How to resign

How to resign when changing jobs

Whether you are a recruiter, employee or a director of a company one of the most overlooked parts of the career advancement process is resigning. When the initial victorious fist clenching, celebratory hugs and the general excitement of landing your dream job has passed, the candidate and his or her agent must now navigate the potentially rocky post offer road to arrive safely in the new job on the first day.

This can be a nervy time for the headhunter who has just sealed the deal as they worry that the candidate may get cold feet, or be tempted by a counter-offer causing the placement to fall through. It can also be a tense time for the candidate who may be feeling apprehensive about the thought of approaching their boss to resign, having to work out the notice period which can sometimes be awkward, and/or entering a brave new world of employment elsewhere.

Written offer in place

The golden rule for resigning to take up post in a new job is not to resign until you have a written job offer in your hand, which includes a start date, base salary and all the pertinent benefits and perks. A verbal offer is not enough; you want to be totally sure of commitment from the employer – and that all the correct internal hiring approval procedures have been executed. Please bear in mind that this commitment works both ways; how would you feel when as you are packing that last box with family photographs and other treasured belongings the phone rings and it’s the company who offered you saying they changed their mind and want to hire somebody else? Yes, that would be outrageous so please do not do it to them.

Timing

Where possible, try and consider factors such as bonus payment, holidays owed and share options as your entitlement to these benefits can be affected by the day on which you resign. For example, resigning a week later could mean that you have accrued enough service to be eligible for a bonus payment whereas a week earlier could mean you lose your entitlement. Check all the terms and conditions that relate to your benefits vary carefully.

Breaking the news…

Your current contract may stipulate the resignation process and it is likely a specific period of notice has to be given, this can range from days to a year dependent on your role and most often you have to notify your employer in writing. In practice, it is courteous to arrange a meeting with your manager and verbally resign and then hand them a resignation letter then and there, or follow up afterwards.

Honour your notice period, but try to negotiate a shorter one if you wish. Remember, you could be owed holidays.

 

It is vital that you honour your notice period and try not to be tempted to break it by your new employer. However, there is nothing wrong with asking if you can finish before the end of your notice period. Some employers would rather get the whole thing over with as quick as possible, even letting you go straight away and paying your notice period.

Be prepared for a counter-offer

If your current employer does not want you to leave then you may find that they’ll offer you a higher salary to get you to stay. Ask yourself why they did not offer 6 monthly reviews and increase your salary before.

 

But, if your reason for leaving was not money orientated, then accepting a money based counter-offer may be unwise as once the initial excitement of the higher salary wears off you will be faced with the same problems which caused you to want to leave in the first place. Once again, why didn’t your existing employer promote you or offer other benefits before? Do you really think they will change their attitude or is this just a knee-jerk reaction in an attempt not to lose you?

Also, consider that if you resign and then return on a counter-offer the way that you are perceived by your boss and team members could change and you could be perceived as disloyal/unstable. Your manager could feel some animosity as he/she could feel that they had no option to make you a counter-offer which could affect the way they treat you.

You should be aware that it is especially bad form to accept a counter-offer after you have formally accepted a post with a new employer. If you have signed a contract, then you will be in breach of contract with the new employer, but they probably won’t pursue it. But, you will get a bad reputation with your recruiter/headhunter and may burn your bridges with the employer who you may want to work with in the future.

 

If you do receive a counter-offer, I urge you to consider these points but, in my experience accepting a counter-offer is always a mistake. Try asking if your current employer would take you back in 6-months if you realise you have made a terrible mistake-what do you think they would say??

Build Bridges

Finally, your current employer should be a source of referees and business connections for the future and good employers accept great employees will leave in order to progress. So, approach your most trusted colleagues and managers and ask if they will act as a referee. Reach out and make LinkedIn connections with colleagues before you leave while you are still familiar with them AND…stay in touch with the headhunter who helped you land that great job-they can help you build your team and keep you apprised of opportunities for the future.

 

Dealing with stress

Stress is a very normal part of everyone’s life. We deal with it in every facet of our being, from work to school to relationships to home life. More often than not, however, work is the one factor that leaves us feeling the most stressed of all.

A recent study by Deloitte, which surveyed over 23,000 professionals, actually suggests a reason for the trend, as well as implying workplace stress is a unique experience for each person. Here, according to Deloitte, are the five biggest stressors at work–and how they may impact you.

  1. Making errors

Although everyone surely makes mistakes, the thought of messing up in a high-stakes environment makes people worry more than any other possible gaffe in the workplace. An enormous number of respondents–82 percent of all those who participated–believed that the wish to avoid making errors affected them most of all.

  1. Challenging workloads

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed also felt that an overwhelming workload–for instance, one that cannot be reasonably completed in the working hours of each day–was also a cause for concern. Long hours of handling many responsibilities were ultimately very taxing on the worker.

  1. Moments of conflict

Another 52 percent of participants found moments of conflict incredibly stressful, which include things like being chastised or scolded, as well as needing to deliver serious or weighty messages to another colleague. Such conflict can take more of an emotional than physical toll, as it’s necessary to balance personal feelings with professional comportment in the aforementioned cases.

  1. Urgent situations

An assignment with a tight deadline or an incredibly important project is bound to add an intense amount of stress. Although many would assume that projects of this nature would actually be the prominent stressor for most employees, only roughly 46 percent reported time-pressured deadlines as a reason to descend into worry.

