Youth Employers – what do we want?

I’ve read a lot lately about millennials and Gen Y and what it is that they’re looking for in terms of employers. What it is that organisations can do, offer, provide to attract and retain this area of the employment population. But I’ve equally been thinking about it from the other perspective given I’m passionate about youth employment and the roles that everyone plays from Schools through tertiary training providers and organisations play in preparing youth for employment. I regularly attend Job & Careers Fests, WorkChoice Days, meet with Universities, host High Schools and the like in my efforts to bridge the gap as a representative of my views and that of my organisation and feel that an area we’re all missing is what the employers are looking for from the situation. Because 99% of the time a completed degree and an eye catching CV alone aren’t going to cut it.

 

So what do companies want from this largely technologically advanced, digitally savvy sector of the market? I’ve complied a wish list of sorts:

Experience: Those who take the initiative to work part time or during holidays undoubtedly have an edge. They’re already somewhat work savvy. They have likely had to stick to hours, deadlines and task requirements and many will have had to work as part of teams, communicate with others and ideally provide some level of customer service.

Resilience: The ability to spring back from adversity, take the knock, get back up and try again is essential. Being able to look at yourself and learn from situations, people and tasks – to rise from the ashes in the face of tough or difficult times.

Initiative / Nous: Understanding the reality/practicality of a situation outside of having knowledge of the theory, and being confident in suggesting improvements and solutions.

Curiosity: A thirst for knowledge; to continually grow, develop and learn in the present and into the future. Being confident in asking questions and developing an understanding of the business, departments and wider market.

Conscientiousness: An awareness of the world around them. Of colleagues, clients, the wider organisation and extending into the world around them. Collaborative and communicative, a team player.

Change Ready: Innovative, creative and forward in the generation of new ideas and ways of working. Comfortable with change and changing tack to adapt to our ever changing world.

 

Having these skill sets under their belts in conjunction with their learning’s will see millennials, Gen Y’s and the like well in their search for employment. Displaying an attitude or outlook that is clearly ready to get stuck in, help out where needed, and putting a hand up for all opportunities offered will definitely all be viewed positively by employers. Having engaged, enthusiastic employees who are innovative and willing to learn is the ultimate goal for organisations.

Millennials / Gen Y – I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions….everyone else, what would you add to the list?

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PERSONAL BRANDING

How regularly do you think about or work on your personal brand? Have you actively created an image, mind set or persona of how you’d like to be viewed in the minds of others’ from a professional perspective? Do you know how you are viewed in your area of expertise or market?

Maybe we should take a couple of steps back, to what is a brand? A brand is everything from a design, image, colour, emotion, impression, tone, symbol etc that separates one thing from another; the unique identifiers. From a business perspective we know what this means and why we do it. We all know the golden arches of McDonalds, from childhood we associate this with fries and a burger, knowing that no matter what McD’s we go into we can guarantee what we’re going to encounter. But why would we do it from a personal perspective? The answers include the likes of better job prospects, extending your networks, recognition, reward, progression and development. Your personal brand is your reputation and your calling card, so in essence we’re building a brand around our careers to ensure they grow.

People with strong personal brands know their strengths; they know who they are and where they’re going. Personal brands are made up of values, passions, purpose and goals. To do this you’re going to need to know your why. I recently attended a seminar by Brand Strategist Phil Pallen (philpallen.co) hosted by the wonderful team at IMNZ who recommends refining your brand why to one sentence – that includes the essentials “What’s In It For Them” in terms of what you can do for other people. His being that “People need brands and companies need to show more personality” which tells us in a nutshell what he’s all about. Phil further believes that “the best branding recreates an in-person experience”. Meaning your brand needs to be authentic.

To be authentic you need to think both about yourself, and your audience. Knowing your audience will play a huge part in the marketing plan for your personal brand. It boils right down to the way you communicate, dress and present yourself, so be mindful of all of these things when thinking about your brand style. Yesterday I attended JobFest in Auckland, an event aiming at getting youth into employment and onto career paths. They had specifically been coached on the importance of the first impression, the way they dressed, approached hiring organisations, spoke and the way they carried themselves. Many of these young adults had taken this on-board and done a really impressive job of putting their best foot forward with their audience (hiring organisations) in mind. But others still had a long way to go so think too about where you sit on this scale and whether there are changes you could make, no matter how big or small to improve your outward-facing personal brand.

