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a blog by Chris Barrow

The next time you get a CV to read, this is the detective work you need to do

A client recently sent me 5 CV’s received in response to advertising for a new Practice Manager, this for a well-established private clinic in an affluent commuter town.

When I’m asked (which is quite often) I have a routine:

  1. Check each CV for typos, formatting errors and poor grammar. Result – 4 of the 5 had multiple examples of the aforementioned errors. I think it fair to suggest that Practice Management requires attention to detail?

  2. Check each candidate to see if they have an active and well-maintained Linkedin profile. Result – 2 of the 5 show up on Linkedin, each with a very basic and poorly maintained profile. I think it fair to suggest that any person seeking promotion into a management role would understand that Linkedin has become a better virtual showcase for your talents than any old-fashioned CV?

  3. Check the personal Facebook profile for each applicant. Result – again only 2 of the 5 were visible on Facebook (a different 2) but with some alarming photography and posts. I think it fair to suggest that those applying for jobs should either be careful what they post and/or alter their privacy settings to create a boundary between personal and professional lives?

  4. Check the end of the CV, where tradition has it that we share interesting facts about ourselves outside of the job – hobbies, achievements, extra-curricular activities, philanthropy, further education. Result – 1 of the 5 stood out as a person who had built a personal life that was full of interest – clearly a gregarious and driven individual – very attractive for a leadership/management position.

Some points must now be made:

  1. There are very talented people who cannot spell, format or construct good grammar – accepted – but the medium is the medium – a CV is a word-processed showcase – even if you aren’t an expert, get some help before you publish;

  2. We all make mistakes on Facebook, me included, but if you systematically show up as a weirdo and allow the world to see it, don’t be surprised if some potential employers may decide that they are weird enough themselves and don’t need your contribution. Perhaps when job hunting, it may be an idea to change your settings?

  3. There is something attractive about a person who has an active social, family or community life in addition to work – busy people get stuff done.

In this case nobody got through to Judges Houses and it’s back to the auditions stage – a frustrating surprise. I’m hoping it’s just a blip and the next round of advertising will attract that needle in the haystack.

In the meantime – if you want a promotion, make sure that your personal marketing is on point.

p.s. two of the best managers I helped recruit last year made it to their own Judges Houses (and eventually won their places) based on superbly well populated Linkedin profiles – they have both turned out to be superstars.

p.p.s. you will recall my usual advice is to write to your patients and ask them to recommend job applicants

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