Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ten Things Recruiters and Employers Want to See in Your CV in 2014

Having worked with a number of experienced recruiters for the last few years I have come to learn what they look for in a CV, and I want to share this knowledge with candidates not just applying to roles with Aaron Wallis, but also new job roles in general. 

Here is a crucial list of the top ten things a Recruiter wants to see on your CV in 2014:

Reverse Chronological Order – When a Recruiter opens up your CV they want to see what your most-recent  job first so make sure that you lay out your CV in Reverse Chronological Order. Start with your current/most recent job first, followed by each of your previous jobs in date order.

Spelling & Grammar – If you want to make a good impression on a Recruiter then ensure that your CV does not have spelling or grammatical mistakes. Check it over thoroughly and after that get a friend to do the same to make ‘double sure’. 

A line on “what the company is, and does”A Recruiter wants to know if you’re relevant for their role and can’t always tell straight away just by the name of your employer.  Take a line to explain what the company does, the products and services provided and the industries that it serves.

Links to Social Media – It’s great to have links to social media on your CV but make sure they show you in a ‘good light’! The last thing a Recruiter wants to see is a potential candidate somewhat ‘under the cosh’ and partying at weekends!

Key Achievements – This is probably the most important part of writing your CV. Your key achievements need to be engaging to demonstrate that you are a competent achiever in your current and previous roles. This is where you can really sell yourself but be sure to have sufficient evidence to back up all claims at interview.

Paragraph with Bullet Points – A Recruiter wants to know what you have done in a previous role that could relate to the role you are currently applying for.  However, at the same time, they don’t want to read paragraph after paragraph full of waffle. Write a simple paragraph on your role with bullet points for your key achievements and make it stand out.

Explain Gaps in CV – Firstly, you need to be honest when it comes to gaps in your CV; acknowledging and explaining a gap in your CV won’t harm your chances, however, lying about it most definitely will. Whether it is illness, travelling, redundancy or caring for a family member, be positive with your approach. An unexplained gap is a warning sign to a Recruiter, and your application could be disregarded straight away.

Stand out Hobbies – Be specific with your hobbies and don’t just use generic sayings like “socialising with friends."  Try to tailor your hobbies to the role that you are applying for; for instance, if you are applying for a team leader role, and you have captained a team before, then it may help to note this as it shows your leadership abilities.

Correct Contact info & Best Time to Talk – There is nothing worse for a Recruiter than thinking they have come across the perfect candidate only to find that the contact number on the CV or a number that is ‘dead’.  Therefore, keep your CV updated with a current contact information and also note a best time to talk so you don’t get hassled during work hours.

Experience for the Job – Finally, it’s no good having done all the above to your CV if you don’t have the correct experience for the role. In almost every advert a Recruiter will have detailed prerequisite skills and experience necessary to apply for the role.  So, make sure that you’re meeting the minimum required criteria before applying, or at least refer to why you feel that you are right in a covering note.  Failing to do this will mean that you will not make the shortlist. 

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Make Sure You Do Not Ask Inappropriate Interview Questions at Interview

Although an Employers’ aim is to gain important information during an interview, some questions can be inappropriate and even illegal. 

Although in our experience most illegal questions are asked through ignorance they can still cause embarrassment or have significant legal implications. 

There are four kinds of unlawful discrimination – direct, indirect, victimisation and harassment – and, in this article I want to focus on the first two of these - direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.

Direct discrimination is a lot more obvious and is always illegal. 

However, indirect discrimination can be a lot more subtle and illegal interview questions with underlying discriminatory suggestions can often be asked quite innocently.  Some examples of this could be things like “What did your parents do for a living?”, “How many sick days did you take last year?” or "How far is your commute?"

Whilst not an exhaustive list of every illegal interview question you may find it useful to follow this link for some further examples of questions that Employers are not allowed to ask - http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/questions-employers-are-not-allowed-to-ask.aspx
To conclude and to lessen the risk of asking inappropriate or illegal questions, we recommend that companies adopt a formal interview form that has been checked by a HR expert and to use this as the outline for interviewing across all levels.  

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Why James Bond Would Make a Great Sales Professional

Having recently watched James Bond’s SkyFall (again) it got me thinking how James Bond would make a great sales professional, his confidence, professionalism and ability to get the job done under any circumstance could make him a great Field Salesman.

Bond would have a licence to sell and here’s why he would be the best in his field:

Preparation – He is prepared for any occasion, each mission planned from the very beginning. He always has a Plan B in case things don’t go his way and would use this same preparation with every sales meeting, knowing how he was going to close before he stepped foot in the door but have a contingency plan in place for any given moment.

Looks the Part – Bond takes pride in his appearance, his dress is immaculate no matter the occasion. He would be the sharpest dressed person in the room and would instantly impress a potential client. It’s always a good start to a meeting when you walk in with a fresh pressed suit on; it instils a winning mentality and confidence. 

