It's not me, it's you
I was part of a conversation recently where someone was asking how organisations and recruiters can find the right employees when they are looking for cultural fit. What processes can they use? How do they start to find candidates? It cannot be just up to the recruiters to find the right person, it is also your responsibility as a job seeker to ensure you show your values and purpose – who you are and what you care about – on your profile. You need to make your own brand clear.
Traditionally it was only competencies and experience that were included in CVs and profiles. But is this still appropriate? More and more, businesses and teams are looking for something in addition to skills, they want someone to fit into teams and business. Someone working for the same purpose, valuing the same things.
Think of any profile you have read recently. You now know what qualifications and experience that person has, but chances are you didn’t really get a sense of what kind of person they are. Would you like to work with them, would they fit into your team?
Your values are naturally reflected in your behaviours, so how do you influence the opinion of someone you have not met yet – someone reading your profile. Today you are rarely starting from scratch when you are meeting someone in person for the first time. We all Google each other. And recruiters will use your online profiles – that’s what they are there for.
There are small changes you can make. You can deliberately emphasise your group memberships, your volunteer work to benefit from positive association. If you are curious and open to exploration and trying new things, this could be demonstrated through a story on your travel experience. If you have a strong desire to solve a particular problem, then you need to say that. You can make some of your values explicitly known by describing what motivates you to do the work you do.
It is your responsibility to be who your audience expects you to be – does your online profile and CV presence give a true indication of who you are?
If you are an unconventional job applicant, if you don’t have experience that fits into conventional metrics, it is even more crucial to use online channels to show your strengths, to use impactful storytelling to bring out the person behind the data and lists.
The world is full of experts. Think how many people have your qualification, your skills. There are even many with similar work experience and career progression.
What they don’t have is your unique combination of values, beliefs, traits and personality. Your life experience. It is more than what you get done, it is how you got it done and why you did it.
It is not just about me, the recruiter or the employer. It is about you telling your story!