Feeding the machine
Consider giving your stale CV an overhaul – stop using jumbled documents you’ve been re-editing since college, and devote some actual time to it – it will pay dividends not just on paper, but in your own career thinking.
The humble CV/resume/Linkedin profile is still the main method of application despite advances in technology (apparently Leonardo Da Vinci was the first man to pen a CV for a painting job, and look what he achieved!), so it’s important to spend some time on getting it right.
Let’s talk about reality, and what happens behind the scenes when you feed your CV/resume into the talent acquisition machine.
We conclude with some actionable points on editing your CV/Resume, and explanations why.
We’ll consider both avenues of job application; applying to companies directly, and also working through specialist recruitment agencies.
In House HR/Recruiters
Skip straight to Cv advice
Finding your advocates
HR/Recruitment people have finite time and resources to invest in your application, and have their own career goals.
Think of yourself as a product you are selling.
We should always make it easy for our customers to buy, and we should also make it easy for them to become our advocates.
By gaining advocates with a good CV, both HR and recruitment staff will invest their limited time in advocating for you, relevant to the hundreds of other applicants you’re up against.
The harsh reality is that you’re just a number until you have someone with skin in your game.
Your CV is a sales device, selling the prospect of yourself as a solution to a problem.
Let’s look at the people reading your advertisement.
Your CV is a sales device, selling the prospect of yourself as a solution. on getting an interview
In-house Recruiters/HR – and their goals
Your average in-house person in a medium to large corporate is under-resourced and over-burdened with;
- Setting up interviews
- rescheduling cancelled interviews
- making offers
- background checking
- meeting with hiring managers
- helping HR outside of recruitment
- dealing with disputes
- admin and more admin.
They may have Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs that filter applicant CV’s for keywords and attribute a score (and thus your likelihood of being contacted), or they may look at CV’s directly.
When you look at 100 CV’s per day, you get brutal, fast – there is no other option.
They will take active ownership of the process for you , if you LOOK likely to help them achieve their personal goals and KPI’s (it’s all about looks at this stage) – helping hiring managers find the right people for their teams.
They will send thank you letters to those who didn’t pass the initial screen.
For better or worse, the reality is that you’re just a number until you have someone with skin in your game.On having your process actively managed
Generalist Agency Recruiters
From a CV processing perspective, a generalist agency consultant’s life is very similar to in-house HR people, just usually without any scoring AI.
They are judged on KPI’s too – just more brutal and indiscriminate.
Some agencies are more rigid than others around billing and KPI’s.
For compliance, applicants and CV’s mean copious admin work.
Their jobs are generally very admin heavy and it isn’t uncommon for a consultant to be working on five to ten different positions at once, in different niches.
Each CV needs to be re-imagined for each client; re-interpreted and summarised; re-written in a different standard format.
(10 positions X 4 candidates for each position X emails X calls X scheduling = death by admin!)
Standing out can be difficult. Doing the basics well with your CV is essential.