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Buzz = what you – the people – think

Tell me what you find most frustrating about career development.

For instance;

  • Are you sure you are in the right job?
  • Would you like to change careers but can’t?
  • Are you able to get interviews?
  • Are you getting interviews for jobs you really want?
  • How many interviews convert into job offers and are you getting enough job offers?
  • Are you suffering from ageism?
  • What about interview nerves?

MartinI will reply to as many questions as I can.

Thanks
Martin

1,851 Comments

  1. Hoz

    Ok, I have to bite though. I love art but I am inspired by nothing. I like motorcycles would love to work on them and build them but have no skills and really just like art dont want to make it a job that will take what ever little of it I like! I want to be the boss I dont want to be questioned but I am never sure of anything very undicisive, I have no direction but I landed a good job that pays well and to find another job that pays the same with out real skills seems impossible. What do you say about that???

    Reply
  2. Emma

    Hello. (I have not given my real name as I think people will know who I am easily). I am at a real crossroads in my life which is why I googled what is the right career for me and found you.
    I just do not know who I am or what I want anymore which is why I hope this isn’t too expensive and actually worthwhile. After graduating in 2009 with a 2.1 I worked for 2 years and although it was nice, it did not fulfil my needs and had no room for progression. I did a lot of volunteering and realised how much I enjoyed science and helping people so decided to go for medicine (after a lot of thought – a years worth) determined and knowing it was the right job for me. I left my job and started on my course which would lead to medicine. I got into a university however the teaching style and the entire thing of the course was too much unhappiness and negative teaching and pressure which I had not experienced before. I got to the end but did not manage to take the finals as I just ran out of steam. I also stupidly fell in love for the first time in my life to a guy who really made me happy and greatly distracted me. He is leaving to study medicine far away and isn’t ready to commit to me fully. I am 25 and he is 28 and with no direction in my life, no job, randomly applying to various jobs I am truly lost and really want to find direction in my life again. I do not want to spend a lot of money and also have hardly any, as I have bought things in the past trying to figure my life out.

    The comments here seem genuine so I hope this is too. I really need something to give me a good direction in my life which will give me some grounding.
    The personality test seemed very good and tailored to me, however I am aware of using certain words and phrases which can be tailored to make anyone believe it is about them. I have faith though and look forward to using something that can help me and others.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks for sharing. Smart people suffer most and this a great example of that. When you are smart you can choose pretty much anything but this just makes it all the harder to make the right choice.

      I think a lot of my readers will be nodding their heads when reading your story. You are not alone.

      So what should you use as the framework for your career decisions? Should it be skills? Qualification? Experience?

      My short answer is “personality”. The simple reason is this; if you have ticked every box except personality, then it’s not likely to work out.

      Oh and as an aside, understanding your personality is also key to building successful relationships.

      I would love to help. Most of my clients are smart and successful. Often they have just been climbing the wrong tree. Give it a try and see how you get on. There’s nothing to lose.

      Reply
  3. Brenda

    Thanks so much for the career advice. I’m an TESOL English teacher who has travelled and lived abroad quite a bit but I’m back in my home country, feeling like a misfit, stranger, or third wheel in Toronto (where I was born). I was so desperate to get OUT of the city and away from the English teaching situation I was in that I went to my friend’s buffalo farm to try to milk water buffalo! But the buffalo farm doesn’t seem to be “it”, either. I have done a bit of writing and I love art but have always pushed art away because it’s stuck in my head that you just can’t make a living from drawing. I love people and feel I have lots to offer, so I guess my question is, “Have you had a case like me before and if you have, what did you tell them?”

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Ok I can honestly say you are the first person I have ever had who milks water buffalo 🙂

      However you are not my first artist. In fact I am going to put you in touch with an artist whose story will inspire you and help you live as an artist if that’s what you really want.

      For now let me dispel the myth that there is no money in being an artist.

      There are more people making money from art today than at any time in history. There are thousands of business and monetization models available to you. You just need to find one that works for you.

      Let me repeat something I often say “come to me with a passion for something and I can show you a hundred ways to make money from it. Come to me with a passion only to make money and I’ve got nothing for you.”

      Reply
  4. Kirsten McAleese

    Hi Martin,
    Thank you for the Personality Test and the first step to my ideal career. I think I have found you at the ideal point since I am in the process (however long it takes) of changing my career path. Your Personality Report on video really struck a chord with me – as if you have heard me complaining that nobody is interested in what I think or what my ideas are at work. I feel a bit more confident now because you confirmed that through your feedback on my personality report. From your advice on job seeking and finding my ideal job I feel I can branch out – maybe without actually being paid and ask for job shadowing opportunities to give me experience of a different type of job. I know I have ideas sometimes but that one was my husband’s idea. I’m going to sort out my CVs and covering letters to send out to organisations to show them I am creative as well as keen – I am an excellent worker too given half the chance.
    So thanks again,
    Martin.
    Kirsten

    Reply
  5. Michelle

    Hi! I need your help, I currently work as a dentist but I feel like this field/profession is where I am supposed to be. I want to change careers simply because I do not enjoy my current career and I am not interested in taking post-graduate studies related to it. I’ve thought about it and the following are my interests and/or strengths:
    – writing (short essays; I have an online part-time job as an article paraphraser/re-writer and proofereader)
    – information technology (I’d like to think of myself as a techie although I do not have any kind of formal training in the field)
    – I make decisions based on instinct and experience, theoretical knowledge also helps but it is not my main basis for decision-making
    – I thrive in working alone and making decisions alone, most of the time, I hate being told what to do especially if I know a better way to do it or to solve a problem
    – I enjoy socializing but only within small circles/groups, I feel overwhelmed in large groups
    – I like adventure, the idea of seeing and experiencing new things, immersing myself in new cultures, traveling
    – when it comes to expressions or voicing my opinions, writing is a better and more comfortable channel form me than speaking (I ramble and have a harder time organizing my thoughts when speaking and I get very emotional and lose all sense of reason)
    – and although I enjoy working alone, I also thrive in a busy workplace, one where there’s always something happening every corner and every minute.
    – I like being of service, although I consider myself more of an introvert, the service part of the dental profession is the only one I enjoy, the fulfillment that you had a hand in alleviating the patient’s discomfort, that you helped them feel better and be more confident about their appearance. By the way, dentistry is also all about esthetics, a sense or aptitude which I think I lack.

    Hope you can help me, I really feel now is the time to shift careers, for every day that I spend in treating patients, I feel I’m becoming less and less passionate, more disinterested and I’m starting to hate the profession gradually, and I’d rather be doing something else instead of taking it out or doing harm on a patient simply because I hate what I’m doing. Thanks and really looking forward to your response!

    Michelle

    Reply
  6. nelia

    Hi Martin,

    thanks for the personality test and part 1. The test identified that I need to be in n environment where I interact with a lot of people, all of the time. Which is quite right… But I had a similar test at my workplace recently and what came out in the ‘team work’ category was that I strongly prefer not to have to get involved in working committee fashion, finding it irksome at times, and preferring to be able to follow own inclinations and make decisions alone if possible… Which is also quite right. So, as a start, it is a bit conflicting, and I hope you could touch on that, and if and how I can have my cake and eat it, in the emails to follow. i look forward to Saturday.

    many thanks,

    nelia

    Reply
  7. Paul Jones

    Hi Martin,

    I was wondering if I could ask your opinion on something?

    Here is a list below of things I would like to specialise in:

    1) Literature Review writer (for research projects)
    2) Print Ad Copywriter/Proofreader/Editor
    3) Press Release Copywriter/Proofreader/Editor
    4) Brochure Copywriter/Proofreader/Editor

    I already do some of these things especially no. 1). I really enjoy doing them and I think these jobs would suit my personality because they involve producinq quality and accuracy. I would just like to ask whether you think these jobs would suit my personality? The reason why I am asking is to see if I am on the right track.

    Kind regards,

    Paul.

    Reply
  8. Pat Guthrie

    You really had me down pat when you said I need a work environment that was free of constant emotional ‘stuff’. I really DO work for a manager who gets emotionally stressed out over every little thing. I also truly think my ideal job would be to do research or data entry of some type. Like being locked in a room or library where it’s nice and quiet and things are simply in black and white. Not that I don’t like people, but I’m very comfortable with myself, which is something I find most people aren’t. Thanks for Part 1 and for the invite.

    Reply
  9. Christopher Bird

    Thanks for email, and course invite http://bit.ly/LK6hsi

    I’ve reviewed your website with great interest and over the years I’ve completed Carl Jung, Myers Briggs in fact numerous tests. I even employed a life coach, career councillor both of whom insisted I repeat such tests. While such test provide insight they failed to state a specific career I should aim for. This left me feeling somewhat annoyed as I was really no better off than when I started. All I gained was an insight as to my traits.

