How To Find The Perfect Job: 4 Steps
Perhaps you're thinking, "Any job will do?" From your perspective, that may be the case, but you need to put yourself in your potential employer's shoes: The more focused and targeted you are when you apply for positions, the more success you are likely to have landing interviews and jobs. What questions should every job seeker ask before approaching employers?
1. What is most important to me when it comes to the workplace?
Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer a flexible job over a position earning more money. Or you might be willing to take a lower-paying job if you think the company is prestigious and would look good on your resume. Maybe upward mobility and a company that promotes from within is important to you. Or, you could be most interested in the work culture and or health benefits?
Choose what is important to you and research organizations that demonstrate the best fit. Use tools such as Glassdoor.com to learn about salary and culture, and follow companies on LinkedIn to learn if they tend to promote current employees or hire from other companies. Leverage your network and talk to people who either work at companies that interest you or those who already left those organizations so you can collect as much information as possible. Then, spend the majority of your job search hours targeting the most suitable organizations.
Perhaps you have a well-developed skill set, but you hate doing that work. If you don't stop to evaluate what you want to do next, you'll wind up back in another job that makes you miserable. Make a concerted effort to focus on the skills you want to use when you apply for positions and search for jobs that emphasize those skills.
3. How am I unique and how does that relate to my target jobs?
Once you hone in on what you're good at and what you like to do, it's up to you to be able to explain why you'd be the best candidate for that type of position. Do you have any special qualifications based on past experience that you want to be sure to highlight? For example, if you are applying for a management job in a retail store, did you spend the early part of your career as a cashier? Can you describe why your background would improve your job performance as a manager?
Always consider the employer's perspective when you describe your unique value proposition (what makes you special). Make sure that you do some research to help you identify what your target employers value most in applicants. For example, if the employer's website uses the words "team" or "initiative" over and over again, think about how you can showcase your successful background as a team player and exceptional ability to demonstrate initiative.
Once you identify what's special about you as it relates to your target employer, it's time to dig deep and make sure that you demonstrate how and why you are a good fit. If you cannot make a clear connection between what you offer and what your target companies want, you're wasting your time applying. Do everyone a favor and study job descriptions and pick out keywords to use on your resume. Keep up with information that the company shares via social networks and use every avenue available to reach out to the organizations that interest you. Do not apply for any job unless you can clearly articulate why you are the answer to the employer's problem.
When you take this rigorous approach to each job application, you'll apply for less jobs, but the time and attention to each application will give you a better chance to land interviews. It's a win-win: employers get clearly qualified applicants and your applications don't go into the black hole of candidates who don't appear qualified, even if they could do the jobs.
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Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer, and owner of Keppie Careers. She is author of Social Networking for Business Success, Social Networking for Career Success and 100 Conversations for Career Success. Miriam teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to empower their success.more...