If you’re tired of applying to job postings without getting results, then it’s time to change your approach.
Get on the fast track to landing the job you want with a guidebook that delivers real-world guidance on networking, writing your resume(CV), and finding the right opportunities. Career coach Richard Hobbs can help you
• view live interview winning resume(CV) examples
• apply lessons from successful job seekers;
• inspire hiring managers with STAR answers;
• understand the truth about the recruitment process;
• stay employed in a competitive market.
The lessons presented here can persuade a recruiter to take notice of you during a ten-second scan of your resume(CV). You can communicate your unique selling points so you can stand out from the crowd.
Whether you are new to the workforce or long-term job hunter, someone returning to work after an absence from it or a career professional on the move, you can build your confidence and get results with Inspire a Hire and achieve your own unique definition of success.
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Read an Excerpt
INSPIRE A HIRE
SUCCESSFUL JOB-HUNTING STRATEGIES FOR EVERYONE
By RICHARD HOBBS
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Richard Hobbs, BSc, FMM
All rights reserved.
A Welcome and Words of Encouragement
Dear Job Hunter,
Welcome to Inspire a Hire.
You are already a success because you are here for a positive reason!
You might be here because:
You're serious about securing the job, career, and lifestyle you want.
You're looking for your first job or have been employed in the same company for many years and face redundancy, thinking you would never need to write a CV or embark on job hunting. The truth is, the job market can be a minefield.
You're not be getting past the recruitment systems that send you those disheartening letters that say, 'Regrettably, on this occasion you have been unsuccessful', with no feedback to help you identify how to improve.
You're proactive and not a quitter. My guess is you're also determined to get what you want!
You're already ahead of the majority of job hunters who randomly fire off a poorly drafted CV into the electronic ether and wonder why they don't receive any calls. Whatever your reason for being here now, I want to welcome you to this practical, tested approach to getting interviews and, ultimately, offers for the job you desire.
My mission in the following pages is to teach you the proven approach that has helped me, and others, move jobs and significantly increase earnings relatively quickly, even during an economic recession and in a highly competitive market.
The lessons presented here, if you choose to apply them, will help your CV pass a recruiter's ten-second-scan test, will emphasise your added value, and will make you someone to take seriously as a potential candidate.
I am going to help you realise what your unique selling point is – and yes, you are unique. There is no other being like you in the universe. So know your uniqueness; it will make you stand out from the crowd. A great thing to know at the start of this e-book journey is that these are simple lessons learned from experience that require only a little logic and creativity to apply.
All I ask is for you to trust what I have learned from my own job-hunting experience and from other job hunters. Apply it, and then let me know your result by emailing your success story to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe that you have what it takes to add value to any organisation because as Stephen Covey tells us the first habit of highly successful people is to be proactive. So read on, my friend, and let us travel together towards the success you desire.
May you be blessed with achieving your unique vision of success, whatever that vision may be.
Rich Hobbs, BSc, FMM Your Job-Hunting Coach
THE RECRUITMENT REALITY
An Experiential Insight into the Recruitment Industry
So, you have spent time searching for the job or career that turns a light on inside you, and you're confident that latest application and CV will be a winner. You prepare a CV to the best of your ability and hit the Send button, or maybe even lick a stamp the good, old-fashioned way, and say quietly to yourself, 'Please, God, let this be the one.'
Whatever the method required for the application, you have actually made progress, and you're hopeful of a positive result. The days go by, then a couple of weeks, and still you have not heard anything. You go over your application, wondering why you haven't received a response, and you eventually muster the courage to ring up the agency or employer, only to hear the classic phrase:
'Unfortunately, your details did not match our requirements. We will keep your details on file.'
Hanging up the phone, your stomach sinks with the disappointment of rejection. Then begin the self-analysis and internal chatter that may negatively impact your emotional state. Those nearest to you see you're upset, and you have to announce that you did not even get an interview.
Does this sound familiar?
