“I need to get my CV in shape – please help me”!
That statement’s often the first thing I hear from my clients. My response is; “In shape for what?”
Most often, they don’t really know ‘for what’. They’ve just heard ‘get your CV in shape’ so many times it’s become their default first step. Assuming you’re after a ‘forward looking career opportunity’ for your next role, then doing your CV is definitely not your first step.
When you call the recruitment consultant – how well you articulate the attributes of your next role will set the course for how well they work with you to find you your next opportunity. And because so few candidates are able to do this, it’s little wonder recruiters get tagged with ‘pigeon holing’. A good test for a poor recruiter is if they say, “just send your CV in”, then it’s likely they’ll be what the industry calls a ‘flick and stick’ recruiter. A good recruiter will insist you know – in detail, what you’re looking for and have this succinctly documented alongside your CV before they go to market with your details. Having this prepared in advance is also helpful for your job interviews.
Certainly – a relevant and well-crafted CV is essential, but it won’t focus your attention (or the recruiters) on what matters most. And what matters most is being focused and clear about what you do want – and what you don’t want from your next role.
One of the best ways to focus is to introduce structure, discipline and tools through a Role Attribute Template. The Role Attribute Template sets out the over-arching attributes of the prospective role and company. It is not a technical definition or position description of the role. Think about some of the key points (attributes) you’d be seeking from your next role. e.g. location, company size, career path, cultural fit. Set the template up before you begin to think in detail about any particular company. This creates clarity and reduces the likelihood of emotional actions and reactions that lead to poor decisions, wasted time and lost opportunities.
For everyone – the combination and importance (weighting) of the attributes of a new role will vary. So whilst you may be able to work with a structured template beware of rigid templates that prescribe attributes with little or no room for flexibility.
In your Role Attribute Template, list the attributes you’ll measure the role opportunity against and assign a weighting to each attribute according to their level of importance. You may choose to use a sum total of 100 for the combined weightings. The sum of the scores against the attribute weightings should not exceed this sum.
Qualify opportunities in and out through robust research and scoring against the weighted attributes. Using the same attributes for each company and role provides consistent decision making.
If you have access to a customisable Role Attribute Template I highly recommend you make use of it.
MyCareerBrand provides clients with a that can be populated with the relevant attributes, weightings, and research results. ‘Traffic light’ indicators provide a visual display of results. Drop-downs enable consistent terminology. Inclusion of fields for contacts and company information provides for easy reference access.
My next article will cover research, so you can start to populate your template.
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the tools I provide my clients to help them focus on winning the right opportunity please get in touch.
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