Ask the Headhunter #4

I was in an interview and haven’t heard back from the company for two weeks. Can I call them or what should I do?

Again, this is a very typical question that I hear from candidates I’ve met with that are or have been in process for being considered for a position they have applied to directly themselves or with some “agency” style recruiter. My answer to this is a simple one – absolutely call the person you were last meeting with. When you reach them simply say you are calling to follow-up on your interview (state when that was) and want to find out what are the next steps.  week 42

 However, before you find yourself in this position “wondering what happened two weeks after your last interview” with a particular company, I would suggest that you take a couple steps during that interview that should hopefully give you a better position & standing. At the end of each interview you should always be sure to express your interest in the position, even going so far as to directly say that you believe this is the position for you and you are very interested in the company and being part of their team. Secondly, you should always be clear as to what are the expected next steps. Directly ask the interviewer, after you have expressed your interest in the position, “what are the next steps?” This not only again expresses your interest in this position, but also gives you a clearer idea as to what you can expect to happen and when.

 Of course it can and does happen, that even though you received the information as to what are the next steps, this has somehow been altered or missed in some way. So, the follow-up call with them (if there is some delay in what they said would be happening and the current situation) will be your chance again to let the company know that you are very interested in this position and clarify the situation.

 So the overall point here is “communication:

  • Cover things early (asking what are the next steps during the interview)
  • Don’t be afraid to pick up that phone to follow-up, should there be a need
  • Always be forward and express your interest in the position

 I will wrap this up by saying that this situation is different when you are dealing with a Headhunter. Your Headhunter will always be a great direct line of communication with the company they have presented you to. So if there is ever a “question” as to what is happening, again don’t be afraid to pick up that phone to call the consultant and ask. But if all is working normally, it will likely be the Headhunter calling you first to let you know about the delay before there is one and informing you what has to be done next.

Michael Rainey
Managing partner & CEO
GRN Czech Republic

If you you have anything in mind that you would like to ask from GRN Czech’s professionals or if you would like to give us some feedback regarding our social media pages, don’t hesitate to leave your reply below the article or send it here!

Ask the Headhunter #3

“What are some common mistakes at an interview?”

In today’s world we are so “connected”, “linked” and “friended” that it seems we should or do know so many things. With that said I am confronted regularly with some very common mistakes that happen in or leading up to interviews.

 One of the most common mistakes people make and one that is my pet peeve, is that of not remembering to bring a copy of your CV with you to the interview. Never leave to chance that the person meeting you has received or will remember to bring a copy of your CV with them. As this interview is your chance to sell yourself, to impress the interviewer and land that job, it’s important that you remember to bring your CV with you to make sure they have the tools and info in front of them to make that meeting as positive as possible. Also this is your chance of showing your organizational skills and demonstrating that you are proactive.

 week 38Another common mistake that happens more often that you would think is timing – arriving late to the meeting. You should always plan on arriving 5-10 before your set meeting, always allowing for any possible delays in getting there (traffic, etc.). It is a matter of courtesy and respect that you are there on the time you have the meeting set for. A person arriving late sends a negative message that though not impossible to overcome, does remain with the person who is interviewing you. Funny enough, recently I ran into the opposite of this with a candidate we had set for interview with one of our clients in Madrid. My client informed me that the candidate arrived 1 ½ hours early, just sitting in reception!!! Well needless to say, that not only made the client feel uncomfortable but also had him commenting to me that he felt that a bit too odd as well. You can guess how that influenced the first part of that meeting. So, though you may even arrive earlier than say 10 -15 min before your meeting, sit that extra time before, having a coffee nearby.

Finally, one of the most common and easy to make mistakes is … preparation. Make sure that you are well prepared for that interview — read about the company, their position in the market, maybe even some background on the person you will be meeting with. This allows you to all the better show and demonstrate your interest and connection to the position/company you are interviewing for. Additionally, you should also be personally prepared to properly present yourself & be able to talk fluently and directly about yourself, your work experience and direction for future. You should be able to do this in such a way as to relate all as much as possible to the position you’re interviewing for. By doing this, you again are showing the interviewer your best side and convincing them you are the person they should choose for the role.

Michael Rainey

Managing Partner &CEO

GRN Czech

If you you have anything in mind that you would like to ask from GRN Czech’s professionals or if you would like to give us some feedback regarding our social media pages, don’t hesitate to leave your reply below the article or send it here!

GRN CV Tips, part II: Don’t wait for a job search to update your CV – do it today!

keep-calm-and-update-your-cv-7The majority of people only go to revise their CV when they are looking for a new job or when they are worried about the current one. Although you enjoy your work and you have no intention to quit, you may need to think about your “old” CV and bring it “alive” today, rather than waiting until its urgent. Why?

