Global Audit - The Blog

Don't be a copy and paste Candidate

Sometimes I wonder about some of the professionals I interview….. What’s behind the mask? Would their mum recognise the person sat in that interview room? Would their best friend cringe at their LinkedIn Profile? Are they talking from the heart, or from the pages of some “101 Best Interview Answers” book? Do they read blogs and think, “Yes, I must try to be more like that”? whilst rushing off to change their CV for the 5th time that week.

Among the stresses of a job hunt, many feel a particular pressure to play a role and if there is just one piece of advice I could give to any job seeker, it would be this: “Be authentic.”

There are so many sources of "useful" information for job seekers - webinars, podcasts, blogs (yes, like this one!) and books - that it is all too easy to become confused and lose sight of who you truly are. You shouldn't let your pursuit of your personal "brand" overshadow your persona. You have unique experiences, values, personality traits and passions that make you who you are - ensure that they form the basis of your professional image. Don't be tempted to create a different persona based on who you think you should be or based on someone you feel you would like to be, or on what you feel you should be offering.

Interviewers and employers are most impressed by those people who do “what it says on the tin,” when their words correspond with their actions, and who are consistent and firm in their beliefs. In a competitive job market, these days many hiring companies are looking for reasons not to give you a job. It just takes one inconsistency to sow the seed of doubt in the interviewer’s mind. When you are true to yourself, there will be no doubt about who you are and what you can deliver. No one will be inspired by a cardboard cut-out which they have encountered many times before. Everyone will be inspired by a passionate and genuine individual, comfortable in their own skin. Answer from your “gut”, and you will create an incredibly powerful picture. Answer from a book and you may well need to take up acting classes if you get the job!

Hiring for attitude as well as skills is a critical part of the recruitment process these days. Talk about your motivation, your passions, how you deal with people, how you manage people – enthuse about what you truly believe in. An interviewer takes notice when your eyes start to sparkle, when you become animated, when your words just seem to flow. Passion and knowledge are the most powerful combination in an interview. When you are being authentic, it comes naturally.

The best leaders in the world all have this in common. Why should you be any different?

And remember...."Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde.

Frances Porter is the Managing Director of Global Audit Recruitment, a firm who specialise in helping Auditors, Advisory and Tax Professionals make international moves. She is also an experienced Career Coach, Business Mentor and Employability Trainer, working regularly with young people, MBA's, Executives and SMEs to help them achieve their goals. She volunteers as a Mentor with the leading youth charity Prince's Trust and the Chamber of Commerce.Contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Want to work abroad? What about the locals?

From a young age, we are all taught “Don’t talk to strangers.” In many languages, the words "strange"and "foreign" are closely related, and mistrust of our neighbours has forged cultural identities since the beginning of time. I’m Scottish, believe me, I know what I’m talking about!
The English word “foreign” is partly derived from the Latin foras which means “outside, outdoors,” the French “étranger” means “foreigner” or “stranger.” Our evolutionary defense mechanism makes us naturally wary of that which is not familiar. Apart from all the practical, linguistic and emotional challenges of moving abroad, one key worry for many potential expats is “how will I get on with the locals?”
Well, I for one can personally vouch for the 71 nationalities who visited the recently finished Commonwealth Games in my home city of Glasgow. I have never met so many colourful and wonderful characters over such a short space of time, and I learnt many new things about the far-flung countries where I send my candidates on a regular basis. Whist enjoying the carnival atmosphere and being inspired by the individual stories and achievements.   I was reminded of one thing. People are indeed all different.
Some were amazingly friendly and greeted me like a long lost sister, others found it harder to open up to someone they had just met, some loved the Glasgow weather (honest), others eyed the grey skies with trepidation, some were very punctual, others permanently late ....and that was just the Scottish. You see, everyone is different, and no nationality is the same.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the popular joke, but I’ll tell it anyway…..
“In heaven, all the policemen are British, all of the lovers are French, all of the chefs are Italian, all of the cars are German, and the whole thing is run by the Swiss. In hell, all of the policemen are German, all of the lovers are Swiss, all of the chefs are British, all of the cars are French, and the whole thing is run by the Italians.”
…… all I can say is what a load of nonsense!
Throw away your preconceived ideas. Everyone in this world is an individual, and that’s what makes moving abroad such a fulfilling experience. You can meet kindred spirits in any corner of the world, who are more than happy to share their cultures and countries with you. Having local friends is the one crucial ingredient for a successful move – they can help you overcome those tricky cultural differences and make the experience truly memorable. It is possible, and I would even say, essential.
So, if you are thinking of moving abroad, then the last of your worries should be "those foreigners". Some of them could become far from strangers in the shortest time, of that you can be sure. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to share something of yourself .  Thanks  to all the overseas visitors to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games for reminding me of that.​

A Few Key Tips on Using LinkedIn for your Job Search

LinkedIn is great for many things, connecting with old colleagues, mapping out the job market, keeping up to date with industry relevant information and of course finding your next role. However, it needs to be utilised in the right way to get results. 

  • Don’t appear too available, broadcasting to all and sundry “I want a job and I am available RIGHT NOW” Recruiters are searching for people with key skills for specific roles they are trying to fill, not just looking for anyone that is available. You will have much more success if you  use your headline to show what key skills and experience you have and then indicate on your profile that you are open to being contacted for new opportunities in a particular industry sector.
  • Do target your profile to what you are looking to do, make it clear what you/your brand is, and what you have to offer that can benefit an organisation, too much generic information could mean you are overlooked.  Make it skill and achievement specific.
  • If you are looking for a career change, i.e if you are an engineer looking to go into business development but your profile is geared towards engineering, you will get messages and offers for engineering roles, make it clear that you are seeking a career change and outline what your aims are, so that you are not inundated with irrelevant offers.
  • Think before sending out messages and invitations. Recruiters/Hiring Managers  receive numerous messages on a daily basis from people looking to connect with them or asking for help. You will have much more success if you take a targeted approach and look like you have undertaken some research rather than sending countless generic messages.
  • Finally, I would never advise sending messages “check out my profile for any suitable jobs” Recruiters/Hiring Managers are busy people. A better way of reaching out is by contacting them with a reason for doing so. Do your homework. Tell them what you are interested in and what your background is and why you would be great for a particular role. Give them a reason to get back to you.

Good luck : )

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