Showing posts from January, 2018

Job Interviews 101

Global recession, increasing unemployment, bailout packages, a sign of the times or an opportunity to establish a new career direction.  Tough times often create an opportunity to move into new industry sectors and a completely new career direction. Often or not it’s the job interview that stands in your way to get that perfect job. Most people who put themselves on the market, however, do very little preparation when going for job interviews and in South Africa, the interview is what actually counts. So how do you turn this hurdle into an opportunity? Simple – preparation and keeping a cool head.  Here are some of my tips for getting through that dreaded job interview.
Review your CV thoroughly. Make sure that you know exactly what company you worked for, when and what you did at that company. Try also predicting what potential questions can be raised from your CV, especially about your move motivators and any potential negative attributes your CV may carry. Always be ready to answe…

First line of defense – The perfect cover letter

The best cover letter I ever received and I read a lot of cover letters, was from a PA who wrote a brief article on herself in the format of a newspaper article. You just had to read it and had to meet this person. I’m not a big fan of the cover letter but a good cover letter such as this one can be a real eye-catcher. Cover letters are always going to be problematic, too many people try using the cover letter to say what they should actually say in the interview. And it seldom works. 
Let’s first look at the purpose of the cover letter. This brief and I emphasis brief form of introduction should cover who you are and why you are seeking employment. The entire role of the cover letter is to invite the reader to explore your CV further. Almost like a good marketing bi-line attached to a brand that gently encourages the tired eyes of the HR manager to want to explore further. The challenge that you have when designing your cover letter is most certainly the huge amount of CV’s that the r…

Get your CV/Resume/LinkedIn profile re-written today!


Interview Tips - telling your Story

I am constantly asked questions about the interview and its many variations and complexities. This all too common topic has become a major fear factor for most candidates moving through the recruitment process. Actually, the interview is simply one party trying to understand if the other party can do the job or has the potential to do the job and most importantly is not enhancing the truth in any way. An oversimplification I know. 
In the defense of the interviewer, this screening process is a critical part of ensuring that the incorrect candidate is not hired.
The candidate, however, moves into the interview process blissfully unaware of the interrogation that is about to follow and many times not well informed of the key issues around the company corporate culture and hidden key details that have not been included in the specification such as why the previous candidate left. 
When I coach my clients I place massive emphasis on telling a story when you interviewed.  Your CV is a critical…

Avoiding the Recruiter by Rob Ridout

Avoiding the Recruiter   by Rob Ridout

You finally come across a role that looks like the exact fit. You scroll down to the bottom of the page and there it is the recruiter’s email address. Your heart sinks.
Most candidates at this point either don’t apply or apply and give up on ever getting a response. There is, however, another option to giving up on the recruiter. I have never met a candidate who thought about getting around the recruiter and going straight to the hiring company. 
For an article on becoming a more proactive job seeker follow this link.
So lets set the scene. Companies do not want to pay recruitment fees! No debate, it’s a grudge purchase. It would be astonishing to me that any line manager or HR manager decline a candidate on the basis that they avoided the recruiter. Now, this is important, the closer you get to the actual hiring manager with your CV the better chance you have of getting into an interview…

Managing your interview time - emphasis on managing!

Managing your interview time - emphasis on managing!
by Rob Ridout

I get it! You don’t like interviews. Going to an interview can be almost like going on a blind date. Not quite sure what to expect and always in need of a plan B just in case the wheels come off - which it usually does. But most of us will go through our interviews with what we think is a perfect plan. However, once we are face to face with the interviewer, the gremlins start to emerge. 
So lets highlight in my mind one of the most critical aspects of your interview - managing your time. When your recruiter or  HR manager arrange your interview, you will be allocated a time frame. This interview time is generally between 40 - 60 minutes depending on the level of the role. You may also get information about your interviewer as well as a specification. Although these other aspects are important, I want to focus just on managing your time. 
Effectively your CV will be divided into three time zones. The introduction, The actua…

The Recruiter – your hired gun

The Recruiter – your hired gunby Rob Ridout

Most people seem to think that the recruiter’s role is one that is owed to society, somebody who has been selected to represent every available candidate. This is a misconception.
A recruiter is a business person who needs to pay the bills just like you. They have targets, bosses and goals to meet. And as such often suffer under immense pressure. Never forget this as it will ensure you less sleepless nights if you experience poor service delivery from your recruiter. Utilising the recruiter is of vital importance when achieving your goals as set out in your career engagement plan. Many people underestimate the importance of the recruiter and the importance of managing the recruiter in the right way. The recruiter is there to earn money, you are their ticket to that paycheque, so working with the recruiter ensures benefits for both. An experienced recruiter will make certain that you never think that you are being placed for money only. Remembe…

Attitude! The key to the right career move.

Attitude! The key to the right career move. by Rob Ridout

The job market remains a massive black hole for most individuals. So before you are even in the job market, you are tied down with this dark cloud of pessimism, lined with the possibility of a long drawn out process of bleeding through the eyes. Really?  You are going to be moving jobs a few more times in your career lifespan so get your attitude right before it gets the better of you. So there are some basics that I try to teach all my clients when they enter the market.  These principles are critical to your entire employment process. However, some are more efficiently used at the initial part of entering the job market and then other principles focus on the actual engagement process such as interviews all that nasty stuff. 
Become the opportunist 
Go and read one of my previous articles on this critical subject.
Indeed this is where it all star…