Where do YOU want to be this time, next week?

This time last week, the lady you see here was feeling really low, confused and frustrated.

POWERHOUR3

She was stuck in a rut with her job search, you see.

She couldn’t see the bright side of anything.

She was so unhappy in her job that it was having a knock-on effect in so many areas of her life.

Relationships, self-esteem, confidence… It was all taking a bashing.

She felt lost, she had no focus, she couldn’t see the wood for the trees. To put it bluntly, she felt crap.

NOW look at her.

Just look at her, laughing her head off at the jumping horses at the fairground.

She doesn’t know why she’s laughing. In fact, she is borderline delirious. In a good way, you understand.

What happened to turn things around?

She booked in for a Power Hour Consultation with Danielle.

They talked about her career to this point, they went over her CV together, discussed where she was potentially going wrong in her search for her dream job and together they hatched a plan of action.

The very next job she applied for, she was called in for interview.

And the one after that.

And the one after that.

And so on…

Where do you want to be this time next week?

Sitting at your desk in a job you’ve fallen out of love with?

Or at the funfair cracking up at a carousel. Loving life.

I think you know the answer to this.

To grab one of the last remaining spaces of Danielle’s Power Hour Consultations, drop us a message ASAP.

For just £49 you will see how your life can be dramatically changed in a VERY short space of time. #gamechanger

 

** Disclaimer **

 

I don’t actually know the beauty in the photo.

I have no idea why she’s hysterically laughing at fairground ride.

But I am pretty damn confident that this IS a typical reaction following an Hour of Power with Danielle Mills of HotSeat Recruitment.

D.I.Y Recruitment: Writing a Job Description that only attracts the BEST.

You’re looking to recruit, you need to replace a member of staff and you need someone fast. This is a massive disruption to you and your team and you need it sorted by, let’s say, yesterday.

You know that there is the option of outsourcing the job to a Recruitment Agency, but you’re keen to give it a whirl yourself first. The less people involved the better.

You dig out the job description you used to recruit the person that’s leaving and get it plastered out on your website, Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. You tell anyone that will listen that you need a new [enter job title here] and get them to spread the word too. You’ll splash out a few hundred pounds on an online job board that guarantees you quick results and hundreds of CVs. Actually, whack it on Indeed too – just for kicks. It’s free, why would you not?

You want to cast your net as wide as you can; in your mind, the aim is to get as many CVs through for your vacancy as possible. Within this collection of people you’ll surely find your dream candidate. Guaranteed.

Or is it? Maybe. Maybe not.

What IS guaranteed, is that you have just added A LOT more hours to your recruitment project.

There is no doubt that you will get CVs through, but will they be right for what you need? You will have to qualify each and every one, leaving no stone (aka the ideal candidate) unturned.

  • You’ll get CVs of people that appear completely unsuitable for the position, yet could be your dream candidate in disguise.
  • You’ll get CVs of people that appear absolutely perfect for the position – on paper. Yet in person they’re not quite the right match.
  • You’ll get CVs of people where it is quite obvious that they have just hit APPLY NOW to every vacancy they have seen today; on the flip side of your recruitment attempts – they too are looking to cast their job seeking net out as far and wide as they can.

In an attempt to work out who the key players are and where your top talent is, you’ll now be faced with the job of sifting through all of these CVs to read between the lines, double check, second guess, assume that they may or may not be the one for you.

You’ll then whittle down from perhaps 100 CVs to 10 people that you want to talk to further.

From that 10, you’ll interview 5.

From that 5, you’ll potentially find your dream candidate.

But what if you don’t?

You up for starting from scratch?

If this was an annoying situation to begin with then whatever is it now?!

I feel for you, I really do. I’ve been there and I have recruited in this way before. I assumed that by advertising a job vacancy of any kind that I would be swamped with CVs; I knew that it would take me a while to wade through them but I also thought that my ideal hire would be somewhere in there. Not the case, they just weren’t.

I had to go back to basics and take a fresh look at things. I realised that in order to attract my ideal candidate, I needed to work a bit harder to appeal to them; I needed to be sure I was being honest and open with the way I was describing my vacancy and I need to be sure that I wasn’t going to attract hundreds of candidates.

Because I only wanted to recruit one!

This is why many Business Owners just like you, have chosen to hand their Recruitment needs over to Me – That sounds boastful; it’s not meant to. I just mean that my aim will always be to provide you with as few CVs as possible to SAVE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME.

Based on the methods I have always worked to when writing job descriptions for my clients, I have put together a list of the TOP TEN things to consider when writing a job description in order receive as FEW CVs as possible for your vacancy. Because, spending time on this at the very beginning of the process is going to be way more productive to you and your business than repeating the ‘scattergun’ approach time and time again.

