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By Matt Craven, Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors

The amount of effort that the average job seeker dedicates to job applications or interview preparation is often wholly inadequate. This article is designed to provoke a different thought process and encourage a more thorough approach to advancing your career.

What would the Sales Manager do?

Let’s start with a slightly different scenario; imagine you work as a Sales Manager for a company that provides an outsourced ‘managed service’ to it’s clients. You have been contacted by a decision maker in a target company and asked to bid for a £quarter-of-a-million 3 year contract. This will involve preparing a proposal and presenting this to the prospect in 2 weeks time. Think about how much time and effort you would put into the proposal and the presentation?!

Would it be 3 hours, one day, 3 days? Bearing in mind that there’s an opportunity for a £quarter-of-a-million 3 year contract, I would guess it would be nearer the 3 days that the 3 hour mark.

Now let’s relate this to job seeking!

Firstly, an interview is a sales presentation, the only difference is that you are the service / product and therefore you are your own ‘Sales Manager’ in this scenario. Your CV is the proposal and the interview is the sales presentation. If preparing for a sales call with a potential customer deserves 3 days work, then why would the average job seeker spend a couple of hours writing a CV and only a couple of hours preparing for an interview?

I’m guessing the disconnect lies in the value you would place on a job opposed to a £quarter-of-a-million 3 year managed service contract?! This being the case, let’s run through some numbers and see if that changes anything. Let’s work out how much you will cost your future employer.

What is the average time served in a permanent position? For professionals earlier in their career, the average is approx. 3 years. That being the case, times the numbers below by 3 when you get your total.

  • What will be your annual salary?
  • How much will your bonus be?
  • What will the recruitment costs of hiring you be (agencies charge between 12% and 25% of the first years salary)
  • What will be the employer’s pension contribution?
  • How much employer’s National Insurance will they have to pay? (13.8%)
  • How much will training you cost?
  • How much will support / administrative services be, such as IT licences, IT support and payroll costs?

Add this up and multiply by 3 to get the total cost / investment that an employer will make in hiring you.

Just doing some quick and approximate calculations shows us that an employer’s total investment in each employee is much larger than you might have first considered. Compare this with how much effort you put into applying for (selling yourself for) an employment contract of this size and you will come to your own conclusions.

Also think about how well your CV demonstrates that you will provide Return on Investment.


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Matthew Craven

Matthew Craven, Managing Director

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