Selling myself

not like that!

16 messages
12/06/2012 at 10:04

Argh - this is the most appropriate noise I think. How on earth do I sell myself well enough on the job application forms to get to interview stage? This is harder than it looks. I might need tea and breakfast 1st.

12/06/2012 at 10:16

I did once get a cv arrive on my desk, when I was  looking for a junior project manager.. The one that stood out was a young lady, glowing qualifications, great exeperience, good references, and under hobbies listed "part time glamour model"..


I kid you not.. She got an interview, but didn't get the job (she would have distracted the whole office)

12/06/2012 at 10:17

ah - the squillion dollar question!

as a professional recruiter, there's no simple way of doing this.  one of the key things you need to do is make sure you are applying for jobs where you tick the relevant things that the job ad is asking  for.   recruiters like me are asked by clients to find candidates who tick as many boxes on their needs as possible - usually at least 3 key ones, and then peripheral needs (essential vs desirable)

If you tick the essentials, then you're in with a good shout.  desirables only, less so.   if you are way off with either or both - forget it.

make sure that if you are applying direct to a job you put together a profile at the start of the CV that pinpoints those elements of your CV that ticks the boxes.   this can be changed for each application as needs be.

if you're working through a recruiter, work with them and not against them - and don't get frustrated if a recruiter tells you why you aren't suitable.  if they're good, they will know their clients and will understand what their clients are looking for and know where to push boundaries if needed for good candidates that don't quite match.

hope that helps

Edited: 12/06/2012 at 10:18
12/06/2012 at 10:18

Blimey!! Not about to start doing THAT!

12/06/2012 at 10:29

It is hard Mimaduck - and although I am not casting aspertions on all recruitment agencies but some are guilty of premature rejection of CVs - they do get alot in but it means you might be number 2 in terms of suitability but if your CV doesn't say what they are looking for in the way they want to see it then you will get passed over by 20 others who potentially aren't as good.  I try to phone those who have alot of the types of vacany I want and ask - 'what do you want to see', then tweak my CVs for that particular agency (I now have about 5 CVs abd theprofile and key slills change alot)   One has now stopped asking if they can put me forward for permenant admin roles which I will only do on a temporary basis. Another talked through it with me and made the changes himself

I might not be the best person to give advice as I am still looking

12/06/2012 at 10:32

Oh yes - taking to them makes you more memorable than a CV especially if you manage a good rappour with one of the recrutiment consultants

12/06/2012 at 10:36

Thanks FB, bit of a x post with Dave there! Just had a call with HR...I still have another week to hang.

12/06/2012 at 10:37

Agree with Maddy.. When I was looking this time last year I had several versions of my cv for use in different situations.

Agencies can be great or rubbish.... I had one ring last week offering to put me up for a directors role, as head of estimating in an industry I had no knowledge of .... Why ?

Did get my new job, direct from the companies web site... even tho a couple of agencies were touting the job, The company said that they never recruit via agencies !

I almost didn;t apply as 2 agencies I was with were offering the job, and I thought that they would put my up to the company and it would be enough.... It wouldn't have been

12/06/2012 at 10:45

agree with FB, more so these days it is about ticking the boxes. If there are a lot of good candidates it can be a process of trying to find reasons to exclude good candidates.

If you are going through an agency they will often retype a cv, so the cv has to sell to the agency rather than than to the company. They probably get a lot of good cvs so think about making the job easier for them. Easy to read, bullet points, make clear that you have the experience they are looking for. No spelling mistakes (and dont rely on spell checker).

12/06/2012 at 11:49
bos1 wrote (see)

If you are going through an agency they will often retype a cv, so the cv has to sell to the agency rather than than to the company. They probably get a lot of good cvs so think about making the job easier for them. Easy to read, bullet points, make clear that you have the experience they are looking for. No spelling mistakes (and dont rely on spell checker).

we prepare every CV in a "house" format - that way we eliminate errors, often make them more readable, and it's our way of selling the candidate into the company using a tailored profile.  we don't send CVs without interviewing candidates - most of which is by phone these days due to time pressures - and we only put up those that meet the minimum specs.  if we have a particularly good candidate who doesn't quit tick the right boxes we will try and sell them in by direct contact with the client.   if we can avoid HR and go direct to the hiring manager, we have a better chance of selling in as we are talking to the decision maker not the gatekeeper.

and there is a tip for anyone applying direct - if you want to sell yourself, talk to the hiring manager direct if possible and bypass HR.  it's not always possible to do that and you need some balls to do it as well, but it can be successful!

I will admit that there are good agencies and poor agencies - if you have specialist skills the you will soon find out who the good ones are as they will talk to you about relevant jobs, not half chances (as in DTS's case).   there are too many recruiters out there who are targetted on metrics (numbers of CVs sent, no of interviews etc) so often don't care who they send as long as they're making their numbers.   our guys are rewarded on success of filling roles, not metrics along the way - that can make a big difference to an agent's approach to you as a person.

12/06/2012 at 11:52

It's a bit like question and answer, you need to show that you have all the essential qualities. This is where you need to exercise artistic licence. You might think that you don't have x exactly as they ask but in fact if you word it carefully y can become x. (unless x is rigidly set in concrete like a specific qualification)

I'm quite lucky that I work in an industry where x is anything that you have to offer. there again the pay and conditions are pants.

12/06/2012 at 11:54

Can you tell me who your agency is FB?  Can you PM me if you don't want to put it in the public domain.

12/06/2012 at 12:16

I was going to start the bidding at £2:50, you any good at cleaning mima?

12/06/2012 at 12:21

I have no experience at cleaning mima, I do occasionally brush my teeth. Will that do instead?

12/06/2012 at 13:02

I can clean!

12/06/2012 at 14:58

Great advice FB

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