Many of the top people in any walk of life tend to have a long-term career plan as to where they want to get to. If this is career focused, then it will likely be a staged process with certain “milestones” achieved, perhaps by a certain age. One common target we hear is “I want to be a Director by the time i’m 40.”
Irrelevant of what industry or profession you work in, to optimize your career and maximize yourself you need to plan your career. This doesn’t have to be detailed; it can simply be an overall target which is then broken down into key stages or “milestones”. For example – if you aspire to get to Managing Director level by a certain age; it’s unrealistic that this is going to happen if you have no man management experience 5 years before your target – so make sure you get to manage people in good time to gain the requisite experience.
Deciding on a career change can be a daunting task. Whether it’s for progression, relocation or a complete career change, navigating a job search can be frustrating and full of potholes.
Making sure you have the skills for your target job is the first step, but the secret to securing an interview is ensuring that your target employer gets a comprehensive overview of your relevant skills..
This is where your CV comes in..
My usual go-to action when a professional approaches me with a CV is to overview the profile through the eyes of the average client I deal with. It’s been found that most recruiters and clients will overview a potential CV for an average of 30 seconds; in that duration, you’re challenged with grabbing their attention and forcing them to delve deeper!
From overviewing thousands of CV’s over the last 7 years and speaking to hundreds of clients, both SME and corporate, there are some common mistakes professionals make when putting their profile together that could affect your chances of securing an interview.
Length – Keep your CV short and sweet. Ideally 2-3 pages. Use bullet points to keep information concise. Avoid large blocks of text.
Spelling, Grammar and Font Size Consistency. Attention to detail is something clients value, failing to check your CV will give them the wrong message.
Missing contact details? CVs get passed around internally. Make sure you can be contacted, no matter what.
Unprofessional email? email@example.com. May have been a great idea at the time, but always use something professional on your CV.
Failure to include quantified information. You need more than lists of recent responsibilities. Quantify your sales achievements. Detail the projects you delivered on. This can make a profile stand out.
Do you use a generic CV for every application? Why not tailor your skills to match the job description. Offer solutions to their skills gap.
Many of the major clients we work with use some form of ATS system (applicant tracking system). These systems screen candidates and rank them in order of suitability to a given role. Do you have the right skills for a role? If your CV is not optimised, you could be overlooked. I’ve included some tips below –
Make sure you have an ATS friendly file type – Stick to Word Docs, PDFs or Text Files or similar. Avoid image files, or fancy formatting.
Remove all images from the CV.
Keywords that are higher in the CV carry more weight. Ensure all the markets, products and skills are included in the summary.
Maximise the number of relevant keywords across the document – these contribute to job suitability score during recruitment searches.
Maximise the number of sought after keywords are included.
Of course, the easiest way to optimise your chances of getting a position is to reach out to a specialist recruitment firm. As a mechanical engineering recruitment specialist, Wynne Consulting has over 15 years experience placing professionals. We can offer the best advice and support for your job hunt. Feel free to contact me with a CV for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the biggest problem companies face is how to recruit high quality people in today’s competitive environment.
The major issue is that the vast majority of high performing people don’t ever look for a job on the “open market”, so don’t talk to recruitment agencies, respond to job adverts and place their CV’s on CV Websites.
So how do companies get hold of these people to have an opportunity to recruit them? This diagram gives an accurate breakdown of a typical company of 100 people:
As a headhunt search company we are in business to help clients find the high calibre people they need to be successful.
We find people by identifying and then headhunting target individuals who we believe have the right skills and attributes that we are looking for. That’s great – but when a headhunter calls you, what is it really like?
As a rule of thumb, we will firstly call the individual and identify that it is in fact them speaking (and not their manager who’s answered their line); then we will make them aware that we are a headhunting organisation and that we would like to have a conversation with them about an career opportunity. We’ll ask “is it a convenient time to talk?”
Ever since I started working in search recruitment back in 1997, a common objection I hear from clients is “What do your services offer us that we can’t do ourselves”? This is a great question – and one an employer should always ask any prospective recruiter.
As an employer, if you are in the fortunate position of being able to hire good people through your own advertising and word of mouth; then realistically a recruiter cannot offer you much.
For the vast majority of jobs, whether blue-collar, white collar or management – it’s hard to find good people and most companies struggle to recruit. This is where recruiters come into play.
As a market leading recruitment organisation we are in a somewhat unique position at the “cutting edge” of dealing with people leaving organisations on a day-to-day basis. A common misconception is that as a headhunt search company we somehow have mystical power to “spirit” people away from blissfully happy jobs. The reality is completely different. On average over 60% of individuals we pro-actively approach will rebuff our advances as they are happy with their present situation. Unless there is an underlying issue there we are unable to persuade that person to talk about moving.
If you resign your job, and your existing employer offers you a better package or a different job to stay; this is called a Counter-Offer. If you are thinking about accepting a counter offer to stay in a job when you’ve already resigned, or you’re thinking of using a potential employer’s job offer to get your current company to pay you more money read on.
We have over 400 cumulative years of experience at Wynne Consulting and we are regularly faced with these situations.
In the vast majority of situations, using another job offer as a bargaining chip to get more money may be tempting, but it usually ends badly. If you want a salary increase/promotion, then negotiate it on your own merits; or prepare to move jobs.
Whenever we broach this subject, we always get feedback along the lines of “You’re a recruiter, it’s in your personal interests to dissuade candidates from accepting counter-offers as you will lose your fee”. This maybe the case with other recruiters, but for us this is not the case and is missing the point.
I was chatting to my father over the weekend about his experiences of job “interviews” in the 1960’s when he first left college. Morose interviewers firing open questions over an imposing oak desk whilst portraying the demeanor of a disinterested headmaster thinking “why on earth should I bother giving you a job?”.
This kind of arrogant interview style was commonplace where there is a rich choice of candidates to employ; where jobs are few and interviewees are plentiful.
Fast-forward to 2014 and the vast majority of the market sectors we operate in genuinely struggle to identify and recruit the top talent in their sector. A shortage of highly skilled people coupled with an improving economy and falling unemployment makes the battle for talent even more intense.
One of the biggest decisions many professionals take in their career is not just whether to take that great job opportunity, but is it the right thing to do to move lock, stock & barrel to the other part of the country (or continent!) that the new job demands. Here’s the view of top UK headhunter Wynne Consulting.
“On one side – limiting career progression to the commuting distance from your home can be very restrictive to your career in the long-term; whereas a full job relocation often means leaving behind your friends, family and the standard of living you’re accustomed to (whether that’s a good thing or not!). Relocation is a massive step to take but for the brave it significantly increases the scope and volume of job opportunities available.