You – The Brand (Part 2 in a series on Recruitment)

Author: Tracy Bygrave

So you’re a couple of months into a new year and the frustrations you had in 2014 haven’t improved so you decide it really is time to look for another job. You quickly update your CV and jump on the usual websites to look for a greener pasture. Once you’ve found some roles you think you’d be perfect for, you dash off your CV and cover letter. Then you wait.

Sounds familiar? Wonder why you may not get an interview even though you’re perfect for the role? Perhaps you haven’t thoroughly considered how to brand yourself. This is your first and maybe last impression to a prospective new boss.

It’s all about YOU & your brand!

From someone who’s reviewed thousands of CVs, let me tell you it’s the little things that matter most. You don’t need to have something colourful with lots of graphic effects. You just need is to ensure all the information is correct (spell checked) and clearly laid out.

Some tips:

  • Do not send it “To Whom It May Concern” – do your best to investigate the name of the person it should be directed to (yes, it’s personal)
  • Make sure you spell their name correctly! In fact, spellcheck everything!
    (and I’m a Ms. not  Mr!).
  • Don’t just cut and paste – no one wants to get a cover letter addressed to one of their competitors
  • Tailor your cover letter (and your CV) to the role requirements. Give examples of accomplishments around key responsibilities
  • Don’t include your photo, height and weight –this isn’t Tinder or Grindr!
  • Please don’t use flowery fonts that no one can read (and makes you look like you’ve been transported from the Renaissance)
  • There are some lovely templates in Word. They’re even free – use them!

Seriously, keep it straightforward. I’d rather see a well-crafted CV and cover letter that looks to answer “our brief” (the role you’re applying for), than someone trying to be clever simply for clever’s sake.

And in case you’re wondering – of the thousands of CVs I’ve received, I’ve read each and every one of them!

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