Early mornings at the weekend are an ideal time for some quiet reflection particularly during this cold spell. The rest of the RPS family is piled under duvets as thick as the snow on the TV.
Another week has gone by so I am seven days closer to the exit. But I have, I hope, gained at least another seven days of wisdom or experience at least.
This week I learned that my super-duper re-worked CV was still not fit for purpose. So having taken further counsel it is now rejuvenated. (It is close to having had as many incarnations as Dr Who.)
I learned that I was still not identifying clearly enough the transferable skills I could bring to a new employer. I have tackled this in my latest applications. (I hope.)
I learned too that I must be clearer about my distinct contribution and achievement in each of the successes I have painted on the fuselage of my CV.
More than anything I have learned that I must be much smarter in understanding the rules under which application and CV sifting work. And these change for each role and individual handling a piece of recruitment. The only constant in the feedback I have had to date is that there is no constancy here.
This topic has come up on this blog and on the Guardian Professional Network Q&A on redundancy that I was involved in a week or so ago. I have attempted to implement the learning from my colleague panelists and the most recent feedback I had.
I have a fear though that if I fail to make the cut next time too I am likely to hear almost the exact opposite of the feedback I implemented last time around. That’s why I now routinely try to speak with the senior consultants handling any given recruitment. Trying to discover what particularly lights their or their client’s candle.
It’s not often I feel much sympathy for the FA but after their experience in Zürich I really do think I know how they feel. You follow a given set of instructions but actually the folks you are playing with have updated the rule book. Didn’t you see the memo?
About a month ago I was given feedback on an application that went something like this:
‘How could I improve my application?’
‘I don’t think I can offer anything specific. You clearly showed how you met the person specification and your examples were good.’
‘Er … so there’s nothing more I could have done?’
‘No, you clearly met the person specification.’
‘Er … I hope this doesn’t sound rude but if that is the case why didn’t my application make it through shortlisting?’
‘Well, the client changed their mind after the closure date and increased the emphasis on one of the desirable requirements.’
‘Made it essential?’
‘Um … yes.’
In those circumstances I felt for the consultancy but obviously not as much as I felt for me. It’s a buyers’ market and I had been ‘gazundered’.
Armed with all that knowledge I’m gearing myself up for next week. Finalising the applications I am working on now. Plotting with a range of colleagues about how we might carve some form of future out. And, of course, sharing anything useful I learn along the way.