Your degree studies teach the theory side very well, but you also can’t beat getting some experience under your belt too. Placements enrich your learning and enable you to experience the theory that you’ve been taught, in a real business setting.
But it would appear that some students find it hard to find such opportunities and some end up not securing one at all.
Placements can range in timescales from anything between four weeks to a year. Universities these days have very close associations with industry and businesses, and often will be given a bank of opportunities to help fill each year.
Tip No. 1 Your first point of call is to ask whichever department at your university is responsible for coordinating opportunities with businesses. I guess they may even have a noticeboard showing what’s on offer. Make use of these because these places are easier to find, as they have come from a ‘warm’ lead.
Tip No. 2 If that option isn’t fruitful, then my second option for you is to use LinkedIn. At any one time there are thousands of vacancies from companies who are seeking placement students, or who are offering internships. But first, you need to have a LinkedIn account (the free option is fab) and secondly, you need a strong profile.
So choose your wording carefully as you fill in your profile. Putting a ‘Student at XX University’ in your headline tells me nothing! What are you studying? What experience can you bring to this placement? How long do you want it for? What sectors are you specifically looking at, to gain this experience in?
If you don’t tell them, the employers can’t/won’t guess!
After you’ve completed a good profile, then head over to the ‘Jobs’ tab and type in placements, or something like ‘marketing placements’ and see what comes up. You can then do some filtering from there. When you apply for a job placement through LinkedIn, the first thing the employer will see is your fully engaging profile (rather like your electronic CV with extras), so make sure you do that first (and do it well).
Tip No. 3 Means you have to be brave! It’s the equivalent of getting hold of a megaphone and telling the world what you want. I would like you to consider putting a post in the LinkedIn newsfeed, outlining what you are looking for and why you would be an excellent candidate. Often, if the people reading your post ‘know, like and trust’ you, then they may be inclined to help you or ask around, on your behalf.
Or they may even share your post with some comments about you (thus endorsing you and reaching a much wider audience). I did just this for one of my students and the person who I know well, arranged for the student to have a short placement in a public-sector organisation to enable him to complete a piece of project work for them.
It works! That’s just one success I’ve had with my students using this method and I could list many more.
If you don’t get success the first time you post, you may have to repeat your post, but don’t be disheartened. People are not rejecting you. Not everyone is online all of the time, so they may not see your original post, so don’t be afraid to repeat. You can even put a line in your post to say you’d be grateful if anyone could share it for you. If you are known for helping others (being a giver), then others will help you too.
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar
Tip No. 4 To get a placement you must ask and tell! People can’t network for you if they don’t know you are even looking for something, so get that tongue busy and start telling people – anyone! You don’t know who people know, so get the word out there! The person you ask may not know of any opportunities, but if they pass your request on, I’m sure someone will come up with something.
Trust the system and believe.
Tip No. 5 Is to do some speculative work – emailing or writing to namedpeople in organisations and asking whether anything is, or could be on offer.
But here your letter has to be compelling, don’t be a graduate sheep and just write the same stuff that everyone else writes. Don’t be afraid to be different. And always write to a named person, otherwise no-one will take responsibility for your letter and it will get put aside. And one of my biggest tips here is to sent a letter to a named person in the post, with a hand-written envelope! Letters are intriguing these days, but emails can be ignored or by-passed when people are busy.
Tip No. 6 Lastly, make full use of social media. Get on those platforms and follow the companies you like and ask them the question “would you like a placement student for four months this summer to work on a marketing project for you”? But they warned here. If your previous posts show things you wouldn’t want to employer to see, this can be a risky strategy, as they are bound to read back through your social media posting and make assumptions based on what they see. That’s human nature.
So my moral here is, don’t write anything on social media that a potential employer could use to preclude you.
The students that I mentor and embrace the steps above, all get placement opportunities and the one thing they all have in common is that they focus, and don’t give up! The ones that do it half-heartedly are the ones that moan and don’t get anywhere.
Ask yourself “What would Elon do”?? Be brave, be more Elon …
You’ve spent hours crafting what you think is the perfect CV, but ever wondered what happens to it at the other end?When it reaches the recruiter?
Most people I ask think that their CV will be afforded at least 15 minutes of a recruiters time, to go through and digest all its contents.
The truth is, your CV will initially get a quick scan and if the recruiter thinks you haven’t got the skills and qualities required for the post, they will reject your CV at that point.No 15 minute read here!
