"how great people find great projects" (part-2)

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Again, you have options:

your network

The first choice has to be to use your networks, be they online or offline and see who can recommend a company (check them out on: glassdoor.co.uk) and hopefully some contacts within.

job boards

Job boards posting vacancies and employment opportunities. You can also use job search engines on the internet or the vast number of career-related websites that post job openings, such as Jobsite to Jobserve, Reed, CWJObs, Indeed and I could go on. Be warned it will lead to various somewhat bemused recruiter calls, unsure of what you do and who you are, but it’s a fast way to “get yourself out there”

recruiters

These come in various shapes, sizes and intelligence. Now, when I say intelligence, I mean not necessarily in the IQ sense of the term, but more in terms of their focus and experience in your given sector of the IT market. As long as your CV is effectively drafted, they’ll find you. But and it’s a big “but” then you’ll have to work through the usual questions to know if they know what their talking about. 

company websites

If you already have your dream firm in mind, why not go directly to the career section of their website? If you watch for openings on their site, there's a chance you'll find just the opportunity that you've been waiting for. Create a list of employers that you'd like to work for and visit their websites often. If you're really set on working for a specific company it may take some time to find just the opportunity that fits your skill set. But if you've got the luxury of time, this might be the optimal method for finding your dream job.

THE APPROACH

So once you’ve identified your channels to the job opportunities, next-up is the approach. Typically, it’s in one of three ways: the CV sent, the ‘phone call or the LinkedIn Profile & approach, and possibly (& i really hope not) the email conversation. Let’s look at each:

collaterals

If you’re a contractor, whether you like it or not, the market needs details, not only to impress the hiring manager but for you to be found. You see the recruiters search you out via a Boolean Search, using key words and phrases. If your CV doesn’t contain them, then they won’t find you. Please include your projects, your SAP functionality, industry, business process, role responsibilities and most recent project first.

Supporting collaterals include references, case studies, and any other material that demonstrates measurable results. 

Now I know references have been sadly misused by recruiters over the years, as sources of marketing rather than true references, but let’s agree, when the time is right, there’s no better “sales tool”. You have at your disposal a person who’ll vouch for your skills and results. They’re not something you want to give out initially, for fear of the recruiter bombarding them looking for job orders, however some reassurance of who you are and that you’re well regarded is important. Just before agreeing the interview is ideal for me, as it gives me that chance to hear them sell you first hand, so i can then equally pass this on to the hiring manager. This is usually sufficient to secure you the interview

And lastly, any case studies of past projects are desirable to grab the attention of the hiring manager. 

the recruiter

So now, let’s talk about recruiters. You’ve been called by a recruiter. They could be calling you for a number of reasons: 

1.     to update their database or to find a marketable candidate: This can go one of two ways, as generally this is a task given to a rookie and involves a conversation with little understanding of you nor understanding for what you do as an ERP3 expert. There is however a chance that the rookie is so impressed by you and identifies you as his/her Most Placeable Candidate (MPC) and sets off around the market, on your behalf to locate you the perfect job and continues relentlessly until he/she does! 

2.     to look for marketing leads: unfortunately, there’s also this level of recruiter, literally on their first few days, who along with teaching themselves about technology care of yourself, is also seeking job leads from where you’ve been interviewing or working. Unless you love further competition, be careful what information you share!

3.     to consider you for a job requirement: and lastly and most hopefully, it’s to call you about a specific job that they know you could be right for and or interested in or one that your CV matched with during their Boolean Search. It’s at this point where you hope what the recruiter has is of detailed quality, real and a Job Order the recruiter understands and “controls”. If not, it’s a “mud throwing” exercise, whereby your CV can be thrown at a hiring manager regardless of your suitability. Its always best to find a recruiter that takes pride in its technical, industry, project and role function knowledge as they are the ones that can present you to the hiring managers best, rather than relying on the “Hit & Miss” approach of CV sending.

BEING HEARD ABOVE THE NOISE

Lastly, once we have you lined-up for the right role, it’s the presenting of your capabilities. It’s at this point, I jump aboard my “soapbox” and begin the lecture:

Communication comes in three forms:

  • Words that contribute 7% influence
  • Tonality 38%
  • Body-language / Physiology 55%

What does this tell us? well it means successful consultants like you, know it’s not necessarily what they say, but how they say it. How therefore can a CV “sell you” to the hiring manager. It’s my strong belief, your greatest strength is your ability to interact with others that a CV can never show. As a result, it’s up to your recruiter to listen to you, find out your real strengths and hiring benefits and talk to the hiring manager. Good hiring managers know this too.

Haig&Co