  1. Face-to-face interactions

Although some of us are naturally at ease giving a presentation or meeting a new client, so many of us get a fair amount of stage fright from the mere prospect of such interactions. While 45 percent of participants would rather avoid these situations altogether, it can be useful to practice, since fear of performing always decreases with increased repetition.

 

Feeling blue?

Just back from a “camping in the forest” long weekend. It was a great opportunity to recharge the batteries and I know that as the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop many us may begin to start feeling a little down. But, is it the just the weather or is your current job causing you to feel less than 100% content?

Do any of the following apply to you;

 

  1. You don’t feel challenged – in fact, you feel bored…

Does it feel like every day is the same and you’re just going through the motions with no prospect of change? If it does – and it’s turning you into a clock-watcher, or you find that you’re no longer bothered about doing your job well then perhaps it’s time to have a hard think about your future.

  1. You moan all the time about the same things…

Having a bit of a moan is a healthy way to let off steam. The problem comes if you always seem to find yourself moaning about the same old things with the same people. It’s especially bad if you hate being a moaner and hate that your job has turned you into one.

  1. You can’t see a future for you at your company…

If your company can’t or won’t promote you – because it doesn’t have a bigger role for you or because it keeps promoting other people – then sooner or later you’re going to leave the organisation. Likewise, if you dread being promoted because it will just bring more problems then you should think about your motives for staying. Ultimately, if you don’t believe that your company can give you meaningful career development in a reasonable time frame, then it’s not for you.

  1. You don’t get any recognition…

Recognition comes in many forms: pay rises or bonuses, being consulted, being given the opportunity to learn new skills or take on new responsibilities, or just generally being treated like a valued employee. If you feel ignored, unappreciated, or like you’ve been written off by your employer, then it might be time to find a place where you would be appreciated.

  1. Your work-life balance isn’t working…

No matter how much you love your job, you need a work-life balance that suits you. If you’re getting frustrated by the hours you work, if your workload never seems to get more manageable, or if work keeps coming home with you, then you need to think about rebalancing things. Do you work to live or live to work? Ask your significant other and prepare yourself for a shock!

  1. You’ve tried to change things, but it never happens…

Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re having a problem at work, your company might be keen to hear about it and help resolve it. But if you’ve been through the proper channels and nothing ever seems to improve, then it might be easier to switch jobs than to keep trying to change your company.

  1. You get that Monday morning feeling every Sunday night…

There’s nothing unusual about feeling a bit down on a Monday. But there is a problem when blue Mondays start the night before. If you are in the right job, you shouldn’t find yourself dreading work or feeling anxious about it on Sunday evenings.

Recognise any of the seven signs?

Well, if you do and you decide to start interviewing then I’d like you to prepare for the dreaded counter-offer. Give careful thought about what your current employer would need to offer for you to stay and if you’re not presented with a counter offer do not be disheartened. Most people who accept counter offers leave six months later anyway and why did your employer not offer you that promotion before?

Finally, surely a great employer would say yes, of course if you asked if you could return in 6 months if you the realise you’d made a terrible mistake? Think about that one…what your boss answer?

 

Rules that were made to be broken

From the convoluted hiring process to the increasingly complex policies of the average company, there is seemingly no end to the number of rules and regulations we necessarily live by in order to conform to the rules of career building. There are rules for resumes, rules for interviewing, rules for the workplace once you land a job…so much time is invested to learn the rules that it isn’t surprising that we become so risk averse as our job experience and careers mature. But one of the most overlooked rules of all is that sometimes, some rules should be broken. This rule is especially relevant to the following list of conventions so many professionals accept as corporate gospel.

 

  1. If you look for career advice most anywhere (blogs, public forums, professional advisors), you’ll probably be told that“salary” is a four-letter word; especially during a job interview. But is simply inquiring about an intended salary really so presumptuous? Not in the least. In fact, ignoring the issue of salary until the last possible moment can potentially be a huge waste of time for both employer and candidate. Salary is a major consideration when accepting any job and going through the slog of the hiring process only to have to turn down a job offer due to an insufficient compensation package can be both demotivating and emotionally exhausting.

 

Nobody wins in this situation: you end up back in the job pool all the worse for wear and your potential employer ends up back at square one. So, how does one politely go about approaching the topic with minimal fuss? You can initially defuse the awkwardness of the situation by first acknowledging that the topic is, indeed, awkward but making the point that your financial situation requires you obtain at least some information about a projected salary range. Also, try framing the question as a way to avoid wasted time on the employer’s part.

  1. After you have broached the subject of your salary, now it’s time to break a second rule:avoid awkward salary negotiations. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes salary negotiations are a reasonable tactic to undertake as part of the hiring process, but sometimes this behaviour may backfire or be completely inappropriate for your situation. The primary takeaway here is that many employers don’t follow the same rules as those offering hard-core corporate jobs. Sometimes part of your compensation package is the perks and other benefits you gain through employment in addition to your base salary. If you know your field and have done some research on both the company and average salaries, you may at least avoid some embarrassment and possibly even being overlooked.
  2. Instead of sitting on the side-lines while you wait for others to figure out your values, toss this final rule out the window and embrace your impulse tobrag about yourselfand push for promotions. In the real world, it is not a simple matter of serving your time while you patiently await your reward. Climbing the food chain requires asking for feedback, sharing your questions and plans for your careers, and generally making sure that everyone around you knows just how hard you work. Though the philosophy of not rocking the boat is largely ingrained in us from birth, when it comes to matters of progression in your career, you need to be assertive. Downplaying your contributions and value will never lead to a swanky promotion or top-flight projects. Be recognized by not selling yourself short due to fear of being the center of attention.