    Essentially how precise is the course in identifying appropriate career? How many attendees are there for the course? Do you have case studies of success? I apologise my Scottish grandfather characteristics are revealing themselves regarding my next declaration. Given current flat line job market and my age 50+ I’m somewhat dubious I will ever work again even if I knew what I should be doing. I’m intrigued but I’m not convinced I could benefit.

    Reply
  10. Dorothy Jones

    I would like to thank you for your help taking part in your personality test as well as your career test. I am qualified in HNC computing, Viual Basic.NET and HNC Buisness Managment.
    I am 43 years sent my cv to all employees sometmes twice but no interviews. i am confident with a positive attitde and wiling to learn new ideas as wll as contributing ideas. But nothing please help

    kind regards

    Dorothy Jones

    Reply
  11. Brigette

    I’ve known I haven’t been in my ideal job for 20 years – even though I’ve been successful in the different careers I’ve tried to date. Everything you’ve shared with me so far has been enlightening – and makes perfect sense! Feeling very optimistic – thanks!

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Hi Brigette,

      Thanks for sharing. Many of the people I work with are very successful at what they do, but unfortunately they feel they have climbed the wrong tree. The good news is that we can find an alternative and we can transfer all that experience into something you really want to do.

      Reply
  12. Shelagh

    Hi Martin,

    I’ve tried for several jobs and although my CV seems to impress, I just don’t seem to be able to ‘sell’ myself during interview, although I may appear confident, inside I panic. I know what I’m good at but struggle to put across what my strengths and experiences are – I feel that interviewers are ‘grilling’ me. I left a job I loved because the volume of work and pressure became too much and took a job which appeared to be less stressful but I now find I’m not using the skills and experience I have to full advantage and feel I’m excluded from being part of the team. Interestingly, when I did Part 1 of the personality test, it showed I prefer to work as part of a team, and this is so true, I love being in the thick of things and feel as though I’m making a difference. I’m now at a loss as to what to do next …

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Hi Shelagh, Thanks for sharing. Let me take your issues one at a time

      1) Trying to “sell ” yourself at an interview is always a bad idea. Almost no one can carry it off well. Even professional sales people appear to forget everything they have ever been taught when they enter an interview and make a mess of it. Pretty much everyone bombs at interviews. You need to take an entirely different approach to interviews. You need to know how to take control of the interview and you also need to know that most people conducting the interview are completely incompetent.

      2) It sounds like you have a rough idea of what kind of environment you will thrive in. It is critical that you nail the detail here. You need to discover exactly what you were simply born to do. You need to know for sure what your ideal job looks like and have a checklist of conditions that need to be met for you to excel. Most people are in the wrong job. It’s not them that’s the problem, it’s simply the wrong job. And pretty much every one is turning up at the wrong interviews, which again sees them landing the wrong job. You need to put yourself in the job that’s right for you; a job where they appreciate all of your natural talents.

      I hope this helps.
      MArtin

      Reply
  13. Susan Bowers

    Sometimes I can be extrovert but when nervous become an introvert. Funds tight, nearly 9 months since last full time job and feel totally lost. Over 50 and ponder the government saying got to work till 70 but can’t find work now. Grrr = frustration. Longer don’t work heart loses urge to:-). Need money but would also love to earn it by being self employed or working for an employer who cares about people….. Thanks for being there and answering my questions, the report and the daily links support me and give me some hope when the job centre offers none. Pondering on if I can stretch funds to come on the workshop! Thanks Martin – greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  14. Paul Jones

    Hi Martin,

    Sorry I cannot make it to the workshop in London. Hopefully, I will be able to attend the next time you hold a workshop. I am enjoying the course so far. The personality report has been very accurate apart from a a few disagreements, and your 29 minute video on the 3 points about finding your ideal job has helped me focus my mind on the right things.

    Hope the workshop goes well.

    Cheers,

    Paul.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks Paul. Yes Tickets are already selling well and its not even open to the public yet. It’s going to be life changing.

      Reply
  15. Mark

    Hi Martin,

    I just followed the 1st step & completed the personality test. Very accurate & confirmed what I thought that I need for my working environment….. as for where and what job / career, well that seems unfathomable at the moment.

    So, I look forward to the next part of the course and potentially meeting up with you in London this month at Senate House. Hopefully it is in the evening? and hopefully I can secure a place?

    It’s time for a change and I cant wait to unravel how to get to the place where the alarm goes in the morning and I am already up, motivated so much, to get to work!

    Kind regards,

    Mark

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks Mark. The event is on a Saturday as this tends to suit most people. Tickets usually sell out pretty quick but hope to see you there. Helping people make a change is probably what I am all about so look forward to helping you find your thing.

      Martin

      Reply
      • Mark

        Great! How do I book please to secure a place?

        Many thanks

        Mark 🙂

        Reply
  16. Sue

    Very interesting information and insights – thank you. Admit I was sceptical at first, especially over the FREE angle. When money is more freely available I will definitely consider taking advantage of your course in full. You obviously know what you are talking about! Already sent your detials onto a few frinds – ever little bit helps… Thanks again, Sue

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks Sue, all the testimonials are genuine. Yesterday alone I had two people contact me to say they had just landed a new job. It’s a great feeling when they do that.

      Reply
  17. Change of Career

    Completely agree that to boost your chances of getting a job interview you need to tailor your CV to the actual job you are applying for and write a great covering letter. Many people forget to tweak their CV to highlight areas of their skill and knowledge that are directly applicable to the job in question

    Reply
  18. Rene Whiteman

    This free test gave me amazing results. I was blown away! I am very unhappy at work, it was as if the author described my company.
    Rene

    Reply
  19. Priya

    Hi Martin,

    Thank you for your insightful report.You have managed to highlight what I doubted were my strengths and weaknesses.It makes a world of difference when one hears it from someone else.Had it not been for the free preview I wouldn’t have visited the website but I sure will recommend it to others who want a full report.

    Thanks and regards
    Priyanka

    Reply
  20. Rick

    A few of your questions became even rather than polar, I felt in answering I was restricting the scope of my personality. having said that I also acknowledge you quickly nailed some core truths.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Yes, some of the questions can be very tricky. Which ones depends upon your personality. Glad you liked the result however.

      Reply
  21. Natanya

    This report has been scarily accurate on my personality and has really highlighted aspects that I wouldn’t have even thought of mentioning or considering. I have found the report really helpful and motivating. I think your point of matching one’s personality to a working environment as opposed to attempting to change your personality to suit a job is so incredibly important! I think that this is where I have been going wrong for years! This has definitely motivated me to be more specific in my job search and not to just accept the first thing that comes along (which has been so tempting recently!).

    Thank-you so much for this test/report – hopefully I will soon find a role that I am better suited to and can be happy in so I can get out of my current job, which definitely does not suit my personality!

    Reply
  22. Helen

    Hi Martin
    I want to secure a job with international organizations like the various High Commissions we have. How do i go about it and what should I say in my cv? I have really longed to work for such organizations to help with learning how cross cultural organizations work. I love diversity and really want this job

    Reply
  23. Deda

    Hi Martin,
    I really like your videos but i find it very hard to hear you speaking! Can’t tell if its got to do with the slow internet speed here in Ghana. I really wish we can have a written copy of what you discuss in your videos. Especially the 3 mistakes introverts make. I am sure i am making them because i haven’t been successfull in getting a job. I am currently pursuing a PhD and i must at least get a part time job. I am so scared i will not get any. I am eager to know what i may be doing wrong. Thank you.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Feds, I hear you. A few people have asked for a written version so as they can read it at work. I’m working on this and will get something out shortly. Thanks for the prompt.

      Reply
  24. John

    Hello Martin,

    I have an introvert personality but this is complicated by the fact that I have Aspergers. I’m a walking mix of contradictions and frankly its hard for me to envisage that ideal job/career because of the limitations I have surrounding the “theory of mind”. Therefore anything that helps my ability to understand the workings of this process would be useful. Have you any experience of Aspergers?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      John, thanks for sharing. Yes I have some experience of aspergers. There are some more comments in this blog from people with aspergers too.

      My advice remains the same, though it’s even more important that you use an alternative to traditional job hunting techniques.

      Traditional job hunting is biased against introverts.

      Reply
  25. Eric

    Hi Martin,

    Here is my case – see if you can crack it…
    So far I have been quite fortunate to be able to shape my career into something I like. This is especially true for the past 7 years where I have shifted progressively job within the same company.
    Still, I am always looking for opportunities, and I have several job alerts automatons to let me know when there is something interesting out there.
    Now the thing is that while I make a point only to apply when I consider my profile match at 100%.
    When I show my CV & cover letter to friends & colleagues, they all say they look great (some even ask me if they could copy).
    Yet, in the past 5 years, I have never been able to secure any interview !!
    What am I doing wrong?

