In 1940, Churchill issued a memo to his staff titled “Brevity.”
Apt in 1940, apt in 2020!
Two very striking observations over the past 6 months. CEOs, MDs, Directors and Senior Managers are
- Short on time. Many organisations now have less resource BUT have more challenges & change to manage.
- Inundated with applications. When recruiting, organisations are receiving up to 85% more applications compared to this time last year
Combine these two factors together, and you can see why Winston Churchill’s words are as pertinent now as they were then.
- If you are a candidate : Getting concise, pertinent information to decision makers is vital to progress in the recruitment process. Covering letters need to be stripped back to the most relevant information, ensuring it’s highly relevant to the context. Mark Twain famously said “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”.
- During exploratory Teams / Video Interviews; you need to get your most salient points across. Avoid a full overview of your entire career even when asked “talk me through your CV” ; be succinct and focus on your most relevant and recent experience. Avoid the temptation to “throw the kitchen sink” at them !
- If you are a hiring manager : engineer this brevity in your process. Set the agenda at the start of an interview by outlining the time available and what you wish to focus on. The alternative is to hope & pray that every candidate has read this blog or Churchill’s wise words from 1940 !