CV & LinkedIn
There has never been as much opportunity for professionals as there is in today’s world
CV & LinkedIn
In a world of constant change the CV remains a central pillar of recruitment. As more and more old school processes are rendered redundant and or less significant, the CV’s sustained relevance has hardly been noticed. However, coming up fast behind our old friend, the CV, is our newer one, the LinkedIn Profile.
While LinkedIn has been with us since 2005, its growth really went nuclear in 2011 and today it boasts a community of over 700 million members and counting. However, a general feeling of malaise around the ills of social media and the reluctance to invest time in building an All-Star profile, means that many people are only vaguely active on the platform. We regularly emphasize to our clients the importance of having a presence on LinkedIn as it is an opportunity to gain more exposure and get noticed for what you do. Many of H-Training’s partners immediately turn to LinkedIn if we refer a client to them and if they don’t have a profile or an incomplete one, it is a missed opportunity.
The Age of Opportunity
There has never been as much opportunity for professionals in today’s world. The growing power of the applicant doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon. H-Training has supported many of its corporate clients to innovate and focus much more sharply on how to improve what they can offer staff. In such a competitive field, where high performing people are everyone’s ambition, organisations need to compete with what is on offer to survive. From CEOs right down to entry level candidates and those changing careers there is a lot of work needed now as the leverage shifts more towards the candidate.
The internet, open source and formal education has provided so many of us with direct links into new careers and beyond. Furthermore, at H-Training we are very focused on how our clients can differentiate themselves in the job marketplace. Our programmes regularly unlock these doors that many people have assumed for years were simply not open to them. We do this by recognising the gaps that need to be filled in order to get to where you really want to go. However, by building a simple and impactful narrative, you can deliver a very robust message about who you are and why you should be selected. So much of presenting ourselves is lost in the confused notions people develop around what employers want.
Building a Narrative around 'YOU'
When people are unsure of what they are pitching and fail to recognise their audience it causes frustration. Added to this, it is alarming in H-Training’s experience the amount of valuable information that applicants fail to even mention at interview. We have seen people leave awards off CVs, downplay their involvement in specific projects and focus much more on what they haven’t got as opposed to the great value of what they have. In addition to this, nerves, self-doubt and overconfidence often result in the type of page-and-a-half rambling CV profiles that make recruiters wonder about calling in sick on Monday mornings.
The work ‘resumé’ derives from the French word for ‘summary’. This means, you are providing your audience with succinct information about who you are. If we can shorten this, it makes the job of the recruiter, the interview board and the hiring manager easier. Which, put simply will make them like you. Added to this, there are visual tricks we can use to display all of your information at a glance and also tailor what you have to offer, to the audience in question. Combining a two-pronged approach to your CV and LinkedIn, is a valuable investment as it will benefit you long-term and only grow as you accomplish more.
Networking through LinkedIn
As part of our LinkedIn offering, we provide some targeted networking advice on how to get noticed along with some insights into how LinkedIn is used across cultures. Many people use LinkedIn as if it were email and have it open all the time. However, as inboxes fill up with pitches from potential vendors or employees, we need to understand how to get notices in such cluttered fields.
Once you have connected with someone you can communicate with a person freely. You can also send them a short message in order to entice them to connect. However, it is important here not to aim too high. The CEO, and any other C- Suite Executive is unlikely to return your message. They probably receive dozens if not hundreds of unsolicited emails per week. However, by carefully reviewing their connections and LinkedIn suggestions about similar connections you may be able to discover a personal assistant, or administrator who could support you to connect with the right people.
Most HR people are very active on LinkedIn as both recruiters and networkers. Making them aware that you are looking for opportunities and having an impactful profile, could put you in their sights and lead to that all important call to interview or application.
We work with people to tailor their networking strategy by encouraging them to link in with as many people in a particular area of focus as possible. People trust candidates who ‘know’ (in the social media sense of the word) the people they trust. This is key. Get out there and get connected.
CV Structure in a Visual Age
With the CV, it is important to acknowledge the visual aspect of it. We now live in a visual age and it is very important to be mindful of this, especially when we consider the shrinking attention spans of the social media age. People typically scan documents in an inverted S, which is something that old newspaper men were keenly aware of in preparing their front pages. This sweeping examination is very relevant when it comes to your CV. In this vein, you need to have a visual delineation that readily presents the information to the reader.
At H-Training we adopt a split page approach to CVs, with impactful profile statements that provide the recruiter with everything they need to know. Remember, the CVs job is to provide facts along with a strong sense of who you are. Once we have done so and secured an interview, this is the place to start selling and pitching more. By doing this on your CV, you detract from the facts and make your intentions less efficient, while also making the recruiter’s job that bit more difficult.