Following on from the last post on your reasons for leaving and possible interpretations, let’s look at some more and explore what the Recruiter maybe thinking?
Possible interpretations: Although strictly a taboo, redundancy can sometimes be seen as a way of managing poor performers out of a business. It should have no stigma attached to it as criteria are primarily applied to the posts within the organisation, not the people performing them. Yet still doubts will arise. Do they not fit into the organisation anymore, and if so why not? Are they a poorer performer than those who stayed on?
Tips: Even in the current climate when occurances are high and not uncommon, illustrate the circumstances surrounding your redundancy. Once again quantify if you were one of many, a whole department, office or site that was closed, relocated or outsourced. If you were offered a new position within the changed environment make this clear as well as it shows the value the company places in you personally even if it was a role unacceptable to you. If you were the only staff member affected, give the business case for the decision taken. For example: “My role was made redundant as the payroll was outsourced to a third party in a bid to reduce costs.”
Reason: Threat of Redundancy
Possible interpretations: Is this person leaving prematurely? What are they basing their decision on? How fickle are they? Are they uncomfortable with ambiguity and therefore struggle in other situations when the circumstances are unclear?
Tips: Where you can, give the facts that have led you to your decision. Make sure you specify why this job in particular, and not just any job, is therefore of interest.
Reason: Change – New Boss / New Culture / New Team / Relocation
Possible interpretations: Is this a strong enough reason to leave? Are they resistant to all change? What were they frightened of? Have they given the situation a fair chance? How open -minded are they?
Tips: You are not talking of broad change here, but a specific one that may in turn have prompted you to make changes yourself. If your reason is more generalised change, look at it carefully as it could be a red herring to other underlying issues. If the role is great, but you are not enjoying the new environment, try to figure out why? This will also help you work out what you require from your next post as well. If the role has changed, examine what elements you miss and why the new duties are a problem? Show your reasoning, establishing the time you have given for adjustment (if relevant) and what you have done to address the new issues you have faced.
Possible interpretation: Does this person have a realistic view on their worth? Have they given their organisation an opportunity to increase their pay? Are they serious about moving? Will they use another job offer to renegotiate with their current employer?
Tips: Be prepared to justify why you believe you are underpaid and /or worth more. Give independent indicators where possible. Make it clear why you are interested in this organisation and opportunity specifically. Demonstrate what you have done to broach the issue with your current employer before looking to leave.
Reason: Promotion either passed over, or applied for a more senior role than your current one.
Possible interpretation: Are they ready for the extra responsibility? Do they have enough of the necessary skill sets? Why have they not been promoted where they are now?
Tips: Demonstrate why you think you can do the role through real examples of where you have used the necessary skill sets. Give examples of your achievements in your current position and where relevant, the appreciation shown by your organisation. Also, where applicable, highlight extra responsibilities you have taken on, and any instances where you have covered your superior, or ‘acted up’ in your position. Where possible, explain the limitation of promotion in your current situation.
Reason: Boredom and time to move on
Possible interpretation: Do they job hop? Can we keep their interest in this role? Is this a repeated behavioural pattern? What responsibility have they taken to develop them further, seek new skills sets, responsibilities and opportunities in their current post?
Tips: If you have been in a role for less than three years and / or have a history of moving roles show how you have mastered your post/s. State your achievements; “I have increased productivity by x, improved processes by y, saved x amount of money and time for the company, and am now ready for my next challenge.” Remember to indicate where you have requested extra responsibilities. This is one of the most common reasons given by candidates. To stand out from the others be sure to identify where you feel the role or organisation you are applying to can stretch you further or is of specific interest to you.
So what can I say?
“I am looking to leave my current position because… and am looking for something which will allow me to…”
Or when applying for a specific role or directly to an organisation
“I am looking because… and I believe I could benefit your organisation by… allowing me to…”
If you decide it is unwise to concentrate on the reason for leaving, adapt and simply cut down to:
“I believe I could benefit your organisation by… allowing me to…”
Now practice, practice, practice! Try out your reasoning on friends and family; run it in the mirror whilst brushing your teeth. Make sure you run through it enough times to feel comfortable being to rephrase naturally, putting the same points across.
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Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket