Be competitive in a crowded job market
By Dan Moran
The job market is competitive – very competitive. For every opening, there are many more candidates than ever before. Not too long ago, the situation was very different. Employers had to work and market harder to find applicants for open positions. The economic downturn and the resulting increase in unemployment has put more job seekers in the market – so you need to try harder and be on your “A-game”. Sitting in front of your computer and waiting for opportunities will result in a long, long search.
How to be more competitive and stand above the crowd
You need to be focused, more aggressive and ready to stand out above the crowd at all times. The candidate who is primed, prepared, ready and positive will land the interview. Specifically:
Don’t just tell – sell – Your resume should not just say where you were when, but what you contributed, the skills you developed and the skills that can be transferred to a new role in another company or industry, for that matter.
The type of resume that works well in today’s market is known as a transferable skill resume. The age-old chronological resume (in the business, we call them tombstones) are no longer effective. You need to communicate right up front and quickly, what you want to do, your skills and a compelling message on what you have done.
Prepare, prepare, prepare – Know all you can about the companies you are prospecting. Be prepared for a phone call when you least expect it. Every time your phone rings, be prepared to treat this contact as a potential job prospect. You might think it is your friend calling when it could be your next potential employer, and first impressions count.
Prior to an interview, do your research on the company you are interviewing with. Go to www.linkedin.com, Facebook or Twitter and pose a question to your contacts to see if anyone has inside information. When you show up, have a polished 30-second presentation on the company:
1. What they do – produce, sell or service.
2. Who their customers are.
3. When they started, how many employees and one other factoid on the company.
Be memorable – Leave those you contact by phone, email or in person with a memorable impression. It may be the manner in which you dress, your positive attitude, your smile – make everyone remember you.
Also, if you can, try to schedule your interview for the last slot possible. Statistics have shown that the person most likely to be hired, or called for the second interview, will be one of the last to be interviewed. Like many, interviewers remember the most about the person they met last, not the first.
Be positive – This cannot be emphasized enough. Leave the attitude about your situation, the economy or whatever at home. This will surely kill your chances of being the one selected – no matter what experience you have. People hire people they like, who are positive and enthused – so show it. This is absolutely critical – no – it is imperative.
If you have noticed, the tips I have presented focus on your approach:
On paper through your resume.
In presentation during a call or interview.
In your head – get on your A-game and be positive.
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. You can reach him at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.next-act.com.