“Job hunting is just like dating. Two people sit across from each other saying ‘Do I want to see you again?’ Nobody gets a job without being interviewed; conversations are always taking place. There is a system to job dating,” explains career consultant Andrew Bramley at a recent conference hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s (USB) Career Service Office.
Andrew says it is very important to package yourself correctly for potential employers in order to get the job you really want. “Careers used to be a decision but things have changed. Nowadays, it’s a choice. But we don’t have a system to explore all of the choices out there.”
To make the right career choice, Andrew has designed a system of four steps to help you make better choices and find your dream job. He calls this system the “Gift WRAP Guru” – What, Relate, Align and Personal.
“When you get the what right, it means that whatever you package, has impact. Here you have to work out what YOU really want to do,” he says.
Questions to ask yourself at this stage are:
1 What do I really want to do?
2 Where do I fit in?
3 What makes me different from the other candidates?
4 What do I want to say to my potential employer with my CV?
He adds that it is important to make sure that your objective is very clear in your CV.
“The reasons why we have careers are to serve other people. It is not about what you can get from an organisation, but how an organisation can benefit from you.
“Once you take the focus off yourself, marketing yourself becomes fun because it’s about how you can help someone else,” Andrew explains. This also means that job hunting becomes a very different process.
“Rather than saying ‘Can you please give me this job?’ the question becomes ‘I have this gift and I am wondering if you need this?’ If the potential employer does not require the service you have to offer, your next question should be ‘Who do you know that needs what I do?”
He says packaging is not only about making sure you get the job, but making sure you get the right job that is waiting for you.
Andrew says potential employers immediately go to the internet when they want to find out more about you.
“You have to make sure that everything you are presenting to the market is consistent across different media platforms. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated because it’s all about aligning your CV and profile to what the market needs,” he says.
Your objective should align with your experience and qualifications. “Think carefully of what you put in your CV. If you are applying for a senior business position, it’s not necessary to put in that you did a flower arrangement course, because it does not align here. Be selective about what you put in,” he advises.
Here you need to ask yourself what makes you stand out from the rest? “For the employer looking at your CV you are just another person out there who has done a BCom degree. It makes you a ‘me-too’. The last part you have to think about is the personal question,” he says. In answering this question, you should think about:
1 What kind of person am I?
2 What is important to me?
3 Why am I here?
4 What can I do?
Andrew says people should think carefully about the personal information they provide in their CVs. “Apparently, everyone is innovative, but you must make it clear in your CV why you will be innovative for that specific organisation.”
Looking for more career advice? Here’s how to ‘clean up’ your social media and create a pro profile. Plus, check out these tips on how to create a KILLER CV.