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Some solid tactical tips for the job search

Updated: Oct 3, 2021



If you’re currently looking for open roles, there’s a bit of an art and a magic to finding the next best thing. But it never hurts to get some good, solid tactical tips from a recruiter.


In this month’s newsletter, how to whittle down a bloated resume, best answers for a dreaded interview question and what to do if you’re suddenly headed back to the office with a dramatically different appearance than you left with.


How to streamline a bloated CV


Remember when “keep your resume to one page,” was the biggest piece of advice you ever got on the job search? Then you developed a whole bona fide career, and now, it would be impossible to highlight everything you’ve done in one page. In fact, your CV is more like a novella, chronicling a lifetime of accomplishments, wins and diverse experiences.


At some point, you’ll decide it’s time to winnow it down to the essentials, and when that happens, you’ll have a tough job cut out for you. Here’s what I recommend:


  • Customize your CV to each job you’re applying for, eliminating information that isn’t relevant to the role (or just shortening it).

  • Edit your older positions to shorter amounts of copy. Your most recent work is probably most relevant and interesting to the hiring manager.

  • Consider LinkedIn a place for a good longform version of your CV, where space isn’t an issue, and include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your digital CV.


You’ll have to make some tough decisions, but it will be worth it to grab the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter in question.


Are you interviewing with multiple companies at once?


There are a lot of questions job seekers fear. One of them is: “So, are you interviewing with other companies, too?”


Your first instinct might be to lie: “Nope! You’re my one and only!” Or pander: “Well, yes, but you’re my first choice.”


Neither of these are great answers. But you don’t want to go too far in the other direction, either: “Yes, and --DROPS NAME-- seems really into me.”


So how to handle this question? My advice is to be honest, matter of fact and brief. You could say something like:


“Yes, I have had a few other interviews in this early stage of my job hunt.”


Then change the subject back to why you’re so excited to work for this particular company.


Heading back to the office with, er, purple hair


Look, a lot of us went a little crazy during lockdown. If the worst thing you did was dye your hair purple, get a tattoo or pierce your nose, you’re in pretty great shape.

But if you’re heading back to the office — and your office environment is a conservative one — showing up for in-person work with your shaved head and face tattoo isn’t, um, appropriate. It might be time to have a polite check-in with your supervisor before you get back to work.


On the other hand, you might be surprised how progressive a lot of employers have gotten about the way people present themselves professionally. If you’re clean, put together and — this is really the important part — good at your job, you’re good!


This Month’s Must-Reads


  • You will not burn a bridge with a hiring manager or a recruiter just because you decline a job offer. Provided, that is, that you handle it with grace: How to Gracefully Decline a Job Offer on The Cut

  • Your Facebook presence. Your witty Twitter dialog. Your LinkedIn opinions. All of this stuff in the public-ish domain adds up to what we call the “social CV:” How your social CV affects your real life on Entrepreneur


Until September, have a spectacular grand finale to your summer, and always reach out if you have questions about your job search.


James


Johnson Recruiting Group


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