Being a superhero candidate

I hope it’s not just me but I am pretty sure it’s not just children that want to run around wearing a cape, underpants over their Batmantrousers and that all important mask to keep their identity a secret. Adults all over the world are also as intrigued in being the real life Batman or Wonder woman.

Franchisees such as Marvel and DC Comics have been keeping all ages entertained for the past 80 years, fans emerging from the cinema being in awe of the latest blockbuster to be made by the movie studios. Desperately wanting to be as cool as these hero’s in every aspect of their lives, although, please don’t go throwing yourselves off buildings with nothing but some web like, sticky string for safety!

Actually becoming a ‘superhero’ however, is a little harder when it comes to your work life and career – but, hopefully we at Cactus Search can assist you with at least the first stages of attaining that red, flowing cape!

Firstly, you need to make the decision, do you want to be a superhero? Do you have the utility belt full of the right gadgets for the job or are you better being a super Robin to a great Batman?

Being the superhero candidate really does mean you should expect the hiring manager to really scrutinise you at interview, they’re going to drill you to make sure that the perfectly presented exterior is not going to crumble away as soon as the ‘heat is on’! Read the job spec, research the business, industry and the hiring manager and be 100% sure in yourself that this is the level of role, the company and the industry you really want to star in.

Checklist for any self-respecting superhero when considering a role should be:

  • Is the role in a commutable distance?  When you are really interested in a role or an organisation it’s very easy to say that you are happy to travel up to two hours each way, Monday to Friday…. but after a few months and it’s Friday afternoon and you’re stuck again on the dreaded M6, you may want to re-consider your decision to be the companies answer to Iron Man after all!
  • Is the role going to offer you what you are presently lacking in your current role, is the grass really greener? We realise it’s not always easy to recognise this at interview but do your research as if you were preparing to fight the Joker!
  • Is there longevity in post, are internal promotions commonplace? While posing these questions at interview you may feel you are pressuring the hiring manager and you may think by asking you are flagging up that you will want to develop, maybe move into their post all at lightning speed, don’t be worried, any self-respecting hiring manager will want a succession plan to enable them to move on – Steve Jobs famously said, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”, so the hiring manager isn’t likely to want to hire someone who doesn’t have any ambition to progress, and, if he/she does, is this really the job for you?

Secondly we need to focus on that utility belt! Now you’ve decided that you want to be a company’s next superhero then let’s make sure you, as a candidate have all the right gadgets.

Your CV is going to show the recruiting consultant or the hiring manager what makes you the ‘hidden behind the shirt buttons’ superhero. This is what is going to demonstrate why you should be at the top of any recruiters or managers list. Make sure your CV sells you as the shinning superhero that you really are and not just the standard Clark Kent’s that have come before you. While CV’s cannot say everything, make sure that once you have read the role profile or spoken to the recruitment agency your experience specific to that post are highlighted, this doesn’t have to mean a complete re-write but including information at the very top which demonstrates role compatibility always helps!

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Thirdly, now we have qualified that you want to be a superhero and also have all the gadgets the next thing to ensure is that your public profile, profiles you as a day in day out, full time superhero. Social networking has become the ‘must do thing’ of the 21st Century.

Every photo posted on Instagram or updated status on Facebook leaves a trail of your personality on the internet for anyone and everyone to find. It only takes a few clicks and searches for a recruiting agent or hiring manager to find a bad photo of you on a recent night out, or a status or tweet of you being discriminate to an old employer. These may be funny, amusing or even true at the time, however, think of the image that you are painting of yourself… we have had candidates invited to interview, only for the hiring manager to cancel the interview following a quick google search!

LinkedIn has also become a huge social platform in the professional world. This can be a key factor in the hiring of an individual, so make sure that your profile is up to date and please remember, LinkedIn is NOT Facebook!

Overall it is important that you make sure that your social networking profile reflects the real hero. Recommendations are absolutely ‘KEY’ to achieving this.

Lastly, but certainly not least: when attending interviews, pick your outfit wisely, while you should always dress for the job you want, don’t take it to the extreme!

Happy Job Hunting – there’s nothing prickly about us!

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