Confident – Bond always remains calm and confident until victory no matter what obstacles are put in his way and always gets the girl no matter how much they try to resist. Whether it be what he is wearing or how he approaches women, Bond’s confidence would come across in any sales meeting and each client would be putty in his hands.

Prepared to take risks – Life is a balance of taking risks and being cautious but Bond takes more risks than most. He makes his own luck by taking calculated risks, he doesn’t worry about rejection and he steps out of his comfort zone but often comes out on top. As they say nothing ventured, nothing gained. Bond makes his own luck.

Ahead of the curve – Bond always has the best gadgets, whether it is an exploding pen or a laser cutting wrist watch he is always ahead of the curve. As a sales professional Bond would no doubt have the latest I-Pad and smartphone ready for any sales meeting or reacting to social media.

A Winner – Bond has a winning mentality and never settles for second best, he always comes out on top. He would be the example to follow within any sales team and would be an inspirational figure ready to close any deal on the front line.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.


Friday, 21 February 2014

My Dream Premiership Sales Team

I was in the process of making a couple of changes to my Fantasy Football Team the other day and it made me wonder what players would make the best possible sales team.
So, I think it’s only fair that I am the Chairman and the first thing required is to find the best Managing Director to manage my company.
Managing Director/Manager (Brendan Rodgers) – To have an excellent sales force I need an excellent manager. An excellent manager will inspire the rest of the team to be better. He may inherit average salespeople, but over time will nurture, develop and motivate until the entire team is excellent. Brendan has proved in the 2 years he has spent at Liverpool that he has the skills required in an MD, his subtle and successful man management of Luis Suarez, his expert coaching of Jordan Henderson and his nurturing of young talent the likes of Raheem Sterling.
Finance Manager/Goalkeeper (Peter Cech) – I want to know I’m in safe hands when it comes to company finances and by having the ever reliable Chelsea keeper as my Finance Manager I am confident I can let him get on with the job.
HR Manager/Centre Back (Per Mertesacker (VC)) – My HR Manager needs to be a team player, supportive, highly organized and able to communicate effectively. Per has all these skills in abundance. He came close to taking the captains armband but a strong vice-captain he is likely to be.
Sales & Marketing Director/Centre Back (Vincent Kompany ©) – I need my Sales& Marketing Manager to lead my team, he needs to identify opportunities and develop tactics and be able to take the tough decisions when necessary and as Captain of my team Vincent Kompany is the perfect man for the job.
Sales Administrator/Right Back (Seamus Coleman) – A good Sales Administrator will be able to support the Sales Manager and provide assistance to members of the sales team. Coleman shows a constant desire to get forward and support the attack week in week out which lands him the right back slot.
Sales Manager/Midfield Playmaker (David Silva) – My Sales Manager is my key player, the vital minority that produces more than the rest of my sales force, he has the natural talent and flair to get results, Silva oozes class and would raise the games of all around him.
Northern Regional Manager/Centre Midfield (Steven Gerrard) – A strong link between my Sales Director and my field sales team keeping things ticking over. Gerrard has a wealth of experience in the field and can drive the performance and growth of the team.
Southern Regional Manager/Centre Midfield (Yaya Toure) – Another very influential figure within my sales team, Toure is a winner and a charismatic leader in the field and can drive his subordinates forward.
Business Development Manager/Striker (Luis Suarez) – My top performer delivering consistent results well above target, Suarez puts in the extra hours to make things happen and would be a key player within my sales team.
Field Sales Rep/Right Wing Forward (Mesut Ozil) – The primary focus for my Field Sales Reps is to be able to find and create new opportunities and build on current success, Ozil has proven throughout his career he can find the gaps and create chances to close the deal.
Field Sales Rep/Left Wing Forward (Eden Hazard) – I want my Field Sales Reps to be above average with the right attitude and aspirations to be the best, Hazard is all of this and more. He has the skills and attributes to progress far is a future Sales Manager.
Graduate Internal Account Manager/Left Back (Luke Shaw) – The youngster within my team, still learning about the company but showing great potential Shaw is already showing a maturity beyond his years and I see him going through the ranks within the business and becoming a key player.
So here’s my line up as a football team:

Manager –Brendan Rodgers

Goalkeeper – Peter Cech
Right Back – Seamus Coleman
Left Back –Luke Shaw
Centre Back – Vincent Kompany (Captain)
Centre Back – Per Mertesacker (Vice-Captain)
Centre Midfield – Steven Gerrard
Centre Midfield – Yaya Toure
Attacking Midfield – David Silva
Right Wing Forward – Mesut Ozil
Left Wing Forward – Edin Hazard
Centre Forward – Luis Suarez
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and if you’d make any substitutions!

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.