Are your CV and social media profiles job-ready?
I am currently recruiting marketing managers to fill travel job vacancies. Those applying are experienced in marketing and ought to know how much first-impressions count. Yet I’m receiving a fair few CVs and LinkedIn profiles with obvious problems in how their brand, images, and basic information come across.
It got a discussion going here in the PTR offices about self-branding when applying for travel job vacancies – and any other jobs, too.
Here’s our guide to how to self-brand successfully and get yourself noticed for the right reasons when applying to travel job vacancies.
- Your CV shouldn’t be pages long, but a basic 1-page CV with only job titles isn’t informative enough. Include responsibilities and skills for each job you list. 2 pages is fine, but no more than 3.
- Correct spelling and grammar is a no-brainer. Get someone you trust to check your CV for sense, spelling and grammar before you send it out for any travel job vacancies. Don’t rely on spell-check.
- Appearance matters. I’ve received badly formatted CVs which make me question an applicant’s attention to detail. Some have parts of the text indented and other parts centred with a few odd sections left-aligned. Google a good CV format and use as a template if you’re not sure.
- Start with your current role and work backwards, not with your first ever role and work forwards.
- List promotions within a role, rather than showing a ten-year period that appears to be all in the same role. Employers like seeing promotions and career development. Even if your job title hasn’t changed, list developments such as new responsibilities and important projects. Also make sure you list key skills and competencies.
- Always include education and relevant courses or learning. These are particularly critical in marketing to show you’ve stayed abreast of changes in the sector.
- No address is an issue for me, especially for London where travel can take ages.
- Most employers and agencies prefer a CV formatted in Word, rather than as a PDF.
LinkedIn profile writing
- Presentation is important. Imagine that your LinkedIn profile is a shop window and you are the product. How would you entice people into the shop? What would you think if the shop window was a giant mess of 20 different things. Be clear and neat.
- Add links to any work and websites, especially if in marketing, web design, or graphic design.
- List responsibilities not just job titles. Even if you’re not currently searching for travel job vacancies, you never know where head-hunters are looking, or when an unexpected opportunity might arrive.
- Ask for recommendations as often as you can. I’ve had clients who have rejected applicants because they have no recommendations on LinkedIn.
- Feel free to look at my LinkedIn profile, or director James Roberts’ profile, as we make sure they’re regularly updated.
Social media and negative impressions
Most of my clients will and do Google you, and check Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. I have had candidates rejected for what an employer sees on social media profiles. One candidate had shared a racist post for which they were immediately eliminated, others are rejected for photos that make them look like drunks. If you think your social media accounts are not suitable for work then make them private or shut them down.
Which would you be more likely to choose to interview for a serious job? Of course, the type of job can make a difference.
Feel free to answer honestly in the Comments below.
In general, I don’t think people have got worse at writing CVs, but we do receive too many that have been written in a rush. I always wonder why people don’t check over their CV properly before sending – remember that this is the first impression a future employer has of you. If it’s unimpressive it will be binned and you won’t get to show all your good qualities.
Improving your self-brand
My favourite saying with regards to brand is by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos:
Your brand is what other people say about
you when you’re not in the room.
With this in mind, always be critical of yourself, not defensive. By this, I mean when you read through your finished CV, think, ‘How does this make me sound?’ Don’t think, ‘I know it’s not great, but that’s because I didn’t have time.’ Make the time. A good CV really matters.
Ask a friend to look at your CV and online profiles and ask them to be honest about the impression they give. Take their advice and change what needs changing. Sometimes you are too close to see the errors.
Think, ‘Would I employ me?’ ‘Would I interview me?’ and ‘Would I call me?’ If the answer to any of these is no, consider why not. Then improve the things you can. Ask for help, if necessary.
Think about the 4 Ps of product in marketing terms: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These have been used by marketers around the world for a decade – it’s a good idea to think of yourself as the product and promote yourself accordingly.
Help with your CV by a travel recruitment agency
We can help you improve your CV and will format it before sending it out to clients, but making sure it’s the best it can be is your job before you send it to us. Remember it’s our first impression of you, too. It’s our job to inform the client how relevant and suitable every candidate is and how they meet the criteria. The advantage of us, is that we already have a relationship with the people offering a travel job vacancy, so they will answer our calls and emails and give feedback, which if you apply directly you probably won’t get.