  1. JOB TITLE: Think carefully about the job title you give the vacancy. Is it really reflective of what the position is all about? Remember if a job-seeker doesn’t quite ‘get’ the job title then they may be put off applying. Keep it simple, straight to the point, it is what it is – don’t try to over-impress. You need a Filing Clerk? Call it a Filing Clerk. Don’t call it a Regulatory Document Coordinator. You need an HR Assistant? Call it that. Not an Internal Personnel Representative. (Oh, and, all this recent trend for adding ‘ninja’, ‘wizard’ or ‘guru’ to a job title? It’s a bit of fun to use words like these when you’re doing a bit of marketing for your recruitment but only IF this is true to the vibe and personality of your company. Are you really in the market for Ninjas, Wizards and Gurus? Or do you just want a straight-down the line Web Developer? Maybe just call it that then…)
  2. ENVIRONMENT: What IS your company vibe and personality? What is your office like? Is it lively, energetic, noisy, buzzing, competitive, dynamic and crazy busy? Or is it quiet, heads-down, peaceful, steady… This is a key time to take stock of the environment you’re recruiting into. Make no apologies for whatever the office vibe is – but be true to it and describe it accordingly to be sure that you’re going to pull in candidates that are going to fit in.
  3. PERSONALITY: Making a similar point to above, think about the personalities of the current team members; who do you have in place right now? Could it do with some balancing out? Don’t be too dead set on this, but be aware of the personality types that are already there and do some thinking around what personal attributes would blend in well, what would be good to call in and what should probably be avoided altogether…
  4. SKILLS GAP: Are there any areas of expertise lacking within your current team? Maybe you need someone that has used a certain type of software before or is really hot on social media management. Could you call out for someone with this when you’re writing your job description? Maybe there are some members of your team that could do with off-loading some of their duties in order to ensure their work performance doesn’t suffer in times of heavy workload. Bringing me on to my next point…
  5. INCLUDE YOUR TEAM: I’m not one for having meeting after meeting just for the sake of it but Recruitment is one of those times where it can be really useful to include your current team in the plans. This can be useful for many reasons; to get straight on where your skills gaps are, to see what would help your existing team members with workload pressures/time constraints etc., as well as letting your team know that their input is valued and appreciated. They can also help to spread the word for you – and by keeping them in the picture in this way, you will help to ensure that they are spreading the word in the right way!
  6. DO NOT SIMPLY ‘REPLACE’: I know the feeling of wanting to just replace the person that has left/is leaving. You just want things to be sorted, as they were – fast. However, I also know that there is no better time to shake things up than when you’re recruiting. Try to see this as a fresh start and an opportunity to bring in some new skills to your business. The familiarity of the person that you’re replacing might seem hard to part from, however the next person to join your team could be someone that brings magical things to your business – if you are open minded enough to let someone new in… Leading me beautifully on to…
  7. BE OPEN MINDED: Be open minded with regards to the background that your new hire could be coming from. You’ve always recruited from within your industry, or from as similar as possible. Is that really essential? Ask yourself for three good reasons as to why. If you can come up with three and back them all up with credible reasons as to why, then fair play – keep doing what you’re doing. IF, however, you start to actually wonder why you’ve always insisted on an industry match then this can be an amazing opportunity to bring someone in with some transferrable skills that could really complement the business. Fresh ideas, new thoughts… Sometimes this can work really well.
  8. THROW SOME DEAL-BREAKERS IN: In contrast to the above, you do need to throw some deal-breakers in. This helps to streamline your wishlist. Don’t go for too many otherwise you could find yourself looking for someone that may not actually exist. But you know your business and you know what will (or won’t) work well within it, so don’t be afraid to call out for someone that is in line with this. Your deal breakers can be anything from personal attributes, to software experience, a language skill or experience from working within a specific industry. You’ll know what you can and can’t negotiate on.
  9. BE SMART WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA: We are in an amazing time where we can connect with people on a whole new level – both with the quantity of people and the manner in which we do it. You have so many tools at your disposal (many of them for FREE) that you’d be crazy not to utilise this. However, just remember that we are also now open to public feedback – and this can be positive or negative. If you’re going to use your business page on Facebook to advertise the fact that you’re recruiting, use it wisely. Be sensitive to the person that has moved on from the position (whatever the circumstances in which they left), keep it professional and be sure to keep an eye on the interaction you’re getting. (This goes for your team as well, going back to point number 5 – as long as everyone is up to speed on what the needs of the business/vacancy are then this shouldn’t be a problem). All of that said, have fun with it – Stand out from the crowd in the way you’re calling out for your dream hire, showcase your brilliant company – give your ideal candidate a look behind the scenes and make them realise why you’re the employer of choice!
  10. BE TRUE TO THE NEEDS OF THE BUSINESS: When all is said and done, the simple fact is that you need to be true to the real needs of the business. All of the above points have their part to play when you’re getting your job description pulled together. You need to work out who your dream candidate is (which you’ll have been working through with all of the points), find where they are ‘hanging out’, attract them to the vacancy, make sure they actually ARE the right candidates, not discount the ones that on first glance look unsuitable, keep the criteria tight so that only the suitable candidates take the time to apply and then create a buzz around the recruitment project with your social media. Simple right?! It’s a pretty big project to handle so it’s really worth getting it right. So my final point is to be true to the needs of your business and where your new hire is going to come in to help you move things forward in the right way. That’s the bottom line. Don’t get so carried away in ‘dressing up’ a vacancy that you lose sight of your actual goal – to fill your Hot Seat with THE RIGHT CANDIDATE.