It’s much the same when you receive a leaflet through your front door at home.You quickly scan the document for interesting info and to see if you ‘need’ it.Then you may read on further or keep for reading later.
If it doesn’t pique your interest in the first 6 second scan, it goes straight into the bin, as is regarded as junk.I do this daily with the deluge of junk mail I get through the door.Double glazing – don’t need it, BIN.Sheds – don’t need it, BIN.Takeaway menu – don’t need it, BIN.
The same happens with your CV!Not a good match – REJECT.Spelling mistakes – REJECT.CV long to read – REJECT etc. etc.
Your ‘good stuff’ need to be on the first page of your CV and up at the top so you make an immediate impact.So don’t hide some of this ‘good stuff’ on the 2nd page!
Your CV is the equivalent of your ‘sales brochure’ – so sell yourself!You need to make that impact.
A recruiter should be able to fold the bottom third of your first page under, and read the top two-thirds, and get a real sense of who you are, what you do, and what experience you have.If it doesn’t, then it’s back to the drawing board!
Nobody is going to know from just reading your CV that you are hiding your light under a bushel, so let the recruiter know how good a match you are for this role.
Recruiters do this job day-in-day-out, and often will be recruiting for numerous positions at the same time, so time is crucial to them.
Many roles attract 100-150 candidates, so do the maths – it would be impossible to read every CV for 15 minutes!!
So, do yourself a favour by ensuring your ‘sales brochure’ really does capture your skills and talents and mirror and match the role you are applying for.
And, if you need a critical eye, I’ll always look it over for you and do a FREE CV review, and tell you honestly where it needs work and enhancement.
Might seem a strange question, but can your CV stop you from getting a job? In my experience of working as a Career Coach, I would say, it certainly can be. Your CV should be your sales brochure, spelling out your skills, talents, expertise and potential.
Once graduated, you are full of hope to gain that position which is commensurate with your degree. But after sending your CV out for position after position and getting rejection after rejection (or no response at all), you begin to think that perhaps you just need to get a job – any job, just to pay the bills.
You’ll probably then convince yourself that you will just do this job for a short while until a ‘graduate’ job comes along. But the weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years and your exit strategy diminishes.
You are not alone – certainly, this was my main reason for setting up this website and working with graduates. It dismayed me to see so much talent going to waste!
Is any of this is resonating? Or are you a new graduate not getting interviews? Without even seeing you I can tell you what’s wrong.
It’s your CV!
It’s either not tailored enough, or doesn’t showcase your attributes or it’s just hard to read and comprehend. It can even be something simple like it has spelling or grammar error, or the layout is hard to read/follow.
For many graduates in this position, a simple re-write of the CV can work wonders!
You can either get help from someone like myself who specialises in graduate CV’s or get a free CV review, so you can spruce it up yourself.
Either way, please don’t stay doing what you are doing. You deserve more and will find it harder and harder as the years pass to get back on track. After all, new graduates are emerging every year with CV’s that are spot-on!
For anyone who has attended my ‘Networking for Career Success’ workshop, you will know that I extol networking, both face-to-face and online. Most students think it may be too early, as they haven’t yet got their degree and their work experience may be limited. LinkedIn is ideal for this.
Once you’ve been on my workshops you will know that I turn networking completely on its head, and explain how you have so much to offer! Believe me – you have! It’s not about taking, it’s about giving.
An online networking account is a bit like setting up a pension in your 20’s. You can’t really see the point, but at the age of 60, you will look back and say ‘thank goodness I did it!’ It’s never too early.
The people who are around you right now will be different 10 years on. Some of your fellow undergrads will be in careers that you never dream possible today. That’s why it’s imperative you connect now. You never know how you can help each other, in years to come. After all, if you ‘Know, Like and Trust’ each other now, there’s no reason that it won’t be the case in the future.
Years ago, (before the prevalence of the internet), people collected business cards and put them into filing systems. When they wanted to reconnect, they pulled out the card and rang the number, or wrote to the address. But these days, people move about globally, so it makes sense to have an online presence that you just periodically update!
I’ve certainly found LinkedIn and Social Media fantastic ways of getting back in touch with old students, academics, workplace colleagues and friends.
But you have to be in that giant database system in cyberspace to be found. Ten years from now you may be glad you did. Want to work for that global oil company? Then you may just find that your ex-classmate is now the CEO!
Join today. The FREE level is fine and will serve your needs.