Believe me, I know this very well, and I've spent several years doing what can only be madness, as we have been told that 'to do the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result'. Until I learned the lessons I will be outlining in the following pages about the reality of the recruitment process.
Sales Drive Behaviour
According to the classic book The Goal by E. Goldratt, the reason most organisations exist is pure and simple: to make a profit! This is their sole purpose – they do nothing more and nothing less. All behaviour within these organisations is driven by sales and profit margins to achieve this goal.
So let's enter the mind of the recruitment consultant. Having been a recruitment consultant for a couple of years, I have a sound insight into this role and know that having this reality check should increase your chances for success.
Imagine that your job security is strongly dependent on achieving sales for the agency and hitting your targets, and success means placing candidates into jobs. That's also how you achieve your bonus.
How focused would you be?
How much time would you be willing to give candidates who do not make a serious attempt to communicate their work experience clearly?
What is the underlying goal in the back of the recruiter's mind?
Reflect on this for a moment.
At some point, an employer loses a member of staff, decides to expand the team, or even creates a brand new role. This is the birth of opportunity for you as the job hunter. The employer will decide either to run their own recruitment campaign or utilise one of the many recruitment agencies. And so the process begins.
The recruitment agencies' clients who are hiring need to explain what they are looking for in the ideal candidate. This could be a brief conversation with the recruitment consultant, who scribbles down the job description, or a detailed face-to-face meeting where the client clearly knows what he or she needs and provides a detailed job specification, a candidate profile, and a list of both essential and desirable qualities for the position.
The recruitment consultant negotiates a fee with the client, which may be that the agency receives a percentage of the successful candidate's salary. This is the typical approach for permanent vacancies; however, a fixed charge may be applied. Whatever financial arrangements are made, the recruiter is hungry to win the business, as this industry is highly competitive. Once the recruiter has some sense of what the customer desires in a candidate, he or she will work an advertising campaign to attract that candidate.
In an ideal world, where time is in abundance, the above process would be done thoroughly, with the recruiter getting a clear understanding of the client's needs and job hunters getting full details of the job specifications. However, the recruiters and client are driven by pressure to find a new employee, and they go through this process so quickly that they often overlook details. The understanding of the client's need by the recruiter and the recruiter's objectives by the client is somewhat grey.
The next step in the process is the advert. Potential candidates will be attracted by the job title, salary, and other content it gives. They will prepare their covering letters and CVs and then apply for the role. The recruiter will review applications and match candidates' experience to the job specifications. In this selection process, the recruiter highlights some candidates as potentials and rejects the rest. The client is then presented with the selected potentials to review to decide whom to interview. This final filtering process is often performed by the hiring manager, who is also under pressure to fill the gap in his or her team.
Tip! Candidate filtering is now mostly done automatically by smart computer systems that look for keywords, so your CV's wording and spelling are critical!
This whole process depends on human interpretation of a workplace task, which ends up in the form of a job specification. This following point is what I want you to grasp:
Tip! The recruiter does not often really understand the actual job being offered. The company's HR team is unlikely to have performed the role being advertised, and the hiring manager is likely too busy to get hands-on experience of the role. Therefore, you need to recognise that this whole process is open to misinterpretation of the common characteristics or skills that someone needs to perform the role.
And here is the opportunity you must see:
Tip! You do not have to be an exact match to get through a recruiter's filtering system. I repeat, because it is very important: you do not have to be an exact match to the job specification.
Recruiters are there to prevent hiring managers from spending hours sifting through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of applications to find their new employee. Good candidates will get through the filters if they fully absorb and understand the detail of the job specification and emphasise their key characteristics that best fit those details in their covering letter and CV.
Tip! Do not be put off or disheartened by what you read in a job vacancy advert.
An open job vacancy is an opportunity waiting for your skills. However, I would not suggest applying for a neurosurgeon's role if you have no medical training, but I'm hoping this is quite obvious! Understand the key features of the role, grasp the advert's core content, see the needs of the employer, identify the experience and skills required, and review how your own experience and skills match those.