Hopefully these points will get you thinking about writing your Job Description in a different way and will help you to get something written up that is completely in line with your needs.

I’m always on hand to talk through your staffing requirements and to provide pointers as to where you can improve your recruitment efforts, so do not hesitate to get in touch if this could benefit you and your business.

Danielle 

PS: Stuck with a job description right now? Send it to me, I’ll review it for you. No charge. No catch.

Been made Redundant? Hit ‘Pause’, not ‘Panic’.

I was lucky enough to be interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning (you can catch the interview by CLICKING HERE then scrolling around 2 hours into the Breakfast Show), following several job losses in the Peterborough area, which inevitably brought up the subject of Redundancy and how it can affect people.

Being made redundant can come as a massive shock to the system. Even if you’re expecting the worst to happen, it can still pack a punch.

As well as the shock, you’re faced with feelings of panic and desperation as well as rejection and fear. You have a family to support, you have bills to pay, you don’t WANT to leave your job, you’re happy there!

The whole ‘loss of control’ sends you into a spin.

Once the initial shock has subsided, you go into ACTION mode.

You dig out the old version of your CV, dust it off and hit ‘apply now’ to every job you find online.

Feeling temporarily relieved, due to the action you’ve taken, you sit back and wait for the replies to your applications to come through.

HOWEVER. They don’t come.

Because you’ve rushed into this, because what you thought was Action was actually Panic – you’ve applied for jobs that perhaps your experience isn’t relevant for. You might have overlooked a typo on your CV. You might have sent out a CV in an out of date format that just didn’t quite manage to grab the attention of the reader – who will be, don’t forget, skim-reading many many CVs just looking for the information to jump out at them.

Hey there, Rejection! You again!

If you’re not careful, this can turn into a vicious circle of Rejection/Fake Action (Panic)/Rejection, etc. etc.

The good news is that you CAN break the cycle and you CAN turn this around. Believe it or not, good things can (and do) come from bad experiences. Yes, this is a decision that was taken out of your hands, however – what if the purpose of it was to push you into something even better?

This is not going to be handed to you on a plate though so let’s think about the right type of action to take. Here are the three areas to focus on if you’re in this position.

1. Stop and take stock of the situation

Instead of spending the day sending your CV out here, there and everywhere; spend some time to assess and take stock of the situation.

Go back over all the experience you have, of everything that you’ve learnt and the skills you’ve developed within your current role.

Think of all the positive things you’ve encountered and try your best to make peace with what has happened.

Make a list of things to be grateful for, connected to this job. These things can be anything from a friendship you’ve made, to an experience you wouldn’t have had the opportunity for otherwise – anything you can think of that puts a smile on your face, feel grateful for. Gratitude is the best way to replace feelings of anger, frustration and fear.

Do all you can to turn a bad situation into something positive; maybe this is a chance to explore a new direction that you wouldn’t have taken a leap of faith into of your own accord… This is all part of your journey.

2. Get your CV in order

Once you’re feeling slightly more on track (and this isn’t something you can rush, you must be kind to yourself), it’s time to start thinking about your CV.

As tempting as it is to dig out your old CV and just add to it with a few hurried pieces of information without giving too much thought to it – The best thing you can do is to write a brand new version.

By doing this, you’re really having to think of the situation in a different light and it really helps to close off the redundancy chapter ready to start thinking about your next phase.

Don’t over-complicate writing your CV.

If you’re writing it before you have an actual job to apply for you and just want to have one ready to go, then you need to just focus on the solid facts that you have and that is your experience to date. (I’ve put together some notes on how to do this here: Your CV: How to Write a Generic / ‘Bare Bones’ Personal Profile)

Just remember that trying to write the full version of your CV before you’ve actually got a job in mind to apply for is like trying to solve a problem without knowing what the problem is, so be prepared to do this in two stages (first getting the CV ready, second tailoring it to the job in question).

Once you’ve got the CV ready, you can then start to apply for relevant positions and/or approach recruitment consultants to help you with your search.

Don’t forget, if you’re struggling with your CV then help is out there! I’ll include some links at the bottom for you to check out when you’ve finished reading. 

3. Get Interview-Ready

As important as your CV is, it’s not the CV that gets you the job. It’s you.

Everyone knows the usual interview advice; shine your shoes, brush your hair, don’t be late, remember the interviewers name etc. but the main point to remember is to research the right information.

The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.

Just be sure that you’re focusing your time and efforts in the right direction; gather the information you have to work with (job description, advert, company website) and spend time really getting to grips with what the company are looking for in someone.

Think of the job they’re recruiting for as a problem you’re offering a solution for. That, right there, is your research.

Some handy interview tips right here for you:  How to ACE your next Job Interview: 3 Tips that you might not have thought about before…

So, in summary: Hit Pause, take a breather, be kind to yourself, be grateful for the opportunity and then crack on with Phase 2.

You got this.

Danielle x 

PS: If you need more advice/support on your Redundancy experience then you can find me over in my Killer CV Hangout Group on Facebook where I’m on hand for any questions you might have.