    Looking forward to receiving your expert insight.

    Regards,
    Eric

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Here’s something you can try. How would you go about job hunting if you couldn’t use a CV?

      People get very consumed by their cv. There is more to job hunting than the cv. Go beyond it. Do away with it and get creative.

      Reply
  26. Christine

    Hi,
    I have been unemployed for a year now since my redundancy (& 28 years in one job!). I have had a few interviews but the jobs always go to ‘someone with more relevant experience’. How can I sell myself better? I am an introvert and find interviews extremely challenging. I particularly find the ‘scenario’ questions hard.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Christine, this is a very common scenario but there are steps you can take. You need training on interview technique. You can’t expect it to just happen. You can learn how to take control of the interview and not simply be at it’s mercy.

      Reply
  27. Elaine

    I can definitely see where you are coming from with the introvert psychology.
    However agree with a lot of the other comments regarding ageism (over 50) but want to continue working for the forseeable future. Have tried re-training for a small part-time role in an environment small friendly (complete opposite to my previous jobs – where I do not think my abilities were recognised (seen as mediocre) and I wasn’t in tune with the company/departments) and in a new field. However qualifications will not replace the fact that I have no relevant work experience – just transferable skills and know that I could do the job and would be happy doing it. I do voluntary work but need help to get a foot back in a new door. Everyone is different at different ages I have a strong work ethic and can’t image not getting work but in the current climate I am at a loss – do not know what else to do to get back in there…….. and enjoy work

    Reply
  28. Laura

    I’m an experienced teacher, but I left a permanent position for supply work a few years ago – in order to get experience in more different schools. Since then I’ve decided to go back into a permanent teaching role. I’ve applied for loads & I tend to get offered interviews as I’m quite able to write well about my experience on the application forms…The problem is in the interviews!!! Teachers usually have to teach a 1/2 hour-3/4 hour lesson in front of at least 2 senior staff members, followed immediately by an hours interview in front of up to 5 senior staff/ governors. I just find the whole process way too stressful & doubt I will ever land another job this way as I have been trying for over a year & got nothing yet…
    All the long-term jobs I have had, resulted in me working at the school first – so they knew me already & weren’t put off by my nerves. Feedback from interviews I’ve messed up all say the same thing – someone else interviewed better/ were more confident etc, etc.
    Teaching has never been a dream job (way too much government intervention for that) but I do enjoy it. I just despair of ever getting back into a proper job!!

    Reply
  29. Sarah

    Really interesting – I have found myself saying that I need to feel the right ‘vibe’ for the people and the place of late so it’s great to hear that I am beginning to realise that I need to look at how the job/people/place match me .. as well as how I match the job. Thanks for this and look forward to more.

    Reply
  30. Devine Power

    Hi, I am a physical therapist but I am more interested in sales or marketing kind of career!
    Can you help me with possible few careers in sales or healthcare marketing?
    It would be great help!

    Reply
  31. Len

    Hi, I send of around 15 – 20 applications a week and the number of interviews I get are minuscule by comparison.
    Why do you think this is and how can I get more interviews?

    Reply
  32. Bryan Mawn

    Hello Martin

    I am more aware now that making a career change is extremely difficult.
    Whether I am sending my CV or completing a structured company application form, the agency or the employer are looking for experience directly linked with the job that is advertised and not skills that can be transferred from one career into another.

    Your course teaches me that you should be looking for a job that meets with your personality; this I believe is absolutely essential given that I have been doing a job for many years, and been extermely successful, but I have not enjoyed the job.

    Structured application forms want to know your previous employment, however, on paper your previous employment appears to be nothing like, or remotely linked with the job that you are applying for; given this what chance does anyone have apart from luck.

    Could there be a “happly pile” system developed for this problem?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Hi Bryan, We may have spoken on Live Chat already but let me make this a public point as everyone needs to know about this.

      Changing careers is only a problem if you use the traditional job hunting approach; the one where you look up job ads and spam strangers with your CV. Traditional job search will not let you change careers. – – – -NEVER.

      However if you use the 3 Step System then it’s not such a problem. A different approach will turn all those diverse skills to your advantage. I’ll show you how in the 3 Step System.

      Please do not confuse responding job advert with career development. They are not the same thing.

      Reply
  33. julie

    Hi,
    I received a spookily accurate personality profile from you a few weeks ago, and am extremely interested in your personality profile cert.

    However, as you likely already know, I am a risk taker, with an imaginative approach, who is clearly projected to do well at whatever I focus upon.

    You may have already suspected I have no cash in the bank, but am trustworthy enough to be taken a chance upon regarding payment.

    So here is the proposition to you…You send me a personality cert, and I excell from a carreer launch from this, then I in return shall publicly sing the praises of how you helped me get that position, and hey, Your company has already attracted my attention, because of the scarily accurate insight you have already provided with the initial report you sent me

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks Julie. I will be giving away a few Personality Certificates to people who have left comments so you never know your luck. God loves a tryer 🙂

      Reply
  34. Stephen David

    The orthodoxy I have heard re the current recession is that the only jobs people can realistically get are those identical to the last job they were doing, which in my case is a million miles from the dream jobs you keep talking about. Don’t you need to be more realistic in the current climate, and maybe come to some compromise between ideal jobs and realistic jobs?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Good point Stephen. My feeling is that you are either doing a job to pay the bills or you are working your dream job. There is no compromise. It’s OK to work a job to pay the bills providing you do not kid yourself on that this is what you want to do with your life.

      I think people settle to quickly for less than they could achieve. If you know what it is you want to do with your life then do not waste a minute. Do not sell yourself short and do not try and convince yourself that the job you have is “good enough” or “realistic”. Do whatever it takes.

      Work the crappy job to pay the bills but never take your eye off your goal.

      Reply
  35. Margaret KL

    It is a dream for everyone to be doing what they are best at, problems are a) what are they best at? b) how does what they are best at fit into their job specifications and c) what if the job environment is not the best and d) when is it a hand in glove situation, does it exist? Is there a place for a warm, senistive person in a cold and hard competitive type of environment? How can one tests solev all the intricacies and complexities of life and career. Can someone surprise me?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks for sharing Margaret. What’s the alternative to doing what you best at? Doing something you are crap at and hate? I don’t see the sense in that.

      The trouble starts at school, which is obsessed with creating rounded individuals with a range of skills. The world has no place for rounded individuals. it only wants specialists. It only want to deal with people who are the very best at what they do. These are the only people it rewards. The world doesn’t care that you have good average scores at all your subjects, it only cares that you are absolutely brilliant at the one thing it needs you to be brilliant at.

      In answer to your other questions
      a) Your first mission in life is to discover what you were simply born to do. This is Step 1 of the 3 Step System and your career can’t take another step till you figure this out. It’s usually to do with your personality.

      b) You create your job specification. So it will fit

      c) Create it

      d) it will exist if you create it.

      And yes there is plenty of opportunity for a warm sensitive person in this world, you just need to make sure you put yourself in that environment. Don’t try and hug roses as they are full of pricks.

      Yes it’s complex but it can be done. Come to the Workshop if there are any places left and I will show you a ton of things to let you get ahead.

      Reply
  36. Andy Phillips

    One comment: The certificate is a good idea, but if you are extremely successful everyone will do it and we are back to a level playing field (unless it is priced to be ‘exclusive’).
    One question: How can I get agencies/recruiters to actually call back? Even if it’s bad news, the feedback is really important to fine tune interview skills. Agencies are actually getting worse than ever at this, and although I know perfectly well to follow up I believe the responsibility lies with them (they took the baton, so to speak).

    Age may be against me but I have significant work and sales experience -37 years of it!

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Good point Andy but then again if everyone got their CV properly designed then there would be no advantage to it either. However the reality is, most people can’t be arsed. Most people do not try hard enough. The people who make the effort and use tools like the Personality Certificate will always be in the minority. Good people are hard to find.

      The Certificate will give you an edge for years to come.

      I talk about agencies and ageism in other comments.

      Reply
  37. Nick Xydias

    Hi Martin,

    This is terrific.

    What is the total cost of the personality certificate ie 4.70 pounds over how many months?

    Regards

    Nick

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      The price varies. This is a special one time only price for my special internal users list. All the up to date details are found on the site or in the emails I have sent to you.

