s shoes‘, says Sarah ‘and imagine having to read a stack of 100 CVs. What would you be looking for? What would make you sit up and take notice?’ It is a fact that most candidates account for their time in a factual and non-passionate way. This is OK but it isn’t going to inspire employers to pick up the phone. Employers are looking for candidates who can rise above the mundane and show that they love what they do and that they can add value to the organisation. Ideally the focus needs to be on the employer and not on you. So how do you go about creating a personal approach?
1. Prepare yourself for success.
Forget the past and focus on the present. Start to prepare yourself for success. What has overshadowed your career to-date? What opportunities are you missing out on? How have you limited your job prospects? What boundaries have you put around yourself? Over what time scale are you looking to improve things? Begin to be very clear about who you are and what you have to offer.
2. Think about that job you are after.
It is not enough to say that you want a certain job. You have to show that there is more to you than this. To do this you need to show that you have depth of character. Why do you want this job? What do you expect to gain from this experience? Is it job fulfilment, additional skills or a bridge to another job? How will this job live up to your expectations? Will the job keep you up at night worrying or excited about the day ahead? What will be the high points of this job? And what will be the low points? What will you do if you realise that you have made a terrible mistake in landing this job? How will this job change your career? Instead of focusing on the things you can see now, focus on the longer-term issues such as personal growth, experience, commitment and dedication.
3. Recognise your own potential.
Get used to defining who you are. How do you deliver your work? How do you have a positive impact on the organisation and the people around you? What do you like most about you?
4. Be committed.
Having a vision is great but actioning it is even better. Now that you have defined what you are worth, how committed are you to achieve it? Do you have the resolution to commit yourself to whatever it takes to achieve it? What are you willing to do to ensure that you do achieve it?
5. Replace your job demands with your job passion.
Forget your list of demands for a second and remember that passion for your job. Winning candidates love what they do. They are less demanding of the employer and ooze positive energy by focusing on what they deliver, achieve and contribute. Yes, they too get a company car, health care benefits, travel expenses and bonuses but they wouldn’t list this on their CV. Their CV would reflect their market rate by showing how they deliver tangible results. Enthusiasm is vital if you want to be snapped up quickly.
6. Show your expertise.
Your CV must reflect your expertise. Companies are prepared to reward people who know their stuff. The world is full of self-proclaimed experts, so you will need to rise above them and show the depth and value of your knowledge. Try not to just scratch at the surface but show that your experience has a basis and has come from observing, questioning, studying, consulting and reading. Show that you are an authority on what you do.
7. Be grateful.
It is a fact that grateful people attract more job offers and opportunities that ungrateful people. Grateful people who love their work are positive both in terms of themselves and also in terms of others. They are people who really appreciate what others do for them and they appreciate their world, industry, colleagues, circumstances and of course their job. As a result they attract even more good into their working lives and even more job opportunities. How many times did you feel grateful last week for the people, organisations and contacts who are helping you in your job hunt? Did you go so far as to express your thanks?
8. Make your CV personal.
Demonstrating your personality in your CV is vital to your attractiveness as a candidate. Employers like to interview all candidates and 90% of the final decision is based upon the candidate’s personality. On their own, virtues such as being positive, influential, communicative, dependable and logical may not get you a job, but you could be eliminated from the selection process if you appear to lack any of them. In marketable terms, you need to answer how, where and when you use or demonstrate your personal qualities, thereby turning your CV into one which has meaning and power. Don’t underestimate how you can reflect your personality on paper.
9. Get on the front foot.
So many candidates run their job search campaign from on the back foot. They write their CV, post it to a web-site and they wait. Is this a clear goal? Is this demonstrating initiative? Is this being personal? Sometimes you may need to go further than this to create the best result for yourself.
Now the big one. Go and reread your CV with fresh eyes and be honest with yourself. Does it address the above nine points? If you would like some personal, unbiased professional advice on your CV, please CLICK HERE for further information.