I was inspired to start writing a blog after continually reading terrible advice for jobseekers. In the first paragraph of my very first blog post I wrote the following:
‘One of the problems with recruitment is that most people have experienced it in some form and that objectively it is incredibly easy – and it is of course, or rather it should be – but this very simplicity causes a large number of people to 'offer' recruitment advice. The problem is that a lot of this advice although well-intentioned is just incredibly unhelpful to the unsuspecting jobseeker.’
I was reminded of this today after reading an article by ‘Recruiter X’ suggesting that the modern jobseeker should differentiate themselves from the masses by sending a CV by post on high quality paper. How can anyone possibly offer this advice in 2011 when a paper CV is a complete pain for everyone concerned? It will certainly ensure you stand out in the same way as turning up to interview in a fake leopard skin thong, ‘I’m with stupid’ T-shirt and a beret will make you memorable to the interviewer!
Not persuaded and still think a paper CV gives you an edge? Well, why not go a step further and do what one jobseeker did when they posted a CV to me and fill the envelope with confetti. How I laughed whilst on my knees clearing up for twenty minutes. Mind you, the CV did stand out as it was the only one in the bin for a couple of weeks.
Regular readers will know my thoughts on this subject. Your CV is still important if you choose to reply to a jobboard advert and it must be clear and uncluttered like this so that when you are asked to send a CV you can represent yourself in the best light.
However, to actually stand out from people with similar levels of skills/experience it is increasingly all about effective personal branding/self-promotion or whatever else you would like to call it. How well known are you outside your immediate Team? Are you active on forums, relevant LinkedIn groups and Twitter? Do you write a blog or record your thoughts on YouTube? If you are actively looking for a new role are your Facebook settings correctly enabled to show your business details?
If you contact somebody about a potential new role – or even send them a CV - how easy is it for them to search online to find out about you and discover what really sets you apart? How easy is it for them to contact you and have a conversation?
Not convinced? Well, for Christmas an elderly relative bought me some lovely notepaper and envelopes which you are more than welcome to use in your job search. I can also recommend a great article by ‘Recruiter X’....