Candidate advice #1 ask questions

I get asked all the time what advice I recommend to candidates to help them out in their search for a new position.

Having put a fair amount of thought into it, I think asking questions (bear with me, this spans a broad spectrum of topics) is a great piece of advice.

Ask the recruiter/hiring manager intelligent questions. Hold the recruitment consultant accountable for their knowledge of the role. They are the interface between you and dream job. They should be there to add value to your process and to assist your job search, not just a useless CV conduit. When you are speaking directly to hiring managers, they want to know that you know your onions (or mechanics, or sales metrics or pixels) and have an active interest in working for their company.

Question whether you have made the right impression and if you have not, put it right. You may not always get that opportunity to question decisions, but be proactive. Every candidate whose application we reject (which is unfortunately 95%) receives an e-mail thanking them for their application and offering them the opportunity to question the consultant’s decision, and to receive some feedback. This is by far and away the best-received thing OX Seven do, in terms of candidate feedback and has lead to multiple placements (Never accept the ‘if you do not hear within 4 days consider yourself unsuccessful line – this is not acceptable).

Question yourself and what your motivations are for wanting to do a particular role, and tailor your CV, cover letter and approach to the recruiter/hiring manager. This will make you massively stand out. The digital age and job board sophistication has made it incredibly easy to ‘1 click apply’. Well, guess what, everyone is doing it. The milkman in Aberdeen applying for an IT Sales Director role in Bristol. The Business Development Manager in Colchester applying for a Head Chef role in Swindon. It is easy to apply for any job, even if it is optimistically. If your CV is tailored to the job spec, your cover letter is personalised and optimised for the role, you will have a 90% better opportunity of proceeding to a conversation or interview about the role.

I hope this helps you, but if you want to speak more about this, or anything in particular recruitment related please get in contact!


Will Grashoff

Managing Director

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