      Reply
  38. Allen Mills

    As an old sailor of 73 I still get job offers due to my vast experience and ability to adapt.I have worked all over the globe with a whole host of cultures (earlier this year in the darkest Congo) and know many of the answers even before the question is asked.What will the personality certificate do for my profile?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Allen, You are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  39. paul

    Hi martin,
    ive listened and read all the FREE stuff,im 18 but i really just dont know what i want to do, i previously thought i wanted to join the RAF but im constantly having second thoughts about this. I feel i need to find my calling in life and its just not happeneing, i dont want to be wasting my time with a job i dont enjoy. My friends and family are saying im aiming too high, but can you ever aim TOO high ?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Hi Paul, Thanks for the comment. Listen very carefully . . . . . .

      . . . . . .”Don’t listen to the buggers. YOU CAN NEVER AIM TOO HIGH”

      Don’t dare sell yourself short. Aim as high as you can conceive and be prepared to fall on your face a bunch of times. Nothing can be achieved without failure. Failure is the egg from which we make the omelette of life. If you aren’t failing regularly, then you aren’t aiming high enough or trying hard enough.

      Paul you have to aim high. Everything else is a slow death. Whether you get there or not is irrelevant. it’s the journey, it’s the trying, it’s the shear damn pleasure of knowing you never settled and you raised the bar and you achieved more than you ever thought you could.

      Reply
  40. Marc

    Hi Martin,

    Great videos….& the personality certificate is an intriguing idea!
    Can I play devil’s advocate and suggest that whilst grounded in spot on thinking, the values attached to the branding/design are key here…..this would give greater immediate value if it came from a widely recognised brand?! It can still link to your host site but credibility would undoubtedly be enhanced by the values that might come from a recognisable provider…..how do you plan to give this (greater) credibility?

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      THanks for the feedback. We continue to improve and work on the design and the service. This is version 1.1.

      The Certificate is provided y PeopleMaps, the largest online provider of personality profiling for the last twelve years. People is used by companies such as HSBC and hundreds of others.

      Reply
  41. Habiba

    I’ve been applying for jobs ever since I finished school 3 years ago and have only managed to get about 5 interviews. The only work That I’ve done is voluntary work. It’s also really irritating when you submit a CV and dont even get a reply even when you are guaranteed one in an application. This has happened to me nearly every single time I’ve applied for a job.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Habiba, it’s shocking but true that applications rarely ever receive a response. it’s a reflection of the disgraceful state of the recruitment process and industry.

      It’s good that you are doing volunteer work. You probably need to make more of this in your applications and interviews. I can show you how to do this.

      Reply
  42. Coral

    Hi Martin,

    Really interesting way of using your personality test in a new way with the certificate. Your tests were the first thing that attracted me to your website around 4 years ago. I’ve taken some personality tests from large providers and yours are as accurate as any others. In addition your results offer a certain take on my skills that I have not found elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if the certificate of skills with your company as third party validation will begin a new approach.

    Reply
    • MartinGibbons

      Thanks Coral, It’s nice to have people still with me after all these years.

      Reply
  43. Joan Manson-Bishop

    Hi Martin,

    I find that the video’s you do are very encouraging. I have registered with a personal agency & she telephoned me today asking me if I had been on any interviews. She also informed me that the job market is very quite. I went to an interview on 25th Aug. & got a letter from the company Friday last week stating I was unsucessful which was a disaappointment to me as I was made redundant from 15 June 2009 & am still looking for a job even after sending out plenty of cv’s. Maybe the problem is because I am over 50, the companies think that I am too old which is not true but I believe that it is more difficult for woman to get job interviews. Also, I am finding out that the positions a person applies for, the companies are not prepared to give them a chance or are prepared to assist them. For instance, I am a bookkeeper to T.B. but because I cannot get a job in my field, I am trying anything else e.g. Acc’s Assistant, Financial Assistant, Purchase Ledger Clerk etc, but am not having any luck at all which is very dishearting.

    Reply
    • Christine

      Hi Martin
      I am properly going to be in simliar position as Joan in the not too distant future, the company I am currently working for is reviewing roles budgets etc and if mine is one that gets incorporated I will at over 50 back in the job market, having not been in this position for over 15 years I am totally out on a limb and my age will be very much against me, so looking for help sooner rather than later.

      Reply
  44. Sarah Fitzgerald

    Hi Martin

    I am finding it increasingly difficult to get any kind of feed back when making applications, so when I’m unsuccessful, its difficult to know why that has been. Do you have any advise or suggestions on getting feedback from unsuccessful applications?

    Reply
  45. David Sanders

    Hello Martin,

    I really appreciate the effort you are putting in to try and make a difference, believe me it is appreciated. Too many times I have sent off a resume knowing that I was a good fit, and nothing , it has gone into the proverbial black hole which seems to be many recruiters … I once worked for a short period in recruiting, and with this particular company (I know it is not the norm ?) it was all about closing and getting someone in … it didn’t matter one thing if they were a good fit from a skills, knowledge let alone a cultural fit .. To answer your question … Yes some recruiting companies do suck .. but many companies in many market sectors do, mainly because they do not know how to relate to people .. they distance themselves from their customers (their stakeholders, staff etc !!) calling them a id number, giving them a anonymous user name, calling them anything but a human being (or thinking of them as such) whatever, it takes to deipersonalises their connection to real people …it is all about distancing language … it is the basic reason why many organisational companies culture sucks … we need to find our a way to engage and value the customer, the employee, the stakeholder, until we do .. this is only going to get worse…

    Anyway sorry Martin .. its something I am passionate about, I would really like the opportunity to try out this certificate of personality … as currently I am getting about one interview per 100 resumes .. so I guess its the average .. anything would be an improvement.

    Thanks for the forum … regards

    Reply
  46. Kathy

    Hi, I thought your video was full of information and ideas for anyone seeking employment. It would certainly make my head turn if I saw one of the personality certificates attached to a cv and I would think it would do the same to employers. I find that when I go for interviews, which is not many lately, that employers ask the same question, which is “I see that you have been at your present employer for quite some time”. Perhaps if I had something else to offer them to catch their eye then the interview process would become more of a challenge to them as well to myself and to show that initiative was used in the job seeking process of who to approach for employment and who not to.

    Reply
  47. George

    Hi Martin,
    I have seen the video presentation of the ‘personality certificate’. Its such a wonderful idea to me and hopefully, it does the magic on potential employers.

    However, I have got some few questions please. Namely;

    (1) Does the personality certificate expires ?
    (2) How much would it cost after the free trial ?
    (3) Are there any demerits for using the personality certificate ? I know much have been said about the potential merits of using the certificate. I just wonder, if there is any known demerits associated with using this ?

    Many thanks.

    Reply
  48. Amelia Dixon

    Hello Martin,

    I am just updating my CV and found that your video was really helpful. I have just graduated from Winchester University and I am already struggling with finding a full time job. The personality certificate looks really good and feel this would benefit my CV. Is a personal profile/statement good to include in a CV? I was told by my personal tutor that employers do not like it but by others it is good to have.

    I appreciate your help,

    Amelia Dixon

    Reply
  49. TerryJ

    Hey Martin

    You have asked for a response to some specific q’s on job hunting and getting interviews. I have been seeking fresh employment for six months now. In answer to your specific questions, I can offer the following:

    Getting an interview is difficult, despite my intro letter and CV being tailored specifically to the role advertised on each occasion. This takes time, is vital to any application, but cannot be ignored. Disappointingly, many, many applications do not get a response.

    You have got to retain a belief that, if you do not prepare and apply as if you were the ONLY candidate, you have no chance of getting even a foot into the interview room.

    The problem, in my opinion, is two-fold. Firstly, an advertisement will ‘warn’ you that ‘unsuccessful’ applicants will not get a response. With this in mind, do you avoid such companies because they expect thousands of applicants and just don’t have time to get past the first ten received? Do you avoid them because this method is seen as discourteous – after all, a simple email takes no time at all? What if YOU were the only suitable candidate, but YOU didn’t apply?
    Secondly, companies who don’t indicate a ‘nil-response-if-unsuccessful’, often don’t respond? These companies potentially run the danger of upsetting future applicants (and possibly future star employees), as well as consumers of their products? Company images can be damaged when they have a poor regard for good recruitment practices.

    Whe you are lucky enough to get an interview, you, as I have, will probably find the whole process has changed. More ‘first’ interviews are being completed by ‘first-line’ managers. As a skilled person, you may have to get past a person who is relatively unskilled at interviewing. Do your work related skills count then, or do you have to utilise a whole different set of interview skills? Have you ever attended an interview only to find that there are 2 more to go before a candidate appointment? I recently attended an interview – which I was told on the day, was superb, a match etc – only to then be told that I needed to attend another interview with a director and, if successful, would need to go on a one-day-work-placement, so that my future peers and line reports could assess my suitability!! I was then rejected by post.