It will always be necessary to know the rules of your field and employer. But by fundamentally understanding these rules, you can more easily identify those that can and should be broken at opportune moments and help push your career to new (and possibly unexpected) heights.

 

Go for it!

 

Tips for writing an effective CV 

If you are in the job market you will need a CV. Many out of work today experience feelings of being lost and anxiety with the prospect of having to write resumesSome of these people worked for the same employer for 20 years or more before they lost their jobs.  In addition, it’s likely that many in this group never even thought that they’d face the prospect of unemployment. 

I’ve seen thousands of resumes. Some of them were very good. Others were not so good and some of them were so bad I could not even consider them 

Here are some tips to help 

Highlight accomplishments. Too many resumes simply regurgitate duties, and responsibilities instead of accomplishments.  If you grew a profit center from £10 million in annual revenue to £50 million, for example, you’ll want to include this on your resume. Employers want to know why they should hire you, and accomplishments help differentiate candidates from the competition. List your accomplishments and skills at the very top of your CV. 

 

Make sure your document is electronic, and sent in Word or plain text format 

 

In the seventies and eighties recruiters often stored resumes in filing cabinets and used Rolodex.  Those filing cabinets are now called back office systems or Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)(electronic databases)and they are capable of storing thousands of resumes in word or plain text format. Send a resume that can’t be stored in one of these formats, and risk having it overlooked by employers and recruiters. 

 

Include key words from the job descriptions.  Interested in applying for a job?  Read the description carefully and make sure that your resume includes the key words written in the job descriptions.  This will improve the chances of your CV getting read. If you are a nuclear project engineer then say so. 

 

Avoid non-job related information.  If you became a Scout 30 years ago, congratulations but unfortunately hiring managers and recruiters aren’t interested in this information.  They want to know why they should bring you in for an interview so list key skills such as; experience in selling to the nuclear industry or written papers on your specialist subject then say so, whatever your skills are they must be mentioned for you to be found.   

 

Make sure your contact information is visible and includes name, address, phone number, email, and social media addresses. Recruiters rely on electronic communications because it’s faster than telephone, or face to face so make it easy for them to contact you electronically and improve your chances of getting contacted. Oh and make yourself available, if you have to be chased all the time recruiters will look elsewhere! 

 

Take advantage of social media.  If your resume is not posted on the profile sections of LinkedIn, Facebook, Google + and Twitter then you’re reducing the chances of a recruiter finding you.   

 

Don’t forget an electronic cover letter. Showing interest in a particular job by including a personal cover letter goes a long way toward differentiating one job applicant over another.  Clearly lay out why you are a good candidate for the vacancy. Did you save your employer money or devise new systems that made them more efficient? 

 

Use spell check and have your document proofread by another set of eyes.  Sending a document filled with typos is unprofessional and creates a very bad first impression.  Make sure you use spell check and get someone else to try and find any mistakes. 

 

Finally, it’s important NOT to get discouraged.  Employment is still very high and rejection should be expected.  Keep the focus, stay upbeat, and don’t give up.  There are jobs out there for people who want them badly enough and I have clients with urgent requirements!! 

 

Finding the right recruiter for you

Finding the right recruiter for you

Every job market is unique and in order to gain the most out of your job search, working alongside a specialised recruiter can be your ticket to success. Just as you may use a mechanic to help you with your car or a plumber to help stop your leaking tap, an expert recruiter can help you find a new job that matches your requirements. Best of all, it’s completely free for you to use. Even if they find you a job, you will never have to pay a penny because the employer pays the recruiter.

In order to find the best recruitment consultant the first thing you need to do is spend some time researching recruiters in your sector. For example, if you are a senior engine design specialist or construction expert, you need to align yourself with technical, power generation, automotive or aerospace recruiters who specialise in senior technical and construction positions. There is no point in wasting time speaking to recruiters who do not specialise in your sector and they are likely to be offish with you. If you wish to work for a large multinational company, you will need to find recruiters who have these contacts. Look for specialist recruiter-often freelance agents are used by very large companies as their “ace card” finding the hard to find and they are on the lookout for candidates like you. Look at a recruiter’s Website, what type of jobs are they advertising? If the posted jobs appeal to you then get in touch.

How can I begin to find a recruiter who can help me?

 

Creating a LinkedIn profile and networking is the best way forward. Once you have a professional LinkedIn profile that highlights your experience, achievements, skills and expertise, you can begin to network and research recruiters in your field. Typically, most recruitment firms are listed on LinkedIn and you can search within their company profiles to find individual recruiters. Spend some time on your profile-recruiters judge you on it and have to pay to send you an Inmail, they won’t contact you if the profile is poor.

How do I know if a certain recruitment agent is right for me?

 

Building up trust and rapport with your recruiter is vital to success. Many people send their resume blindly to a recruitment company and wonder why no one calls them back. In order to have the recruiter searching for jobs on your behalf (remember recruiters don’t get paid until they place you) they need to know that you’re serious about the job search. Be upfront with your consultant and tell them about the types of roles you require and the companies you want to work for. If you can provide a recruiter with all the information that they require they will be able to work as best as they can on your behalf. Remember, a recruiter could have your CV in front of the right person at a company of your dreams within minutes-it could take you months!

Finally:

 

Finding the right recruiter can certainly help you in your job search. Having someone with inside knowledge will increase your odds of finding a new job. Nourish the relationship with your recruiter-it is a two way street. Respond to requests for information quickly and honestly and the recruiter will bend over backwards to help you…

 

It is a tough job market!

