Developing and maintaining a strong profile

No matter how established you are in your career, or how long you have been active on the job market, there are always areas to improve your employability.

We are often at the helm of managing senior leadership positions which generate significant interest and tend to be very competitive, so you need to give yourself the best chance to stand out from the crowd.

The job market has undergone significant change in recent years. The days of submitting a generic CV or application form to secure a first-stage interview are gone, replaced by the submission of a tailored CV and supporting statement (cover letter). With the rise of professional networking and social media platforms – such as LinkedIn and Twitter – you’ve got to be mindful of your online presence and how you present yourself.

Five key areas to focus on to build your profile:

Curriculum Vitae

My mantra: keep your CV as concise as possible (keep it to two pages and in the same font throughout).

When there is a wealth of CVs under consideration, a lengthy CV can be exhausting for the reader, who may opt to skim through and miss vital pieces of information hidden amongst the waffle.

Tailoring your CV to the role you’re applying for is really important. If you become stuck, think, is including something from over 20 years ago going to get you an interview for ‘this’ particular job?

Make sure the content is relevant to the role you’re applying for. Remember, quality over quantity.

Supporting statement

Much like a CV, we’d recommend you keeping this to no more than two pages.

Your supporting statement should clearly outline your suitability for the role by addressing the criteria. Focus on your relevant experience to the person specification and include your motivations for applying.

In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and give a brief summary of who you are and evidence of your suitability to the role. If you feel there is a good match, then explain how you are aligned to their objectives, methods and values and what impresses and attracts you to the organisation.

The body of the letter should focus on your relevant experience – always provide concrete examples and solid numbers wherever you can. Ensure your letter conveys your personality and shows how motivated and enthusiastic you are about the role and organisation, remaining authentic but without being excessively effusive.

Finally, your closing paragraph should be a reaffirmation of your enthusiasm and that you would welcome the opportunity to progress forward and further demonstrate your expertise and interest at interview.

Building your LinkedIn profile

As we know, LinkedIn has effectively become your online CV. Whether it is a recruitment headhunter or CEO, LinkedIn is the go-to online resource to gain an understanding of your professional experience.

We recommend populating as much as possible on your LinkedIn profile. Simply use your CV and copy the information across, keeping it as concise and factual as possible (remember to use key words that relate to your sector or expertise that someone can search for).

Lastly, upload your photo. Many of us are visual learners and will likely remember your profile and background easily if they can establish a ‘visual’ connection with it.

Social media presence

Although these platforms are mainly for personal use, we often hear horror stories of people mistakenly posting a photo or writing something that could later impact them professionally.

We, of course, have a right to privacy but, if you want to keep work and personal life separate, ensure your Instagram is set to private and your Facebook settings are updated and secure.

When it comes to Twitter, if using it for professional purposes, try and build your presence in your desired sector/field or the level you wish to operate in for your next career move. Build up your profile and become a thought leader!

Google

While it may not be the first thing that springs to mind, I would recommend Googling yourself and your current employer.

Prospective clients are often undertaking due diligence in the simplest way possible: typing your name into a search engine. What is in the public domain of your track record and that of your employer – are there any positive or negative reputational points that could be raised by a recruiter or prospective employer at interview?

If it’s already online, good or bad, it’s unlikely to be able to be changed but at least you can equip yourself and respond effectively.

“One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.” Oscar Wilde

Do you want modern leaders for your organisation?

Feel free to contact me at any time.

James Hunt | 07711 405444 | james@peridotpartners.co.uk – Head of Membership & Development, Executive Search & Selection