    On the subject of misleading job adverts I have found that salary bands are widening i.e 30k is now 28k to 32k dependant upon experience ( I know the 32k is real as I spoke to en employed contact who was doing the same job). Unsure how this will work in the days of equal pay etc. Maybe an egg that is going to take a while to hatch? Equally, I have found that a job advertised for 35k plus car, did not include the car after all!!

    For all message boarders – I wish you well in your search and, remember, somewhere out there is an employer that really needs you! Good luck.

    Reply
  50. Aidan

    Hi Martin
    Is it worth phoning up after sending a CV off and if so what to say to get the recruiter to put you in the happy pile (assuming we have followed your advice about CV’s and covering letter)
    thanks

    Reply
  51. Sarah

    Really interesting to watch this video! I’ve been out of the workplace for a few years and now ready to go back to work as the cchildren are in school. I’m after any help I can get with my cv.
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  52. Tina

    Hi Matin,
    Having been made redundant when the grant for the post I held was ceased I find myself sending cvs off to agencies and employers daily, I have not yet secured an interview. I worked in a specialised role (advisory and training) which no longer exists; and I am not convincing potential employers that my skills are transferable. I have now been unemployed for five months.Do you think that temporary roles that do not relate to either my past sector experience or lead towards new roles that may interest me (as they will not employ the skills I have) look better on a cv than a period of unemployment?

    Reply
  53. John

    This Personality Certificate looks like a great idea for attracting recruiter attention in a sift and maybe getting them to read further. If personality is the differentiator and the certificate could summarise the aspects useful for the job in question you’d hope it would take you to interview stage. Worth a try anyway!

    Reply
  54. Georgia

    Dear Martin,

    Although I fill the requirements of entry-level jobs, I do not get any response or the responses are negative, stating that my experience is not enough for the specific job. Why this happens when they ask for minimum experience?

    Thanks a tone.

    Reply
  55. Nas

    I have sent out nearly 5 hundred cvs and covering letters and have only managed to get 2 interviews. But I did not lie on my CV or during the interview. I just be honest with them because lying is not good and you could get caught any time.

    your video was very amusing and informative. I think it is a good idea and it might just help some of us to secure our dream job.

    Reply
  56. Paul

    Hi Martin,

    Having watched the video a question that jumps out is what weight a prospective employer would place on a myers briggs profile? would the person carrying out the initial sift of applicants know what it is?

    Reply
  57. Bryan Mawn

    Hello Martin

    I have been working my way through your course for one week; your teams overview of my personality was 90% accurate and your positioning of me on the people map was spot on target. I believe your team know my personality which is encoraging as I continue through the course.

    I have been job searching for six weeks and I am generally having the same problem as your other members, passing through the recruitment agencies; this is where the majority of jobs that I have interested in are advertised. I remain optimistic that my CV will pass through some. I am looking forward to hearing about your alternative, later in the course and potentially becoming first in line with access to the 40% of the jobs that are never advertised.

    I have not yet been invited to attend an interview at the time of writing but I remain optimistic and will continue with job searching and sending my CV.

    I am 49 and have recently encountered the sudden career road block; I am looking to take a different road in my career and am looking forward to the challenge and change.

    I don’t really have any interview questions at this stage, I am confident that your course will provide me with the appropriate guidance.

    Reply
  58. Jo Farmer

    The report was accurate as to my personality, at a quick glance and explains why I react how I have reacted and how this is not always understood by others.

    Reply
  59. Ken

    Martin
    The previous entry by Peter Hartley sums up very concisely my perception of the prevailing situation [thank you, Peter; I feel that we are soul brothers!]. I am plummeting down the road to total despair at an increasing rate of knots…. where do I find the brake [or break]?
    I have interfaced with many “name” corporations throughout the UK, and I am appalled at the apparent lack of “professional” standards exhibited by all levels of the work force; the words “total incompetence” spring to mind. I know that I can improve each and every one of these corporations, but cannot see a way of communicating this. Will a certificate help? Possibly.
    I know that I’m exuding negativity, and this ads to the depression, because I still believe that I am an optimist with a lot of love to give. Where is the junction in my current path, Martin?

    Reply
  60. Andreea Tomoiaga

    Hi Martin

    I think this idea with the personality certificate is very useful since in the last time the last jobs I saw advertised specify personality requirements, too, although usually they are placed after qualifications requirements in the job advert. However, I do believe most of the time they play a significant role and I think this personality certificate might increase tremendously the chances to get a job if the candidate’s profile really matches the personality profile within the advert.

    Best regards
    Andreea

    Reply
  61. LC

    Should we telling the truth in the resume or during interview that we had resigned from previous company due to the company is not doing well due to poor management or really can not agree or accept with the management approach /style ???? If should not, what is the best thing we should say or do???

    Reply
  62. Anita Brown

    Hi Martin

    I have just watched your video on how to get more interviews and I found it very interesting, an eye-opener and educational. If I was ever in that position again I would certainly try that option.

    I previously worked in an organisation full-time for nearly 30 years before my position was made redundant in Oct 2009. I successfully found a new job in April 2010. I decided not to job hunt until the New Year in 2010. When I first started looking for a new job during that period I found going to interviews very stressful. The interview techniques had changed so much from when I first started working in the 1970s. I had 4 interviews before I landed my present job. I am age 54 now but there is definitely ageism going on out there! At my last interview I told the person who was interviewing me, that I felt I was not being given the chance because of my age. I don’t know how I got the job, but I do know, that I have been lucky and blessed to be given this chance and opportunity to start all over again. What I love about my new job is it is part-time and local. No more commuting to the West End!

    Whilst reading the comments on your wall my heart goes out to all those who are still looking as I know it is tough out there especially for those who are over 50 onwards.
    My advice is not to give up but to hang in there and I wish everyone good luck.

    Reply
  63. Rob K

    Hi Martin, I’m looking forward to more information on getting interviews as I get really frustrated by job ads that don’t really tell you very much about who employers are and what their real needs behind the role requirement are. This gets further compounded when you try to talk to some of the recruitment agents who either don’t understand the role or, worse still, their client.

    Reply
  64. Roy Gay

    Martin

    I am 67 heading for 68, now the point is that I really feel in my prime so far as my career is cocerned, and I have enormous energy for serious commercial challenges in business.

    Simply put I cannot retire, I don’t believe for one moment that I should do so, and in any case I don’t accept that anyone has an automatice right to the sate pension if they are fit enough to work. Those of course who are medically unfit should receive a larger share of the state pension pot.

    My question is, should I do anything differently, or anything additionally in your programme to achieve interviews with prospective employers.

    Often – especially through agents my age has to be declared in advance as covered by one of your sesssions.

    I need to get back into the world of work – it is so frustrating.

    300 CV’s per one interview – not good

    Best wishes

    Roy

    Reply
  65. Hilary Price

    Hi,
    A lot of jobs are based around qualifications now. I left school at fifteen without formal qualifications and have always managed to obtain a job that was fairly responsible. However it seems to be getting more difficult to get beyond the application stage, even though I have completed some part time courses. Any tips on how to get round this as I am always upfront on the applications about not having A levels etc, but it does seem to be damaging my chances.

    Reply
  66. Nico Devocelle

    Hi Martin

    There is no secret. There are jobs out there. For starter I have interviewed and recruited ten people so far this year. In my organisation, not all jobs get advertised internally or externally. How do you get these jobs? For my vacancies, I read the CVs and built a mental picture of who they are, looked for the industry experience, evidence of skills. But past the skills, it is down to personality: is the individual a team player, how would he/she fit with the rest of the team of organisation? The CV gets you the interview, personality get you the job. So I checked LinkedIn, weeding out the poor personality fit.

    Put yourself in the job seeker seeker shoes and things look grim: three liners job description and five pages lingo bingo company websites. If only you could do what you are rather then be waht you do you will have no problem selling yourself.

    If the prospective employer could know who you are would you have a better chance to get the interview and the job?

    Reply
  67. Marianna

    Hi Martin,
    I was very disappointed in recruitment agents. I have sent about 100 CVs and have had some phone calls from them, but then I started to ask some questions about positions I usually did not get any answers. it is very difficult to send CV to someone who is not even competent enough and obviously can not judge correctly . I am elecrochemist, but I have 3 years gap of work. ( after I told them that usually they did not call back).

    Reply
  68. William Parker

    Hello Martin,

    Are CVs screened by software looking for keywords and if so, what can we do about it as personality can’t be assessed by computer( or can it)?

