Ask James Caan – Issue 94
Do you know how to effectively market your skill set? This is a question frequently posed to me by many people from all industry sectors. So, to help guide you one step closer to securing that interview or clinching that career opportunity, webrecruit is pleased to announce its latest collaboration.
We’ve teamed up with fellow group member and top career coach, Steve Nicholls, to provide you with a series of free webinars using the BrightTalk platform.
Steve, who boasts a fantastic level of expertise, is running the webinars as part of our monthly educational series, and the platform will enable you to pose questions whilst the live recording goes out.
Today’s webinar – Getting the Edge at a Job Interview – is at 7pm and can be accessed here: http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/7873/46839.
Learning how to market your skills in such a difficult climate is crucial, no matter what industry or level of seniority you operate. One topic that crops up time and time again is the issues senior-level applicants face when trying to demonstrate their value for more junior roles.
Take Jay for example:
‘Until the last 12 months, I ran my own business selling promotional merchandise. The company went under and now I am unemployed. I have secured just a handful of interviews, but I am concerned that MD on my application is putting some people off.
‘Shall I leave it off my CV, or is there a way to communicate the experience I have worked so hard to achieve?’
Creating your CV, Jay, is not about going through the motions according to a tired old formula. It’s your chance to sell yourself and, above all, to get that first interview.
Because most CVs have been created following a rather rigid template, anything you can do to lift its profile is valuable. The CV you are sending in could be one of a hundred, one of 500 – even one of over a thousand.
I’d advise against omitting your experience as a Managing Director from your CV. You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are, why leave it out for the sake of a hiring manager that may be put off? If that’s the case, perhaps they aren’t the business for you?
It’s best to minimise the surprise factor. Unlike your CV, an interview is something of an unknown quantity. But you can do plenty to minimise being thrown off your stride. Remember, the best interview is going to be one which contains the fewest surprises.
You need to ask yourself two questions: what is the job I am applying for and is this piece of information relevant to me getting this job? As an employer, I want to see how you personally have added value; what can you do for my business? At the end of the day, it’s all about matching your skills to an employer’s needs.
The skills you have acquired as a business owner will give you the edge, especially when anticipating what a hiring manager is looking for. No doubt you will have had to, at some point, interview potential candidates to join your team. Why not look back at that situation and reflect on the questions running through your mind when considering a potential applicant?
Having to close a business can have a devastating effect, but it’s how you pick yourself up from the situation that will set you apart. Passion and motivation stand out from an application; applications that have no spark will find themselves in the rejected pile.
If you need help creating your CV, ensure to use the services out there aimed at senior-level appointments, such as Executives on the Web http://www.executivesontheweb.com/, or CV writing services that can help you to position your skill set.