This week, as the five remaining Apprentice candidates face arguably their toughest challenge yet – the dreaded interview stage – they will be wondering how well their CVs and business plans will stand up to the harshest of scrutiny.
Of course, we’ll tune in in our millions to watch their grilling by the most intimidating interviewers in the business. Every discrepancy will be pounced upon, each weakness revealed. Nothing will get past them. “It’s a long and draining day. You’re worried, you’re stressed, you’re trying to go over all of your numbers in your head, you’re aware of just how crucial those interviews are,” is how last year’s joint winner Sarah Lynn described her interview day from hell to the Express recently.
At Jobfinders we’re very excited to announce that we’ve been doing some recruitment of our own and have added to our team with two new hires in the shape of Recruitment Consultant, Jean O’Reilly and Recruitment Resourcer, Sarah Russell.
It’s mid-November and already the countdown to Christmas is underway, if the wall-to-wall carols in shops, trailers for Christmas Day TV and demands for donations to school Christmas fairs are anything to go by. While things hot up on the festive front, you might be forgiven for thinking that recruitment suffers a go-slow as businesses wind down and candidates suspend job hunting on the (mistaken) grounds that it’s pointless at this time of year.
The reality is that most companies work through the Christmas period and, although some clients put all but the most urgent recruitment on hold until January, others are keen to get new recruits in place ready to hit the ground running.
We all know that the recruitment process can be a challenge. Even though the internet has facilitated ways of sourcing candidates and generally speeding up the process, for the average in-house recruiter getting the right person for the job remains time consuming, labour intensive and frequently frustrating.
Reading applications (whether these arrive by snail mail or email), sifting out relevant candidates and interviewing them still takes time and resources not always available to in-house recruiting teams. And that’s before you get into offers, rejections, referencing, salary negotiations and sorting out start dates!
Getting a new job can be life changing. It can bring new professional opportunities, new friends and new possibilities. But getting that job can be a long and sometimes stressful process. Sending endless versions of your CV to recruitment agencies and/or prospective employers, only to be left wondering as they seem to disappear into the ‘job market ether’ either to be met with rejection or total silence.
However, it pays to remember that recruiters are busy people managing multiple vacancies. Which means that they are frequently buried under piles of CVs, many of which are totally unsuitable for the roles advertised. But the good news for candidates is that, with a bit of thought and extra effort, you could be well on your way to finding the job that best suits you.
LinkedIn has become a game changer in the recruitment process for candidates, employers and recruiters alike. For candidates, it is an online CV accessible to anyone, for employers it is an opportunity to check their would-be employees while recruiters can use it to source the best talent for their clients.
An online shop window, a LinkedIn profile is the minimum requirement these days for anybody who is seeking employment.
It’s important that you get your picture right; smart attire, a professional appearance and appropriate backdrop sounds a simple concept, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t take this into consideration. It’s expected that you will have a professional online presence as very few jobs in this day and age are void of any digital responsibility.
Internships, a useful ‘test the water’ tool for both parties. From an employers’ perspective, they are able to provide a learning experience to prospective industry professionals who may even go on to work for them. This is an opportunity to give their own employees man-management experience and have some of the more time consuming tasks taken on by an enthusiastic individual. It can also provide an opportunity to gauge the value an entry level recruit, possibly with a view to taking that person on.
There’s a good leadership adage – don’t ask anyone to do anything that are not prepared to do yourself. Debbie Lock our managing director demonstrates this through her tireless work raising funds to find a cure for breast cancer. It’s a cause that is very close to our hearts; Gemma our operations manager lost her mum to the disease, in fact it’s probably fair to say that it is a disease that has impacted most of our lives in some way. Through our local charity, Breast of Bromley, both Debbie and Gemma have somehow managed to find time to organise a multitude of fundraising events over the years.
Without wanting to jinx anything, summer arrived in style this year and many of us didn’t even need that annual beach holiday for our share of vitamin D. Some of us will – good luck to you – but, wherever you may be holidaying this year, hopefully it will yield some time for a bit of reflection.
We read more CVs than nans read books, than clairvoyants read palms, than restaurant reviewers read menus, you get it – we read a lot of CVs.
Some really stand out, they’re the ones we’ll invite in, send off to interview and place in jobs; others don’t. Writing a CV isn’t difficult unless you make it. There are a number of straight forward considerations that will make it a simple but effective weapon in your quest for a job.