After these initial stages ensuring your brand is multiplatform is key to success. But more important is choosing platforms that sit well with you and what you’re trying to achieve with your brand, particularly when it comes to social media. Doing one or two exceptionally well will get a lot more cut through than spreading yourself too thin. Again, it’s important to keep the tone, look, feel and imagery consistent – it should all become instantly recognisable as you/your brand.

If you can back up social with further activity such as blogging, speaking at events, contributing to white papers, all the better as these will all contribute to growing your profile. Stick to the subject matters and areas you know you excel at, that provide a “what’s in it for me” for your audience. It’s also important to commit to continuing to learn and grow to stay relevant and continue to “solve problems” and engage that audience.

Having written this post I realise it’s a great reminder and there are certainly a few more things/changes I could make to my own brand. What changes will you put in place? And is there anything you would add to above that I’ve missed?

SOCIAL FOR HR – TALENT ATTRACTION

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR HR – BLOG SERIES

#1: TALENT ATTRACTION

The possibilities when it comes to recruitment are endless and given 84% of professionals in NZ are interested in new positions it’s an important area to note. In my role now every vacancy is advertised on job boards, including our own, but also pushed out to twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and this year we’re expanding those to include Instagram and snapchat. We also utilise online community’s specific to our industry through the likes of StopPress and MA+D Daily. As a result or targeted campaigns we can specifically point to all of these social platforms as the direct source of new hires. It’s important to note here that adding video and eye-catching imagery to posts and specifically targeting content to your audience is key to achieve maximum impact and engagement.

Depending on your industry or type of roles you may need to consider niche social markets for passive talent attraction such as the likes of Github and Angelslist – just make sure you understand the niche platforms before you dive into them!

Talent Pooling is made possible on social through the likes of followers – they are the people actively engaging with your brand online. This can be further honed by creating specific interest groups and managing these effectively, again, through engaging, targeted content.

The Employer Branding opportunities on social are vast – through actively promoting your employer brand, show casing what it’s like to work in your organisation, giving insight to your employee engagement and culture gives potential candidates a wealth of information when considering a role with you. And given 37% of job seekers claim they can’t get enough information on organisations in the job hunting process, this is a golden opportunity for employers.

Candidate quality can be improved through social also – you are given a forum in which you can actively have conversations with them pre, during and post the hiring process, in a way it becomes a key screening tool.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR HR – BLOG SERIES

I was recently asked by the wonderful team at Elephant Training & HR to speak at their HR Advisors Conference on the use of Social Media in and for HR. I have now turned this into a series of four blogs that will be posted over the coming weeks.

The areas I see social media best benefitting and working with HR are as follows: Talent Attraction, Communication, Learning & Development and Social Employees and these will be the blog topics coming up.

But first….a look at the stats to keep in mind as you read the series…

SOCIAL MEDIA – THE STATS

It’s important to note that these staggering figures below are monthly users! And to give context, as of January 2016, the total worldwide population was 7.4 billion

  • Facebook: 1.55 billion
  • Youtube: 1 billion
  • Google+: 400 million
  • Instagram: 400 million
  • LinkedIn: 450 million
  • Pinterest: 100 million
  • Snapchat: 100 million
  • Twitter: 320 million
  • Vine: 100 million

I’m actively involved with 8 of these platforms, currently learning my 9th and still have one on my bucket list to master!

I think there are a lot of people out there at the moment particularly in the “People Professions” that are sceptical of social, who don’t engage with it from a professional standpoint, and even on a personal basis in some cases, as they’re nervous of the repercussions, not sure of how to use it – or indeed why they would use it.

But my argument would be how can you afford not to – you can see the numbers here……and I figure if I can teach my Mum how to use Facebook, albeit it’s taken a lot of time and patience to get her understanding that she doesn’t have to friend people, comment or like if she doesn’t want to and isn’t obliged to respond to every interaction, but she’s doing it and finally loving it.

Another example is my partner; a senior sales executive he will never “do that Facebook thing” (even though I’ve caught him checking out pics on mine on multiple occasions!) But he has fully embraced LinkedIn and is one of the most active users I know – he encourages it in his staff as well and as a result they’ve booked multimillion dollar media campaigns as a direct result of LinkedIn connections.

I ran a session on LinkedIn with another sales team and following that session one of the team made 32 targeted new connections with CEO’s specifically in their industry and has since followed those up to make 19 face to face meetings with those people.

So like I say – how can you afford not to tap into and utilise such an amazing resource? First blog coming up!

