…because we’re all going to experience this at some point in our careers. You’re applying for your dream job and the advert lists numerous ‘key skills’ required for the role; you must have this qualification, you must have that kind of on the job experience, etc. You read it, and you tick all the boxes – hooray! But, is it just the ‘key skills’ that are required for you to get the job? No. Undoubtedly, one of the most important elements of appointing a new team member is a personality and cultural alignment, but all too often I see CV’s that tick all the ‘skill’ boxes and leave me asking ‘Who is this person? What are they about? What makes them tick?’.
Let’s talk about first impressions
You are not a piece of paper filled with bullet points, you are a person and you have personal motivators, ambitions, a personal working style, and a personal journey to speak of. So why not tell a story about yourself in addition to telling us you’ve got the key skills we want! Now you’re really making an impact.
Let’s write a Personal Profile
There are some important things to consider before you start writing your profile.
Consideration 1: Be careful not to over-sell yourself. Below is a real-life example of how this can back-fire.
I met up with a candidate that had applied for my role through Seek, we had a coffee, talked about their interest in the role and I concluded they had all the relevant skills for the job. I had done my due diligence by meeting them face to face. Did I think they would fit in with the company culture? Yes. Did I think they had the right personality for the team? Yes. CV sent!
Fast forward to the next day and I receive a reply from my client: ‘Robyn, this candidate claims to have exceptional leadership and client interface skills but has only been a Project Manager for 2 years. We are a quietly confident team, so for that reason I’ll pass on this one.’ Ouch. Over-sold themselves and came across all wrong.
I learnt two things from that situation:
My client, the hiring manager, reads personal profiles and places a huge importance on them in their decision to interview.
The content of your profile is just as important as actually having one in the first place!
Consideration 2: Relate yourself to the job you’re applying for.
If you have established this is your dream job, you must have researched the company and think you will fit in with their culture, aspirations and values. Don’t let this influence your entire profile, but an intelligent approach is to link your personality and career aspirations with the company you are applying for.
Cultural synergy + skill match = Interview!
Consideration 3: Be genuine.
You can’t and shouldn’t change who you are. Even if you aren’t a dead-set match on paper, that might change if you’re given the chance to meet them based on your skill-set alone, which isn’t unlikely. So be true what you’ve written, be yourself, and who knows – you could be the perfect fit anyway!
Let’s apply for the job
Try and take these three points into consideration when you send your next application. Write a profile if you didn’t have one! Spice up the one you’ve got and make it intelligent, targeted and honest. Whatever you do, remember the importance of your personal profile; you are a person, not a CV, so give yourself every opportunity to be considered as that.
Robyn Gilder is Property Consultant at Fetch Recruitment. Originally from the UK, she has a passion for workplace culture and fit, and works extremely hard during the interview process to drill down on a candidate’s values, aspirations & motivators in order to match them with the right company. You can connect with Robyn on LinkedIn here.