PPS: Almost forgot the links! Here they are:

 

Applying for a Job: How to stand out from the crowd

APPLYING FOR A JOB?

When you see a vacancy that you want to apply for, you’ll know by now that you need to take time and effort to tailor your application to suit the job you’re going for.

It’s much better to make 5 decent job applications per week than 50 half-assed attempts that don’t even get looked at. Sorry for saying assed, btw.

Ok, so you’ve found the job you want to apply for, here’s some steps to follow that should hopefully make you stand out from the crowd:

  1. PRINT OUT the information you have to hand. If you don’t have access to a printer then go through the information and make notes on the main points of the role
  2. With your notes (printed or hand-written) to hand, go through and HIGHLIGHT the areas in which you know you are matching up on
  3. Open your current CV and go to ‘Save As‘. Save each application you make as a new document. Remember whatever you call the document will be seen by the reader. Something like CV_FirstNameLastName_CompanyName_Date would work well
  4. You can now go through and start to alter your CV based on the information you have to hand from your notes/highlighted print outs
  5. Take notice of the ORDER in which the duties of the role are listed and make sure that wherever possible, you match this – for example, if the role has finance duties relatively high up on their list, then make sure that you do too. If you have finance experience, that is. No fibs.
  6. What personal skills/attributes does this role call out for? Use the same words throughout your personal profile. More often than not, you can write most of your personal profile from the job description of the role you’re applying for – just make sure that you do actually consider yourself to have these skills/attributes and you’re not just using the words for the sake of it!
  7. Be sure to follow instructions. Does this company want you to apply via email or through their own website? Make sure you do as you’re told as there will be a reason for their application method. Don’t be seen as a troublemaker before you’ve even got your feet under the desk.
  8. Cover Letter – have they specifically asked for one? Only if one is requested should you provide one. If no mention of it then you can just outline some key points in the body of the email when you apply.
  9. If you ARE asked to provide a cover letter then you should have enough relevant information in your CV now to pull out into a new document to create the letter. Make sure that anything that is in the cover letter is in the CV and vice versa, don’t do one or the other and assume that everything will get read because it just might not…

Points to remember:

  • The aim is to MERGE the job info (vacancy details/job description/advert) with your CV
  • If you REALLY feel you’re matching up to the requirements then don’t leave any piece of information out – Don’t give them any reason to say no!
  • Never assume that the reader will just ‘know’ what you’ve done, or what you have experience in. Spell it out. Any surplus information will just be filtered out by the right eyes – But the essential information can’t be added in at a later date. Now is your chance to get it right.

I hope that this will help you out with the next job application you make. If you need advice on how to tackle an application you’d like to make then head over to my Killer CV Hangout group on Facebook, where I’m always on hand to help.

Danielle ❤

Your CV: How to Write a Generic / ‘Bare Bones’ Personal Profile

Following yesterday’s discussion in my Facebook Group, The Killer CV Hangout, around the DRAMA of writing a Personal Profile and why we all seem to struggle to ‘sell ourselves’ in this section, I’ve put together a little guide to help you.

It really doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think.

You’ll know by now that I ALWAYS bang on and on about how you should re-write your personal profile based on the job that you’re applying for (because you will find that you already have the information written for you, in the job description/advert that has led you to the job). So, you should do this as standard practice with EVERY job you apply for. Sure, it takes more time, but it’s more likely to get you a response. Soz.

SO – What if you want to put a CV together so that it’s READY to go, before you’ve even found a job to apply for? You just want to get it ready and waiting; or perhaps you want a generic version of your CV to shoot off to a Recruitment Agency as an introduction? (I know this one place, it’s called HotSeat Recruitment, it’s pretty good.)

If you want to do this, let’s get a ‘bare bones’ structure in place.

The format I would take when writing a generic Personal Profile would be based around three points:

  1. One sentence that sums up my ‘Title’, backed up with a summary of at least three areas of expertise
  2. A point of interest or a ‘stand out’ quality of mine, to further highlight my skillset
  3. Finishing with a statement on the direction I am looking to take my career in

For example (I’ve based this on an Administrator, for the purpose of this exercise):

  1. An experienced Administrator; familiar with a variety of office support tasks including reception duties, diary management, travel arrangements and basic accounts duties
  2. PC literate and proficient in MS Office including Word, Excel, Outlook and Access with fast, accurate typing skills
  3. Looking for a new opportunity within an organisation that offers progression and career development

Merged together into a paragraph, like so:

PERSONAL PROFILE

An experienced Administrator; familiar with a variety of office support tasks including reception duties, diary management, travel arrangements and basic accounts duties. PC literate and proficient in MS Office including Word, Excel, Outlook and Access with fast, accurate typing skills. Looking for a new opportunity within an organisation that offers progression and career development.

Ta-dah!

Yep, I know. It’s boring as. You’ll see that this is REALLY generic and doesn’t really show much in the way of personality or unique skills. But the point of this exercise is for you to see the format that can be used to create a standard Profile within your CV to kick things off.

As soon as you’re ready to apply for a job, you’ll return to your CV to really flesh it out, using the information you already have at your disposal – such as the job description, person specification, job advert, company website.

