Linked In Profiles and CV’s HAVE TO MATCH!

I cannot tell you the number of times I see Linkedin profiles that are NOT up to date. If you have relocated from Melbourne to Brisbane and you are applying for a Brisbane based position, do not leave your Linkedin location as Melbourne.

Personally, I am not going to speak on behalf of the recruitment industry as a whole but I will quite openly admit to checking people’s Linkedin profiles prior to opening their CV. Essentially, in this world that we live in, everyone knows everyone, and Linkedin is a fantastic platform for being able to check who you have in common with someone.

A massive turn off for me personally is when CV’s and Linkedin profiles do not match. The titles are different, the dates are different etc. In this day and age, your Linkedin profile is ESSENTIAL when looking for a new challenge, and even if not, if you are going to be headhunted, your Linkedin should be up to date. Linkedin is basically a digital onscreen version of your CV and must mirror the same information, any in discrepancy will only cause a lack of trust and concern amongst recruiters and hiring managers.

On the same subject do not send out of date CV’s. So many people send me a CV and it will say “to present” on their CV. They may have left that role 3 months prior but because it is their last role they leave it on there. It is not accurate and not true and I do not encourage it at all.

Honesty is the best policy with Linkedin and CV’s because with Linkedin, we can see people who we share and we can refer to them about you and your history. If the facts are not correct then it will come out and it only damages your application. For example:

“I see Mr X worked for you from 2016 until March 2018”

“No, that’s not correct, he hasn’t worked for me for over 18 months”

It simply plants doubt in my mind and means that the probability of receiving a call is far less.

In essence, up date your Linkedin and CV at the same time. Make sure they are identical. Don’t have “to present” on there if you are not employed there anymore. Don’t be afraid to put “actively looking for my next challenge” on your Linkedin profile – it will result in more approaches.

Never, under-dress for an interview, it’s simply unforgivable!

I know it is Queensland summer, at times over 37 degrees, sun blazing down, but I cannot EVER understand people’s inability to understand the importance of looking sharp for an interview. Not only is the old adage of “first impressions count” true, my opinion is that if worst came to the worst and you were ever questioned on your attire, you can always explain why you dressed “up” but there is simply no way back if the client is wearing a jacket or even just a tie and you are not.

In nearly 9 years of recruitment, I have heard one example where a candidate was ridiculed for wearing a suit and tie – it was a capital equipment sales role based in Rocklea, and the client apparently was annoyed that the guy had worn a suit and tie, saying that he wouldn’t fit the company culture. For mine, that was a smokescreen to a degree and instead of being honest with the candidate about his lack of suitability, he just chose to focus on his look. In my opinion, the candidate had a lucky escape, he wasn’t a jeans and polo shirt kind of guy and therefore would not have worked out in the long run.

People say to me it is too hot to wear a jacket – not true. A jacket can literally be put on as you are going into the building having been in the air-conditioned car – easy.

Sales roles are about first impressions and looking good. If you do not look good to a Sales Manager, how on earth is he or she going to want to put you in front of their clients?

Several of my clients will never wear a jacket or a tie, BUT they are not the person going for the interview. Sure, dress for the occasion with your clients, when I was in a sales role, if I was meeting a CIO I would wear a full suit and tie, if I was meeting site foremen I would wear steel toe caps, jeans and polo. However, when going for an interview, no matter how “informal” or if it is labelled as just a “cup of coffee” 99 times out of 100, hiring managers will appreciate the effort taken to dress sharply. It shows respect, it shows appreciation of their time, it shows that you can be trusted to go and see their clients.

My biggest client will always wear an embraided company shirt with business trousers and shoes. I tell all my candidates this in advance, often describing to a tee what the client will wear. As a result of that, some of them choose to not wear a jacket and tie or a sharp dress. Sure enough, each time I get the feedback, the client mentions their attire – regardless of how strong their interview may have been.

I may seem out of touch, old school and classically British, but presentation is everything. For 1 hour of your life, pop on a tie, throw the jacket on, you can always ask during the meeting if it is ok to remove it. Also, please make sure the shirt and tie match each other and the suit – I recently had a young candidate who went out and bought a new suit, shirt and tie on my recommendation – although smart the client commented that he thought he might have dressed in the dark!