Sourcing Summit NZ 2015 – #sosunz

The line-up for this year’s #sosunz was awesome – as soon as I heard Katrina Collier (@WinngImpression) and Johnny Campbell (@socialtalent) were on board I wanted to be there! And they didn’t disappoint.

Johnny truly deserves the title “Sourcing Ninja”, and blew all our minds with his tips on how high performing recruiters work differently. He introduced us to the ICES model – Identify, Contact, Engage, Submit and demonstrated hacks that would make us all first class stalkers or PI’s if we were ever looking for a career change! He detailed the need for precision searches, the use of timing and multiple channels for engagement, emotional intelligence in recruiters and the essentials of building trust and a reputation online. If you haven’t already, check out sourcehub, for incredibly easy Boolean strings searches useable across multiple online locations/sources. Also, give CrystalKnows a try for incredibly accurate personality details about candidates pooled from their LinkedIn profiles and other online presences’ – scarily accurate in most cases!

Katrina was equally brilliant. She detailed the need to cut through the ever increasing noise in people’s lives to get your roles in front of the right candidates. To do this you need to be someone worth talking to, be easy to follow and most importantly become known, liked and trusted. Make it all about them, personalise your communication, research the role and the candidate and check your use of words (see NLP – nuero linguistic programming). Katrina also stressed it being the recruiters role to bring people into the company – so don’t be hamstrung by IT or Communications/Marketing.  Mobile and video are now and talent is everywhere – the future is reputation based and employee centric. Don’t do the things you’ve always done.

Gavin Buchanan (@gavinbuchanan) spoke a whole world of sense in relation to internal recruiters and got more than one “here here” for his straightforward approach in getting the basics right in sourcing on the global stage: contextual advertising, be clear on the value proposition and who the target is, be realistic about NZ and job boards work! It’s not rocket science; get the marketing, advertising, site and engagement right.

Amy Tea (@amyteanz) focused on phone hacks – a recurring theme throughout the conference, get  smart, get on the phone! Use the phone as a first reference check, as a way to build the black book of trusted networks, be prepared, be meaningful and follow up!

Another one to advocate job boards was Chris South (@findsouth), however he noted that top talent very rarely need to use them so consider consumer job marketing – think outside the square, try new things and spread across multiple channels! Think audience analysis, marketing channels, marketing content, landing pages, timing and budget.

The unconference sessions were equally fantastic on the day – I attended Rachel Kemp’s (@Rachiemouse) session where my biggest takeaway was to set up, manage and grow LinkedIn groups relevant to the talent you are sourcing.

Overall an awesome day – I left mind blown, with so many new ideas for sourcing talent, feeling invigorated and inspired! Another amazing effort from @philliptusing!

#RHUBNZ – Fearless Change Agent.

“Fearless in the face of failure” (@warrenyoungster)

…was one of the most eloquent tweets to come out of the 2014 #RHUBNZ conference. This came from the closing key note speech of the conference by Diane Foreman of Emergent and it really resonated with me. Particularly in terms of my pre-conference blog as to how I would become a Fearless Change Agent. Diane’s whole ethos is about conquering fear to achieve success.  And this was the theme for the conference; fearless recruitment.


“Be bold not stupid” (@MattBRecruiter)

A thread that became familiar during the course of the conference was ‘change’. The world of work is changing. Demographics are changing. The recruitment profession is changing; we need to do things differently. It’s no longer enough to do the same old same old. It’s essential to differentiate, provide expertise, demonstrate value and be a trusted advisor to our ‘clients’. Significant change is required, but it needs to be smart and calculated with a view to growing the role of the recruiter in the future.


“Recruiting the right person is like falling in love” Do they have to be mutually exclusive? (@SeanWaltersNZ)

I think the answer to this is a definite no. The ability for recruitment and recruiters to change now and into the future is as essential as being able to work collaboratively and apply judgement through the likes of critical thinking, systems thinking and learning agility. Applying lean thinking to the candidate experience is a key factor that came out of Warren Young’s (IRD) address, who has been working along principles such as “ask once”, “no touch” and attack waste”. These things will go hand in hand.

The ability to innovate and integrate will become key. This will entail the likes of greater social and mobile adoption, the use of new and emerging systems and tools, new methods for sourcing, selling, assessing and managing talent. Speed is crucial.

Talent is becoming a scare commodity; therefore the candidate experience is of utmost importance for all recruiters, internal and external. Refining this and creating seamless links between each element of the process will feature heavily and refining this should be a focus for all recruiters. 


