One Chance

So, you’ve seen your ideal job. You frantically click ‘Apply Now’, upload your CV to an online portal and you wait…

…and you wait…

…you wait some more…

But you never hear another thing.

You know what? There’s a better way. Perhaps you’re a CV writing guru, or think you are. Or perhaps your CV has, over time, become an abomination of collective edits over the course of your career. I’ve seen it all and, trust me, many of the CV’s I see really don’t do the candidate justice.

In some ways, it’s worse now than ever before. As the demand rises to set yourself apart from all other applicants, you might try something different. You might choose to write in third-person tense, or add a ‘tastefully artistic’ theme. The more ‘out there’ you try to be, the more likely you are to gain attention but maybe for the wrong reasons.

But is a CV that important any more? In essence, no. Your profile, your portfolio, your reputation, a log of your successes all supersede it in my opinion, but the moment you clicked ‘Apply Now’ on that job advert, you made your CV the ONLY thing you’ll be judged on, especially if it has to pass through a robotic HR process before reaching the hiring manager, if it ever does. You could be an expert in your field, but none of that really matters.

So, here’s an idea for you and it goes against the grain of common-sense.

If you really value that dream opportunity you’ve seen advertised, stop. Think about it. Don’t apply via the employers website, use an agency. But not just any agency, one that will take the time to get to know you. To understand the things about you that your CV can’t fully depict. A good Recruitment Consultant will critique your CV, they may tweak it to ensure the best combination of relevance and readability. Once they’re happy with your CV, they’ll speak with the prospective employer and use their skills to ensure that you are represented in the best way possible.

But, if during a conversation with an agency, you don’t feel they can really fly the flag for you, politely tell them you don’t wish to pursue, tell them not to share your CV and find another way in.

You get one chance. Make it count.

“What can we do to make you stay?”

Counter Offer


…they are one heck of an ego-boost, but here’s the truth.

If you got to the point of going for an interview for another role, you almost certainly had very good reason for doing so. Perhaps the hours were getting on top of you, you’d been overlooked for promotion or you’d been diddled on your money again.

So, you have a great meeting with a prospective employer. Fantastic business, it all goes well, you love what they have to offer and, with a bit of consideration, decide that you want to challenge yourself. Great.

Then, 3 weeks into your notice period, your Manager calls a meeting. It goes something like this.

“Can we persuade you to stay? What would it take? Tell us, we don’t want to lose you”

It’s too easy to respond by telling them that a bit of extra money will suffice. It’s easy for them too, compared to the cost of recruiting and training your replacement. Deal, done.

But the cynic in me would strongly advise you to have a word with yourself. Do you really think things will change just because you’re getting a bit more money? The answer is most probably not. But the expectation on you will be higher. You didn’t think they’d give you the raise for nothing did you? Also, they’ll always know that you’re probably not there for the long-term, so the likelihood of that promotion probably becomes even less likely, why would they invest in someone whose head can be turned for an extra couple of grand?

The numbers speak for themselves, around 80% of those who accepted a counter offer actually went on to leave in the next 12 months anyway. But by then, the dream opportunity you turned down will have been snapped up by someone else.

Furthermore, if you leave courteously, there’s a chance you’d be welcomed back if things didn’t turn out as planned, but, if you ask me, it’ll never come to that and nor should it. That’s another story for another day!

Less is more…

OK, if we’re talking Pizza, less certainly isn’t more. It’s delicious and tasty, it’s the food that just keeps on giving. Like most, I’d take the whole damn thing.

Not everyone realises that by applying for a job via any of the major job website boards, your CV automatically ends up in a database that is accessible by any one of the hundreds of recruiters that hold subscriptions to those boards. It’s a useful feature that, in itself, isn’t a bad thing, but in some cases what happens with your CV as a result can be.

