What has happened to the good old CV?
Nothing. You need one. A good one. Not a flashy, graphic enhanced presentation made from cosmic software, just a regular word document detailing your professional career and academic qualifications. Agents need to screen it. Companies need to shortlist it.
We are often asked if a CV is ok. Is it put together correctly or does it have too much or too little detail? What format or layout should be used? Colours, font size, header, footer, Mac, Windows or Linux? We are going to make this EASY for you by touching on two topics:
- Creating a CV
- Sending a CV
Creating a CV
You have the best template in the world, at your fingertips, for free! Yes, ladies and gents. Your LinkedIn profile is the best CV template you can get! Why? Global professional standard, clean and simple, people contact you for a job if you have a good-looking profile. This isn’t rocket-science.
When creating your LinkedIn profile, the offered template tutorial is super easy, like CV-creating for dummies if there was one. Once complete, you can download it in PDF version and use it as-is, or copy-paste the text into word and add a little more to it.
Heck, someone may have even created a Word template which mimics the LinkedIn profile format. Either way, it’s easy and clearly shows what you are made of from a professional perspective (how you show up in the interview is reserved for another webinar). Spelling, grammar, accuracy. I think this goes without saying considering your profile is publicly visible and your entire future career may depend on it.
The question of CV length. Put everything in! Captain of the Choir, first aid, the enormous project you just delivered to the CEO. ALL IN. If it feels too long, create a career summary at the top of the CV, but please don’t send your Agent or potential employer a 1 pager. This isn’t America (they indeed only want one pagers, go figure) and it doesn’t help anyone out when comparing candidates.
Sending a CV
If you are one of those candidates who do not want to send us your CV for “confidentiality” reasons, please note we have already found your Facebook page, Instagram tag, Twitter handle and mug-shot on your company’s website. We have even used lead-management systems which have extracted your email address and contact number from the matrix of Google. If you are one of these candidates, please realise that you are 1 in a million. A million are getting jobs and you are being “confidential”. It’s a futile strategy I’m afraid.
As for the rest of you, please do send your CV to your recruitment agent, but ask them to disclose the company that they are sending your CV to first (for each and every CV presentation!) We have had cases where candidates thought they were going to an Auditing Firm but in fact they were presented to a Law firm. We have had cases where candidates were sent for a job in a different province.
If your agent does not want to disclose where they are sending your CV, then how exactly do you trust them to negotiate your salary on your behalf? How do they manage all these CVs going out anonymously? Your agent is meant to disclose where your CV is being presented, for a myriad of reasons such as culture fit and whether you even want to work there.
Now, we need to discuss sending your CV to potential employers directly. Do you know who is receiving your CV? Do you know if you have sent your CV there before? Do you know who to speak to in order to follow up on your application? How many other candidates have sent their CV there? How many different employers have you sent your CV to? Wow, this can really get messy. Have you ever heard of the approach “spray-and-pray”?
Applying for jobs with your CV
We strongly suggest that you take a pragmatic and precise approach to applying for jobs and sending your CV. Be sure of what you want, be sure your CV reflects your skills in accordance with the job (this cannot be overstated, but it also must be the truth) and be sure to utilise the right tools for the right opportunities. If your CV is everywhere and you haven’t got a call back, you won’t know why. We recommend you make use of 1 or 2 recruitment agents (not more than that otherwise you are going backwards) to assist you in finding the right opportunity. Please note that although there is a skills shortage in our economy, and that skilled candidates are in demand, the reality is that companies need a VACANCY and BUDGET to even consider looking at you. They approach agencies to help when they can no longer recruit themselves. Therefore, your agent also cannot take a “spray-and-pray” approach. They need to scan the market, network, wait for volatility, movement or backfill. Whatever it is, it should be strategic. The more strategic your agent is the better your chance of getting the RIGHT position.
Where to from here?
Step 1 is to get your LinkedIn profile and CV in order. Then, it all depends on your ambitions. The South African economy allows for free movement of employers, employees and entrepreneurs. There really are minimal boundaries between where you are now and where you want to be 5 years, 5 months, 5 days from now. The future is waiting for you.