The first one – for the ones on the look

Profile yourself, before I do!

Oh, who am I, you ask? I am Zsuzsa Szabo, currently working as Project Manager/Sourcing Expert for Randstad Nederland. I basically made a career out of googling/stalking people, offering them new positions. I also possess an awesome book called “Raising Unicorns – Your step-by-step guide to starting and running a successful – and magical – unicorn farm”.

And what it is I want to talk to you about? Your first job. Your second job. Your third job. Your dream job. Or even your career.

Why? Because it’s not blind fate and a good hearted intercedent/recruiter/acquaintance  who is in charge of your career. It’s you.

You see with technological advancement it’s not just the way you listen to music on the go has changed. Our whole lives are changing and that includes finding a job. Amongst all the choices we are suddenly offered we slowly became consumers of recruitment as well. We, people of working age became conscientious of

  • how we would like to be approached (because we can just send all the unsolicited job alerts into our spam folders)
  • by whom we would like to be approached (your friend had a bad experience with “Jon Doe” intercedent/recruiter/nameithoweveryouwantit from “X.Y.” company? I guarantee you will not engage in conversation with them)
  • when we would like to be approached (morning, daytime, evenings, weekends)
  • but most importantly what content we would like to be approached with.

Throughout your studies you have made choices trying to shape a future career. But how can you make sure the companies, their recruiters, the intercedents who have relevant jobs to offer will find you? And when they’ve found you, consider you a contender?

By profiling. Or branding if you will. Whatever you think is sexier.

As people live their lives more and more on the internet, most of the efforts for trying to fill a vacancy moved online as well. Not to mention your efforts of finding work: you search for a job online. You “advertise” being available by posting your resume on one of the online job boards. (If you don’t know what to do with all the time on your hands just print out copies of your resume and walk into the offices of recruitment companies. Endless amounts of fun will derive from looking at their shocked faces.)

Moreover, even if you are not officially online as a candidate, you are online. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the list goes on. I can find you. And I will, that is my job. But you decide what conclusions I will draw from what I see.

So here are some tips on how to avert disaster:

  • the golden rule: if you do it, do it right. A half-finished LinkedIn profile, an untidy CV suggests laziness, negligence, inaccuracy. Remember, you don’t have to attach a photo! Rather keep it “boring” than pep it up with a bathroom mirror selfie
  • Set the area you want to work in, your experience in that field clearly visible on your CV. If you just got your diploma in Business Administration and want to work in the area of Supply Chain, you should mention it amongst fields of studies, interests – thus making it findable for us doing searches for this word combination
  • Make sure all relevant keywords (software knowledge, certifications, internships) are present on your resume. You can leave personality traits out – a good recruiter will call you to verify your communication/sales/etc. skills
  • If you use bullet points, prioritize: the most important statements go on top. People tend to gradually attach less weight to what they read as they go down on a page
  • Be sure that there is relevant information visible on the screen: your personal information, your studies and a small personal statement or work experience should be available immediately for anyone who opens your CV. Make the recruiters’ lives easier (no one likes to work) – if we get enthusiastic by what we first see, we will be more likely to scroll to the bottom/read a resume through and ultimately engage you about a position
  • Check your online footprint. Google yourself from an incognito window (web and image search too). Hopefully you won’t be surprised! Once I had the pleasure of a hiring manager calling me out on finding a lot of half-naked women’s picture in our interview… Thankfully I was aware of this – what can I say, my name is very common in Hungarian
  • All in all, make sure to the best of your abilities that I will find what you want me to find

Building your persona requires focus, conscientiousness, vision of what you want to do/who you want to be. It helps if you look at examples, LinkedIn profiles of experienced people (and their career path), even job advertisement texts for relevant information.

*This blog was originally written for Randstad Student.

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