We’ve been talking to some of our clients to get to the bottom of what they are really looking for when they recruit.
We’re not talking about the specifics for particular roles, but trends in the things that ‘turn off’ potential employers and could rule you out of their recruitment process.
Two main things kept cropping up:
- Buzz words
- Me, not we
We’ve all become ‘experts’ at writing what we think people are looking for on our CV’s. We cram them full of all the key terms and phrases we think we should. Things like:
- Motivated self starter
- Creative thinker
- Proactive problem solver
- Agile team player
But do any of these phrases actually tell a potential employer about you?
By telling the reader you are a ‘motivated self starter’ you are giving them your opinion. You need to provide the evidence that leads them to this conclusion.
Allowing your reader to draw their own conclusions from your CV is a better approach. Load your CV with the facts to get them to the conclusion you’d like them to draw.
Your CV is about giving a flavour of what you are capable of. It’s a carrot to dangle to get someone’s attention and make them want to find out more about you. Engage your reader and explain what you could bring to the table.
Me, not we
Once you’ve got over the first hurdle and you have an interview. The next think to avoid is not talking about yourself.
This might sound strange, it’s what you’re there for. But it’s all about the language you use.
When you are asked to describe a time you have delivered x, y, z. Your answer needs to detail what you did, what you delivered, what value you added, which of your skills you used.
Too many candidates talk about what ‘we did’, ‘as a team we delivered’. The interviewer wants to hear what you are capable of and therefore, might be able to do for them.
If you talk about ‘we’ and not ‘I’, it could be interpreted that you didn’t do what it is you are talking about. You might sound more junior than you are because of the language you use.
Always stick to the facts but make sure you own your facts.
If you avoid these two employer bugbears, you’ll increse the chance of securing your next job role.