I know people who are contemplating a career change and appreciate this is not for the faint hearted, in fact it is much harder than anyone who is thinking about making a change can imagine.

I want to share 30 things with you I recommend you do when taking that leap of faith.

1) Stay employed! It is always easier to find a job when you are employed than unemployed.  Give your current employer 100%.  Making a career change takes a lot longer than you think it will.

2) Be Frugal. Cut costs where you can in your personal life. Save money. You will need it if you lose your job or if you will be taking a pay cut when you make the career change.

3) Have an open mind. Start talking to everyone. Talk to every colleague or anyone who will talk to you. Take them to lunch and interview them about what they do for a living. Find out if it is something you would like to do.

4) Try to find a career that complements your skill set.  Understand there are huge challenges if you don’t go after a career path that doesn’t match or use the skills that you have today. Disqualify the people and industries that do not interest you.

5) Once you identify potential career paths, ask specific questions about how they got started and get a clear understanding of what it will take to make the change.

6) Ask questions about what additional skills, knowledge, certifications you are going to have to obtain to get to where you want to be.

7) Discuss the options with your spouse, significant other, parents, mentor, or someone you trust.

8) Start enrolling in classes that you may need to help your career. These may take years so a career change may not be imminent.

9) Once you decide which career/ direction you want to take, talk more. Talk to everyone in the industry

10) Research every company and make a top 10 list of the companies you would like to work for. Go after the companies you are interested in with a vengeance. You need to network with key people who work there.

11) Find out the salary range at the companies you are targeting.

12) Find out at what level you would need to start. It is almost guaranteed you will need to take a step back before you take a step forward.

13) Work your network! See who knows people at these specific places. Ask for additional introductions. Go beyond just a LinkedIn invitation. Once you are connected meet them and talk to them.

14) See if you can find the “hidden job market”. Try to find jobs that aren’t posted. Try to interview with people that know you and will hire you based upon their knowledge.

15) Search all of the job boards and see who is hiring.

16) Use your connections you have made and if the “hidden market” isn’t hiring, see if someone can connect you to someone who is hiring.  Don’t apply without some sort of introduction.

17) Brush up your CV.  You should focus on the skills you have used at your prior jobs and how they could help in the role you are seeking.

18) Hire a coach if needed. Develop a 3, 5, 20 year plan. If you don’t hire a coach make sure you have a mentor.

19)) Get involved in support groups. You aren’t the first one to do this and won’t be the last. Have things to do to take your mind off a career change. Why not play golf, go for a jog, go to the cinema etc. You do need a relief, this is stressful time!

20) Present yourself well, get a haircut, have a shave or at least trim that beard. Put yourself out there. Treat every interview as a learning experience. You will find out that brushing up on your formal interviewing skills is imperative to success and there is tons of material on the internet you can read up on.

21) Have skin as tough as leather. Don’t take anything personally.

22) Check your emotions at the door.  Do not get too high and do not get too low.  There are times when you feel you have done really well on an interview when you don’t get it.   It is easy to get depressed.  Sometimes, the decision on a candidate has been made long before you walked in the door.

23) Do not take the first offer. There are people who will try to get you cheap. Be realistic, your research will have told you the salary you are worth-stick to it.

24) Once again, talk to your spouse, significant other, mentor or colleague and discuss all offers you have received.

25) Ensure you are financially ready to make a commitment to make the career change. Make sure you have the time that you can devote to making the change.

26) Sign the offer that makes the most sense for you today, and for your future. It must make sense financially and match your passion. Make sure it is something you are genuinely interested in doing.

27) Take some time off if you are still employed. When you make a commitment like this you want to give 100% to your new adventure in life.

28) Let others know about your decision.

29) Give 100% every day. Come in early, stay late and fully commit yourself to the role &

30) Celebrate! You have done it. Congratulations!

 

 

Getting the job requires a good attitude at interview…  

Use eye contact. Right or wrong, lack of eye contact communicates lack of interest, and lack of confidence.  Make sure that you’re engaged in the interview process by maintaining eye contact.

 

Communicate with energy. During my years of recruiting I have occasionally come across candidates who appeared like they had one foot in the grave and didn’t care much about anything.  Guess what? These candidates did not get the job. Be enthusiastic but do not overdo it!

 

Express interest in the position. If you want the job, tell the interviewer that you’re interested?  People, who don’t ask, frequently don’t get.

 

Treat the interviewer with respect and act like he/she is the only person in the world. Focus your attention completely on the interviewer and your chances improve. Look away, or slouch, and your job chances will slide away.  These actions indicate lack of respect and remember-you’re not having a casual chat with your friends-this is serious and potentially life changing.  I’ve heard about many candidates who lost job opportunities because they used slang or swore during their interviews so take heed.

 

Finally, after you have been offered maintain a professional demeanour at all times as job offers can be retracted if the hirer witnesses a change in character.

7 things you should never do at interview

With the job market extremely tight, even the small stuff counts, especially when you’re on a job interview. That’s why it’s so important not to say or do the wrong things, since that first impression could end up being the last one.

With that in mind, here are seven deadly sins of job interviewing.

  1. Don’t be late.

Even if your car broke down or the train derailed, do everything you can to get to that job interview on time. Why not consider travelling the day before? You do when you MUST catch that flight to your holiday destination, if the job is important to you then make sure you’re there.