“I can now stalk people on #facebook for ‘talent pooling” (@JaimeGallocher)

Tweet based on Laura Stoker’s (@lauralstoker) presentation on Facebook Search. #RHUBNZ unearthed a host of new tools, methods, and companies I’m keen to explore further in the name of change, development and being fearless. From Facebook search, through Prophet, Lippl, AskNicely and Watson there is so much more out there to enhance the performance of recruiters and recruitment – so much I envisage another blog to come on this.


“#FearlessRecruitment Make a decision” (@rebeccaclarkenz)

Recruiters need to decide to change. To grow, challenge and evolve. To achieve this we need to be fearless. Many of the speakers and in fact the attendees of #RHUBNZ are fearless; pioneering into new frontiers of recruiting through utilising, developing and creating new worlds of work. The options as I see it are to join them and lead the charge, or be left behind and face extinction. I know which I prefer, and I challenge you to become a Fearless Change Agent.

Balls, Service & Clients = Fearless Recruitment?

What is fearless recruitment? In thinking further on next weeks’  #RHUBNZ Conference I’m wondering…I’ve already pledged to become a Fearless Change Agent post conference, but what does being fearless in recruitment entail?

Is it greater, consistent or more use of emerging methods for attraction, application and ultimately hiring? Taking risks with candidates, going off gut feeling or not conducting reference checks? And are you ever really taking risks with candidates knowing you’ve got the 90 day trial period to fall back on should you fail or make a wrong call (NZ)? I should instantly round that off with my belief that the 90 day trial is not a back stop for these situations and due diligence should have been done before hiring the person. So then is it for trialling new methods and ideas in hiring practices? Is it letting go of the old and embracing the new? Is it not sticking to one method for all roles and/or candidates and being flexible dependent on person, role and situation? Is it about disrupting recruitment as we know it?

I don’t have the answer to these questions. But I hope #RHUBNZ does. I hope I learn of new and emerging platforms, processes and exercises for the end to end recruitment process across various roles, industries, generations and the hundred or so other differences between roles and candidates. I hope I hear of new, improved and tried and true recruitment management systems. I hope I learn about the future science of candidate experience. I’m also hoping for more research and insights to hiring across the various generations in the current workforce and what we can expect in years to come. I hope to leave feeling somewhat fearless; armed with new learning’s for implementation. Or at the very least new ideas for me to chase further.

For me, life and work as a part of that, is about constant change, development, improvement and as much positivity as possible. I would love to be fearless in all I do, however whilst I would describe myself as having “balls”, I also genuinely care about people and their well-being, and therefore tend to see the view of both parties in all I do. This isn’t always a happy medium in business; best outcome for all is the ultimate goal, but that’s not always possible from a business and profit perspective. As a result the ultimate takeaway from the #RHUBNZ for me would be to leave feeling fearless, armed with new practices and the ability to implement them ASAP in recruitment, with a sound ROI to feedback to the powers that be, at the same time providing a superior “service” to my “clients” – the employees.

work; without regret

For a while now I’ve contemplated the cause and effect, or reasons behind employee disengagement to the point of being performance managed out. At what stage and why does an employee go from being engaged and productive, enthusiastically contributing to the workplace to actively working against it?

In my experience very few employees arrive at an organisation with a negative outlook or intention. Admittedly it happens and I have a whole blog post on that to publish at some point. But in the most part employees begin much like we all did when starting school – you remember; full of awe and wonder and anticipation of the things you will achieve there. Usually you’ve beaten out the competition for the role, it’s something you’ve worked and strived towards. Then you start full of promise and all wide eyed as you take it in and work to understand and grasp the new role and organisation.

From there we go through the usual motions, interacting with workmates, growing and learning until comfortable in the role and the organisation, for most the settling in period to feeling really comfortable is anywhere from three months to a year depending on all the elements involved.

From there assuming all staff are treated equal in terms of opportunities from induction, through training and development, reward and recognition, where do things go wrong? From a company perspective as I say, I assume all staff are treated equal; which leads me to two possible reasons for the change in the employee.

