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Be a Trailblazer

Top tips for candidates

Exciting time to work in the lighting industry
by Nancy Cosentino, Talent Acquisition Consultant, Quebec

 

I worked for eleven years in Human Resources for Canlyte, a division of Philips Electronics in Canada, before becoming a Talent Acquisition Consultant. The team is great, and it’s a wonderful time to be part of it, on the journey of transformation as Philips Lighting. As a single Mom, I really appreciate the excellent work-life balance I’m offered. Being able to get flexibility when necessary is important when you have two boys aged 10 and 14!

A tip from our recruiter can remain. 

To applicants sending in their CV for a position they have seen posted, I strongly recommend you start with a short summary at the top. Those first few lines are crucial! Give a brief overview of your background and experience. Personally, I love bullet points!”

Nancy Cosentino,
Recruiter

Long distances, yet close contacts

 

The Talent Acquisition team is widely dispersed, so I don’t often get to meet my direct boss (in the US) or other colleagues in person. However, I’m only a ‘ping’ away on our inter-office system! And my in-box never stays full - I get back to emails within 24 hours or less.

 

My work as a recruiter involves researching candidates for specific positions; I act as account advisor for the hiring managers in Canada, and sometimes the US. We aim to fill a position within 60 days, so applicants have to be identified within 2-3 weeks. I do the initial screening by phone and set up the interviews, and I stay in touch with them every step of the way until an offer has been accepted.

Top Tips for Candidates

 

We’re looking for the right talent for the right role, people who will share our passion, so we encourage candidates to look at YouTube videos or links on our website that showcase our lighting systems. We want people to get a sense of what great products they’ll be working on, that improve people’s lives and make sense too, because of energy savings and other benefits.

 

Résumés

 

To applicants sending in their CV for a position they have seen posted, I strongly recommend you start with a short summary at the top. Those first few lines are crucial! Give a brief overview of your background and experience. Personally, I love bullet points!

 

I’d also advise candidates to customize their CV. We want to see if you ‘talk the same talk’ as we do, and will fit in well. You can look at our website and get a feel for what we find important.

 

Above all, keep it short and easy to read! Two pages is enough for a CV – for new graduates, even one page is enough. It’s helpful if you describe and quantify your achievements: percentage growth, or savings, or improvements you’ve made, for instance. And remember to do a spellcheck! Better still, get someone else to read it before you send it out. Correct spelling and grammar is very important for you to make the right first impression.

 

How to get found

 

Of course, we post openings internally. As a global company, we work together with colleagues all over the world, and there’s a lot of movement among our employees between different countries. We look for external candidates among local talent first, but they may be located anywhere.

 

As a potential candidate, you don’t need to wait until a job is offered before contacting us. The social media make it easy to find the names of managers in areas that interest you – or you can contact recruiters like me. You can also join our Talent Community - simply create a profile on our Careers website!

 

If you want to get found, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up-to-date – this is the first place many recruiters go to research new potential candidates. Remember to include that short and succinct summary at the top, so that search engines pick up key details. Here’s a tip: endorse other people, and ask them to do the same for you – we always read the comments.

 

Face-to-face interviews

 

When it comes to face-to-face meetings, remember to dress appropriately. Don’t dress down! This is not a casual occasion, so jeans and a t-shirt are definitely not appropriate. Also, leave your cell phone in your pocket.

 

It’s useful to bring copies of your CV with you, in case you are invited to meet other managers or colleagues. If you have a portfolio (of designs etc.), bring it along. Be ready to offer ideas of your own, about how you might contribute or improve on existing processes, for example. You may be asked to elaborate on achievements in your CV, so be prepared to add details on how you took over a previous position, or how you were able to change it. We’re looking for people who want to do things better or faster – and know how!

 

It’s often good to ask some questions of your own, such as what challenges Philips Lighting may have to face, what the company’s most important values are, and how these show up in the company culture. You could ask what the most pressing problems are in the position you’re applying for – and be ready to follow up by tackling them if you’re hired!

 

One-point contact

 

It often comes as a surprise to people, how well we take care of our candidates from beginning to end of the hiring process. From the time of my initial 30-minute telephone conversation, I accompany them throughout the hiring process, for the first and perhaps second meeting with the manager. And in case of a rejection, I let people know quickly. I like to make the process as easy and simple as possible for them.