Article by Ceri Wheeldon
The way in which companies recruit is constantly changing – what can you do to find a job over 50?
I have written many articles about understanding your skills and their marketability in today’s recruitment arena, but I haven’t talked as much bout how the process of recruitment has evolved – and continues to do so. This was evident when I attended the CIPD’s Festival of Work exhibition where the latest recruitment management and assessment packages were showcased.
Gone are the days when most of us started our working lives by checking out the situation vacant column the newspaper and popped a CV and covering letter in the post – or went through an employment agency.
A CV with keywords
Today recruitment has gone digital. From job boards such as Monster and Indeed, and social networks such as LinkedIn where having a credible CV online is a must if you are looking for a role.
When putting a CV together you have to look at how your CV is treated when it’s received – make things easy. First – what do you ‘name’ your CV document? Don’t just name it ‘CV long version’- include your name and key skills in the document name. For example ‘Jill Smith – Senior Sales Consultant Pharmaceutical London’. Make it easy for the person receiving it to know why they should click on yours.
Your CV must contain the keywords relating the role you are applying for. Think about how you search for things on google. If somebody was to search for somebody able to do the role you are responding to – what words would they search against? What phrases do they use in any job advertisements? Are these reflected in your CV?
Coping with automated recruitment process
A lot of the interview process is now automated. You may have to fill in questionnaires online, ‘converse’ with chatbots. Many are incorporating ‘games’ in the recruitment process to see how you react in given situations. For instance, you may be asked to go through an exercise that on the surface has no bearing on the role – or your experience. For instance, you may be asked to do something as abstract as create a product for a specific market, create a brand and a marketing campaign. A task that a friend of mine found herself confronted with when applying for a role in compliance- totally unrelated to the role and definitely out of her comfort zone!! Think of the tasks in the Apprentice and how an online version might be used in the recruitment process. Get used to playing online games – just so that you understand how games are put together. These techniques are used in many voluntary roles as well as mainstream employment. If you want to be able to practice in a less pressured environment where you are less worried about the outcome, apply to be a volunteer for a big charity or sporting event. You will see first hand how your CV is handled, and the types of exercises you may have to participate in.
Get used to video interviews – not all interviews are conducted face to face. Practice being on Zoom and Skype calls. Focus on looking at the camera and not the image of the person you are talking to. Get used to seeing yourself on camera and look at your backdrop critically. Is it tidy? Distracting? Are you clearly visible? Ensure that you have good lighting and don’t come across as somebody lurking in the shadows!
Be confident in your abilities and the value you can bring to an organisation. Do not let the process of recruitment hinder your job search. Prepare for it. Adapt. Thrive.
Note: A great first step in any job search is to understand your skills and address any gaps BEFORE putting together your CV and applying for jobs. The career module of the MidLife MOT programme takes you through this . It has been made available as a stand alone module – you no longer need to buy the whole programme and is an excellent first step when starting your job search.