This is the point that the CV will really come alive and showcase your skills, showing you as THE person for the job. Because you will see then what the job is all about and you’ll see the problem that the Recruiter is trying to solve.

Until you have this information (i.e. you have the job you’re ready to apply for) then you’re trying to solve a problem without knowing what the problem IS. And that’s when you get frustrated and it feels like an impossible task.

Need a bit more guidance on this? Get in touch, tell me what you’re struggling with. Better still, come join my Killer CV Hangout Group, I’d love to have you there.

Have a great day everyone, happy CV writing!

Danielle ❤ x

danielle@hotseatrecruitment.co.uk

Recruiting for your Office stressing you out? This is a job you should pass on, for sure.

Finding the right staff for your business is a really big, really important task, there is no denying this. Handled badly, it can be a pretty catastrophic experience.

There is so much to do and so much to think about…

Job titles, job descriptions, person specifications, adverts, CVs, shortlisting for interview, actually interviewing, making decisions, rejecting applicants, getting rejected by applicants, salary bidding wars… All of this on top your usual day job? Really?

Another thing to think about is Bad Recruitment = Bad PR.

People talk. Word can (and does) get out and you do NOT want to be known as the Company that no one wants to touch with a barge pole because they’ve heard some horror stories of how someone has been treated or because of high turnover issues…

Imagine, though, if things could be different.

Imagine if you had one person, just ONE PERSON that handled all of your Recruitment needs, whenever you needed them.

Imagine if, when you needed to recruit for your office, you didn’t have to worry about:

  • Writing new job descriptions or bringing old ones up to date
  • Writing a person specification that describes who you’re trying to attract
  • Meeting after meeting to clarify what you’re actually recruiting for
  • Creating adverts for online job boards/newspapers
  • Negotiating rates and budgeting for online job boards/newspapers
  • Screening 100’s of CVs
  • Shortlisting from CVs, whittling down from 100 to 5 for interview
  • Arranging Interviews by telephone/email
  • Responding to all candidates, whether shortlisted or not
  • Coordinating your availability with theirs to ensure minimum disruption
  • Sending out interview confirmations, directions, company information to interviewees
  • Preparing interview questions that are going to keep you on the right side of the employment law
  • Arranging 2nd interviews
  • The procedure for making an offer of employment
  • Dealing with counter offers received from current employers to your new employee
  • Responding to all unsuccessful interviewees, providing feedback wherever possible
  • Taking up references
  • Keeping communication flowing whilst new employee works their notice period
  • Devising an induction period to welcome and settle in your new recruit
  • Ensuring a drama-free probationary period for all parties

How amazing would it be if you could pass all of this on to one person that would handle ALL of the above for you; working alongside you to ensure you got your vacancy filled with minimum disruption and maximum success?

Imagine if you could just concentrate on getting on with your own business, your own work; and that you didn’t need to worry about a single thing because you had someone there to do it all for you, being an ambassador FOR your company to ensure that you, your company and your vacancy is being talked about for all the right reasons?

Think of it not only as a full, in house Recruitment service but an additional brand awareness exercise as well! Recruitment AND Marketing in one? I think they call that a win-win situation.

You could literally hand the job over to one person who would manage the full recruitment cycle for you:

  • Accurate, realistic job descriptions created in line with your requirements
  • Eye-catching adverts designed to attract your ideal candidates
  • Only ever receiving CVs of candidates that are suitable for your vacancy
  • Only ever interviewing candidates that are bringing the right skillset, personality and attitude to your company
  • Having an interview schedule fully coordinated on your behalf
  • Interviewees prepped and fully briefed on what it is you need
  • Celebrating with you when your new recruit accepts your offer of employment!

This is exactly what you get when you come to HotSeat Recruitment for your new recruits.

Your own dedicated Account Manager that will visit you in your offices to get the best understanding of what it is you need.

To perhaps suggest options that you’d not thought about – that could save you time and money.

The fear, stress and strain that you’ve come to associate Recruitment with will be replaced with trust, relief and complete confidence in the fact that you can now go back to doing what it is that you do best, safe in the knowledge that you will have that vacancy Hot Seat filled before you know it.

And not just filled for the sake of being filled – anyone can do that.

It will be filled with someone that is tune with the personality, values and goals of your business.

Welcome back to the ‘good old days’ of Recruitment, where people are treated with respect, treated as individuals and the personal touch means everything. The biggest compliment we could hear at HotSeat Recruitment is that we are ‘old fashioned’.

Too right. No robots here.

No hidden agendas, no percentage based fees and no cloak and dagger shenanigans.

Find out more about what HotSeat Recruitment can do for you and your business today and ditch the drama!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to ACE your next Job Interview: 3 Tips that you might not have thought about before…

YES! You’ve been selected for an INTERVIEW!

*punches air/claps hands like sea-lion/high-fives anyone in close proximity*

This is amazing news. You SO deserve this interview; you spent precious time and energy crafting just the right application for the job, you know that it’s a role you are more than capable of doing.

And I don’t want to take the high out of your five or anything – believe me, I don’t. But let’s just gather our thoughts and remember that we are not at the finish line just yet.

