Monday, 16 June 2014
I'm Boring......Employ ME!
Ok, that really cool, must-have job has been published, or someone’s given you the nod for a job that’s right up your street.
You rush home, dig out your standard CV, update a few bits and bang out a cover letter and then fingers crossed; you wait for the call/email/homing pigeon to reel you in for an interview.
But I’m the employer; I’ve just read your CV and trashed it instantly! Jeez, that was boring! It was one of 163 CV’s full of all the cliché’s I’d expected and just didn’t stand out!
Why? Well, quite frankly I don’t want to employ a boring person. I want to enjoy my time at work and work with someone who’s been there, done it, bought the tee shirt, lost the tee shirt and/or created his own.
I don’t want to read a CV created from a John Bull printing set (although that would be quite creative….smudgy, but creative!) and I don’t really care about how many O ‘levels you did 20/30/40 years ago!
I want someone with pizzazz (spell checker didn’t like that word!) and someone who can tell me their story and why I should work with them.
Even accountants can be cool. Some IT geeks can be fun and some filing clerks have been on a journey.
If that’s true, then why send me some something that doesn’t reflect that journey!
I don’t really care if you’ve got an Oxbridge triple first in Turtle Anatomy, Iron Age Philosophy and the History of French Basket Weaving during the Siege of Provence in 1638.
I do care if you can string a few words together, have tried, failed, tried again, succeeded and can show some blimmin' personality!
I do care if you’ve proven to me you know what you’re doing through stories of ownership, team building, growth success and personal resilience.
And I do care if you know how to relax properly after work and balance your home lives with your work life…are you not human!?
Don’t write a CV like it’s a painful, formatted legal document.
Write it like it’s your OBE application! If you’re not funny, don’t try to be. If you’re not good at numbers, be honest and tell us.
We employers will expect you to be everything you said you’d be on your CV and in your cover letter so don’t try and bullshit us! (I’ve fallen for this and it took nearly a year to get rid of someone!)
I know of kids who spend hour’s on-line filling in e-applications to banks, consulting firms and professional service organisations only to be rejected instantly…but are then encouraged to re-apply for other vacancies in the same mob!
OMG! How painful, demoralising and depressing!
Get your covering letter into a format that looks, feels and tastes different! (NB I do draw the line at the use of perfumed paper or pop-up books….to a point!)and wing it over to the CEO of the organisation.
And don’t do the ‘it’s-my-application-so-nobody-else-can-read-it” thing.
Draft it up, send it to friends and family and other colleagues (if you’re really brave) and get them to read it and feed it back honestly.
If they’re genuinely impressed (NB Your Mum WILL be, your Dad WON’T be and brother or sister will be completely and utterly brutally honest!), then you’ve sold it to normal people who know you well enough and will believe or disbelieve in everything you’ve said. And then send it to the boss and unless it’s completely ineligible, he or she may just move yours nearer the top of the pile….just don’t disappoint then at interview!
©Mark Kass June 2014