It’s all very well and good that you have fantastic experience backed by exceptional qualifications. It is however, a completely different story informing recruiters of those qualifications and experience when you are looking for a change of career or even just a new job. You know how good you are in your chosen profession but the real trick is making sure that those who are looking to fill vacancies, aka the recruiters, know that as well.
You don’t know what recruiters are doing to find people like you and you have no way of knowing what they are doing during their searches. Effectively, it is completely out of your control. What you can control, is what you are putting out there, on job boards and the various social media. What you can control, are the factors that attract recruiters to you.
We need to break down the steps in creating an attractive profile that will make recruiter want to call you. So let’s start at the beginning.
1. Your CV
To be fair this is really the easiest part, the part that you have 100% control over. I am not talking about beautiful pictures or a wonderful story book lay out. They key points when constructing your CV are as follows:
- Keep your CVsimple. Don’t over complicate things.
- Make sure your contact details are clearly visible
- Adding a brief summary or synopsis of your career to your CV is a wonderful way of making sure the recruiter is not going think he or she has to read through 20 pages before he/she finds what they are looking for
- Highlight your specific skills. This can be done in the synopsis but should also be highlighted every time you are describing your duties in each specific role.
- List reasons for leaving each role. If a recruiter doesn’t understand why you left your previous roles, the immediate assumption (although not always the case) is that you could be a bit of a job hopper or, on the other side of the scale, a person who is really reluctant to leave their current post.
2. Your social profile
Facebook is fun but please be aware that recruiters do check you out on the site. Try to ensure that you keep your online activity as professional as possible. We are all human and understand the ‘fun’ side of things, however, a 12 beer funnel is no way to endear yourself to prospective employers or recruiters. Facebook aside, make sure you have loaded a professional Linkedin profile as this is something that has become an increasingly popular site that recruiters use to source candidates.
3. The Job Boards
Without doubt, the most popular job boards in South Africa are PNet, Career Junction, Careers 24 and, as previously mentioned, Linkedin. Make sure your details are always up to date, that your profile summary is succinct and informative and that your personal skills set are highlighted on your cover page. Recruiters have very tight deadlines and can’t afford to open every profile they come across in a search. It is imperative that you make sure your profile page contains all the required information recruiters are searching for.
4. Your email, your Cell Phone…even your postal address.
If you are seriously committed to making a career change, if you have updated your CV, spruced up your social profile and ensured that your details are attractive and updated on the job boards, then for goodness sake…make sure you are contactable. As mentioned previously, most recruiters are exceptionally busy and can’t waste time spending days trying to contact people they are interested in. Make sure you answer your phone (even if it’s from a number you don’t recognise), answer emails and even answer your snail mail (if that still happens). Recruiters will recognise that you are serious and will make sure they expend every effort in making your future, potential applications to jobs successful.
In summary, you need to make sure your CV is easy to read, has highlighted skills and easy to trace contactable specifics. Monitor your profile on social media to ensure that it generally comes across as professional. You must ensure that the listed details on the job boards are quick and easy to recognise and comes across as attractive. Most of all, make sure that recruiters can always get hold of you because there are always other people competing with you for specific jobs and if you don’t answer that mystery call…you will never know if you just passed up an opportunity at your dream job.