I’ve put together 3 points that will help you to make sure that your next interview is as on point as it can possibly be.

1. Preparation: Make sure you’re researching the RIGHT stuff.

It’s not just about polishing your shoes and scouring over the company website for hours, you know… Preparing for an interview is something that many people will overlook. Or, should I say, they will overlook the importance of it.

The wonderful world wide web is full to the brim of interview tips and techniques about how to best come across in the meeting itself, what to wear, what buzz words to use, how to sit in order to look interested… (I mean, WHAT?! If you’re not interested in the job you’re being interviewed for then no seating position is going to disguise that, but there you go.)

So, you’ve done your research already, have you? You know when the company was set up, you’ve found the MD’s Wife on Linked In and you can recite the company’s mission statement in 3 different languages. Go you – you cheeky, stalkery scamp! Or not.

Rather than spending your time and energy on ‘cramming’ a load of facts and figures that are not relevant to the job in question, be sure that you keep to the facts in front of you when doing your research.

What type of role is it you’re going for? 

Is it an Operational / Management position? In this case, you will be focusing your preparation efforts into the company background and the direction the organisation is looking to take in the future. For roles like this, your preparation needs to be revolving around the company values, past achievements and future plans – and where your own (values, achievements and plans) sit in alignment with theirs.

Perhaps you’re being considered for an Office Support role? Focus here needs to be on the day to day duties that you would be involved in carrying out. Really get ‘behind’ their needs, what are they struggling with right now that you can swoop in and take away from them? Think of the open vacancy that you are being interviewed for as a problem they have. Then brainstorm ways in which your experience, skills and knowledge can help to solve this problem. How can you lighten the load for them? Support = help. How can you help? Think of your administrative capabilities as a Service you provide. Demonstrate what you have to offer. Hiring you could mean they’ve solved their problem and created more time for them to concentrate on their own work/business.

2. Know your own CV.

Sounds obvious.

I mean, it’s your CV, right?!

However, if I got a quid for the amount of times I’ve interviewed someone that, when I’ve asked them a question on their background, they’ve had to spin the CV away from me to scan over it in order to actually remind themselves of what they’ve done/when they’ve done it… then I’d have, like, loads of quids. #maths

Things like this can make an interview take a huge nosedive; confusion leads to anxiety and awkwardness and this is NOT the energy we want to be giving off at this important time. You’ll lose track, lose momentum and quite possibly will lose the job before you get it.

Your CV has led you to this point, it’s landed you the Interview and so for that reason alone, it’s pretty much done its job.

BUT PLEASE REMEMBER: It will still be used as a ‘prop’ by the interviewer, so you really do need to know it inside out. The interviewer might need to refer back to your CV in an interview, but you shouldn’t have to.

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at it, take the opportunity to refresh yourself with it, check back in with YOU and your own experience. If you then decide that it could do with a bit of a spruce or you see room for improvement in areas that would further back up your application / interview, then do it.

You don’t necessarily have to supply them with the new version prior to the interview; just going through the process of updating, re-assessing and aligning yourself with the role in question will be a really positive thing to do as part of your preparation. As you match yourself to the role and see yourself ticking off all the requirements, one by one, you’ll start to imagine yourself actually there, in the job, smashing it… (And we all know what a bit of positive visualisation does for us when going after our goals.)

3. Enjoy it. Yep, you read it right. ENJOY IT! 

Now, there are a zillion other things I could go into to get you all pumped up and ready for your interview.

The obvious ones being:

  • Make sure you’re looking good (brush your teeth and don’t wear jeans, yada yada yada)
  • Don’t be late
  • Remember your interviewers name

These all go without saying (or they should).

I always tell the candidates that work with me to ENJOY their interviews.

Honestly, try not to over-complicate this.

You’ve been selected for this interview based on the experience or the transferrable skills that you already have.You’re already halfway there!

Give your Recruitment Consultant a call before you go in to the interview for a pre-interview pep talk and to get you all fired up.

Don’t have a Recruitment Consultant? Call me! I’ll be your stand-in. I got your back!

Just remember that it’s a two-way street and this interview is as much for your benefit as it is for theirs. Be sure that this job is exactly what YOU’RE looking for, be true to you.

YOU GOT THIS!

Danielle ❤

PS: I always LOVE hearing your interview stories; whether they are positive, negative or downright cringey. Come and join me in my Facebook Group ‘The Killer CV Hangout‘, tell me your stories, ask me anything, get involved in our natterings. See you there.

 

A message to anyone suffering from Anxiety…

This morning’s registrations have brought some incredible talent through to HotSeat Recruitment; however one candidate has stood out to me and has inspired me so much more than they realise.

This candidate has been struggling with severe anxiety for as long as they can remember; feeling unsure of which way to turn, not really getting the support they need or the help in finding which direction to take. I know it wasn’t an easy thing to do, to come into an Agency and talk about their situation. But they did it and I feel so grateful to have been able to spend some time in their company.

Anxiety in jobseekers is something I come across on a daily basis, on a variety of levels. It disrupts people’s day to day life and for some, can literally hold them back from even having a life.

