Archive for April 2012
I often get asked how I work, and whether I can help people find jobs. Often, I also speak to people who are very frustrated by the service they get from recruitment agencies and it seems that their expectations, and the reality of what actually happens, are miles apart.
It seems that the average job seeker simply doesn’t “get” what a recruiter does. If you’re planning on working with recruiters or with a staffing firm, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Tips for Working with Recruiters
- Recruiters don’t find people jobs: The average job seeker has it all mixed up – recruiters don’t go out and find jobs, recruiters find candidates. They match candidates with open positions given to them by their client companies. Recruiters are tasked with filling these job requisitions. If you’re planning on working with recruiters, understand that they are often looking for very specific types of candidates – don’t get offended if you don’t match.
- Recruiters are part of the bigger picture: With this in mind, job seekers should embrace one or more recruiters as part of their overall job seeking strategy – not as an end-all solution. Professional networking, social media sites, and other job seeking channels should still be used to maximize individual job leads. Job seekers should recognize that recruiters can open other doors for them and are inevitably part of the larger job market landscape.
- Recruiters and job seekers need to work together: It’s all about teamwork. Job seekers should be honest about their credentials and in turn, recruiters will work hard to push their profile towards befitting opportunities. Be open and upfront about your current compensation and future expectations and recruiters will get the interviews rolling. If everything works out, the recruiter makes a placement and you get a new job – both sides win when there’s mutual respect and understanding.
If you engage with a Recruiter always remember that the Recruiter doesn’t work for you, but with you. Recruiters always have your best interests in mind (and they want you to get hired), but they can’t make individually tailored jobs appear out of thin air. The recruitment industry is driven by the jobs market, and currently there are far more job applicants than jobs. You can make it easier for all parties concerned by being positive, co-operative and understanding if you are not immediately successful.
Seeing eye-to-eye with recruiters isn’t all that complicated when you use their services as one of many valuable resources in your job seeking toolbox. If you are looking for a job, make sure you pursue every avenue available to you – and that working with recruiters in the correct fashion is part of your job search strategy.
According to a study released this week by TheLadders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend an average of only six seconds reviewing an individual CV before making a judgement on its suitability.
So you spend days, weeks, maybe even months working on your CV, fiddling with fonts and wording and getting it into perfect shape for your dream job. Then a recruiter looks at it for a mere 6 seconds before making a decision about it.
TheLadders used a scientific technique called “eye tracking” that analyzed how long 30 professional recruiters reviewed candidate profiles and resumes, and what those recruiters focused on.
“They’re looking for job hoppers, minimum education requirements and a candidate’s steady career progression,” says Will Evans, TheLadders’ head of user experience and the man behind the study. “It’s a snap decision.”
So if you’re a job-seeker, it’s incredibly important to make those few seconds count. Below are 5 tips from Evans for each precious second a recruiter spends with your CV.
1. Don’t be Creative
This is not the time to get fancy. You want potential employers to get the most information from your CV as quickly as possible. Your CV should follow a standard format that is simple and easy to read. “Recruiters develop this mental model that allows them to extract the most important bits,” says Evans. So make sure these six items are easily digestible: your name, your current title and company, your previous title and company, your previous position start and end dates, your current position start and end dates, and education.
2. Put Your Expertise and Skills at the Top
These are the things that you’ll ultimately be bringing to any new employer, so make sure they’re near the top where a recruiter can easily see them. Use action verbs when describing your accomplishments and back it up with quantitative data when you can. For example, say that you increased sales by 30%, or that decisions you made led to a 150% decrease in operational costs. This is the area where you should feel free to go in-depth.
3. Don’t Make it Too Long
Include as much as you can without making it seem cluttered. Telegram style and bullet points work – Focus on your most recent experience and the past 10 years, because that is most relevant. Put all the important bits on the first page. What follows later will only be read if the initial screening ticks all the boxes.
4. Ditch the Photos
“If you only have six seconds, you don’t want them distracted,” Evans says. So get rid of any photos you may have attached to your CV, and don’t try any video gimmicks. It’ll come off as, well, a gimmick. “You don’t want people focused on your face and not your skills,” he says.
5. Don’t Focus on Your Personal Achievements
It’s great that you’ve played the tuba since high school but don’t spend too much time playing up your more personal info. Unless its directly relevant to your job, it’s not important enough to be on your CV.
“An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare” ~ Easter Bunny
Easter signals the start of Spring in the northern hemisphere. Traditionally, its a holiday to celebrate new beginnings in a spiritual sense. But its also the one weekend in the year when we all indulge in enormous quantities of chocolate.
How Easter ever became coated in chocolate is a mystery in its own right. However, we fully support this tradition, and in the spirit of Easter we thought it worth sharing some tips about how to get the best out of it:
Rules of Chocolate Easter Eggs
- If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.
- Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
- Diet tip: Eat an Easter egg before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and that way you’ll eat less.
- If you can’t eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can’t eat all your chocolate, what’s wrong with you?
- If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
- Money talks. Chocolate sings.
- Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.
- The problem: How to get two pounds of chocolate eggs home from the store in a hot car.
The solution: Eat the eggs in the car park.
- Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous? Because no one wants to quit.
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