On the flip side, you don’t want to arrive too early and risk appearing desperate, but you do want to be there at least five minutes early or at the very least on time.

  1. Don’t be unprepared.

It seems simple, but countless people go on job interviews knowing very little about the company they are interviewing with when all it would take is a simple Google search to find out. As a result, they end up asking obvious questions, which signal to the interviewer that they are too lazy to prepare. Do some research on the interviewer too, you cannot be over prepared. “Google” yourself and prepare for surprises. If you learn interesting things about the interviewer, perhaps you both like dogs, then drop it in at the small talk stage. This would be a clear signal you are prepared and informed.

“Sharpen your pencil before you go to school.”

  1. Don’t ask about salary, benefits, perks etc.

Your initial interview with a company shouldn’t be about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. Which means the interview isn’t the time to ask about the severance package, number of weeks holiday or health plan. Instead you should be selling yourself as to why the company will benefit by employing you.

  1. Don’t focus on future roles instead of the job at hand.

The job interview is not the time or place to ask about advancement opportunities or how to become the MD. You need to be interested in the job you are actually interviewing for and not exaggerating your career aspirations. A company wants to see that you are ambitious, but they also want assurances you are committed to the job you’re being interviewed for.

  1. Don’t turn the weakness question into a positive.

To put it bluntly, interviewers are not idiots. So when they ask you about a weakness and you say you work too hard or you are too much of a perfectionist, chances are they are more apt to roll their eyes than be blown away. Instead, be honest and come up with a weakness that can be improved on and won’t ruin your chances of getting a job.

For instance, if you are interviewing for a project management position, it wouldn’t be wise to say you have poor organizational skills, but it’s ok to say you want to learn more shortcuts in Excel. Talk about the skills you don’t have that will add value, but aren’t required for the job.

  1. Don’t Lie

Many people think its ok to exaggerate their experience or fib about a firing on a job interview, but lying can be a sure-fire way not to get hired. Even if you get through the interview process with your half-truths, chances are you won’t be equipped to handle the job you were hired to do. Not to mention the more you lie the more likely you are to slip up.

Don’t exaggerate, don’t make things bigger than they are and don’t claim credit for accomplishments you didn’t do.

  1. Don’t ask if there’s any reason you shouldn’t be hired

Well-meaning career experts will tell you to close your interview by asking if there is any reason you wouldn’t be hired. While that question can give you an idea of where you stand and afford you the opportunity to address any concerns, there’s no guarantee the interviewer is going to be truthful with you or has even processed your information enough to even think about that. All you are doing is prompting them to think about what’s wrong with you.

Another big “no no” is asking “when do I start”.

Be yourself and good luck at the interview!

You do want recruiters to find you, don’t you?

Here are some tips to help you be found…

 

Fully complete your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn clearly states that users with completed profiles are “40 times more likely” to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. It’s easy to see whether your LinkedIn profile needs more work as LinkedIn displays a percentage score, indicating level of completeness. So, before you do anything else like installing apps, joining groups, commenting on discussions, check your score and if it’s way below 100%, you should do some work to update your profile. LinkedIn’s idea of a completed profile means that you have included the following information:

 

Your industry and location, an up-to-date current position (with a description), two past positions, your education, your skills (minimum of 3), a profile photo and at least 50 connections

 

Edit your profile URL to make it more user and SEO friendly

 

Your public profile is the public version of your LinkedIn profile and it is this page which appears in search engines, like Google. The standard URL which LinkedIn gives you contains your name and a lot of numbers which are not reader friendly and according to experts, not SEO friendly. So, adjust your public profile URL so it is as close to your name as possible, e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname to make it more reader and SEO friendly.

 

Summary; adopting an inverted pyramid information structure

 

The LinkedIn summary has more prominence than the profession profile that you might prepare in a resume. Typically, the LinkedIn summary is longer; maybe two or three times the length and is a more fully fledged personal branding statement than the resume profile. Because the LinkedIn summary is longer and contains two or three paragraphs, it needs more structure than the shorter resume profile to create a similar positive effect. Many experts recommend that you adopt the Inverted Pyramid Approach to present your information which is an approach used in journalism to convey information in the most effective way.

 

In short this means that the most newsworthy info should come in the first paragraph, which is the: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? This is followed by the important details in the second paragraph, and other general info and background info in the third paragraph. The idea of this is that the reader gets a summary in the first paragraph and can leave the summary at that point and still get a good feel for what you are about.

 

Register a Company Profile

 

One thing that I always look for when assessing a candidate’s LinkedIn profile is a completed company profile, (which is signified by a file icon next to the employer name), as it provides enriching information about the calibre and nature of the employer and their business. Unfortunately, many companies don’t yet have a company profile and current or former employees of those businesses do not therefore have helpful company profile icons, describing the employer, which I think lessens the impact of their profile. So, if your employer hasn’t created a profile, either ask them to create one or simply create one yourself.

 

Attention Grabbing Headline

 

The LinkedIn profiles places a lot of emphasis on the ‘Professional Headline’ that appears at the top of the profile just below your name. This ‘headline’ is displayed prominently at the top of the page and also appears in the listings of search results, which means it will be very influential in determining whether a recruiter clicks on your profile or not. So ensure to prepare an accurate but attention grabbing headline to draw in the reader.

 

Install Apps

 

Used well, LinkedIn apps enrich your profile. Current apps include a WordPress app or Bloglink app which allows you to present your blog on your LinkedIn profile. Only use this if your blog relates to your business and industry. This is not for personal musings!