I just wanted to post a message to anyone out there that is currently suffering with anxiety in any form; just to say one thing:

Please be kind to yourself!

I know you want to push your own boundaries and to force yourself outside of your comfort zone, but the old saying is true and you really shouldn’t run before you can walk.

  • Take every day as it comes.
  • Do something every day that makes you happy and proud of yourself.
  • Celebrate even the smallest of successes.
  • Go easy on yourself when you’re facing a tough day.
  • Try to remember to not base your future on your past as things really can change and there are better days ahead.
  • Share your fears, talk things over wherever you can. Sometimes, the more reality you give your anxieties, the easier (or more manageable) it becomes to crush them.

Don’t struggle alone and go easy on yourself.

Danielle

What if I don’t?

How often, when making a decision, do you ask yourself the question: What if I don’t? Not What if I DO – What if I DON’T..?

Following on from yesterday’s post (where I was talking about how I came to the decision to start my own Recruitment Agency over 11 years ago), I spoke about how sometimes when we are trying to make a decision, in order to really confirm that we are going after the RIGHT thing and heading in the RIGHT direction, we need to play out in our mind the exact opposite of this direction.

For example, I’m currently working with someone that has worked in the same company for a long time. Like, a really long time, we are talking over 20 years.

For the past five years, this candidate (I’m going to call her Mary – she’s not really called Mary, don’t worry, this is not YOUR Mary I’m talking about 🙂 ) has been unhappy in her job.

Now, this hasn’t been five years of constant job-searching, don’t get me wrong. It comes and goes, the unhappiness and feeling of discontentment. Sometimes weeks will go by and Mary will realise that she’s not thought about her job search for some time.

And then something will happen one day and the feeling is back. It’s not always anything massive to happen, it could be something relatively small that, if everything else was as it should be, would just be a minor irritation. You know, like a little disagreement with a colleague… Returning from a few days off to see that nothing has been done as planned, or that changes have been made whilst she was away… Just ‘things’ that would once over have been water off a ducks back, but are now more like pins in eyeballs type stuff.

When this happens, Mary starts to feel this mixture of ALL the emotions. She feels angry, disappointed, hurt, frustrated – but determined. Furiously, emotional and determined. She’ll go home, talk to her family about it, have a little cry, say some swear words and (once again) announce how this is the last time she’s been made to feel like this and that she is off at the first opportunity.

She’ll then dig her CV out that she’s not looked at since the last time this happened and realise that it’s not in good shape. It’s not to say that it’s a rubbish CV, she just knows that it’s not in line with what she wants and that it could be better. She’s just not sure how.

Ah well. A CV’s a CV, right? I can explain any missing details or confusion when I’m in the interview, it will be fine.

So she muddles through, adds on a few duties, a few more ‘buzz words’ and hey presto – CV updated, good to go. Jumps on the PC, searches for jobs in her area, finds 25 and applies for all of them. (I’m not going to go into the whole cycle of nothingness again, I’ve already covered that here in this post. But Mary is teetering on the brink of the Jobseekers Groundhog Day.)

Needless to say, none of the 25 jobs that Mary goes for, come through with any results. Either ‘thanks but no thanks’ or just silence. She obviously feels pretty low about this and is questioning why no one is looking at her.

All of a sudden, the idea of getting a new job is becoming very tiring and stressful and Mary isn’t sure she has the energy or the emotional strength for it.

She then thinks about her current job and the familiarity and safety of her comfort zone get her thinking that perhaps it IS better the devil you know. Maybe she’ll stay where she is for now. There’s always the next time.

“Stop it right there, Mary. You’ve been desperately unhappy for FIVE WHOLE YEARS now. This is your LIFE we are talking about! You are worth SO much more than this.”

Is what I said to Mary. She needed a bit of tough love at this point.

I then talked her through a technique I have used myself on many occasions and one that I work with candidates on a daily basis to get some focus and clarity on the direction to head in.

I asked Mary to talk me through her daily routine. Literally, all of it.

  • What time she gets up in the morning…
  • How does she travel to work?
  • How long does it take to get there?
  • Where does she park?
  • What’s the first thing she does when she gets there in the morning?
  • Is she the first in the office or are people already in? Who is in?
  • What’s the atmosphere like?
  • How she feels as she’s heading through the office doors?
  • What are her daily tasks and how does she prioritise them?

Ending with the question of all questions in the world of candidate support (in my world, anyway):

  • How does she feel on a Sunday evening?

Mary dutifully goes through all my questions and answers them (wearily).

I then ask her to think ahead to one year on from Today and imagine she is STILL doing this. To imagine she is still living this work life that she is desperately unhappy in.

No. Adamantly, Mary realises that no, she can’t carry on doing this.

I then ask if she is prepared to start thinking about where she DOES want to be this time next year and I can suddenly see something change. Something has clicked and I know that Mary is finally ready to think about things in a different light, to see this as an exciting adventure rather than an emotionally draining chore.

Sometimes, in order for you to get in the right mindset about where you want to be, you have to really go there (in your mind only, of course) in the opposite direction. Think about where you don’t want to be, who you don’t want to be or what you don’t want to be doing.