Note: I have no affiliation with LinkedIn – I just think it is fab 🙂
I can let you in on this secret as I was once the person doing the recruiting/reading! As a former HR Manager and a graduate recruiter for many blue-chip companies, I can give you the reality of what really happens to your CV, once it has been submitted for a vacancy.
To set the scene, remember that recruitment is only a small part of the HR Manager’s day. At any one time, I probably had about 15-20 vacancies I was recruiting for (it was a national company).
Candidates think their CV gets read for about 15 mins (that’s what the students I teach tell me). It was easily possible that I would get 100-150 CV’s for each post I advertised. Let’s do the maths on the low end of that number.
100 applications x 15mins (reading) = 1500 minutes
1500 minutes divided by 60mins = 25 hours
25 hours x 15 (vacancies) = 375 hours
375 hours divided by a 40 hour week = 9.3 weeks!
There is NO WAY an HR Manager can spend 25 hours just reading CV’s. And I certainly never took 9.3 weeks to recruit for 15 positions!
So what DO they do?
Initially, they will give your CV the 15-second WOW test. They will skim, scan and scroll and you have to grab their attention to get not the ‘maybe’ pile within that 15 seconds. If you do, no more will be read, you will just get place on the ‘maybe’ pile.
At this initial stage, they are looking to ELIMINATE candidates to get the ‘pile’ down to a manageable size.
And this is how you can get eliminated:
1. Spelling and grammar errors (including getting the recruiter’s name wrong)!
2. A CV that is longer than 2 pages.
3. A CV that looks more like a novel, than a CV.
4. Cramped format, where the candidates have shoe-horned 3-4 pages on to 2, therefore leaving no white space.
5. A CV that jumps around, inconsistent dates and doesn’t flow.
6. A ‘generic’ CV that hasn’t attempted to match the job role on offer.
Believe me, that cuts the pile down considerably!
The ‘Maybe’ Pile
Those on the ‘maybe’ pile, then get a longer in-depth look. I used to get armed with two highlighter pens. In front of me would be a job description and a person specification and the original job advert.
Where the candidate met my requirement list, I would highlight that area on their CV. So ideally the CV with more highlighted parts on it, more closely matched what I was looking for.
I’d then do another ‘elimination’ round, and whittled the pile down to the 6 best candidates.
These would have been the ones that got invited to interview or passed to the Department Head for them to invite to interview.
So that’s the inside information. I hope you can now see how important it is to make your CV bespoke to the role. If you don’t closely match what the recruiter is looking for you won’t get an interview. And if you make the cardinal mistakes of spelling mistakes etc, or can’t say things concisely, then that says a lot about you too and perhaps the company might not want someone who waffles or has not got attention to detail. Food for thought?? Hope so.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
For those of you who have attended my ‘Networking for Career Success’ workshops, you will know how much emphasis I put on handshakes and will have seen my comic demonstrations of what different handshakes look like!
Your career will be a series of handshakes and this simple act can say a lot about you, so it’s time to master it!
1. Keep Your Right Hand Free. Firstly there’s always that awkward moment when we’ve got our right hand full of something and someone tries to shake our hand, leaving you to shuffle stuff over to the left or find a table to plonk things on. Because you’ve been using this hand to hold stuff, may mean it is hot and sweaty so the first tip is always to keep your right hand free!
2. Stand Up! Never shake hands sitting down. A handshake normally takes place at the beginning or end of a conversation, so stand up to greet that person and stand up to say goodbye. It’s much more professional and your body language will convey how pleased you are to receive them or say goodbye to them.
3. Look and Engage. Whilst your hands are doing the shaking bit, look that person straight in the eyes. This will convey even more body language to them, and remember to smile!
4. Hand Pressure. I’ve had some killer bone-crushing handshakes done on me (what is that all about?)! I’ve got my theories and so may you have too. The best handshakes are even-pressured and with equality coming from either party. The other ones I hate are where people seem to reluctantly shake your hand and instead hold your fingers with just a few of their fingers (no palm on palm here). They make you feel like you have a contagious infection they don’t want to catch, or they are worried you didn’t wash your hands after leaving the toilet! And think about how that makes the recipient feel! Do you leave that conversation feeling valued? Excited to have met that person? Ready to do business? Feeling like you’ve made a new friend?
5. How Many Shakes. 2-3 pumps of the arm are advisable, any more and you’ll be giving them the impression that you are their new best friend! Or trying to get their arm out of the socket 🙁
6. Practice Makes Perfect. I have my classes of students practice with each other and of course, I join in too and give instant feedback – smile, look at me when you shake, more pressure needed, less pressure needed etc. etc.
