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!