First up, the manager. So often I’ve heard “people leave managers, not companies”. And in many cases I think this is undoubtedly what happens. Many people find themselves in management positions because they were the high achievers in their particular jobs, not because they are good people mangers or have experience in these areas. Many companies promote staff into these positions without the proper training and coaching to really be effective in the position. Like I say they may know the role inside out but do they know people? Can they relate to, work with, develop, coach, inspire, discipline and lead others? Some have natural abilities in these areas, others need to be taught, and they’ll need help along the way. Managers have the power, position and influence to make or break their staff, and this should be used wisely. Personalities should not come in to play and staff should be treated fairly and without bias at all times. Managers should actively engage with their staff and ensure they support, develop and progress them where appropriate.  Employees should feel their manager “has their back”; that they can have an open dialogue with their manager, on a regular basis, are encouraged into new opportunities and given chances to grow and work autonomously with support available as required.  All of this is to avoid the situation of a staff member either leaving of their own accord or resulting in a performance management situation. Which could result from any number of reasons or situations from disconnect through, difference of opinion or view, lack of communication and more.

The other major reason I see for this sort of situation is the employee themselves. And this opens up a whole host of possibilities also. In the early stages did they take up the help, advice and learning of the induction? From there have they made the most of the training and development opportunities offered? Have they actively sought to grow in the role? Connect with their manager, other staff and departments? Or are they all talk and little action? So often I see and hear of staff complaining about the lack of training or development opportunities, but it’s these same staff that either don’t put their hand up at all for training offered, or when they do, they don’t turn up – or worse turn up and are disruptive and dismissive resulting in a loss of learning for others. So what is the reason for this? And why are they asking for specific training, then when the opportunity arises not taking it? And from there how do they end up in performance management situations? At what point did they switch from the enthusiastic new starter to a wary, actively disengaged employee? Was the culture fit wrong? The employee / manager relationship not the right fit or properly regarded by either party? Whatever the reason, I’m adamant that employees as much, if not more than managers need to take responsibility for their own development and progression. If you can’t motivate yourself, and be responsible for taking your own opportunities and directing the course of your career, where, how or why would you be entitled to think anyone else should do it for you?

I wonder if in either of these two instances they experience regret? I hope not. Regrets are not something I have a lot of time for, being of the mind-set that you should embrace every opportunity, situation, person or otherwise with open arms. Sure there may be times when this doesn’t work out in your favour – but at least you tried, and don’t live with regret. And in either case – the manager or the employee, I’m adamant you drive the results of your efforts. If you are a manager and aren’t being entirely fair, objective, encouraging or otherwise – change it, don’t regret it. Turn the employee, the relationship or situation around now, before it even has the chance to become a regret. If you’re the employee – same advice. Seize the day, take control of your own future; take every training opportunity offered, network, stay focused, be positive – after all you drive you at the end of the day. And I don’t know who said it first – but don’t live, or work with regret.

the many hats of an internal recruiter

This happens to be the third part in an unplanned series on recruitment, as result of my huge focus on this area in my current role. As an HR generalist I’m not a fulltime Internal Recruiter – but just at the moment it sure feels like I am! And I should start by saying how much I’ve enjoyed the extreme focus on this area of my work and how much of an opportunity it’s been for me to learn, grow and hone my skills.

The first hurdle I faced was a lack of quality applicants. Working for one of the country’s leading media organisations this had never been a problem in the past, people were generally knocking on our doors to get in. Not so now. A complete overhaul of our processes revealed some pretty shocking results. Our print advertising was adhoc and design templates hadn’t been updated in years, online advertising on our own media products was non-existent, we had only two avenues for advertising the roles – neither of which created any sort of candidate experience. From there internal processes were equally dated, not to mention somewhat slapstick and downright lacking in other areas.

I started with us, the company. I put on my marketing hat and then realised rather than reinventing the wheel it was better to consult and work with the marketing department to build a careers page on our website to load all current vacancies to – this has turned out great, though is still a work in progress now we have a whole lot more ideas to add to it. I utilised social media to link back to our careers page for vacancies, build online awareness and showcase through insights what it’s like working inside our company. Through up-skilling myself in these avenues and in turn our current employees, we’re already seeing a substantial following I these avenues and direct applications for both specific roles and general interest in working for the company as a result.

I hit up processes next. Streamlining, reinventing and mandating these across the board. In the months since these have been in place I’m happy to report more cohesion in recruitment, and importantly a consistent and higher standard of new employee.

Hiring Managers, where to begin?! I’ve lost count of how many different hats I need for dealing with the differences in their personalities, requests, expectations, timeframes, changes, whims, quirks, requirements etc etc etc! Spending time with each of them to understand the reasons behind the hire, their view of an ideal candidate, expectations regarding interviewing and various timeframes is first port of call. Then tactfully making alternative suggestions to these as the case usually requires for at least one of these aspects, or being pleasantly surprised if not!