The more you do it, the better you become. It’s part of your personal branding, along with your clothing, attitude, manner, confidence etc, so if this lets you down the rest of the brand will be ruined too. So do get it right.
And of course, it’s normally the first impression when you are being interviewed, so get off on the right note to start with and make that interviewer feel you have what it takes 🙂
If you have any burning questions, don’t hesitate to email me!
Congratulations if you’ve got this far in the recruitment process. Although you may be pleased with your efforts so far, the mere mention of an assessment day may be making you apprehensive!
So what are they looking for when they hold these days?
I’ve run many in my days as a former HR Manager and I thought it might be good to share some insider secrets. Employers may be looking for different things than what you initially think!
Some employers may choose to do a ‘challenge’ type of scenario (sometimes based on a survival exercise or similar game). This usually takes the form that they are leaving you in the desert with 5 objects and they tell you the object of your challenge is to all get back to HQ safely, using the 5 objects.
There are no real right or wrong answers here, and it doesn’t matter if there was, as they are looking for different things than just getting back to HQ! Your team will probably be between 5-9 other applicants (any more and it is difficult for the observers to watch and listen carefully). Yes, you will be observed and listened to!!
They may be looking for these sorts of qualities:
1. How persuasive you are in a group (and do people listen to you).
2. How mindful you are of others and their opinions (especially if they are different to yours).
3. Who is keeping time in the group (you will be given a specific amount of time for this exercise).
4. Who gives up and goes quiet/doesn’t contribute.
5. Who are leaders or clear team players?
6. Who have creative streaks?
7. Who have the right attributes who would fit in well with the company values? You may well be an excellent candidate, but the wrong fit for the company.
8. Who listens carefully.
9. Who plans carefully.
10. Who is good at presenting findings on behalf of the group (can they say it concisely, without rambling/waffle)? Think of the TV series ‘The Apprentice’ here; and some of the cringe-worthy candidates they have had on there, who we would be desperate NOT to employ!
Other exercises that I’ve prepared for assessment days are the in-tray exercise. You are given a list of tasks and you need to show how you would prioritise them if this was a typical working day). Of course, I always made it a bit more challenging by throwing in a curved-ball half way through, to see how they reacted).
Some graduates have also been faced with an online assessment test which normally consists of multiple choice questions. Again to be completed within a set amount of time. If you are going for a mechanical/engineering post it may well have those sorts of questions in there too.
Don’t think you are off the hook in these scenarios. In my days I would be watching how you interacted/networked with others socially and whether you just ‘turn it on’ when the cameras are rolling! My secretary also observed for me too as the candidates arrived and got booked in and her observations were invaluable!
The 1-1 interview, which sometimes takes place on the same day too. They may have questions about how you felt you performed during the day and there will always be a ‘bank’ of questions which they have previously prepared to ask every candidate (as you all get an equal chance), and no-one gets more of a tough interview than others.
I have also given my candidates 15 mins to prepare a presentation topic that they will know about when I tell them. They are then given 10 minutes to do a presentation to a small panel audience. What was I looking for here?
1. Ability to think on your feet on a topic.
2. Keep to strict timescales.
3. Presence and confidence.
4. Engagement with the audience.
5. Persuasion and articulation.
6. Whole delivery and flow in terms of body language, tonality, the speed of voice etc.
7. HOT TIP: It really doesn’t matter how right/wrong your answer way, it’s the way you present the skills that I was judging, that I’d mark you on.
I’m not a fan of role-plays, but I know some organisations still use them. It may be useful for them to observe you in a situation which you can’t plan for. I.e. coming face to face with an angry customer and how you dealt with them. Do you inflame the situation by what you say? Or calm it right down? Either way, you will be thinking on your feet and judged on not only what comes out of your mouth, but your body language, how you try to defuse the situation, whether you can get to a solution and move things forward. Ideally, you are looking for a win-win outcome here!
So, the next time you are invited to an assessment day, embrace it fully.
They want to get the right fit for their organisation and by having you with them for a day, they are more likely to see ‘the real you’. This also has advantages for you too, as you can get into the culture of the organisation and make sure it is the right fit for you too!
As always, if you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me!
The euphoria of graduating is probably subsiding now and the fears of not having found a suitable graduate role are probably kicking in.
Money is probably becoming scarce as goodwill of parents and friends dries up, and the reality of daily job hunting takes over.