Recent studies stress the importance of updating your CV regularly, NOT only when you are planning to quit a job or when you are already looking for a new one. Some very forward thinking companies even go so far as to check once per year if their employees have updated their CV. Sounds silly?

Well, Business Insider provides several good reasons, why you should sit down and update your CV right NOW. At GRN we agree with most of these and provide you with our insights as well.

  1. Remind yourself of your accomplishments

It’s sometimes necessary to sit down and think what did you actually achieve at your last job. Your CV contains information about the skills you’ve learned, but it should also give the picture of change you’ve made in your career path. It will help you to make your own plans for the near future, as well as for the long-term. We all want to present ourselves as impressively as possible, and with a fresh mind it’s much easier 🙂

  1. Track your personal progress

Many of us are very busy at work. That’s why we often forget what kind of progress we’ve made from the last job to the current one and in which areas we’ve developed. If you update your CV only once every few years, you are likely to forget or overlook some important changes that have happened in your career and which new skills you’ve acquired.

Reviewing your CV more often will help you understand yourself better, better track your career journey, and analyze your passions, values, and preferences. Every role is a reflection of who you are.

  1. Stressed time is not a good time

When you are looking for a new job or you are worried that a layoff may be coming, you naturally feel stressed out. This might not be the right time for refreshing your CV because you are not in the mindset of thinking about your successes and goals. Moreover, you are maybe under time pressure, so you might want to use your time for other things rather than refreshing your CV.

  1. Be prepared for the bad times too

The job market today is changing every day and sadly we have to be prepared for everything. You never know when your CV might come in handy and if you have a freshly revised CV, you can react quickly. Having an up-to-date CV can increase your chances of landing that new job, thus maximizing your potential in the job market. As the saying goes “Luck comes to those who are prepared.”

So, we recommend updating your CV after each new project while details are still fresh in your mind and it’s easy to explain what you’ve learned or accomplished. What may have seemed a small thing in your current job, may actually make the difference of a potential new employer offering you that new job.

myresume

This might not work!

Although updating your CV might seem a bit time-consuming and tiring, in the end it will save you a lot of time and energy. Your

CV is a marketing tool to show your strengths, so make sure yours is as powerful as it can be and most up-to-date. Plus, revisiting your accomplishments will help you develop confidence and clearer direction in your career.

So, when was the last time you looked at your CV? Are you ready to refresh it NOW? 🙂

Prepared by Júlia Švandová, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech

GRN CV Tips, part I: Include a picture or not?

Shall I include my picture into the CV? Does it help or hurt? If you are asking yourself these questions and you hear various arguments for and against, hopefully our GRN tips will help you to get the answer. This article is a part of series in which GRN Czech shares its secrets on how to polish one’s CV.

Hire me, eh?

Hire me, eh?

You can find tons of articles online, which discuss whether it’s good or bad to include a picture in your CV.  Well, we have to say that the majority opinion is that the picture should not be part of your CV.  At GRN we agree with this statement and below is our explanation why.

First of all, the Headhunter/Recruiter or Hiring Manager that you send your CV to,  spends only a few seconds screening a CV. That means, a picture might take too much attention and time which could be better spent reading your accomplishments and achievements. Help the reader focus, because these allow the reader to better “see” the successful you.

Secondly, if a photo is not specifically required in the job description (e.g. for some jobs, like for a  Model it is important), then it’s irrelevant to include it. Simply for the reason that it does not matter how you look. According to BusinessInsider, the only thing which might happen, is that it can lead to discrimination. And no one wants that.

The research conducted by HRMorning revealed that CVs that include a photo are one of the 8 top reasons for automatically not considering a potential candidate. So, that’s a good reason for NOT including your picture in the CV, right?

Moreover, what happens many times is that candidates put an unflattering or unprofessional photo of themselves in their CV. So, IF you do decide to include a photo, make 100% sure it’s a photo that is professional and a good quality resolution (also when printing it out). Also, make sure it is also a relatively recent photo, not one from when you were 10 years younger and 15kg lighter… 🙂

Not for CV, either 🙂

We can say that the trend of including a picture in CV varies between countries. While in the U.S. and U.K. it’s not very common, in Europe it’s still popular. However, based on our experience here in GRN, we can say that more often than not, the picture can hurt more than it helps. Not including your photo won’t harm nor decrease your chance to get the job. On the other hand, including a picture might cause some bias and prejudice, which can cut your chances of being considered significantly.

To conclude, at GRN we discourage our candidates from including their photo in their CV.  However, it’s your decision in the end. 🙂

Prepared by Júlia Švandová, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech