By Michael Collins – Executive Career Expert
Are some executives ‘luckier’ than most in their job search? In a sense yes, but their luck is quite easy to duplicate and apply to your job search campaign. When looking for a new position, the last thing you want to do is use a trial and error method, which can waste you a lot of time and bring dismal results. Here are 2 practical secrets to help you get employers’ attention and secure the job you deserve:
Secret #1: Your Unmatched Strengths (Translation: Don’t follow the masses)
Bookstores are full of books claiming to help you succeed in your job search. The trouble is, most of these offer general advice, without consideration of your unique career situation. And while some advice may be valid, most of it doesn’t apply. It’s so common in executive circles to brag about reading that latest career book, only to secretly realize that the intellectual value is much higher than practical value.
The fact is, if you follow a typical approach in dealing with hiring decision makers, you are sending the wrong message. If you want to get ahead, it is imperative to decide that you are not like everybody else (nor should you aim to be). Making yourself a ‘hot prospect’ is what it’s all about. Employers know well that the harder a candidate is to find, the more valuable they can potentially be to their organization.
In A Nutshell: Clearly identify why you are at the top of the game in your field. Make sure this is not a vague description, but a unique and specific area of expertise that is sure to capture the attention of employers. In essence, what do you know that others don’t? Make this the main selling point and priority in your job search if you want to stand out from the rest.
Secret #2: Your Top-Notch Image (Translation: Never look like a second-rate applicant)
When you are selling your candidacy on paper, remember those Super Bowl commercials. No doubt, they are catchy. Advertisers understand the impact they want to make and skilfully develop a message that sticks. A well-planned message makes all the difference and leads audiences to take action. You can do the same.
If the message of your resume is not persuasive enough, you may be seen as ‘one of many’ applicants. You can’t afford this when looking for a high level position, especially in this economic climate. If you want employers to call you, it’s important to give them what they want. Think of your resume as an compelling proposal instead of ‘old news’. The more employer-focused your proposal is, the faster you’ll be seen as the candidate of choice.
In A Nutshell: Descriptions of your past successes may mean a lot to you but don’t have the same significance to prospective employers. Replace a self-focused resume with a resume that conveys why you are offering employers what they truly need. It’s ok to inform employers of your achievements, but the real key is to indicate how you can ultimately contribute to their achievements. In essence, strategically describe your benefits and advantages rather than only summarize past victories.