It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? The whole reason you’ll end up getting a job in the first place is that you have the skills and abilities necessary to complete the tasks the position requires.
And – if you’ve set goals for your career – you’ve likely worked on building skills that specifically relate to said career. But, too often we lose sight of all of this when applying and interviewing for a newly-opened position. We freeze up and don’t know how to market ourselves as the skilled professionals we are.
(Keep that word – “market” – in mind for later.) So, let’s go through three simple ways you can leverage your skills and abilities during your job search in order to nail down the job you’ve been dreaming of.
1) Mine Your History
Okay, so it’s easy to remember the major things you’ve accomplished in your life, like earning a Master’s degree or winning a prestigious award.
But there are probably a ton of other moments in your life during which you accomplished something, or used your skills to help someone out, that you’ve completely forgotten about.
These are the moments that will really “wow” a recruiter or interviewer: the moments where you used your skills and abilities – either in a professional setting or during an “everyday” moment – simply because it was second nature for you to do so.
Similarly, think about times in your life where you’ve truly surprised yourself with what you were able to accomplish. Maybe you worked extra diligently to overcome a personal obstacle. Or maybe you helped a previous company attain a performance goal it had been striving to reach for years.
Whatever the case may be, double check your history to make sure you’ve painted the best picture of yourself possible.
2) Research What the Company and Industry Is Missing
Every company you apply to is going to need something different.
One might need a highly-motivated individual who puts their nose to the grindstone and stops at nothing to complete a task. Others might need an individual who specializes in supervising, managing, and mentoring their teammates. Still, others might be looking for an innovative thinker who could bring outside-the-box problem solving to the organization.
Even deeper than that: think about what the industry, as a whole, is missing. Or, more appropriately, think about what the industry will need in the future that you could easily bring to it. Most industries are ever-evolving, at a quicker pace now than ever before. If you can figure out how to sell your skills to a company that doesn’t even know it needs a person with these skills, you’ve got it made.
3) Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition
Speaking of selling yourself… When looking to get your foot in the door with any new company, your main focus should be on determining what you, as a professional, bring to the table that you know other candidates don’t.
Think of yourself (the “employee” you) as a product. As alluded to earlier, you (as a job-seeker) need to market yourself so that you stand out above the sea of other applicants and candidates.
How can you add value to this new company? What would you be able to do that the next interviewee wouldn’t? What is your “special something” that nobody else has?
For all intents and purposes, your prospective employer will be buying your services for the length of your contract. Make sure they know why paying you is a much better decision than paying one of the other people they’ve interviewed.
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