 

The Slideshare app is great for showcasing personal presentations, which you have given, on your LinkedIn profile. There’s also the Creative Portfolio app for showcasing creative work in unlimited multimedia formats. They also have a GitHub App so developers can show their headline activity on GitHub. So, I strongly recommend that where appropriate you install apps and enrich your profile

 

I hope you have found these LinkedIn profile optimization tips useful and I hope to find you soon.

 

 

This has been adapted from the original article by Kazim Ladimeji. Thanks to him for the great tips.

Want your CV to look good?

So you want your CV to look good?

You may want your resume to look pretty but is your pretty format preventing your resume from functioning as well as it should?

Many employment agencies use recruitment software systems and a “pretty” CV with borders, shading and nice pictures really isn’t easy for most systems to import. Recruiters will remove your contact details before forwarding your CV to their clients and having to remove unnecessary “fluff” from your CV too is time consuming and you might be overlooked in favour of a candidate that has a clear fuss free CV that is quick and easy to get out to the clients. Also consider the preview or cached version of your resume, which many recruiters and hiring managers will view to save time or to keep from having to open an application to view your document. Fancy formatting doesn’t translate in this instance either, in fact it often looks like gobbledegook.

Your best bet is to use the 97-2003 version MS Word without tables and graphics. A Rich Text Format version works well too. Here is a test; Take your resume, select all, copy, and then paste it into a blank Word doc. How does it look? The information in the resume is far more important than a flashy style. If the info is presented in a professional, straight forward way, you are ultimately better off and will have a portable resume that can be effective in multiple instances.

One of the main considerations when compiling your resume should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Each company you apply to will store your resume in a database of some kind.  The way your resume is retrieved, when someone is searching this database for viable candidates, is by keyword and/or Boolean search. So make sure your document contains the proper keywords that are specific to your skill set. Also make sure your contact info is not embedded in a header, this also doesn’t translate well in some systems and footers are equally bad. Make your CV is an easy and pleasant task to deal with.

Job seekers should have their resume on sector relevant job boards and social media Websites, especially LinkedIn. Be specific, not “Manager”, but “Six Sigma Program Manager “or “Gold mine” AND “General Manager” etc. Use words that will set you apart in a keyword specific search, repeat these keywords where they apply in each job description so that the reader will have some context as to where and when you used these skills. If you don’t know anything about Boolean search then look it up and incorporate phrases that reflect your skills and the job you are after.

I don’t know a single HR Manager who has asked for a colourful CV, it is not required or wanted.

Many systems still don’t translate PDF resumes well or at all. Some systems will but require a costly add-on.  If a recruiter has to convert your resume to a different format then, at the very least, you will not be the first candidate dealt with-sorry but it is true.

Some candidates will complain that they don’t want their resume altered in any way. All I can say to that is that these candidates are not helping themselves at all!

 

Nothing wrong with humour, but…

Maybe not use any of these on your CV…

 

ACHIEVEMENTS – “I came first in the school long distance race”

HOBBIES – “Horse rideing,like going pub when havent got my kids.looking after kids and doing stuff with them when they anit at school.”

EMAIL ADDRESS – Lazysod@……

ACHIEVEMENTS – “Being sober”

ABOUT ME – “My favourite colour is Toupe, cos it rhymes with Dope”

REASON FOR LEAVING – “It was hard work”

PERSONAL PROFILE – “I be no stranger to double-entry. I loves numbers, and my wife and I loves journals and ledgers! Can also do tricky sums when I puts my mind to it. Computor litrate.”

COVERING LETTER – “This is my CV I am intrested in any job opening use have avaiable if u could please send a vercation that you reciceved the email”

PERSONAL PROFILE – “I do have convictions (drug offences) which are spent some 30 years ago for when I was 16-18 and have a caution for 4 years ago for criminal damage”

HOBBIES – “Marital Arts” (Possibly meant martial arts?)

KEY SKILLS – “Perfectionist with a keen I for details.”

HOBBIES – “Space Travel”

EMAIL ADDRESS – Batfacedgirl@………..

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY –  “Whilst working in this role, I had intercourse with a variety of people”

HOBBIES – “i like playing sport, which i fined gives me a winning appitite for life’”

KEY SKILLS: “I would like to assure you that I am a hardly working person.”

HOBBIES –  “enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians”

JOB HISTORY – “Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse”

SKILLS – “Fantastic ability in multi-tasting.”

SIZE OF EMPLOYER: “Very tall, probably over 6’5″.”

SKILLS – “Speak English and Spinach.”

STRENGTHS – “Ability to meet deadlines while maintaining composer.”

SKILLS – “I have technical skills that will simply take your breath away.”

MARITAL STATUS:- “Celibate”

SKILLS – From an IT Engineer, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

EMAIL ADDRESS – hotsexyluv@…….

KEYS SKILLS – keeping family home clean, tidy and hygienaic undertaking basic DIY.operating domestic taskslike cleaning,washing,cooking.dealing with emerengencies smoothly.dealing with health issues,superivsing,supporting,guiding and organising children.

CV GAP – Candidate explained his gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for 3 months!

KEY SKILLS – “But wait…there’s more. You get all this business knowledge plus a grasp of marketing that is second nature.”

PRINTED CV – Candidate sent over their CV printed on the back of their current employers headed company paper

SKILLS – “I can type without looking at thekeyboard.”