    Many thanks,

    William

    Reply
  69. Karen Escott

    Dear Martin, Thank you for your e-mails. I have 2 questions. 1) Is it a good idea to apply for a position before it is actually formally advertised? I have been viewing a new company to my region who are currently building new premises. Their website says they will start recruitment in January 2012. Should I wait or send my CV now. I have been told by friends to send it in now but I am worried that if I do this the company will just put it somewhere, forget about it or disregard it. If I don’t get a response I won’t know what is going on and if/when I send in another one in January they might think seen this one already and bin it.
    2) Is it a good idea to slightly embellish CV’s with decorative edging, different typefaces and colour to make certain areas stand out. Nothing too garish but reasonably subtle?
    Hoping you can help. Best wishes Karen.

    Reply
  70. Phil

    What I can see is also one of the biggest problems about actually getting an interview is the very basic thing of knowing what to actually do for a job. I have been struggling with this for years – it is not answered easily. I’m currently a supply teacher in primary schools with a real pull towards multimedia roles, especially anything video/photography related. However, I can’t seem to narrow things down enough to give a more wholesome picture of the direction I’m heading in. I will go for interviews semi-sure about the job but knowing there are elements that I like. The interviewers see through it with my experience so diverse I always end up back to square one – the age old ‘what should I do’.

    What should I do to make sure I’m focusing my personality toward the correct interviews?

    Reply
  71. Neil

    Hi Martin,
    I am in the same position as a lot of your other members; over fifty and with loads of financial management, man-management and project managment experience but no-one seems interested in employing me. I am beginning to despair, so I really look forward to using the personality certificate. It looks like it could be just the thing to make my CV stand out from the others. As you have said before we have to get our CV past the ‘gatekeeper’, normally a junior with no real idea of the brief,so if your new idea can hold their attention long enough to get my CV on the happy pile then it will worth every penny!

    Reply
  72. Esther Gachara

    My experience with job hunting has been difficult. I have sent out so many CVS without any feedback.I have only attended two interviews so far. My last interview went well but i didnt qualify for the job.When i tried to get feedback no one bothered to respond.My main problem is when i need to sell myself i think thats where i fail.I dont express myself well enough.The first interview(this was the second round for the oral interview) i attended earlier this year the interviewer told me i didn’t convince them enough. Kindly give me guidelines to help me succeed in the interview and also how to answer the questions such as “Why should we hire you?” and “Tell me about yourself?”

    Reply
  73. Paul

    hi everyone I have worked in the heavy engineering sector for the past 30 years and it is still who you know rather than what you know. I know and have worked with people personally that have no qualifications and not much of an idea and they are looked after by someone in a higher position, usually their mate.

    Reply
  74. Paul

    Hi,

    what is best way to get past the agent and the company “door keepers” so you can speak directly to the hiring manager? then you can ask him what he is looking for and tailor your CV to demonstrate those requirements…

    Paul.

    Reply
  75. Nick Xydias

    Martin,

    The most frustrating thing about trying to get a new job is that most jobs
    are advertised by recruitment agents who have absolutely no clue whatsover.
    – they are amateaurs, who even if they had the best candidate they would simply overlook
    them as they follow strict hiring guidelines which is totally ridiculous.

    Reply
  76. Jim

    Hi Martin,
    really valuable information, thanks.
    I think the certificate will certainly raise a few eyebrows, which is no bad thing. I agree completely it’s about standing out from the others and getting noticed.
    My struggle is two-fold.
    Firstly, the only time I hear back from agencies is usually to ‘sell’ me another type of job, not the job I enquired about and when I tell them that I want to pursue the role advertised, they acknowledge that, say they’ll call me with details in a day or so and I never hear from them again. This happens too regularly to be coincidence, in my opinion.
    Secondly, I have been self-employed in sales for some years and for many good reasons, I want to be back in ‘corporate’ again. I have been told by an agency that virtually all employers will frown upon this (naming several reasons) and to prepare myself never to be shortlisted – “do you still want to send your CV over anyway?”…thanks, but no thanks.
    Anyway, I think your advice is solid Martin and I’ve started to adjust my CV accordingly.

    Reply
  77. sylvester

    Thanks Martin,this is a good way of guiding the new professionals especially those of us who just left academic institutions.
    Good work!

    Reply
  78. Manny

    Hi Martin
    I try to maintain a strict ‘process’ with my job hunts like little campaigns although it is hard to maintain the momentum and motivation every day when you are currently working and dealing with family, etc.
    The main challenge I face are Agencies – staff who have no idea about roles or skill sets and are elusive, especially as soon as they get your CV; trying to find out some specifics of an organisation – who they are even! – to make the match better; trying to get feedback as to why I didn’t get an interview.
    Out of between 20-25 submissions so far I had 1 interview – drove for 3.5 hours to find that there wasn’t actually a specific role – it was to be added to their ‘pool’ and that they were really after Technical Architects and was I one or did I know of any when I had actually applied for a Project Management role.
    My current job was mis-sold to me as the job spec was written, I now know, by someone not directly in the company. I applied to the company web site advert for that. The interview went well and I was offered the role due to my previous experience. Unfortunately I don’t get to apply any of it as it doesn’t match what they actually want me to do…
    Hey ho, onwards and upwards!

    Reply
  79. Sian Spicer

    The process before you get to the interview is ruthless enough! Application forms that take about 3 years, verbal and numeracy reasoning tests before they even know your name…

    I’ve applied for around 75 jobs and have had 2 interviews so far, with one job I still have two more interview stages to go through…terrifying stuff and I’m hoping your ‘free’ tool might be able to help me. Sounds interesting!

    Reply
  80. Mandi Thompson-Ellis

    Hello Martin,

    I have applied for at least 100 jobs and had 2 interviews. My problem is I have been a stay at home mum of 5 children for 25 years. I was employed in an accounts department, but was taught on the job and it was a manual accounts system. Now ready to return to work I have been updating my skills with computerised accounts courses and gained 2 First Class Passes, also passed the ECDL Extra course on Microsoft Office Packages. I have a functional CV to hide the lack of recent employment, but am aware employers know the functional CV is used for that very reason. In both interviews I have had they firstly get to the facts of how long ago I was last in work. This means revealing the fact of having 5 children, which I sense is off putting. I sort out feed back from both interviews. The first one said it was the employment gap. The second that the employment gap was an issue, but that I come across well and showed enthusiasm into returning to work. The negative was that I seemed apologetic about being a stay at home mum for so long and should be positive about it. I find it hard as to how to approach this as being open was off putting and trying to minimise talk of being at home with my children was seen as apologetic. Also most jobs go through agencies. As soon as I apply for jobs I receive a call from the agent wanting to know how long my employment gap is and I am automatically put on the ‘reject list’ for future applications too, so that my CV never gets forwarded to employers. Any tips on putting a positive light on being a stay at home mum for 25 years?

    I look forward to your advice and finding out about your ‘free tool’.

    Kind Regards

    Mandi

    Reply
  81. Helen Silverwood

    I think that there are a hell of a lot of people going for jobs and so
    you are up against many people with a lot of good experience and
    qualifications.

    Reply
  82. Peter Hartley

    I was made Redundant at age 58. The reasons were (a) a personality problem of one of the Directors and (b) a whole group of us were costing the company a fortune in their Pension Contributions (main reason).

    Immediately after my Redundancy, I applied directly for sensible, realistically my field of work, jobs. I had 3 interviews. One was in the USA, where I was going to be the choice out of 2 contenders, then the US Company closed a plant down and so that went by the board. The second interview was with an American company in the UK, where the American Interviewer couldn’t believe that I wasn’t still ‘spying’ for my previous employer. The third interview was at the local University, where the two guys on the Panel clearly showed I was their choice, but the woman in charge wanted another woman for the job (and she made that clear). So, no job.

    After travelling around for a spell, I set up my own Consultancy Companies. That worked, for a while, until 2008’s problems hit everyone.

    Now, having posted my CV, I started to get numerous Agencies contact me, telling me that I was “Perfect” for their Client … and I was always declined, as being “Over Qualified” (read that as “Ageism”).

    I plan to work until I am at least 75, as my expected Life Span is 95 – 100 (Family genes, and my own condition).

    Now, I find that (a) I have to ‘dumb down’ my CV (writing sucessfull CVs for other people is part of one of my Consultancies) and (b) re-write my CV in an automatic CV capture tool that some Agencies use and (c) consider paying Recruitment Companies to be able to get access to the more suitable jobs.

    I find that:

    1. Agencies and HR Departments are Incompetent
    2. Ageism rules
    3. ‘Someone’ in the chain gets the Job Requirements wrong

    Yet I am still able to re-organise other people’s ‘screw-ups’, innovate, and readily get access to UK Crown Ministers. I will be (by Invitation) on a Panel at DSEi 2011, discussing and promoting ways of dealing with IEDs. I have given a Presentation to the Royal Aeronautical Society on the Fundamental Problems of Interoperability of Military Systems on a Changing Battlefield.

