Author Topic: Dare to be different  (Read 1170 times)

Badshah Mamun

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Dare to be different
« on: June 18, 2012, 07:36:15 PM »
Dare to be different
By Joshua Jennings
The Sydney Morning Herald

There are plenty of alternatives to the traditional CV, writes Joshua Jennings.

In a Seinfeld episode, George Costanza scores an interview for a dream job with the New York Yankees. Rather than pandering to the bigwigs in the boardroom, he takes a chance and sets about attacking the decisions being made by the organisation. As it turns out, they like the cut of his jib and he's hired on the spot.

But how likely are candidates in the real world to come up trumps by bucking convention when they apply for a job?

The CV remains the convention when it comes to job applications, according to the principal consultant at Complete Career Management, Rod Conn. However, he says people are getting jobs by lodging applications that include much more than that.

Conn says he's aware of plenty of situations in which the standard CV-based application alone is a disservice to the candidates' chances of securing the job.

"I'm a very strong advocate of getting out there and being in personal space with people, whether it's by making good phone calls, walking through doors and meeting people or being introduced by other people.

"The CV is sort of a product of the advertised job market ? whether that's online or in the print media ? where in actual fact, the majority of jobs do get placed in an unadvertised sense and to connect with those, a CV is pretty much an afterthought."

Career counsellor and founder of Max Coaching Jane Lowder says various factors contribute to candidates' decisions to diverge from the traditional CV-only approach to job applications. Among them, she says, is the arrival of Web 2.0, instant messaging, easily accessible software such as iMovie and affordable technology such as webcams and video recorders.

"Combine creative flair with technology savvy and we start to see unique forms of job application gaining momentum," Lowder says.

Conn says the statistics he keeps indicate people who make applications for advertised jobs and follow up with a well-structured phone call double their chances of landing the job.

"People buy from people; people employ people," he says. "It's the people connection you have to get going and a document can sometimes get in the way of that. The document needs to be in the right place in the process and not always at the very start."

A paper released by HR technology consulting firm Inspecht entitled 52 Social Media Ideas for HR and Recruiting touches on a range of ways candidates can interact with social media to attract attention from employers.

Nick Deligiannis, a director of recruiting company Hays, says it's inevitable job candidates will have to supply a CV at some point during the recruitment process but there can be exceptions. He says his firm gets a lot of requests for candidates and that based on a "verbal rundown" of their background he can place them immediately as the contract and interim market is a fast-moving one.

"There is still a market for operating through networking, and referrals as well, but that would probably be the first stage of a recruitment process ... at some stage, there would still be a need for a CV."

What about when an advertisement specifically instructs candidates to submit applications that include a CV and cover letter only? Do candidates have anything to gain by disobeying the request and submitting more?

Deligiannis says there are instances in which candidates who make their own decisions about what to submit to the employer ? beyond the CV and cover letter ? potentially improve their chances of landing the job.

"I think that's what differentiates one candidate from another - if you take the time to do that," he says. "It could be giving a case study on a previous project they worked on ... and what the project plan was, what the outcomes were and what their role was."

Md. Abdullah-Al-Mamun (Badshah)
Member, Skill Jobs
[email protected]