How to play to your strengths in a competitive market.
The job market is tough. No question about it. With the number of displaced sales people on the market in any number of vertical markets it’s challenging to find a new role. A huge number of people still fall foul of basic mistakes.
Here are a few things to consider that will help you on your quest…
1. How does your CV measure up?
“Where you’ve worked”, “when”, “what you sold” and “who to”, are the very basics. If the person reading your CV can’t see the connection between the jobs you’ve done and the job they need to fill, you’ll fall at the first hurdle. Remember you only get one chance at a first impression and your CV is the key to opening doors to interviews. Keep opinions out of your CV. It should be factual. Think of it as an instruction manual rather than an auto-biography.
2. Why are you applying?
If you’re an out of work Sales Director applying for an entry level sales role chances are the hirer isn’t going to be comfortable that their job is the right one for you. Be prepared to justify why you’re looking at a £10k drop in salary and why you won’t run off when the next Sales Director job lands at your door.
3. Play to your strengths
If you’re applying for a job that requires experience, knowledge or expertise that you don’t have, why are you applying at all? What are you hoping to achieve? A lot of people panic and apply for as many jobs as they can and then get despondent when they receive a glut of rejections. Play to your strengths; apply for positions where you fit at least part of the brief. If you can justify why you can be considered, apply. If you can’t, don’t waste your time.
4. Make an effort with the recruitment consultant
If you impress the recruitment consultant handling the role, they’ll be motivated to help you and will work hard to place you. They are paid by the client to fill the vacancy, therefore they are motivated to work with the best candidates and put them forward for the positions they are working on. If the recruitment consultant doesn’t rate you, then they won’t be confident that you’ll perform well in front of their client and they won’t put you forward.
5. Be mindful of the interview basics
Don’t lose out because of your appearance. Tweed suits, brass buttoned blazers and moustaches are old fashioned. Avoid. Too much bling is a no-no. A dark suit, white shirt and smart tie will never let you down. If you’re a girl be mindful of how much flesh and make-up is on display. Whether many hirers will openly admit it or not, appearance is one of the most important areas that they will measure you on. Don’t mark your territory by slapping your car keys down on the desk and switch your phone off. Many hirers mark candidates down who don’t bring a pad and pen, so have one handy and take notes.
We’ll be posting up more information about a range of recruitment topics to help you make an impression, from more in-depth CV advice to details on how to handle interviewers. Keep an eye on our blog and make sure you join our Facebook group here to keep up to date.