All in all it’s been a huge amount of change for our department, and as such has required a lot of change management to ensure buy in from all, but it’s most definitely a change for the better. I realise none of this is rocket science, and there will be internal recruiters out there thinking we’re still in the dark ages! We still have a VERY long way to go from refining and tweaking the work done to date, to really moving forward into the future with increasingly more robust and progressive recruitment and attraction methods all adding to and enhancing our candidate experience. Our is a very big old ship that takes a long time to turn around, so I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in a short space of time, and of the fruitful results we’re already seeing. There is as I say a lot more to do, and I’ll tackle it all one hat at a time.

A.A.(RDDL)…. Application advice (rant, do/don’t list)

As you may (or may not!) know I’m a generalist covering off the full spectrum of HR in my current role. As such, recruiting and the trials, tribulations and successes of that have always featured, however they do more so now, than ever.

My company have sailed through a raft of change of late; a new Group Sales Director and new CEO, a number of restructures in various forms and departments, the full acquisition of some major brands to our umbrella and a whole host of technologically advanced product offerings to see us into the ever evolving future. As a result, as well as various change management, communications, culture and engagement pieces around all of this, I am now in the biggest recruitment drive for this department to date. 16 – 20 new staff, of varying skill sets, experience and locations; all required asap.

It’s set me to experimenting with new recruiting avenues, meeting with external recruiters, conducting seemingly endless phone screens, interviews and background/reference checks. There’s a room for a whole other blog post on the wins in this and debate over application methods, but for now I’m focusing on the application; letter and CV in this instance.

I’ll start with the don’ts so I can focus on the positives at the end!

Don’t:

  • Send a 12 page applications including barely relevant information such as magazine articles, I have hundreds of CV’s to get through and simply haven’t got time to read through all of that.
  • Use a different name on your cover letter, CV and email note – it’s very confusing!
  • Use font so big you only get six lines on a page. Or use current abbreviations of language or slang. 
  • Use so many graphics on the background of your CV that I can’t read the information contained in it. No matter how cool you think skateboarding or cupcakes are, it won’t help you get hired.
  • Use an email address that makes me suspicious or wary of your character; ilovemileycyrus@gmail.com or cannabis@hotmail.com  – ok they’re made up, but not far from some of the addresses I’ve seen of late.
  • Include links to your social media if they contain anything you wouldn’t want your Nana to know. I don’t want to know either and it could sway my decision.


On to the Do’s!

  • Send me a brief, succinct overview of your experience and achievements (CV), and an explanation of what drew you to apply and how your skill set is a match, and/or your career goals again, be concise (letter). Two pages max for the CV and no more than a page for the letter.
  • Include graphics and/or examples of work IF they’re relevant to the role – this is especially helpful if it is a creative role on offer.
  • Be different. Get my attention by trying something new – but it still has to make sense. I recently received a fantastic infographic application– it was informative and professional. Unfortunately the person wasn’t right for the role – but they got a call from me and a referral to another role that they were much better suited for and we all lived happily ever after.
  • Have a LinkedIn profile. If you’re serious about looking for a new role, and professional in your approach most people will be happy to connect with you.
  • Send me your details even if the roles advertised aren’t perfect for you. I do read all CV’s so as long as you follow the Do’s and Don’ts here and you’ve got something I’m looking for now or potentially in the future, I will make contact. To be fair even if you don’t I’ll give you the politeness of a reply. 
  • Be professional. Showcase yourself – your successes and standouts.
  • Include links to blogs you are proud of that relate to the role in some way. If you’ve got me on the first points I’ll be curious enough to take a look and they just might be your selling point.


The best CV’s I’ve seen of late have been short, sharp and told a great story. They flowed through the relevant information in a succinct manner using a regular font (type and size). Essentially they made it easy for me to pull together a picture of the person’s skills and experience in a matter of a minute, sometimes less. There were no obstacles in my path to knowing why I should call them. So if you’re in the job market have a think about the above. If you’re new to applying (or not!) ask someone else to critique you, preferably someone who will be honest and give you sound feedback, better still, someone who employs people. And if you can’t find that there are plenty of careers advice centres who will be only too happy to help.

And if you get a rejection letter from a recruiter, be brave and bold enough to ask why you didn’t make the cut. You’ll probably learn a lot from this – I know from experience! I speak for myself here, but if asked for feedback I will always give it – however, I won’t offer it without the ask as I don’t want to offend.

I look forward to some spectacularly simple yet gripping CV’s from here on in….next stop the phone screen and interview!