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Be the recruiter’s Christmas tree!

Author: Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

We are only a few days away from Christmas and your tree sits in your living room. Perhaps you had trouble deciding which tree would be best suited to your space. Indeed, choosing a tree is not an exact science and your family certainly does not have the same vision of the ideal tree as you do. Sometimes you choose a tree that doesn't look like the one you originally imagined.

All this can also happen during the recruitment process: it's time to turn yourself into the recruiter's Christmas tree!


The ideal tree is not universal

You might think that what is ideal means the same for everyone, but that is not the case! One could indeed imagine that the ideal Christmas tree is the one that is the greenest, the bushiest, the widest, the most balanced in terms of branches, the largest... But if a Christmas tree meets all these criteria, it does not mean that it will integrate easily into all spaces: you imagine a tree that is 2m wide in a 45m² apartment? It's hard to move as it will take up so much space! Your ideal tree will finally be the one that fits best into your environment.


The same is true for the recruiter who is looking for the ideal candidate. He will start from a representation built with his colleagues, particularly when defining the profile he is looking for (field, skills, experience, qualities...). This will be reflected concretely in the advertised job offer. But in the end, as the interviews with the candidates progress, his choice may be made on a different profile than the one initially sought: a PhD in chemistry rather than a PhD in biology because the candidate has shown much more curiosity than the others about the position, the company, the team; a PhD without any experience in industry rather than a profile with a large industrial experience because his personality and his natural and enthusiastic way of communicating have greatly pleased the manager.


The choice of a recruiter will always be the candidate who best fits into the organization: demonstrate how you are complementary to what is already existing.


Your tree reflects your values

There are several types of Christmas trees: natural ones, artificial ones, wooden ones, designer ones... If you are on an eco-responsible purchasing logic, you will choose a reusable tree made with natural materials. You will therefore choose it according to your values, according to what you believe in.


The recruiter will proceed in the same way, choosing a candidate whose values are consistent with those of the organization. For example, if you are applying to an association or foundation, demonstrate how your background and personality fit the cause, but do not go so far as to become militant. It would be a mistake not to talk about the general interest or the meaning sought in the missions. However, be careful not to overdo it, the artificial side is quickly spotted and your lack of authenticity will scare the recruiter away.


Less is more, a concept that has very often proved its worth

The end-of-year holidays are conducive to exaggeration, especially in terms of decorations and illuminations. You wanted to impress with your tree, decorating all its branches with garlands and Christmas ornaments. It's overloaded, its green base has almost disappeared. You have simply forgotten that decorations are made to enhance your tree, not to smother it or hide it. Sobriety has much more impact than you might think: less is more!


Apply this concept to the way you present yourself to a recruiter, whether on your CV or during the interview. It is certainly very tempting to say everything about yourself to show how competent and perfect you are for the job. And especially at the beginning of a career, to compensate for the lack of experience. But by telling too much, you risk losing coherence and confusing the recruiter. Put aside the tricks, go to the essentials and let the recruiter draw the common thread of your career path.


Just as the Christmas tree is representative of the Christmas season, the recruiter must know who he is dealing with by reading what you sent, meeting you and listening to you. Work on a professional identity that is clear and representative of who you are, which may make you the ideal Christmas tree for the recruiter!


The Christmas series

If you missed the previous articles, here there are:

- "Hohoho! Quel cadeau allez-vous offrir au recruteur?" (French only)

- "Letter to the Christmas recruiter"

- "Le marché de l'emploi, c'est comme une boite de chocolats !" (French only)

Find out more

Letter to the Christmas recruiter

Bérénice Kimpe - chargée de coopération "Espace germanophone"

(Pour consulter cet article en français : cliquez ici)

Do you remember the weeks before Christmas when you were a child? The excitement looking through the toys catalogue, writing your wish list for Father Christmas? The list was accompanied by a letter, explaining how good you had been during the year, and that you really were worth all the toys your heart desired.

Now, years later, Father Christmas has changed into a recruiter, and your letter into an application letter.