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  • Hemford Brooks

Preparing for Success


In these challenging and difficult times, it is a perfect opportunity to pause and reflect. The way I can help is to share some of my experience in preparing candidates to apply, and succeed in their job application.


Of my candidates, over 90% get to interview. Of those that get to interview, over 80% get to Final/Offer. Why? Because I only put forward the right person for the right role at the right level. Once at interview, I am rigorous in thoroughly briefing them to ensure there is a game plan. Interviewers want to say yes. You have to give them the ammunition to justify it. Prepare for this.


To help you think about what the right company (and right role) is for you and how to build a CV to get to interview, here are 3 easy steps to guide you through the process. I hope it helps!

PREPARATION:

1. What are you good at?

You may well be good at your job but you can’t really remember how you ended up doing it. Write down what you are actually good at. This falls into three areas of thought:


a) level of responsibility.

b) depth of knowledge

c) depth of experience


Next to your writing, write 2 good examples that back this up. That gives evidence to this claim.


2. What do you love about your job and where is your natural enthusiasm? (Do a job you love and find rewarding and you WILL be a success)


Write down 3 examples where you have really loved your job.


3. What are your values?


It could be where your company stood for something important that made you proud to say you work there. It could be individual such as needing to be home in time to pick up the children. It could be that you just want to earn a lot of money and don’t mind (at this stage in your life) if that means long hours. Write them down.

IDENTIFYING THE RIGHT COMPANY FOR YOU


It might be that you could be more valuable doing a completely different job. You may be happier and more fulfilled being a teacher. However, your current and future financial concerns may mean this is not the time. If that is so, the key is to keep momentum. Focus on what you are good at and what you love. Your value will shine through and you will be a success by definition. Write down what you are good at and what you are not. If I had a magic wand, what would your perfect role be?


The right company must need your skills. Narrow down these companies by searching by skill set. Don’t presume.


The right company must provide you with an environment where you are able to be enthusiastic. Would you even be noticed if you did something valuable? Growth companies tend to care more because they need you. Go for a company that has an exciting 3-5 year strategic vision - one you want to be part of.


There is a story of a President going to NASA in 1968. He saw to his right a man in overalls. He turned out to be a janitor. The President asked “what do you do here?”. The reply was “I’m part of a team that is going to put a man on the moon”. A collective effort towards a clear goal and something you will be proud to be part of.


Companies want to hire people who would LOVE to join them and can articulate why they would love to join them.

The right company/role = Capability x Enthusiasm x Values

YOUR CV


Most CVs are read by over-worked, time-poor people. Make it easy for them. Don’t list everything you have done and essentially ask THEM to work out if you are right for the role. They need to read your CV and think “this is exactly what we are looking for”.


The key to a good CV is that is has a three sentence paragraph at the top which describes who you are TODAY, what your value is and how it matches the requirements of the role you are interviewing for. The rest of the CV is simply proof ie “if you don’t believe this statement, look below for evidence of what I have done, where and how”.


Many CV reviews don’t go beyond your first few paragraphs so make the first half of your first page count. The repetition (below) encourages the reader to keep going because it is easy to understand. At the bottom of each page in the footer, put your email and phone number. Do not put your age on your CV and there is no need to say where you live. If in doubt, state your right to work in the UK. I often see this in the Education/Certificates part at the end.

Here is a good structure to work with when building your CV:


Name


Paragraph of three sentences that incorporate: 1. What is your job position today, where are you doing it? [this should be similar to the job being advertised ie you need this sort of person, I am doing it now] 2. Summary of your depth of knowledge and experience. 3. What level of seniority are you used to dealing with? What type of teams are used to being in/running? Do you do anything else for the company other than your paid role eg what are you enthusiastic about (that is also in the job you are applying for).

For example:


SUSAN McBELIEVER

Susan McBeliever is a Human Capital Transformation Manager at Company X. She brings 7 years experience in developing and implementing organisation design models within the Banking sector. Currently reporting to the CRO and responsible for a team of 20, Susan is passionate about how next generation technologies will positively affect the Financial Services landscape over the next 5 years.


Company (date)

Title

Short description bringing context to the role.

Describe what YOU were responsible for.


Title

Short description bringing context to the role.

Describe what YOU were responsible for.

Company (date)

Title

Short description bringing context to the role.

Describe what YOU were responsible for.


Title

Short description bringing context to the role.

Describe what YOU were responsible for.


Company (date)

Title

Short description bringing context to the role.

Describe what YOU were responsible for.


Title

Short description bringing context to the role.

Describe what YOU were responsible for.


Education and Other Certificates:



Interests and Hobbies:

Something individual, something showing team work, something interesting and/or community minded. NOT gaming capability!

This structure is easy to read. It will show a step by step increase in responsibility and career progression. It shows this next step makes sense.

The person reading the CV is then being told “I am a fit to the role and can prove it”.


I hope this has helped you structure your thoughts and found this a positive use of your time. Do let me know if I can be of help individually.


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