If the advert is poor, by this I mean very brief and non-specific, then move on to something else, as the hiring company do not really know what they want. Alternatively you could ring them and ask for a detailed job specification. If they cannot meet this request, then consider whether you really want to work for that company, as such a lack of communication and clear information is not the mark of a quality organisation.
The recruiter is under pressure to achieve sales and will not spend time reviewing a poorly written covering letter or CV. He or she will scan your application in ten to fifteen seconds. The recruiter will scan for keywords and key phrases denoting certain skills and experience that match his or her interpretation of what the customer needs. If the recruiter registers a match in his or her mind within these first ten to fifteen seconds, then he or she will invest more time in taking a closer look; otherwise, the recruiter will reject the application. This is the ten-second-scan test.
Therefore, you must ensure that you express in your covering letter how, specifically, you are a good match to the company's needs. As stated, you don't have to meet all the criteria, but you must make it jump out that you are the best fit. Your CV must also clearly show keywords and key phrases indicating experience and skills to register as a hit in the mind of the recruiter. So, if you really want to get in front of the hiring manager, be prepared to make adjustments to your covering letter and CV for every application you make to design each application as a match.
Tip! One standard covering letter and CV do not fit all situations.
Again, recruiters will not spend hours trying to work out what your skills really are and then go out and sell you to employers. The majority of a recruiter's job is to simply match his or her interpretation of a need.
If you tell them, specifically, how you are the best fit, you will make their job simple and stand out, because many people apply for jobs without considering what specifically the employer requires, and recruiters become swamped with wasteful activity.
When you take the time to specifically tailor your application documents to match the employers requirements, recruiters will see you as a potential sale and will make efforts to convince hiring employers that you are the candidate before a competitor beats them to the sale. You then become a marketable asset for the recruiting agency. If you help the recruiter by telling them clearly how you are a match, some agencies will actively approach clients and sell you into the organisation.
Hiring managers will follow the same logic. Their minds will register keyword matches to skills and other criteria. When you do eventually get in front of them, they may overlook many of the specification requirements and instead consider them as areas for training. Thus, the job specifications become simply a guide, not the deciding factor for hiring.
Once your application has been approved and you've had an interview, many managers will ask themselves the following questions in assessing whether to give you the job.
Do I feel comfortable with this candidate?
Could I work with this person?
Can this person be trained?
Do I like this person's attitude?
Interviewing, which is intended to be a fair process based on well-defined criteria, simply boils down to non-verbal signals and your ability to create a relationship within a short meeting. This will be covered later, in a discussion on the actual interview.
Remember! You do not have to be an exact match, so relax.
I deeply want you to know the nature of the animal you are dealing with so you can tame it and make it your servant to get you the interviews you deserve and thus achieve your dream.
Let us look now at the CV structure that has proven successful for many job hunters.
A WINNING STRUCTURE
A Step-by-Step Structure of Some Successful CVs
So there you have it, a personal insight into the reality of the recruitment process that you are dealing with and some valuable guidance on what steps to take to pass the ten-second-scan test. Now let's get into the detail of the design of the vehicle that will increase your chances of winning the interview. Keep this famous quote in mind throughout the process:
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. —Albert Einstein
Within the world of professional CV writing, there is no one standard format for this document, but some common themes and styles have emerged over time.
What follows is a simple-to-follow method that has proven to be successful and will guide you step by step to creating an interview-winning CV. If you like to jump straight to the answers page, then check out the appendices and study the examples of actual interview- and job-winning CVs.
It is worth noting that there are different types of CVs, including chronological, functional, and combined. Most of this e-book is about a chronological CV, but if you want to learn more about the other types, check out appendix D now. But make sure you come right back!
Welcome back. You did have a look, didn't you?