Referrals

I am not sure if it is just because people get so many Linkedin “inmails” or because people are so busy they do not really pay full attention, but recently I have noticed so many people writing back to my emails saying something along the lines of ” thanks but no thanks” when reading an email from me.

That email actually asks if they know anyone suitable for a role that I am recruiting for at the time, and is designed not for them to know who is actively looking for a new sales role (because let’s face it, when you are looking for a new job how many people do you actually tell?) but for them to let me know who they respect, who they think is a good operator, who they think has the relevant experience to succeed in a particular position.

I am curious to see how many of my connections read this post and can let me know how many inmails they receive per day, week, month etc. Maybe it is simply that they get so many “unsolicited” from recruiters so often that they just presume that my email falls into the same basket?

In Brisbane especially, the market is so small. I must use the “its a small world” line almost daily when talking to clients and candidates alike. Everyone knows everyone in Brisbane and I would bet my last cent that realistically someone would know someone else suited for a particular challenge.

Networking is everything in my opinion in recruitment, and I am constantly looking to grow my network, not for immediate commercial gain, but to simply have wider coverage of the market place and there are plenty of reasons why I am looking to always meet new people, half of my connections I have never done business with but simply have a professional friendship with.

Please let me know the frequency of emails, and whether those emails are directly targeting you personally. I am curious to learn how people like to be communicated to and whether they do actually presume a lot of the time re content of the email.

If you are keen on learning about the sales roles we currently have available please contact me on 07 3667 8922 for a confidential chat.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

When I set Sterling up over 5 years ago, I was constantly asked: “What is that makes Sterling different from every other recruiter out there?” My sole response was that I would be blunt, totally transparent and tell people the truth always, even if that truth might hurt.

Now, five years on, the one thing I hear constantly is that people are grateful for my candour and outright honesty when working with us.

I remember an interview that I had arranged once – it was the middle of a Brisbane summer, at least 35 degrees. My candidate had to rush from one end of the CBD to the other – not leaving enough time to compose himself, he arrived just on time and greeted the interviewer with a sweaty composure.  There was no coming back from that, it did not matter how well he conducted himself in the interview first impressions count and it was a bad one.

Instead of telling him that there was “no cultural fit” or other widely used excuses I instead told him the full truth of why he did not get offered the position. He was embarrassed, but he understood it and was grateful for the truth. Four days later, he took my advice, got an uber to the interview, was there in time to make sure his attire was sharp, had a dry hand, and the rest is history. He phoned me when he got the job just to say thanks.

It is not just candidates that Sterling are frank and honest with about sales recruitment. We will always challenge our clients, we will tell clients their reputation in the market, what candidates think of them, and what some of their challenges might be to attract the best sales professionals. I remember once telling a client that his company had a reputation of being “cowboys” (I was trembling at the time, convinced he was going to throw me out of his boardroom) but instead, he took it as a badge of honour, was pleased that the reputation matched what he wanted to achieve, he wanted to be seen as hardworking, a little rough but determined to succeed.

Clients will often have a very set, rigid idea as to what they want in a BDM or Account Manager, what skills they MUST have. Sterling will challenge that – a lot of the time, the MUST haves turn out to be NICE to have, and the nice to have are not needed at all.

For me, a large reason as to why sales recruitment fails for a lot of companies is that there is not enough honesty from the get-go. Most recruiters have a budget above their head to achieve and as a result, will do whatever it takes to get the placement done – the sale across the line. I am certainly not going to paint a role out to be perfection and employment utopia when it absolutely is not the case. We will promote both the good and the not so good aspects of a role. The same goes for a client when describing a candidate. When working for others, I would talk at the speed of sound trying to “ram” a candidate down a client’s throat, insisting they saw the person that same day. A much better approach is to outline the reasons as to why I think the two parties to meet, but at the same time give an honest explanation, and not be ashamed to mention one or two faults that the candidate may have. So far, the truth seems to pay dividends, even if it costs the odd placement, I am sure it will result in more success for clients, candidates, and Sterling Sales Recruitment also.