    I have created a completely new Business, from zero baseline, for a Farmer Client, sorting out his Accountant, the Agencies, and some of my Associates (who will work long and hard hours for me, because I do the same).

    I contribute to a Business magazine. I have a large number of ‘Followers’ on LinkedIn, who respect my articles.

    WHAT MORE DO I HAVE TO DO !!

    Reply
  83. Robin

    I am 51 years of age and have been out of work for a year. During that time despite a professionally written CV… I have not had one single interview.

    What can I do to change this situation?

    Reply
  84. Tolu Adebayo

    I graduated with a degree in Estate management 7 years ago, but have since worked in FMCG rconsumer research all my career. Now, I’d like to change careers back into the Real estate world , but struggling to get interviews. What do you advise I do?

    Reply
  85. Richard

    It is difficult to get interviews as the language of a CV is not always understood by the junior researchers. Interviews – well they vary – but I have only had one bad one ! What was bad ? The preliminary did not prepare me for the follow up – the chat was a full personality test. Lesson ask about the type of interview.

    Reply
  86. Rachel

    Hi Martin

    Watched your video on the 5 Tips to getting an interview and found it simple, straighforward, deceptively obvious and therefore wholly appropriate and brilliant!

    I screen job ads very closely and only apply for those I really want / can do, which means my application rate is not that high and I have had a number of interviews.

    Not looking urgently at the moment, as I have a job which meets my needs, though I don’t enjoy it and find it very dull.

    My main problems are;
    I want to get back into private sector, but 8 years of working for the Government seems to put off private sector employers.
    I have a degree in languages and experience of global sales and marketing, but am a single parent, so cannot really travel much or spend nights away from home.
    I’m now 50 (Though a young and active 50!) and this can be an issue for some employers and I have reached that stage where I want a good work / life balance.
    Thus I feel that I am becoming deskilled and probably undersell myself in CVs and in interviews.

    I suppose I have become entrenched in ‘survival’ mode, until my daughter goes to university and I can branch out in new directions – but that’s a few years away yet!

    Reply
  87. Alan

    Seems to me that the old ‘hidden market’ has a lot to offer. I have sent hundreds of CVs and application letters for both contract and permanent positions and had maybe 2 interviews – and not many more replies than that – the agents are under time pressures to produce results so I guess they’ll be looking for some kind of ‘safe bets’. Networking has got to at least double your chances of moving forward to interview, and hopefully that interview is just to check you haven’t got 2 heads.

    Chances are the network-led lead is more ‘real’ than an advertised position too – how many times do we hear that agencies advertise non-existent positions simply to get names and CVs…. and for both those interviews above, the position went to ‘an internal candidate’ in the end.

    Reply
  88. Alison

    I have good qualifications and a successful career – but have not advanced since my late 20s (now early 40s). I used to be told I was too young, now am I too old? I would like to change track but can’t afford to take a salary cut.

    Reply
  89. Blay Whitby

    I can agree that the general situation is difficult if not impossible at present. In addition, I’m a poor fit to most jobs and there’s nothing I can do about that. There’s no point in my sending out hundreds of CVs: there aren’t hundreds of possible openings for people like me. I suppose my question is what is it that I haven’t tried?

    Reply
  90. Pauline Higgins

    I feel as though I am stuck. I have worked for many years as marketing manager and operations manager. The latest trend is to advertise jobs without a salary range, the problem with this is that eg Operations Manager can range from £20k to £60k and so you have to put all your experience into your cv in case they are paying the upper level. I have had lots of interviews but the feedback is always the same – excellent but over qualified for the position or requires too high a salary (even if salary was not mentioned). If the role is at the right level, I keep losing out to someone who has worked in that specific industry even though I have all the skills needed and have an excellent interview. Why do people ask you to attend an interview when it is obvious that you have worked at a much higher level than the role advertised. One trick which has been used on several occasions is to ask you to complete an application form when you arrive which lists your previous roles and salary. It’s about time that a salary range (with maximum difference of £5k) was made compulsary.

    Reply
  91. Sarah

    Agreed with Martin, I have more luck approaching companies directly rather than applying for jobs through recruitment websites and agents. Also who you know is important for references and contacts.

    My most interview that I was excited about and thought went really well, gave feedback that they really liked me but have hired somebody internally as they know the company system already. It felt like a waste of my time, is this often the case?

    Reply
  92. CK

    I’ve been applying for jobs outside of the sector I have been in for over 10 years. I however have extremely transferable skills, but not recent experience in the commercial sector.

    How do you convince potential employers on paper that my skills all round skills and more specific skills will be useful to them? I’ve been told I do not have the relevant experience or that I am over qualified!

    Reply
  93. Nic Sproul

    Regarding winning interviews, my experience is how you sell your own relevant experience to prospective employers.

    Reply
  94. Teddy Mary Mbabazi

    Some interviewers are not just serious enough abut the process. They sometimes ask irrelevant questions as if to get you off the list. I have applied many times and I know my CV is very impressive but somehow I am not invited and when I get invited, I am not impressed by the interview panels. I always think panel interviews should be prepared enough to ask the right questions so as to identify the right candidates!

    Reply
  95. Rich Sontan

    I think it would be nice to present my applications with appropriate and excelent grammar. I once had an interview where the prospective employers told me my application showed that one of my previously held positions must have been very stressful.Apparently the way I answered one of the questions on paper made this abundantly clear despite the fact I never actually said so.

    Reply
  96. Carol Lau

    My problem is job hobbing, last job has done for 3 years but would like to change field now.

    Reply
  97. Dawn

    I’ve been applying for government positions that request very specific requirements, I would guess that many of these advertised jobs already have someone acting in the position.

    I am staggered at the amounts that people are paying to get their CVs done. When I interviewed people to prepare CVs for them – it was like extracting teeth. Many people undersell themselves and don’t realise how valuable their experience is.

    If I were starting out without someone to guide me – I would mind map the different areas of experience I had. Second I would then expand each bubble with buzz words and look up associated terms and phrases off the internet. Write a long resume and then prune it back like a rose bush, keep tinkering with it regularly. Each time you review it, save it as a different version number or name. Create more than one type, to emphasize different aspects so that you have some versatility ready to hand for a quick response.
    Most of all, get someone to proof read what you have written.

    If age is a factor, you might consider a non-chronological CV and instead produce a skills based CV. Emphasize your reliability – which is likely to be leaps and bounds ahead of the younger competition.

    Reply
  98. John Hope

    Getting past tick box middle folk is difficult – especially when they have not done the work themselves so do not really know what is involved. Even spelling it out seems not to help as it shows this knowledge weakness in the middle bod. If they can get enough candidates without thinking outside of the tick box then they will not bother.
    Any tips?

    Reply
  99. Ian

    Hi Martin
    Having got the interview – not an easy task – you find that the interviewers have absolutely no training in interview techniques and have little clue as to how to conduct an interview.
    The results are selection of candidates on a basis which is no better than random choice. That is they could save time and money by picking people using the pin in the paper technique.
    Question: faced with such an interview how can you move it to your advantage?

    Reply
  100. russell

    There is a theme here. Regulation of the recruitment industry would help to raise the standard and provide transparency.

    Reply
  101. manish

    I have spent hundreds on CV preparing , cover letter but never got interview . Some even had guaranteed for the interviews but didn’t get single . I don’t know what to do .

    Your help would be appreciated .

    Reply
  102. manish

    Agency are hopeless. I have many positions where in my experiences match but still I don’t get call . If it would have been company directly then I am sure I would have an interview.

    Reply
  103. John

    Martin,

    My experience is consistent with many of the comments I’ve read here. I’ve been looking for a new senior IT role for about 4 months and had 2 job interviews (with the agent – not even with the client).

    My approach has been to:
    1. Only focus on roles which are a close match for my experience.
    I know that I’m unlikely to be selected for senior jobs in Banking, for example, as I have no banking experience. It seems that agents and clients are currently being very specific about the experience they are looking for. I think they want specialists – not generalists.

    2. Phone the agent before sending in my application
    This way you get a chance to speak to them and ask some initial questions – and build a bit of rapport. It’s also an opportunity for your personality to come across – more than you can do in a written letter or CV.

    3. Get my CV sharpened up
    I include as much relevant experience as I can which is applicable to the role. Focus on what the needs are in the ad and what you’ve learned from speaking to the agent.
    I paid a CV specialist £350 to rewrite and get it down to 2 pages. Time will tell if this was a good investment or not!

