Author Kim Willoughby | The Change Lab | IPTER Member, South Africa

Recruitment is a saturated game of what some might call “cat and mouse”, sometimes it’s a quick chase, and other times you could wait a long time and may get confused between who is “cat” and who is “mouse” you are part of a line up of people waiting to be asked onto the table by a prospective partner, someone with whom they can resonate and “dine” with for more than 8 hours a day and years if you are in it for the long haul.

Looking across this metaphorical chessboard can be daunting and overwhelming and can make you feel like you are, well just a number. In some cases you might be, but how do you stand out? How do you get “chosen?” this article is going to explore some tips for you to get out and stand out and well, land that ideal job that will check all your boxes in the field of career.

  1. YOU own the narrative

That’s right, YOU are in charge. YOU have a choice, YOU can apply for that position posted on a website or career portal or social media – that’s your first choice, but it’s still a choice. Going into it passively will only give you passive results. Remember, you have skills, you have experience and you may be perfect for the job. So go in from a point of power and own it. Be confident and make sure that you read that job description.

  1. Seek the seeker

Scrutinize the Job description with a fine-tooth comb, you may find that missing important details could cost you in the long run. Read through all the requirements and if they are slightly vague, do some research. A recruiter usually has their logo or contact details on the site of advertising, call them and ask for more info. Any recruiter worth their salt will tell you what you want to know and give you insight, trust me they want to place you as much as you want the job.

  1. Update you resume

There is nothing more disappointing to a recruiter than looking through an 8-page resume that does not remotely match the job advertised. Now I am not saying lie, but watch the language you use when writing a CV so that it attracts the reader to you and your brand. Remember they would only have seen you on paper – make sure that you stand out. A good professional photograph is great and a short description of yourself will go a long way.

I have come across some smart resumes that speak to the digital age and for some positions, It works well how about sending a short video of yourself to the recruiter, especially if you are applying for a role that requires you to speak to people and present?

Graphic designer? – Then show us your stuff in your well created different looking CV

Accountant – tell us about the many checks and balances you can make in a company by showing us what you are all about with a short smart description of your expertise

  1. Persistence persistence persistence

If this is the job you want, and if this is where you see your career, then don’t give up. Be careful with persistence though, because there is a fine line between being a persistent go-getter and an annoying daily call, but this “cat and mouse” game requires you to stand out of a huge crowd, get noticed, and still be the consummate professional you have to be.

So, how can you be persistent and not annoying? Doing follow-up every day doesn’t indicate that you have gumption or passion; give respect to a person’s time. The common rule of pursuing or following up is to give at least one week before sending a reminder. Doing follow-ups daily can come off as annoying. Start with an email or phone call every week, and then switch to waiting a little longer.

In summary, are you a number? , Yes and that is only because the recruitment game is a saturated one of “cat and mouse”, we chase clients for YOU we look for the best place for YOU to work, think of us as your career concierge, having said that, the odds, unfortunately, are usually stacked against the job seeker simply because of there is more demand than supply in these very trying times. So if you are a number I say be NUMBER 1.

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