Blue Light Leavers Blog


Get a Recruiter’s Perspective

During this episode, Jamie Davies talks about his background in sport and how his work ethic as a professional international rugby player, helped him forge a new career as a recruitment consultant. Jamie also talks about what a recruiter looks for in a CV and the importance of a quality CV. Get a recruiter's perspective with Jamie Davies in this episode of the Blue Light Leavers Podcast. Learn valuable tips and tricks to initiate a career change. Keep reading, or listen to the full podcast here.

Get a Recruiter's Perspective in the Blue Light Leavers Facebook Group

Jamie feels privileged to be a part of the blue light leavers group. Since being apart of the group, Jamie has connected with lots of like-minded individuals. It’s a great initiative that helps first responders find new careers. If you want to get a recruiter's perspective, be sure to read on.

How did Jamie get into recruitment?

It wasn't a career path that he planned. Jamie's background was sports-related. He played rugby for a living, from the young age of 15 years old. At 18, Jamie signed his first professional contract. He played for 8 years in top leagues. Then, he was plagued with injuries. Thankfully, he built up a strong work ethic, as he knew there would be a life after rugby. Jamie started off with personal training, where he obtained a level 3 and got a level 2 in nutrition. Rugby is all about understanding people, and networking. What was life going to look like after rugby? He honestly had nothing lined up. Someone asked Jamie if he's ever thought about sales and recruitment, and encouraged Jamie to pursue the recruitment path.

Get a Recruiter’s Perspective: How to Build Your CV

Jamie identifies that past experience, and specific responsibilities are important to list on your CV. However, it does not have to be specific to any given role. Recruiters are looking to get a better understanding of that person. Specifically, they are trying to answer: how good are they with other people? Recruits are also looking at skillsets and strengths. 

As a Recruiter, are you looking for achievements?

Yes, that definitely does support that individual moving forward. It shows they have taken responsibilities to the end. They are looking for how the person works in a team. It’s cliché but sometimes overlooked. A CV is a supporting document to highlight that individual's strengths. We're looking for what are your key motivators, and drivers? It might not be the biggest project that you’ve ever taken or most complex but for any given reason, we want to know your biggest achievement and why.

How Important are qualifications for recruiters?

For Jamie, qualifications are not the most important. Unless it has been specifically highlighted by the client he's working with. Like, for some employers, they don't even care what you studied, but you need a university degree. Jamie highlights that Oprah doesn't have a university degree. You can still be successful in life and business, without a university degree.

“Highlight what you are proud of, and what you’ve done”

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and the Algorithms 

With ATS, Jamie has not worked with it. But, the tracking systems are keyword heavy. So, if you are applying to a particular role, you need to ensure that you have a certain amount of keywords in your CV. For example, if it's a data analytical role. The keyword here is analytical experience. Make sure you’ve highlighted “analytics”  in sentences throughout your CV and profile. It’s important to match your CV with that job description, using specific keywords.

"There are thousands of applicants. They are looking for whoever ticks all the boxes, more than the other".

How can you get an interview? 

Do research on the company. LinkedIn is a great platform to research. You can view a number of different profiles. If you can find one person in the company, reach out to them directly. Find who is a part of their team, and reach out. Most people list their email addresses on their LinkedIn. Drop them an email. What do you have to lose? Get a recruiter's perspective to shine.

Show Initiative

Picking up the phone and actually calling someone,  shows initiative. Some people won't appreciate that you’ve gone out of protocol, but for other hiring managers, they will respect it. They will more than likely respond to you because you demonstrated that want and desire. This shows that you can think outside the box, instead of the status quo that everyone else sticks to. Hiring managers are looking for people that are different. They don't want sheep. Instead, they want people who will shake things up; people that are dynamic, autonomous, and have a creative mindset. 

How important is the LinkedIn profile for a recruiter?

It is one of the easiest and quickest ways for people to get a snapshot of a person, from a business standpoint. Ensure your profile is up to date and relevant. Highlight most if not everything that is on your CV.  Highlight your key strengths in your summary line, right below your picture. Showcase yourself, bring the reader’s attention to what you are good at. It could be that you're a good communicator or have operational excellence, whatever it is, just be sure to highlight it. 

“Networking via Linkedin is massive. Businesses work with people. It’s all people-focused. At the end of the day, a business can only work with people. There is AI, but you need people to be there”

Networking is Essential 

Jamie cannot stress enough the importance of networking. Jamie, himself was headhunted through LinkedIn. Every day he networks. He gets emails from other companies as they are looking for someone to bring new faces into the business. On a daily basis, Jamie is approached by different companies for new opportunities. A good networking place is also the Blue Light Leavers Facebook group. See how other police officers have successfully transitioned to other careers. You can also check out other posts in the Blue Light Leavers blog that can help inspire new ideas.

3 Positive Things About Yourself

The key is stepping outside of your comfort zone. Jamie lives by the following quote, “Get comfortable, being uncomfortable”.  Some people do struggle with speaking positively about themselves. Sit back and write down 3 positive things about yourself. It’s something Jamie really had to learn to do before he could coach others. Take 20 minutes aside, weekly or daily, and just write down 3 things that are positive about yourself. Identify your strengths and apply that when you're applying to a job or speaking to others. The more you are comfortable talking about it, the more natural it is to talk about it. Keep going after 3 things, write down 5 things. All of this positivity will manifest within you to boost confidence.

Get a Recruiter’s Perspective: "Be Specific"

If you are looking for a new career path, taking a different journey, be targeted and focused. Understand yourself, and where you want to be. It could be any industry. Hone in on it. And then, you can do your research around those companies. If you're just sending your CV to everyone, businesses talk. It's obvious you don't know what you want. Go in with a set, specific plan. Get clear on what you’re looking for. You can have a few different focuses, but then be really regimented to that approach. Have a CV tailored for each different focus. Network with hiring managers; either by email or pick up the phone. 

Get a Recruiter’s Perspective:
"Grow a Thick Skin"

How often in your past experiences have you been shut down? Especially, in the police force. You have to get used to rejection. Pick yourself up and keep going. Pick up the phone and talk to someone else. The best approach is to:

  1. Know yourself. Know what your strengths and passions are
  2. Do your research, go the extra mile to understand the company
  3. Put yourself out there. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

If you can set time aside to focus on those three things, in a few week's time, you’ll have a great plan of action. It’s a great process of elimination and through the process, you’ll find the perfect job for you.

Are their specific industries that employ more than others?

  • Technology, digital companies are strong right now
  • Retail, and telecommunications
  • Any company that manufactures consumer-based products. For example, PMG, Unilever, or Johnson and Johnson. Almost everything you pick up in your bathroom, kitchen, or food cupboard, there are huge companies there that are consumer-based products.

Does a recruiter look at social media accounts?

At a certain level, yes. Most people go to LinkedIn. However, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook do get analysed. And, they go back a long way. In one specific recruitment process, one applicant had great interviews with international stakeholders. Everyone loved her. Then, they found an article that she wrote in university. It was written 11 years ago that was controversial and racist. From an article that she wrote as a student, she got rejected!

Get a Recruiter’s Perspective: Talk to Jamie

If anyone has any other questions, Jamie is always available to help out. People can reach out to Jamie through the Blue Light Leavers Facebook group, and on LinkedIn. 

You can also visit the Blue Light Leavers website via