In an age where employers have a wealth of your personal information at their fingertips, the need to portray yourself as positively as possible has taken on newfound importance for those seeking employment.
An average employee lifecycle can be broken down into three separate stages: the pre-employment recruitment process, the integration and development process, and finally the post-employment or departure process.
Over the next three months we will be exploring the various stages of an average employee’s lifecycle while outlining what you can do to make yourself a more attractive prospect to employers. Following the example of an average millenial job hunter, who we’ll call John, this series will demonstrate the potential risks and pitfalls the employers and employees need to be aware of.
Today social media has also provided a new aspect to the recruitment process with many initial job offers and applications actually taking place online. It also provides recruiters with unique insight into potential candidate personalities. In addition, screening policies and procedures equip companies with the tools to assess and verify a candidate’s credentials and ensure that the person they could potentially be hiring is properly qualified for the job at hand.
Reimagine your resume
The first thing our candidate John realised in his quest for employment is that his CV wasn’t really up to scratch. Instead of a unique, eye-catching CV that should draw the attention of the hiring managers he’s reaching out to, he had left himself with a cookie-cutter resume that didn’t really highlight his skills and areas of expertise well enough to make him stand out against other candidates.
If you find yourself in this position, the best thing to do would be to carefully read the descriptions in job advertisements carefully in order to understand what employers are looking for in a candidate. Tailor your CV and covering letter to better highlight how your qualifications and skills make you suited to the position in question. Sending a straight-from-the-template resume to employers will fast-track your CV to the decline pile.
Clean up your social skills
Like most millennials, John’s social media feeds were filled with photos of him enjoying a pretty adventurous lifestyle. And by adventurous we mean taking shots of tequila in a bar with beer stains on his t-shirt. While these photos may be good for a laugh among friends, they’re a major turn-off for potential employers who are doing research on candidates.
Most companies are looking for individuals that are responsible, well-mannered, and that can add value to their organisation. We’re not saying that you need to untag every photo of yourself having fun on Facebook or Instagram, but rather curate what appears to visitors to your page. Keep your controversial opinions to private messaging if you feel the need to share them – nothing makes a candidate more unattractive than one that has a knack for creating negative publicity and attention.
LinkedIn can be a valuable social asset for job-seekers from a social media perspective. Potential employers will often turn to this so-called professionals social network in order to cross-reference your credentials (make sure you have some consistency between your online resume and actual CV), as well as seeing what kind of connections you have and what your employment track record is like.
After getting his social media in order and his resume updated, John felt the need to make his CV stand out even more by having all of his professional and educational credentials verified. CV screening and verification services, such as those offered by iFacts Passport to Employment, can help candidates be more proactive and save time for potential employers, something that might set you apart from the rest of the field.
These screening procedures can help minimise the amount of pre-employment screening that employers have to do on you before considering you for a position. With the rise of qualifications scandals in South Africa recently, employers are constantly taking measures to ensure that candidates aren’t lying about their history on their resumes.
Now that John has adequately prepared himself in his search for employment, he’s ready to start applying for jobs at some high-profile companies. Thanks to the steps he’s taken, his resume stands out from the masses and are sure to get him a job in no time. In next month’s issue, we’ll look at John’s transition into employment and what he needs to do to fit comfortably into the company culture and become a valuable employee.