All of us will experience a time in our professional lives where we are thrust into the world of job-seeking, recruitment and interviewing. Modern day recruitment has changed enormously over the years, with better software solutions, the emergence of Talent Acquisition Managers and more robust processes to onboard new joiners. Never a more obvious 'people industry' recruitment is a powerful part of any business that spans much further than simply 'finding the right candidate for the role'.
To the hiring business: your recruitment process is a marketing opportunity. I read this recently and couldn’t agree more. When businesses and brands invest so much time, money and resource into their marketing I was astonished that some that appear to, at best, have completely forgotten about the recruitment process, at worst, think it’s unnecessary and not a marketing opportunity. Organisations should be conscious that their recruitment process is also a branding process. An individual's perception of an organisation can vastly change because of a company's negligence. The insurgence of social media now allows consumers to vocalise poor customer experience, I’m surprised that this same ‘name and shaming’ doesn’t happen for businesses with poor recruitment processes. Perhaps it’s because candidates don’t feel they hold the same power? It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are some businesses who have clearly invested in ensuring their HR / talent team (or even the agency handling the appointment) talk to the marketing team, and it shows in the talent acquisition process. The treatment of a candidate, successful or not, will impact their affinity to shop or buy services from that company in the future.
CVs are old school in an age of innovation. "Stand out from the crowd", "be creative", "show your personality" but do it on no more than two pages, in a written document, with a cover letter and within a set character limit via an applicant tracking system. I appreciate that some industries are different but generally speaking, unless your next role comes via a networking opportunity, or from being headhunted the CV remains the main go to tool that employers and candidates utilise. I wonder if there are companies out there that at some point are going to question the efficiency of asking for a CV when they so often obtain similar information from the likes of LinkedIn? In a world buzzing with technological advancements the traditional CV document still seems to reign supreme. Baffling.
Your professional network is important. When the time comes to look for your next opportunity know that there are people you will have worked with that want to help, and some that will go out of their way to help. Seeking the advice from various contacts in your network that you trust will help provide perspective, and even potentially open opportunity. Reaching out for support from your professional network is crucial to help develop, and the interview / job hunting time is no different. You seek advice or support from the same network when you are in employment, so don’t think you can’t look at the relationship in the same way when you’re searching for guidance on your next career move. At the same time don’t expect people to find you a job, this is up to you to do.
Have more than one CV. That said, until CVs become obsolete (if they ever do) I would recommend that you create more than one, particularly if you have a niche role, or are hoping to move into something quite different to your last appointment. Having slightly different versions based on the role you’re going for or the industry is helpful. This isn’t lying about your achievements, but thinking about the audience and what format / words are going to pique their interests in the time they read over your CV.
There's no such thing as closing the door. Even if the opportunity isn't right remember we are in a connected world. For both parties your reputation and the way you handle each situation will be remembered. This resonates for recruiter and candidate. Equally, look upon each new connection, conversation or meeting as an opportunity to expand your network, whether it supports your short-term goals or not. And be kind. You may just end up working for or with that person later in life.