    4. Attach a 1-page covering letter
    Once again including relevant information and high-lighting relevant information to the role.

    Martin – I really liked your recent video with the 5 tips (and mistakes) about getting interviews. Yesterday I applied for two jobs and changed my covering letter to include specific reasons why they should interview me and also a sentence indicating what I would like to talk to them about at an interview. Once again, time will tell if this approach will pay off.

    A note about agents: I think they are a necessary evil. Clients will continue to use them because it takes the hard work out of the recruitment process. You have to remember that they get paid by the client – not by the candidate – therefore the candidate is not the customer. Having said that, there are some good, professional agents who treat candidates like human beings – you should seek them out and nurture a relationship with them.

    Reply
    • Paul

      Hi Martin
      hunting for a job interview is a strenous excercise,well it is all about changing jobs. there is a problem with the way we prepare the cv and probably the way we make an application letter.much thought need to be put on the two for the employer to be attracted to you.what would be the ideal cv and application letter. thanks

      Reply
  104. Rosa Chapman

    I really enjoy the job I do at present which is supporting homeless and ex-offenders in to employment, training and education. I work as part of a small team and we get excellent results, however the work is project funded and in these hard times you never know if the project will be refunded next year. I am disabled with a limited walking ability and I would need a Community based employment similar to my current position. Potential employers’ do not always mention what percentage of time is spent in the office/In the community/or home based.

    Reply
  105. Waldek Tobolewski

    A few years ago, after months of fruitless job searching and hundreds of applications, I came to the view that my ‘foreign’ name was putting potential employers off at the very first hurdle. So for the next few applications, I re-wrote my CV with an anglicised version of my name, leaving everything else; my qualifications, experience, everything, exactly the same. And guess what, Bingo! I got an interview. It was for my perfect job, one I dreamed of winning. I prepared like a demon for the day, tried to think of every eventuality, practiced answering the most difficult questions and carefully chose how to present myself. So what happened? I didn’t get the job, they just called me in to ask why I made the change on my CV as someone recognised me from my previous version….

    Reply
  106. DGH

    Always in the past I’ve tried to be brutally honest at Interviews and have adopted the same approach in getting them – On the basis that if I head back into the world of Employment it will have to be be with the Right employer who knows exactly who I am and what makes me tick so they can get the best out of me skills wise and I can be happily fulfilled in the job – Is this the right strategy or should I be ‘sexing up’ the Pitch, Best, Deano

    Reply
  107. Stewart

    Job Hunting is pretty dire at the moment. Too many employers are advertising posts to show how busy they are, without any intention of filling the roles. Many employers seem to have the view that, with so many job hunters out here, they can create an unrealistic profile for the person they think they want and reject anybody who does not match that profile, regardless of whether they could do the job effectively and well.

    Reply
  108. Dee

    Hi Martin,

    I have submitted 321 CV’s that were ‘professionally written’ (for 175.00) and did not get ONE interview. In fact jobs seem to have been filled before their deadlines.
    The first approach I made directly to employer, resulted in a job.

    Kind regards

    Reply
  109. Lee

    I was retrenched in January 2011, have sent out hundreds of resumes and had the grand sum of 2 interviews! Is it just because you are over 50 or because you now you do not want to be a manager any more and that is the level you are qualified to, I just want an ordinary ‘go in, go home’ style of work!!

    Reply
  110. charles

    It is very frustrating to get wrong a candidate for the right job. I got this quiet wonderful chap, he had enviable academic track record and good personality. A close look at the CV was equally impressive though with short term contracts. The interview panel was impressed and immediately given the job. The problem started when he reported, he hard this attitude of know-it-all, his performance was dismal and before we could think of extending his probation, he hard jumped overboard and got another job. Martin, can you I identify such a loop hole in recruitment with this new tool you are developing

    charles

    Reply
  111. Paul

    Hi Martin.
    1. Is it a good idea to “personalise” your CV. For example filling it in in very good handwriting if you are expected t teach handwriting in the job you are applying for?
    2. Is it a good idea to type using an unusual font, that is also easy to read, so that your application stands out from the rest?
    Thanks, Paul.

    Reply
  112. George Law

    Agencies are getting lazy. I am looking to get out of my current field or at least into an associated one.
    All that the agencies (6 off so far) will do is to approach my current companies competitors — lazy and not very professional.

    Reply
  113. Ramachandran

    What is a psychometric test and why is it necessary to complete a psychometric test and how does it help in getting an interview or succeed in an interview?

    Reply
  114. Asma

    Hi Martin
    by my experience,i found that without referrence it is hard in this time to get an interview then a job,then good salary!!!! I am residing now in Qatar,and during past 8months,i applied to hundreds of companies,without any succeed,where are we going in this glob?

    Reply
  115. johninmelbourne

    I think we are all in agreement here, agencies are useless and a blot on the landscape.

    It’s a mighty big ask considering the power they have, but I think it is now time every one of us started approaching employers directly and refuse point blank to deal with agencies.

    There a lot of unemployed people who really want to work and who have the skills and experience employers need. As a collective group, we can start the process of destroying the likes of Hays, Addecco, Robert Walters, and the like. They’ve made billions by lying, cheating and conniving. It’s payback time.

    John in Oz

    Reply
  116. bob

    always call if email did not work. give the recruiter one week before you call, it will be enough time but yet show your motivation!

    Reply
  117. Philip Taylor

    Hi Martin,

    Responses to your questions based on the New Zealand experience.
    I spent 20 years successfully building a career in the UK prior to returning to NZ to take up a great next step career role. Unforeseen external real world events in my life derailed my career as seen by recruiters and although I am now stronger, more than ever and very aware of my capabilities as well as focused and determined, that CV Career blip along with age has now become a real barrier, So I need to find an innovative, evolutionary (not revolutionary) way to get those network meetings and job interviews rolling in again.
    I have owned/operated a recruitment business, worked in the industry and managed the recruitment process in house for corporates and smaller companies very successfully and it is shocking to see good people being missed out for roles they could do well and add huge value to.
    We no longer seem to in vest in people, they are treated as a disposable commodity.

    What is it like trying to get interviews?
    At 54 it is seriously tough. I am very motivated, think outside the square and focused in the job hunt process but the entry and acceptance process for applicants is really flawed. Especially if like me your career has taken an explained u-turn in recent years and age does matter!!! It is fair to say I know what I don’t want and am open to looking for what I could now do.

    What are the problems?
    In general terms, the internet allows for application ‘gateway road blocks’ to occur to readily, often very young or older low skilled , underpaid and work-life inexperienced agency or HR recruitment resource staff are looking for and only responding to those applicants that tick the boxes of a skills and history shopping list. They don’t dig any deeper or know how to. NO attempt to cross skill, behavior or experience match is occurring so the adage that your ‘CV gets you the interview’ does not get traction any longer. It also allows for the hiring party to be positioned out of reach until the short list stage.
    The market is tougher, more people chasing fewer jobs, more recruiters often under the wrong pressures (KPI’s) to perform an outcome quickly.
    My CV is out of date in style, to long and I haven’t mastered to to make the derailed career look beneficial.
    What are the quality of interviews like when you do get one?
    In a few words; predictably poor, unimaginative, naïve, missing the mark and I believe not meeting the needs of the hiring client expectation.
    In many cases the interviewer is totally inadequate or ill prepared for the task.

    Often the job is not real or a market scan (skills heads up is occurring)
    Many roles are earmarked for internal placement but public advertising for applicants is sought by law.
    If I can get in front of the hiring manager or his ‘C’ level boss or influencer I stand a far better chance of being short listed and taken seriously.
    Are you being misled by job adverts?
    In many cases yes, the translation from client to recruiter is often ambiguous and in many cases so politically correct in format it is hard to define what the job really is.

    Reply
  118. Neil Spokes

    Advertised posts with job specs that are completely irrelevant to the needs of the current position which you only find out at the interview. So why do you even get the interview?
    Employers “box” you into a category even when your skill set and ability can cover many disciplines, I have attended interviews where they attack the industry you have utilized and learned the skill set you are being interviewed for why is this ? how do you avoid this?
    Psychometric testing I always flunk this especially the maths why when my maths skills are good I passed degree level maths for goodness sake. What am I doing wrong and what are they looking for? I hate this form of testing very rarely does it have anything to do with what you can achieve.
    Can you avoid psychometric testing at interviews.
    How can you get an interview for a job that does not meet your CV exactly but you know with a little introduction to the new position you could fly?

    Reply
  119. Andy

    Absolutly fed up with the way companies treat peoples applications and CV’s, with some it’s just another name to add to a list so that they meat governmaent figures. my CV occassionally gets me interviews but it needs that extra oomph! to get more.

    Reply

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