The slippery slide starts when you start considering taking jobs ‘just to pay the bills’. But beware here. I have seen many a graduate end up in a dead end job and two years later, find it even harder to get back into a commensurate graduate role.
Plus, is two years of working on a supermarket checkout for a minimum wage is going to look fantastic on your CV???
Get back to basics and find out where you are stuck – it can only be in one of 4 places.
1. You don’t know what you want to do 2. You don’t know where to search for suitable roles or you feel ‘there are no jobs for graduates’ 3. Your CV is not opening doors to interviews 4. You are getting interviews but are not getting the job
Where are YOU stuck?
My free e-book will help you get kick-started. It’s full of ideas to help you determine what is stopping you from getting a good graduate role.
The choice is yours – download the free e-book for a kick-start OR accept the job on the supermarket checkout.
Once you’ve found a job you’d like to apply for, then print off the job advert and arm yourself with a highlighter pen.
Go through the advert and highlight the essential words and phrases that you think are essential to the role. The key point here, is that their most required skills/traits are always towards the top of the advert.
Once you’ve highlighted the essential elements, ask yourself whether you have those skills they require for that role. If so, get customising your CV!
In your Key Skills area of our CV, you need to mirror and match what they are asking for – but don’t just copy! For instance if they are looking for a team player, you could put that you are a collaborator. If they are looking for someone with attention to detail, you could put that your are quality-orientated.
Next look at the job spec and see what they require and again you are going to mirror and match that in your bullet points that you list under your career experience section, for each of your roles.
For example, say the job spec says:
‘Must have experienced of working with Excel spreadsheets’
If you have direct experience of that, then write that as one of your top 3 bullet points.
Top-loading and front-loading
Most recruiters initially never read the full CV. They skim, scan and scroll. Therefore your ‘good stuff’ needs to be towards the top of your bullet points and the sentences have to have the ‘wow’ factor up at the front of the sentence.
Once you’ve finished customising your CV give it one last check over. Go back to the job advert and tick off where you’ve demonstrated those skills. Hopefully you will fit the role 100%. Then run your CV through the spell-checker (most important). It is so easy to get rejected for silly spelling mistakes!
By doing this, I guarantee you’ll start to get more invites to interview, as you’ll match more closely the person they are looking to recruit!
Building your network is most important. People join LinkedIn to help each other so it’s time to reach out for help and help others too.
Start easily with people who you already know (and who know you). These people then become your ‘first-degree connections’. LinkedIn has tools to help you by asking if it can link with your gmail/outlook account etc. It will use your email addresses to find matches with their members and help you connect. People connected to your first degree connections become second degree connections, if you connect through them. These members can also be useful as you can get introduced through your contact.
LinkedIn uses the information in your profile to check against it’s database and then presents to you people it thinks you may know – i.e. school/uni classmates, ex-colleagues etc. This is why having your profile 100% up to date is crucial. The more information the better – it can match you for your past, present and future!
You can always use the ‘Advanced Search’ options to narrow down the search for yourself of suitable people to connect to. I.e. perhaps you just want UK contacts, or people within a 50 mile radius of you, or people in your own sector.
Obviously if any of these connections can endorse your skills/talents that goes a long way to proving your credibility and integrity and builds trust.
And that’s what LinkedIn is all about – building relationships and establishing trust. Without which, LinkedIn doesn’t work.
Recruiters harness the power of the internet to search for and attract, the best candidates for job roles.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform where candidates ‘congregate’, so it makes sense that recruiters will ‘fish where the fish are’!!
In order to become a potential candidate and be found, your LI profile needs to stand out. A killer profile needs to highlight your knowledge, skills, accomplishments and potential.
You wouldn’t want a potential employer not to see your full potential, so do ensure your profile is completed 100%. This gives you up to a 40% greater chance of being spotted.
Top 10 Tips:
1. Publish a professional-looking photograph of yourself. Just head and shoulders works best. Not you on holiday or at a wedding – just you in your business attire.
2. Your headline should shout out what you do. You only have 120 characters here so make sure it zings! Make it clear, concise and compelling. Think about what words recruiters would use to find candidates and base it around that.
3. Complete your job experience section. You don’t need to write everything going back years, but have at least your last 2-3 jobs on there. Write a mixture of what you did and your accomplishments in here. Even if that is just p/t work whilst you were studying – it is all relevant.
4. The summary section is crucial – this normally gets read by potential employers. It’s the equivalent of your Professional Profile on your CV. Get lots of key words in there too, so the search engines can find you. Write it in 1st person.
