The Recruiters’ Guide to getting noticed
A typical day in the life of any recruitment consultant begins with a job spec and ends in a sea of endless CV’s. The daily deep-dive expedition begins at around 8am as the recruiter plunges their way through the shallow depths of murky talent pools, until that eventual pearly candidate hooks them with the perfect bait; a well-presented CV application.
Despite the innovative advances with applicant tracking systems, social media and data technologies, finding an ideal match is not always as easy as it seems. The recruitment process works at an extremely fast pace, and generally requires a lightning speed turnaround time. One of the biggest challenges for recruiters is to overcome the amount of time spent on CV screening in order to identify suitable, highly skilled resources with relevant qualifications and experience for their clients.
So how do you put your best foot forward? How do you create an eye-catching CV that will attract and fast track your application to the next stage? We asked Kwena Human Capital’s Recruitment Manager, Rikus Vosloo, about some basic tips to help candidates polish their CV writing skills:
1. Reasons for leaving
Recruiters need facts in order to create a profile for the candidate applying for the position. Contrary to popular belief, they are not all-knowing clairvoyants. Details around the amicable (or not so amicable) departure from your previous employment are essential to the decision-making process. Did you need a personal time out to support a family hardship? Was it a decision based on an opportunity that presented itself to advance your professional career or did you accidentally find yourself in one too many disciplinary hearings?
Omitting your reasons for leaving can count against you. What are you hiding and why? The silence can speak volumes about one’s character, as can a simple clear, concise sentence. The more transparent you are about your professional history, the more credible you appear in the eyes of a recruiter.
2. Summarise your key skills and experience
Recruiters are looking for the best possible solution for their clients. They are providing long term staffing solutions, not problems. Experience can go a long way and is often something that is generally prioritised.
Including a brief summary about your key work experiences and skills will count in your favour and help the recruiter determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate. While you may not be the right fit for one specific job, a concise list of top skills will stick in the back of a recruiters mind for an alternative opportunity that may present itself further down the line.
3. Include your primary soft skills
This is an opportunity for you to show just a touch of your personality. Think of these as non-technical skills that you can contribute to a team environment. Are you a leader or a follower? Do you have the almighty gift-of-the-gab or do you prefer to focus in silence? Do you thrive in an analytical thinking space or are you more of an introverted creative?
These are traits that speak to your character, compliment your technical skills and highlight what makes you unique and valuable in the eyes of an employer.
4. Highlight your accomplishments
Everybody loves a winner. Indicate your successes without coming across as an egotistical maniac. Your accomplishments are something to be proud of (at the very least, to your mom), whether they are individual or as part of a team. This shows drive and pride and can also indicate how you participate in leadership roles. An employer wants to hire someone who can offer value to their organisation, and a proven track record is often the key to success.
1. I love long walks on the beach
There is a time and a place for hobbies and extracurricular activities, and that place is definitely not your CV. Unless your hobbies or interests are relevant to your technical skills, it’s probably best to leave out the fact that you enjoy long walks on the beach with your local Rotary Club.
2. “References Upon Request”
You might as well say SQ. A reference is the make or break moment for candidate applications and should be regarded as the most important element to include on your CV. Be sure to include clear, contactable references in your application.
3. Don’t lie
Five years imprisonment. Enough said. The National Qualifications Amendment Bill will see fraudulent information as acts punishable by law. Creative embellishments that are designed to impress will be considered as a serious offence in the very near future. So unless you are looking for government sponsored holiday to Club Fed, it’s probably best to adopt an “honesty is the best policy” approach .
One final note. It’s 2019. There is no excuse for poorly formatted CV’s. Microsoft Word as well as a number of other online design tools make CV crafting a fun and creative experience offering a number of themes that are eye catching and efficient. Google it!
To be continued…