So if its a tough market with more people looking for less jobs how are people marketing themselves in this very competitive market place ?
On the whole very badly is the simple answer. I receive about 250-300 CV's a week in my region, some are very good, many are poor and some are to put it mildly laughable. Potential candidates don't always seem to understand the recruitment process so I'll try and explain how to improve your success rate.
Think of it as a sales process, you are a product looking to be sold to a employer, the market is filled with other 'products' for the employer to choose from so you need to stand head and shoulders about the rest and market yourself properly. When we advertise a job currently we will receive about 60 per job plus another say 20 people who we know are looking, have been interviewed by us and are ready to go so are in effect already ahead of the game. This means that normally we will have around 80 applications for each role.
So the odd's are stacked against you as only 4/5 people are going to be put forward by us for interview with the client and only 1 person is going to get the job. So how do you shorten the odds ?
Lets say I'm looking for a Sales Executive for a dealership, I'll look for skills, previous experience and quality of workmanship on a CV but most importantly I'm looking for somebody who can sell. Therefore when the CV does not contain the most basic of information, is difficult to read and looks like its been put together in a couple of minutes with poor grammar and spelling it only tells me that here is a person who either can't or can't be bothered to sell themselves so will never be able to sell a complex range of products in a dealership.
We see this far too often and I have to say that when I read a CV that's very poor and full of spelling errors where the candidate is saying that they are "an astounding communicator with fantastic attention to detail" (from a CV last week) and other such over the top descriptions of themselves in their profile. I move quickly on and look for a more suitable candidate to present to my client.
Its obvious I know but spend time on your CV, set it out in a recognised format, spell and grammar check it, get somebody else to read it and sense check it. Ensure you are stating facts and figures not fiction and above all don't lie or 'miss out jobs' you will be caught out ! If you are unsure about how to do this get it written for you, don't use anybody who doesn't know the Motor Industry well or a cheap fix off of eBay for £20 as you will only get a generic CV full of non-specific and tired old phrases and generic comments.
Then when you have submitted your CV follow the sales process, you would always follow up a customer who you have presented a brochure too, so follow up the recruiter within 24 hours and ask if we received your CV and can you add any information we may need. Suddenly you have moved yourself up the list, if you have taken the trouble to call you will be taken seriously and will have shortened the odds.
In next months Newsletter I'll talk about how to interact with your recruiter once you have their attention and how to work with us to ensure a successful outcome for both parties.
Andy Norman CAE FIMI
South Midlands, South Wales, Bristol, Swindon & Somerset
Tel: 07590 487885