Working in the recruitment industry, albeit creative Recruitment Advertising, I frequently receive emails and social media messages from job seekers asking if they can send me their CV.
I always try to help where I can, of course. After all, we should always aim be kind to one another. And, why not? I have the knowledge, why not share it?
What would you love to do?
The British Philosopher, Alan Watts, once said: “If money was no object, what would you do?” What are you interested in? What would get you up in the morning without having to hit snooze and sigh? What would you love to do for 8 hours a day?
Make a Pros and Cons List
What Industry do you want to be in? Make a pros and cons list of what you like and dislike about your current / previous job(s) as well as the companies you’ve worked for and industries you’ve been exposed to.
Discover your ideal employer
Now that you are one step closer to realising what work you want to do, carry out some research and make a list of companies you want to work for. The best way to find these is on LinkedIn, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Snapchat) or, if you’re based in South Africa, try BizCommunity and look at their company lists per industry. Of course, don’t forget the power of a simple Google search!
You can even take it a step further and look at your shortlisted companies’ employer brand reputations on Glassdoor or Careers24 (South Africa). When you’re browsing their social media feeds, look at their photos – is this a place you want to go every day? Can you see yourself there?
Beef up your CV
Re-read your CV, make changes and update it to your most recent job, ensuring you have included your dates and reasons for leaving. Check your spelling and grammar. Align your CV properly and if you’ve got a front page, ditch it – it’s unnecessary and requires extra paper. Stick to two pages and start with a 1–2 paragraph summary, then straight into your most recent experience, your education and so on. Keep it short but informative. Sell yourself from the get-go. Make that summary powerful so that the person reading it, reads on.
Your online reputation
In short, update all your profiles, social, professional and career websites. Make sure you come across professionally and that your online profiles are okay for your granny to see and be proud of. Check your spelling and grammar and have a professional personal email address, not one you created using your childhood nickname or named after your favourite 90’s rock band. For more, refer to my other blog: “Your social media reputation”.
Now that you have that very important list of ideal companies, search for them on LinkedIn and follow them. Do a simple search to see who the Human Resources contact or relevant department head is and connect with them. Be up front and say that you would like to connect with them because you are very interested in working for their company and you’d like to stay in touch. Follow the companies on social media as well and engage with their posts, but again, check your spelling and grammar when commenting (honestly, I can’t stress this enough!).
Hashtags to follow
There is a great Twitter chat that takes place on Mondays between 4pm – 5pm (SAST) under #JobAdviceSA. They cover questions that candidates may have about searching for jobs, going for interviews, how to write a CV and so on. Do yourself a favour…
A few companies and agencies use #JobSeekersSA when posting jobs on social media, so it’s a good place to keep an eye out for your future career. Follow this hashtag, as you may spot something of interest.
Get yourself organised, figure out what you want, always keep a look out and be ready to pounce with a brilliant CV, good reputation, clear record and a sparkling reference or two.