You, you’re a person, not a commodity. You’re not a Pizza set out on the table waiting for everyone to grab a slice, only to be forgotten about tomorrow. In essence, it might seem that having lots of people grabbing a slice is a positive thing, but of all the good guys/gals, there are some rogues and you can’t easily identify them during a brief telephone chat. It is not only illegal, but also highly immoral for your CV to be ‘farmed out’ without your permission, sadly it happens, don’t be under any illusion, and it is highly dangerous. The more people it goes to, the more likely your current boss is to see it. It’s almost like advertising from the roof tops that you’re in the market for a move. Is it any more likely to result in a job offer? I don’t think so. It may also damage your chances, as this method of ‘door-stopping’ prevents a proper, calculated, quality introduction.

I’m hearing more and more about an uprising of ‘Boutique Recruiters’. Generally speaking, collectively, we are trying to bring quality and ethics back to this industry. I, for one, aren’t looking to ‘bang out’ 100 CV’s this week, the sheer thought makes me shudder. I’m looking to have proper conversations with people genuinely looking to further their career. Between us, if you’re up for it, we can work out a strategy and I can use my attention to detail, industry knowledge and significant contact base to try to make this happen.

“I’ll absolutely definitely get you a job offer”

Of course I can’t promise this. But by getting to know you, I’ll represent you in the fairest way possible, ensuring your discretion and confidentiality. Hopefully this will have a positive outcome.

So, if you’re a Motor Trade professional looking for The Next Step, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Recruitment Roulette

Sales can be a ruthless industry, I’m under no illusion. Recruitment, as a form of sales, is worse.

I work with integrity, decency and as far as possible, transparency. But I’ve encountered another agency who, in my opinion have crossed the line and I will ‘Name & Shame’ soon if I encounter this same well-known agency AGAIN jeopardising the future of any candidate with whom I am involved because this isn’t the first time. So, here’s the story…

I received a CV in application for a Car Dealership Sales Manager post I’m working on for a good client of ours. When I engaged with the candidate, I typically ask if they are in consideration for other roles. In this case, the candidate was upfront, telling me that he had submitted his CV twice the previous evening for what looked like similar roles. He is a great fit for the role and was very keen. I knew I must act quickly, because I know what the industry is like. However, he assured me that he hadn’t spoken with the other agency, despite them leaving a voicemail for him. I asked him politely to give me an hour to prepare his CV and put together a proper submission to the client before speaking with the other agency. He told me that he had no plans to engage with the other agency, knowing that they were probably working on the same role.

So, I put together my submission and forwarded it to my client. I received a response within minutes that they had already received a CV for this candidate. I’m not one to just walk away, so I challenged it and what followed turned into a harsh re-dressing, essentially questioning my honesty and how well I know my candidates. It hurt, frankly.

A couple of days have passed and today we learned from our client that they have just about filled the role, with a suitable candidate almost at the point of a job offer. We asked what happened with the candidate that we had submitted, apparently he didn’t show up for the interview that the other agency had booked. Since he was a ‘no show’ they have excluded him from the process.

Once again, I spoke with the candidate. The only contact he got from the other agency was a text message in the afternoon telling him that they had set him up an interview for the next morning, something that he hadn’t requested at all. Let’s not forget, he had not spoken to them at all. He responded, pointing out that he couldn’t attend and, furthermore, still wasn’t certain who their client is. This was the last he heard.

So, what happened? I’ll tell you. This other agency received the CV and immediately forwarded it to the client without first qualifying the candidate. They then set up a tentative interview, assuming the candidate would just agree. When the candidate responded negatively, they simply left it and didn’t even bother to cancel the ‘faux interview’ they had set up. Consequently the candidate has been removed from the process, for absolutely no fault of his own. I think you can imagine how he currently feels.

But how much of this stuff goes on behind the scenes and when did healthy competition have to be dragged down into pure bloodsports?

So, if you’re a candidate looking for work, take care, putting your CV into the hands of just ‘any old recruiter’, either directly or indirectly, can result in career-changing events. They’ll door-stop every other agency by spamming it to every viable client, knowing that a ‘first in the door’ policy is regarded as best practice and subsequently block out those of us that are trying to do a thorough job.

I refuse to be shifted from my position, I won’t adjust my tactics to keep with the rogues and just hope that the reputable employers will soon begin to see the true value of those of us that hold a level of decency in our work.