5. Adding volunteer positions and interests shows a lot about you too, so don’t leave this section out. Show them the whole you!
6. Recommendations are worth their weight in gold. Who could endorse your skills, talents and accomplishments? About three would be a good number to start with.
7. Contact details – I highly recommend you customise your LI url. The one they generically give you will not have much meaning and may well look like a series of numbers. Click on the pencil icon and see if you can get just your name. This URL will then be useful added to your CV (as a clickable link) and possibly your business/contact cards too.
8. If it’s useful to your target audience, you can also list your website address (if you have one) and social media links. But don’t add them if not relevant. Don’t detract from your core ‘personal brand’.
9. Tenses. I recommend you write your CV in 3rd person and your LI profile in 1st person. This makes you more personable. Current work duties/accomplishments should be written in current tense and past ones written in past tense (psychologically this makes the recruiter feel you have that experience already under your belt, rather than currently just learning it)!
10. Personal branding – think of yourself as a personal brand. Does this profile reflect you well? Does it encapsulate you perfectly? If this was a sales brochure selling YOU, would it entice someone to want to know more, or buy?
Lastly, to get ‘found’ on LI you need to get visible. So remember to turn your setting from ‘invisible to non-one’ to ‘invisible to everyone’. You can show some bits and not others, but get brave and show everything!
If you have a specific questions, please don’t hesitate to email me
Just wanted to share my latest testimonial from a client I’ve been working with for a few months, who graduated with a Law Degree and wanted to get into a commercial graduate scheme. We’ve just achieved that dream and he’s written me a fab testimonial which I’d love to share with you –
Christine provided a straightforward and very professional service, which ultimately resulted in a graduate job. I would strongly recommend this service in a highly competitive job market.
Are you struggling to get your career on track? Perhaps I can help you too?
For those of you who have sat in on my workshops at universities around the UK, you will know that I am a great advocate of networking. It’s important to start this from day one of your undergraduate studies, as your time at uni will pass quickly and you’ll soon be hunting for a job.
The ‘hidden job market’ remains a mystery to many people, but once you know how it works, you’ll never rely totally on looking for a job in the traditional way again. 85% of all jobs are reported to have been filled through the ‘hidden job market’. Don’t just take that advice from me, here is an article from a contact of mine on LinkedIn, who has shown just how powerful networking is, once it’s put into action.
Tired of sending out your CV and not getting an interview?
Or worst still, not getting a reply at all?
Well it may be because your CV is not catching the recruiter’s eye or you’ve made it too ‘generic’.
Curriculum vitae in Latin means ‘whole of life’ and that’s exactly what people put in their CV’s – everything!
These days it has to be ‘tailored’ to suit the role you are applying for and it’s easy once you follow these 5 steps.
Print off the advert (or better still the Job Description/Person Spec) if they sent this to you. You can’t do this online so print it and grab a highlighter pen.
What comes higher up in the job ad is the most ‘valuable’ to the company, so make sure you highlight these skills on your CV too and have them appear high up on your first page. Then look for personality traits and highlight those. This will give you a feel for the type of person who will fit in well.
Next look for any qualifications they see as ‘essential’ or ‘desirable’ and highlight those.
Armed with this highlighted sheet you now need to tailor your CV to those specific needs. ‘Mirror and match’ things back like qualifications. Mirror and match back more subtly other personality traits, i.e. if they are looking for a ‘person with drive” you could put that you are ‘tenacious’. Use your key skills section to highlight these points so they appear high up on the first page of your CV. Weave in everything they need into your CV so they think they are looking at the ‘perfect match’.
When you’ve finished tailoring your CV, print off your front page and do the ’15 second WOW test’. Fold the bottom 1/3rd of your page under (backwards) and then read what’s on the top 2/3rd’s in 15 seconds. Do you answer the brief? Do you have the right skills, experience and qualities they are looking for? Imagine yourself in the recruiter’s shoes reading your CV for the first time. Because that’s all the time you get to make that 1st impression – 15 seconds! And if you don’t look like you fit the bill you will go on the reject pile. Trust me, I know – I was a that recruiter!
That’s exactly how it’s done. We have a list of qualities we are looking for and your CV needs to show you have what we need.
Now can you see how a ‘generic’ CV would just get put on the reject pile and how some other candidate who tailored their CV would get the edge over you?
If you want to run your CV past me and get a FREE CV REVIEW, I’m happy to do that, with no obligation. My reports are legendary for turning negative CV’s into positive ones that open doors to interview!