Back to Basics

This article was written by Antal Managing Partner David Crossley. Find out more about David Crossley and the Essex, UK office here.

As we move swiftly towards the end of the first quarter of 2020, I have reflected on the communications I have within the recruitment market and the advice that has been sought by professionals of all levels. Simple put the key topic is – What are your Tips when looking for a new role?

So, in order to answer this on a wider scale I thought I would share a few simple tips that you may wish to consider if you are thinking about seeking a new career challenge in the coming year.

Some of these may be seen as very basic, but believe me I have been working across the entire career level pyramid for 14 years and even at the most senior level these simple things are often overlooked and have caused downfall sometimes.


  • Is your CV relevant to the position that you are applying for?

I still have candidates say to me, “I will send you my generic CV”. A generic CV in my view is not the best tool to sell yourself and your skills. If you are applying for a position directly it is essential you get this right, it is also important if you are going through a 3rd party, but if the head-hunter/consultant is good, they should be able to help you with this. However, you need to make sure your CV includes all of the skills, experience, achievements, training, or associated technical aspects relevant for the position that you are seeking, “if they can’t see it, don’t assume they know you have it”. Your CV often is the first impression you give any potential new employer and it needs to make a good one, so don’t be lazy and ensure that it is the best it can be.

  • Be honest – No one likes surprises.

No one likes to be lied to or in fact have things sprung upon them. I would urge anyone who is entering into any new process to be as open and as honest as you can be. I would recommend if you are working with a consultant or business who you feel is not telling you the truth, ask them, but also ensure you are upfront with everything in terms of other processes you are involved in, internal opportunities you are seeking, career goals, salary expectations etc etc – this will help ensure at the end, it’s the best outcome for all.

  • Don’t be lazy with preparation 

Preparation can make or break your chance of being offered the job, giving relevant examples of what the interviewer seeks is essential throughout all of the discussion you have. At whatever level you are at, preparation is KEY.  What I mean by preparation covers research on the business, to preparing examples of the skills the decision maker is looking for, to preparing your best answers to more competency-based questions. If you are with a recruitment or search firm, they should be able to help you with this but again this comes down to you to ensure you present yourself in the best possible way.

  • Interview in the appropriate attire 

YES, the VERY Basic!!! Make sure you wear the right attire for the interview whether this is a face to face or video call. Being correctly presented again can make or break your chances of being offered the job. I have some mind-blowing examples, even at the very senior end of the market where an individual has not progressed due to their attire.

  • Consultant PREP and DEBRIEF

Speaking with your consultant prior or after your interview is essential. If you are working with a good consultant, they will be able to help point you in the right direction in regards to what to expect, give you important pointers and provide essential details that may make all the difference to you. At the other end, the debrief is also as important. It allows you to get the initial impressions out, highlights any unanswered questions and many other things, but it is important to be as detailed as possible and not simply “IT WENT WELL”.

These are just 5 simply very basic things that candidates still get wrong but are totally avoidable.

Over the last 27 years Antal has development an extensive range of tools that assist candidates throughout the recruitment process, for the last 14 years my team has helped countless people use these not only in the processes we manage but others as well.

If you would like to find out more information about;

·        How to create a CV

·        How to prepare for an Interview

Then contact me directly on and let’s speak, these tips may make all the difference to you.