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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.

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.