Your CV online, really?

So, picture this, you’re a candidate on the cusp of moving on from a solid and reliable position you’ve been in for the last three years. You’ve decided that now is the time to make that leap into something better, something bigger and something which fits you more than your current position.

Now, just for a second, have a think about the various options you’ve got in order to find your perfect role. You could write up a CV and send it out to a few of the top companies in the area. If you do a good job, they pick it up and they might invite you in – great you’re one step closer and it’s certainly not to be knocked as an option. Another way of getting yourself out there might be to upload a CV to a job board, this would be your ‘generic CV’ which in essence would be to highlight your overall experience. I like job boards and I think they certainly have their uses, but in my view this is exactly not the way to do it, and I’ll briefly tell you why.

Firstly, your CV and the way it’s presented (I mean how it arrives, not how it looks) will tell a story about your commitment to finding a new role. CVs hold hidden messages about candidate buy-in, not only to their own search but also the commitment to the specific role the CV is put forward for.  Tailored CVs for a positon will always hold more meaning for the employer as it shows you’ve thought about their position and what you consider to be the key points to be addressed.

There are obviously lots of different ways to tailor a CV but my advice probably won’t come as a massive shock. Working directly with a specialist recruiter will pay dividends. Whilst I’m writing this, I’m also very aware that there are a huge amount of ‘specialist agencies’ out there who will label themselves as the market leaders in almost everything.

When I mean working with a specialist I do mean that in the true sense of the word. They will only take certain roles on and will have placed lots of those roles before –  the ads they post up, the blogs they write and the people they connect with will all be of the same ilk.

The specialist you’re speaking to as a candidate should know the role inside and out, they should know the client and should be able to let you know whether that role/company/package/hiring manager/commute/environment would be right for you. That’s a long list I know but you should get to know the consultant you’re trusting with your career, because honestly speaking, there are a lot of recruitment consultants out there who really don’t care, safeguard against these ‘professionals’ and speak to someone with the insight you really need.

This loops me back around to your CV online. We’ve all heard horror stories regarding rogue candidate submissions and in my time I’ve encountered a few of these also. Putting your CV online puts your trust in people you really don’t know. Recruitment agencies that you’ve never worked with before have access to your details and whilst a lot of people will think, why does that matter? It certainly does for so many reasons.

Some agencies see a CV as a product to be pushed around the marketplace, they won’t communicate or delve deeper into your search and on a few occasions will use your CV/your hard work as a way to initially approach a company to work with them. The recruitment book of things not to do is vast, but this is something candidates and true recruitment professionals struggle with on occasion.

Picture you’re that candidate again, you’ve now spoken to the specialist, the person who really knows the role and they’ve worked with you to highlight certain areas of your CV which could appeal. The recruiter you’ve chosen submits your details to the client, great, this should work now shouldn’t it… only to find that one of the agencies trawling the boards has already submitted your details to the company! And when I say details, I mean your untailored CV with no supporting statements about the meeting you’ve had to discuss the role in more depth, with none of the specific package details you’d require and all that good stuff that true recruitment professionals should be submitting.

Think about it from an internal recruiter’s or the employer’s view and this is really important – if you’re receiving good CVs from your specialist recruiters, with all of the info noted above, then your life is made somewhat easier by the fact all of the admin has already been done. Why would you then consider the rogue CVs which have been thrown together, like a piece of bait on the end of a rod which has been cast out to everyone at once? Even if they look great on paper, how many other companies have got that candidate’s details? How bought are they into that particular role I’m recruiting for as an internal recruiter? Are they even aware that I have their details?

As an industry I feel that recruitment has a lot to answer for. There is a hell of a lot of bad press which should only serve to strengthen the relationships between specialist agencies and their core clients for whom they recruit and place people with consistently.

In many senses candidates have become faceless entities for some companies, which just isn’t right and that’s not how it should be!

Online recruitment is great, and as I said before it serves its purpose, but let’s not forget the basics.

Working with the right people at the right specialist agencies pays dividends, and this is the case for all involved. Just make sure you’re making the right choice in terms of who you trust with your next career move or job vacancy.

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