JOB HISTORY – “Left last four jobs only because the managers were completely unreasonable”

SKILLS – “I am a rabid typist”

HOBBIES – “My interests include cooking dogs and interesting people”

COVERING LETTER – “I am extremely loyal to my current employer….Feel free to ring my office if you are interested in my CV”

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS – “Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”

EDUCATION – “I am about to enrol on a Business and Finance Degree with the Open University. I feel that this qualification will prove detrimental to me for future success.”

HOBBIES: “donating blood – 12 litres so far.”

KEY SKILLS: “Assisted with filing, billing, printing and coping”

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS – “Oversight of entire department.”

EDUCATION –  “University: August 1890 to May 1993″

WORK EXPERIENCE –“ I’m working today in a furniture factory as a drawer”

EMAIL ADDRESS – homeboy@……

KEY SKILLS – “I have extensive experience with foreign accents.”

QUALIFICATIONS – “Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.”

COVER LETTER – “Please disregard the attached CV; it’s totally outdated”

REASON FOR LEAVING – “After receiving advice from several different angels, I have decided to pursue a new line of work.”

KEY SKILLS – “Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Night stalker in Tesco”

HOBBIES – “painting my toenails in varying colours”

JOB HISTORY – “Promoted to area manger to oversee 37 storefronts.”

KEY SKILLS – “I am relatively intelligent, obedient and loyal as a puppy.”

COVER LETTER – “I have guts, drive, ambition and heart, which is probably more than a lot of the drones that you have working for you.”

EMAIL ADDRESS – dumbblonde@…….

AWARDS – “National record for eating 23 pancakes in 2 minutes”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Child care provider, organised activities; prepared lunches and snakes”

KEY SKILLS – “Good people skills, except when people get on my nerves.  Which is hardly ever, no more often than once every ten minutes. ”

COVER LETTER – “I’m submitting the attached copy of my CV for your consumption.”

ACHIEVEMENTS – “Planned building of new building  at £2.5 million over budget.”

KEY SKILLS – “I am very used to working with thigh schedules.”

COVERING LETTER – “looking for a party-time position.”

KEY SKILLS – “I am quick at typing, about 30 word pers minute, 45 with strong coffee.”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Dealing with customers’ conflicts that arouse.”

KEY SKILLS – “I am a tiger when needed, but otherwise a pussycat.”

NUMBER OF DEPENDENTS –  “40″

REASON FOR LEAVING – “I din’t give the company my full effort and received no chance of carer advancement in return.”

COVER LETTER –  “I host a superlative proficiency for resolving complex systematic problems. I have pedagogic expertise conducting sales, and I can be quickly utilized as an assiduous, visceral and proactive problem solver.”

REFERENCES – “Clare” (We might need a little more info)

KEY SKILLS – “Very experienced with out-house computers.”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Responsibilities included recruiting, interviewing and executing final candidates.”

CURRENT SALARY – “£28,000. Salary desired: £170,000.”

KEY SKILLS – “I am a great team player I am”

PERSONAL PROFILE – “I’m a lean, mean, marketing machine”

REASON FOR LEAVING – “Company insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning. Couldn’t work under those conditions.”

HOBBIES – “Running, editing video, cooking, writing and wondering”

COVER LETTER – “I would be prepared to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss what I can do to your company.”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Dispensed medication and passed out.”

JOB TITLE – “Ass. Manager.” (Possibly meant assistant manager?  At least I hope so.)

KEY SKILLS – “Being bilingual in 3 languages.”

COVER LETTER – “Dear Sir/Modem.”

KEY SKILLS – “My qulifications include close atention to detail.”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Worked in a office where I carried out my own accountant.”

COVER LETTER – “Sorry for any incontinence.”

GAP IN CV – “Any interruption in employment is due to being unemployed.”

DESIRED POSITION – “Profreader.”

KEY SKILLS – “Grate communication skills.”

COVER LETTER – “Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping’. I have never quit a job.”

KEY SKILLS – “I supervise employees with the iron fist!”

COVER SKILLS –  “Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear from you shorty!”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Please note from my CV I have 6 years buying, negotiating and sock-control experience”

COVER LETTER -”I’m submitting my CV to spite my lack of C++ and HTML experience”

KEY SKILLS – “Excellent memory; strong math aptitude; excellent memory.”

HOBBIES – “Relaxing with family and friends watching action movies”

PERSONAL PROFILE – “I wasn’t born – my mother simply chose ‘eject child’ from the special menu.”

REASON FOR LEAVING – “Responsibility makes me nervous”

WORK EXPERIENCE – “Whilst working in the hairdressers I had to deal with a lot of old biddies”

SKILLS – “I have a lot of integrity so I promise not to steal office supplies and take them home.”

EDUCATION – “Have repeated courses repeatedly.”

COVER LETTER – Why should you employ me?  I bring doughnuts on Friday.”

WORK EXPERIENCE – ““Filing, billing, printing and coping.”

 

 

 

How clients find the right recruiter…

A good recruiter/head-hunter can be an invaluable asset to any HR Manager or Hiring Manager. If you have not yet experienced success with a recruiter then perhaps you dealing with their approaches in the wrong way?

Here are 5 tips for a successful business relationship with a recruitment consultant:

  1. Choosing the right recruiter. Don’t just settle for the first one that calls you and promises the world instead, choose a niche recruiter. You need to feel comfortable with his or her approach and not feel at all pressured, pick a consultant who specialises in your sector and check out their profile on the social networks. Most good recruiters will check you out before deciding to call so they already feel you would be a suitable client for them! There are niche recruiters available for every sector e.g. mining, careers in power, technical and senior appointments etc. Use one who is connected with your industry and can recruit for the country where you need staff. You could be an Australian mining company with operations in Asia and Africa or an American owned company needing German speaking staff. You need an international recruiter with an appropriate database, language skills, track record and network of candidates.

