By Susanne Flaherty, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment
Rather like how party goers ask a doctor at a Sunday BBQ for advice on a sore knee or chronic hiccups, the questions recruiters get at these events are about CVs that miss far more frequently than they hit and hints for the top 5 interview questions.
My top five responses always include that the staff on our Fasterr and IT desks are great at providing insights into the things they are looking for from CVs, and key experience and skills they are seeking from potential candidates. I overheard a conversation today where one of our awesome recruiters Jo, was talking to a candidate about the skills and experience to highlight in preparing an application for a role she was working. Similarly, Ben and Tiffany on the IT desk know exactly what they are seeking for their employer clients and how candidates can best present skills and experience to make it clear in a succinct and professional way. Working with a recruiter helps you get in front of employers and gets you insights into how to sell what you can do.
The other thing that I always say is that each employer is different and each role is different too, even if it is the same job advertised 12 months later. I recently worked with a panel who, due to unforeseen circumstances, were filling the same role we had worked on together to fill only 6 months earlier; same role description, completely different employment context with the team 6 months further into a major organisational change.
The key is to ask questions of the contact person or if there is no contact person ask around and look on the net for the organisations wider priorities, the statements and commitments they make their customers and clients and the language they use to describe their environmental and social context.
Don’t turn up at the interview without knowing the type of person being sought for the role or what the priorities for the first three months will be. Make sure you try your best to know that before you start typing. Tailor your application to that role and make sure you reference what you found out. I read a lot of awesome lists of great stuff people have done but few awesome written applications that describe the great stuff the applicant is going to do for the potential employer.
Eden Ritchie Recruitment can help you many ways from getting great candidates in front of terrific employers to working with you one to one on your interview style and approach to writing your CV and your application.