The key to a win is to write a strong submission—a skill that can be honed, according to Charles Cameron, CEO of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA). He says simple, easily avoidable mistakes often prevent award submissions from making the cut.
A judge for SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs), Cameron has twenty years’ industry experience. He is a director of the World Employment Confederation, which leads more than 50 recruitment and staffing associations from across the globe.
Cameron says he “takes awards very seriously because they are stories of human impact and how the recruitment industry can genuinely change lives.”
So, what are the key errors to avoid, and what makes a standout submission?
Submission mistakes to avoid
1. An incomplete submission
A common error Cameron encounters is when applicants don’t address all the criteria. He says this is usually because they get carried away with focussing on other aspects of their application and forget to read the specific instructions. “Judges are held to account and must tick the box on all applications meeting the fundamental criteria,” he explains.
2. An uninspiring introduction
Cameron says often submissions fail to capture the judge in the first two sentences in written applications, or ten seconds in the case of video. “From the get-go, you must bring stories and real life to your application and focus on the fact that this is the people industry,” he says.
3. No evidence or examples
Often applicants forget to quantify and qualify their responses, which means judges are left asking questions. This is a major mistake. Submissions should include data and statistics to back up statements, and applicants should always give examples of claims they make. “It is critical to bring life to your application, tick the box on all criteria and ensure there’s evidence to support each one,” Cameron says.
The three Ps of a great submission
According to Cameron, “purpose, passion and proven capacity” are three must-have elements of a strong submission.
Demonstrating your purpose is important because it shows why you’re an industry leader, and how you live out your why in your daily interactions. “This should be all about people, people, people,” Cameron says. He says passion is “bringing your application to the profession and showing the reasons why you love delivering amazing results within this industry.” Proven capacity is showing evidence of how the work you’ve done has changed people’s lives for the better.
Judges need to be captivated and inspired early, as they have potentially hundreds of applications to read through, Cameron says. “They are looking for the award application that has energy and shows what a positive and proven impact you’ve had,” he says.
Want to be recognised as a leader in the recruitment industry? Head to www.seek.com.au/sara to find out everything you need to know about this year’s SARAs.