  2. Be honest and comprehensive with your answers when asked questions.
    It should go without saying that the most important part of a recruiter client relationship is open and frank communication. If you have specific requirements, tell them straight away and if you have concerns about how they are proposing to recruit for you then say so. For example, you may know that in certain countries where you hire, particular nationalities work well together and others do not so tell your recruiter exactly who you want. Tell them your interview procedure; visa process, normal timescales, rotation, shift pattern, salary range, required skill-sets etc. An experienced recruiter relishes a challenge and prefers to be prepared prior to negotiations with candidates rather than being given new information at offer stage. Whatever you do, do not withhold information and if you do not know the answer then get it as soon as you can!

  3. Request and reward.
    Offer your recruiter exclusivity and do not try and negotiate the fee to rock bottom as it will have a negative effect. Recruiters are human, have bills to pay and choose their clients carefully. If you want a mediocre service then refusing to pay more than 50% of the recruiter’s suggested fee may get you exactly that or a straight refusal. Often recruiters will ask how many others are engaged, good consultants will not be interested in working with clients who use multiple recruiters because the only thing they are doing is complicating matters. You will be able to get the attention of a seasoned, effective recruiter by responding promptly to their calls, emails and requests for feedback. Loyalty ensues and you will be able to cultivate a bond with a recruiter who knows you are counting on them to fill that important vacancy!

  4. Listen and inform.
    Engaging the help of a recruiter will help you fill existing vacancies and those that come up in the future. Once a recruiter learns about your particular needs they will always be on the lookout for candidates you may want to hire. They read hundreds of CVs, register candidates daily, expand their candidate pool through social networks, offer referral fees to senior candidates and work hard attracting passive job seekers. Respond to your recruiter’s enquiries well then the CV’s will arrive in your inbox and the quality of the candidates will be excellent.

Investing the time talking to a “compatible” recruiter will really help you fill your vacancies quickly and cost-effectively.

 

Why hate head-hunters?

Ask anyone what a head-hunter does and they’ll probably say something like “aren’t they the ones who steal people?”

Ask  highly trained executives and they will say something like “aren’t they the pushy types that call you out of the blue trying to get you to leave your job for some other job they’re pushing-so they can make a killing?

Ask employers and they will say something like “they’re always trying to get us to hire someone that we don’t need or offering to help us fill a job that we don’t need any help in filling-just so that they can make a killing!

 

The things said about head-hunters above are from the small picture perspective, but if you look at the big picture-it’s a totally different story.

My point is they play a very important role in an industry, be it mining, power generation or any other technical job yet very rarely is the profession of head-hunter viewed in a positive light. This is because the role of a head-hunter is misunderstood.

The fact is head-hunters play a very important role in any industry.  They are the enforcers of competition and ensure competition is balanced among competing firms within that industry. In addition, headhunting is a business strategy that provides a fantastic return on investment. If, as a client, you employ those earning over £50K in sectors such as mining, power generation or any other senior appointment then engaging a head-hunter will provide a good return on your investment. If you are a senior executive with niche skills then, again you can only benefit by developing a relationship with a head-hunter whose daily tasks include approaching clients you would like to work for.

Balancing Competition

 

An example of balancing competition is recruiting some of the top talent away from the larger firms and placing that talent in a smaller firm that has been wise enough to devise a package that will attract them.  High performing talent will allow that small local firm to compete on a level-playing-field with the larger companies.  As a result the smaller firm will end up capturing more customers from the weaker firms.

Collapsing under its-own Weight

 

Without balanced competition the bigger firms will become even bigger; simply by acquiring the smaller firms and with more consolidation in an industry, there will be less competition.  With less competing firms, there will be fewer jobs.

The role of head-hunters is to prevent job losses by balancing competition in the industry they serve.

 

Return-on Investment

 

Employed as a strategy, headhunting will save employers a fortune in working capital and saving money is crucial, especially in a recession.  By working capital, I’m referring to salaries that are paid to employees while they are being trained. One view is that money spent on training of employees is like pouring money down the drain. In my opinion headhunting should form part of a company’s strategy for building the best team possible along with the careful selection of candidates to be trained who will stay with the company. If you think about it a recruiter/head-hunter can help you source reliable, trainable talent AND fully trained high-flyers.

 

Why should I utilise head-hunters and train some employees?

Because a lot of trainees won’t return to the employers the investment that they have made in their training.  At the end of the day a number of trainees will end up as just average performers, others will leave the industry and superstars will probably be recruited away to a competitor at some point.  Then the training process starts all over again with the same results.

 

Payroll v. Placement Fees

 

That is why a strategy for success is not to spend ££££££’s on training alone.  A good head-hunter will recruit talent away from your competitors after they are trained, remain loyal to the client that engaged them and produce the best talent.   It’s a smart decision on the part of an employer because good head-hunters place talent that returns immediate profits!  Profits to their clients, generated from the investments made by others, most likely their competitor. It may not be fair but it happens-daily!

 

Final Thoughts

 

Headhunting is a respected and commonly employed strategy for professional career advancement and a tool that produces a super ROI for employers.

Senior executives can only benefit by staying in touch with the head-hunters they know

Savvy clients employ head-hunters…

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