The structure you need to use will depend on how you want to present yourself. As I have said before, be prepared to create a new version for each unique opportunity if you want to be an interview winner. Keep this thought in the back of your mind:
Important! One size does not fit all.
Real job-winning example CVs appear in the appendices of this book to illustrate the finished CVs I have written for clients who were successful on the job hunt, and a couple of great testimonials from a young job seeker and a bankrupt business owner also appear.
My objective is to walk you through the building blocks of a winning format and to show you examples to reference when creating your own unique, winning CV.
Here is the structure I have found to be highly successful. But remember – there is no definitive standard:
1. Your name and contact details. This may seem obvious, but many people fail here.
2. Your personal profile (the sales pitch). This is often very weak.
3. Career highlights (three to four key results/savings/awards).
4. Career history. This is what hiring managers really use to match you against the job specification, your actual experience.
5. Training/education. Remember, this is also about personality.
6. Key skills (three to four skills you are confident to discuss)
You can include hobbies, interests, and references, but I have learned that these things are rarely the primary focus for the recruiter or hiring manager. Writing standard comments like 'I enjoy reading and socialising' add virtually zero value to your CV. However, some hobbies and interests may have desirable qualities (e.g., youth leader, sports coach, running an online business). So expand your thinking and add an interest if you believe it contains an added-value skill set.
References are good to include if you have them and have informed them that they will be contacted. Most employers now send emails directly to the referee requesting reference details. Often, employers will not contact referees, as the process often only confirms that you were actually employed where you say you were and is an added cost to the hiring organisation.
At this point, if you are only starting out in your working life, you may have a sinking feeling that you have no career highlights or key skills to list. If you feel this way, please go straight to appendix F and see Alison Jones's winning CV. This young job hunter thought she had no skills until she received a little coaching.
Your Profile, the Unique You!
The first section of your CV – contact details – is not something I need to explain, but it is worth noting that you must get someone to check this for you because the last thing you want is an error in your contact details that leaves you un-contactable. Hyperlink your email address and test that the link works, as this helps the recruiter to email you quickly. Avoid writing 'Curriculum Vitae' at the top of your CV, as it is self-explanatory.
Now, let us look closely at your profile – the hook that will catch prospective employers' attention.
If you have seen The Apprentice with Sir Alan Sugar on TV, you know that the whole process is about sales ability. Fail to sell and you're fired! Get your pitch right, make a profit, and you're headed for the job. In the final, the candidates have to understand marketing, develop a brand image, be unique, and sell their product to achieve the business goal of making a profit.
Excerpted from INSPIRE A HIRE by RICHARD HOBBS. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Hobbs, BSc, FMM. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
About Inspire a Hire.................... xi
Chapter 1 – Introduction.................... 1
Chapter 2 – The Recruitment Reality.................... 3
Chapter 3 – A Winning Structure.................... 11
Chapter 4 – Getting out There.................... 27
Chapter 5 – Pre-Interview Preparation.................... 33
Chapter 6 – The Interview.................... 39
Chapter 7 – Into the Future.................... 47
Chapter 8 – Defining Success.................... 51
Appendix A – Winning CV Examples: The End Result.................... 55
Appendix B – Key Skills Summary: Very Useful List of Key Skills............ 67
Appendix C – The STAR Example: A Powerful Technique.................... 71
Appendix D – CV Types: A Little Background Information.................... 73
Appendix E – Company Details: A Mind Map Template.................... 77
About the Author.................... 79
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“Having been made bankrupt as an entrepreneur I had never written a CV or been for an interview in 25yrs. Richard and this book helped restore my self confidence as we worked together on my CV and I won the interview I wanted within 24hrs of submitting my details. His coaching support on interview preparation and his help in creating a sales pitch presentation beat another candidate with more experience. I am extremely grateful to Richard for writing Inspire a Hire and helping me get back on track and will continue to use his skills in the future as I believe he has a real gift with this process from his experience” Russell Kendall Bankrupt Business Owner UK