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Book review by Nicky Torode

Cover of Super Secrets of the Successful Jobseeker by Simon Gray An exceptionally easy-read, in a conversational style that?s like chatting to a knowledgeable mate who passionately wants you to succeed. It bubbles over with nuggets on every page. It is a highly practical book, based on his experience as a successful recruiter and business owner, is free of jargon and full of vivid language. It'll definitely leave you feeling all the more wiser and motivated to get that job.

His central message is that we, the job seeker, are responsible for finding a job. Possibly, that?s a hard message to swallow for those who have been out-of-work for a long time but his advice is underpinned with the tried and tested psychology of human behaviour and success. He reminds us when job-hunting we need to put on our 'game face,' keep positive and make a plan. In the Setting Your Road Map chapter he explains how we need to take charge by setting goals, realistic timescales, measure where we are getting the most returns for our efforts and tell others about our job-hunting so we?re helpable and accountable. Above all, we need to take time out to refresh.

Although on the whole it is a gem of a book, I think it could have benefitted from some additional illustrations. For example, a completed LinkedIn profile and with the CV template an actual working example which could have hammered the message home more.
Possibly the most surprising, and valuable, fact in the book is that most jobs aren?t advertised. He endorses the old adage that it's not what you know but who you know. His description of three ?ponds? where recruiters ?fish? (talking to peers, talking to associates and putting out an advertised vacancy) brings it home that employers talk rather than advertise current jobs. The jobseeker, in contrast, places himself mostly in pond 3 ? searching the advertised vacancies only. By the jobseeker adding face-to-face networking to their job-seeking toolbox, they rapidly increase their chances. We get to meet the marketmakers, his delightful term for people who can make things happen for us. Somewhat paradoxically he advises us not to try too hard. Although people like buying, they don?t like being sold to. LinkedIn is another example of who you know if you use it correctly. He criticises those jobseekers who set up a LinkedIn profile and never get active via the groups or endorsements. ?It?s like buying a car and not using it.? I'll certainly be updating my LinkedIn after reading this book.

His chapter on CVs may raise a few eyebrows as he points out that a CV is not the be all and end all. Its purpose is to get you an interview; it doesn?t get you the job. He admits what to include and how on a CV is a hugely subjective field. He hates personal summaries because they add little about the candidate. Everything on your CV should fight for the right to be there. He urges us to imagine that each line of text costs you money. Now ask yourself - would you pay to include that on your CV? Before writing your CV he advises us to always think of what you achieved rather than what your responsibilities were. We should also be tailoring our CV according to the job description as recruiters play their favourite game of snap. In a world where CVs are often filtered electronically, having key words used in the job description in the CV increases your chances of making it onto the yes/maybe pile. He included a template as a useful reference.

Today job-seeking is simply through the click of a mouse. To stand out, he recommends, we can send a good old-fashioned letter. It shows you made the effort and will be more memorable than the hundreds flooding the recruiter?s inbox.

Feeling nervous before the interview? Well, don?t call it an interview, call it a meeting. He draws on the idea of reverse psychology to empower the job-seeker to feel confident and perform well at interview. His advice of never sitting down in that comfy sofa in the reception while waiting to be interviewed is memorable. Standing to greet the interviewer puts you on an equal footing. The interview, we should remind ourselves, is a two-way meeting in which the job seeker should be asking knowledge-based questions to gain control of the interview.


Although on the whole it is a gem of a book, I think it could have benefitted from some additional illustrations. For example, a completed LinkedIn profile and with the CV template an actual working example which could have hammered the message home more.






Nicky Torode
Raise Your Game

July 2015
An exceptionally easy-read, in a conversational style that?s like chatting to a knowledgeable mate who passionately wants you to succeed. It bubbles over with nuggets on every page. It is a highly practical book, based on his experience as a successful recruiter and business owner, is free of jargon and full of vivid language. It'll definitely leave you feeling all the more wiser and motivated to get that job.

His central message is that we, the job seeker, are responsible for finding a job. Possibly, that?s a hard message to swallow for those who have been out-of-work for a long time but his advice is underpinned with the tried and tested psychology of human behaviour and success. He reminds us when job-hunting we need to put on our 'game face,' keep positive and make a plan. In the Setting Your Road Map chapter he explains how we need to take charge by setting goals, realistic timescales, measure where we are getting the most returns for our efforts and tell others about our job-hunting so we?re helpable and accountable. Above all, we need to take time out to refresh.

Possibly the most surprising, and valuable, fact in the book is that most jobs aren?t advertised. He endorses the old adage that it's not what you know but who you know. His description of three ?ponds? where recruiters ?fish? (talking to peers, talking to associates and putting out an advertised vacancy) brings it home that employers talk rather than advertise current jobs. The jobseeker, in contrast, places himself mostly in pond 3 ? searching the advertised vacancies only. By the jobseeker adding face-to-face networking to their job-seeking toolbox, they rapidly increase their chances. We get to meet the marketmakers, his delightful term for people who can make things happen for us. Somewhat paradoxically he advises us not to try too hard. Although people like buying, they don?t like being sold to. LinkedIn is another example of who you know if you use it correctly. He criticises those jobseekers who set up a LinkedIn profile and never get active via the groups or endorsements. ?It?s like buying a car and not using it.? I'll certainly be updating my LinkedIn after reading this book.

His chapter on CVs may raise a few eyebrows as he points out that a CV is not the be all and end all. Its purpose is to get you an interview; it doesn?t get you the job. He admits what to include and how on a CV is a hugely subjective field. He hates personal summaries because they add little about the candidate. Everything on your CV should fight for the right to be there. He urges us to imagine that each line of text costs you money. Now ask yourself - would you pay to include that on your CV? Before writing your CV he advises us to always think of what you achieved rather than what your responsibilities were. We should also be tailoring our CV according to the job description as recruiters play their favourite game of snap. In a world where CVs are often filtered electronically, having key words used in the job description in the CV increases your chances of making it onto the yes/maybe pile. He included a template as a useful reference.

Today job-seeking is simply through the click of a mouse. To stand out, he recommends, we can send a good old-fashioned letter. It shows you made the effort and will be more memorable than the hundreds flooding the recruiter?s inbox.

Feeling nervous before the interview? Well, don?t call it an interview, call it a meeting. He draws on the idea of reverse psychology to empower the job-seeker to feel confident and perform well at interview. His advice of never sitting down in that comfy sofa in the reception while waiting to be interviewed is memorable. Standing to greet the interviewer puts you on an equal footing. The interview, we should remind ourselves, is a two-way meeting in which the job seeker should be asking knowledge-based questions to gain control of the interview.

Although on the whole it is a gem of a book, I think it could have benefitted from some additional illustrations. For example, a completed LinkedIn profile and with the CV template an actual working example which could have hammered the message home more.

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