Today’s post is one of many from members of the Career Collective community I co-coordinate with my colleague Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter. I encourage you to visit other members’ responses, which are linked at the end of my post. Please follow our hashtag on Twitter: #careercollective.
This month’s question focuses on common job search misconceptions. Unfortunately, “confused” is how job seekers often feel. They want to know the “right” way to apply for a job, what exactly their resume should say (and how it should look), whether or not anyone is reading their cover letter (should they even bother sending one?), when (and how often) to follow up…The list goes on and on.
However, I think the most important point that confuses job seekers is that the job search is not really about them. Nor is the resume, application, follow-up notes…None of it is about the job seeker.
The secret to successful job hunting? It’s about the employer.
If you are looking for a job, you need to research organizations and target your materials and networking efforts to appeal to them. You used XY skill at ABC place? That’s great, but what does it have to do with the job you want NOW? Everything on your resume and other communication (social media, in-person networking, etc.) needs to be geared to the employer’s interests and needs. Think of the employer as a spoiled child who wants everything his/her way. Avoid the temper tantrum in this case (which may be YOUR tantrum): give the employer what he needs to see. Convince her that you are the ONE candidate who is qualified and can do the job.
I’ve recently shared information about how to target your resume using keywords. Do that. If you are qualified for the position, you should be able to tweak and target your resume to appeal to your audience and land the interview.
When it comes to your resume, do your research to identify the employer’s salient points. For example, a manager may find that employers need candidates who have the following skills:
- Mentoring/supervisory skills,
- Leadership and
- Specific subject matter expertise.
Once you identify the important skills – write the resume to identify and PROVE you are the candidate with the goods. When someone else reads the resume, will that person see proof of the necessary skills? Does the resume include accomplishments related to each of the points? It is not unusual to see a resume that states something but fails to prove it in the body of the resume. Any point that you are not supporting with evidence in your resume is a lost opportunity to drive home your point to the hiring manager.
Stop focusing on you and your needs – think about what someone else will be thinking when they encounter your materials or meet you. It’s the secret to job hunting successfully: it’s not about you.
Don’t miss my colleagues’ responses to this topic:
- 5 Misconceptions Entry-Level Job Seekers Make, @heatherhuhman
- How “Interview Savvy” Are You?, @careersherpa
- Employers Don’t “Care”, @ValueIntoWords
- Misconceptions about Using Recruiters, @DebraWheatman
- 15 Myths and Misconceptions about Job-Hunting, @KatCareerGal
- Are You Boring HR? @resumeservice
- Job Search Misconceptions Put Right, @GayleHoward
- Who Cares About What You Want in a Job? Only YOU!, @KCCareerCoach
- How to get your resume read (sort of), @barbarasafani
- The 4 secrets to an effective recruiter relationship, @LaurieBerenson
- Job Interviews, Chronic Illness and 3 Big Ideas, @WorkWithIllness
- The secret to effective job search, @Keppie_Careers
- Superstars Need Not Apply, @WalterAkana
- The Jobs Under the Mistletoe, @chandlee
- 8 Common Sense Interview Tips @erinkennedycprw
- Still no job interview? @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes
- Misconceptions about the Hiring Process: Your Online Identity is a Critical Part of Getting Hired, @expatcoachmegan
photo by Tambako the Jaguar