No matter what field you’re in, there are certain skills you need when you’re on the job hunt. In the past, they included how to put together a resume, how to behave in an interview, how to handle followup. These days, there are brand-new must-have job search skills. Here are five of them:
Pain Spotting To really grab en employer’s attention in your cover letter (or cover email), you’ve got to figure out—by reading the job ad and researching the employer—what sort of business pain lurks behind the job opening.
Is it growth-related pain, or consolidation-related pain? Pain associated with customers fleeing, with competitors outsourcing the work and cutting costs, or with a shortage of talent in an industry? When you know or can guess at the pain behind the job ad, you have something of substance to say to a hiring manager.
Storytelling: “I have a strong work ethic and get along with all kinds of people” is about as compelling as “I had coffee this morning.” Nearly everyone claims these traits. To get a hiring manager’s attention, tell a brief and powerful story that demonstrates what you get done when you work. Let a hiring manager know some of the good things that you make happen.
Using a Human Voice: The old “results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation” style of resume is as out of date as VCRs. Using a human ‘voice’ in your resume or in any other communication with employers will separate you from the boilerplate-spouting hordes. Replace tired resume-speak like “Met or exceeded expectations” with a concrete achievement. And forget the old rule about not using the word “I” in your resume.
Showing Relevance: Forget the one-size-fits-all resume that gets sent out for any open position. You need to make your background relevant to the hiring manager by highlighting the accomplishments from each past job that relate to the role you’re pursuing. Update your resume as often as necessary to make sure your most relevant stories come to the fore.
Knowing Your Value: No one will pay you more than you’re worth, so know your value before you begin an active job search. There are several website that will help you calculate your market value and avoid getting lowballed in the hiring process. Arm yourself with information, then get out there and tell your story.
Still feeling unsure about a job search in this economy? Contact Clark Personnel today—we’re happy to share our expertise and help you find that next great opportunity!