This technique doesn’t work for everybody but for those that it has worked for, it’s been really powerful and a fantastic transition to see.

If you need guidance on the direction you want to head in (or not) then drop me a line and we’ll get you on the right track.

Danielle ❤

PS: Sorry for the depressing image for this post. Would you believe that the picture below was taken from the same window at exactly the same time as the above? Just from a different angle. Moral of this PS? Sometimes when it seems to always be dark and stormy, we need to remember that the Sunny side is always there somewhere. We might just have to turn ourselves to a different direction to see it.

untitled-design-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 11th Business Birthday to Me!

Today, the 6th of February 2017, marks 11 years since I went solo and started my own ’empire’ in the world of Recruitment.

11 years. How is this even possible? In some ways, looking back at the beginning, it feels like it was only yesterday. Shacked up in the spare room of my little terraced house; I’d hired my first employee, an 8 week old Westie Puppy called Mac, I was all website-ed up and ready to go.

I can remember that feeling of excitement and nervousness so clearly. Obviously I had the usual worries that anyone does when going it alone:

  • What if it just doesn’t take off?
  • How long before I make any money?
  • What if I just never make any money?!
  • Am I setting myself up for a massive, public fail?

Yet the ‘what if’s’ were pushed aside and silenced (temporarily) by the much louder question of…

What if I don’t?

It seems that sometimes, in order to really find out what you actually want to do, you need to go to the complete opposite of that to see what your gut reaction is. In my case, I knew I couldn’t NOT at least give this a go, see if it had any mileage, see what I was made of.

Having a conversation with one of my best friends last week, we were talking about my upcoming Business Birthday and I made the comment of “If someone had told me, on my first day of self-employment, that I would still be ‘going’ now, 11 years later, and asked me to describe what I thought it would be like; the kind of person I would be, the STUFF I would have and what the actual business would look like… I’m not sure I would paint the picture of the reality I have today…”

“So, if you knew how it would be, would you still have done it?”, she said.

 

This got me thinking. (NB: I really dislike when said friend gets me thinking. Nothing good comes from me doing this. Said friend should not encourage thinking, will have words with her on this at later date.)

Would I still have gone for it, if I knew how it would really be?

After staring out of the window for quite some time (which must have been fun for said Friend, bet she’s glad she came round that day.), I came to the conclusion that Yes.

Yes I would still have gone for it. I think I’d have just buckled up a bit more for the ride. Although I actually believe that my naivety had quite a big part to play in taking the leap of faith that I did; at the time I mistook this for bravery and wanting to be some kind of trailblazer or something like that.

Ha! Bless me.

So, back to the point of this post. What have I learnt about being self employed over the past 11 years?

I’ve learnt that:

  1. I’m more resilient than I realised – I’ve made it through (relatively unscathed) some pretty crappy times in the last 11 years of business. Recessions, Re-brands and some seriously rubbish relationships (business wise. Although…)
  2. I’m fiercely proud of what I do. I adore my job and take it very seriously. I can’t imagine doing anything else and that is why I bang on about it as much as I do. #sorrynotsorry.
  3. I’ve made loads of mistakes. And some still make me cringe to this day.
  4. I’m thankful for the mistakes I’ve made. Because they’ve helped me to learn what NOT to do and to help others not to make the same mistakes.
  5. Being self employed is scary. The feeling of vulnerability and fear that it brings is like nothing I’ve ever known.
  6. Being self employed is brilliant. Making your own decisions, seeing your plans come to life and knowing YOU made it happen… This rocks, loads.
  7. Creativity. And I don’t mean just with Canva. I had never realised how creative you need to be when you’re self employed; from drawing up plans/contracts for a new business relationship, to offering flexible payment plans to suit the business your working for, to thinking of new ways to promote a new service. Wow. (But seriously, love Canva.)
  8. Honesty. There are A LOT of Billy Bullshitters out there, all quick to tell you how amazingly awesome they are doing in Business. And sure, some might be… But I have always made it my ‘thing’ to be super honest about my business, both in the good times and in the not so good (ok, make that dire) times. Being honest and open is always the way. Plus, you pull in the best advice that way. #winwin
  9. Plate-spinning. Self employment can sometimes mean spinning MANY a plate at the same time. But you must be realistic enough to know that it’s OK to let a couple smash. And that sometimes, you might need to pass a few plates over for someone else to spin on your behalf. Don’t be a martyr. Still working on this one btw.
  10. You should never, EVER compare yourself to anyone else. It’s great to have people to aspire to, that you are inspired by and that you respect. But at the same time, remember that if you spend too long worrying about what ‘the others’ are up to, you’re wasting precious time and energy that you could be spending on yourself and your own business.
  11. My family and friends are incredible. The support I’ve been given over the years just makes me want to burst with gratitude. Knowing how they believe in me and that they are proud of me, well… I have no words. Ok, I have two. Thank you.

So, there you have it. 11 things I’ve learnt in 11 years. It’s been – and continues to be – an emotional rollercoaster.

And I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for being there to join me on the ride.

Much love

Millsi ❤