It’s time to find a job. Perhaps you’re looking to set up the start of an industrious career, looking for a similar position in a different organization, or switching tracks like from midwife to nursing. Whatever you do, don’t feel like your past job experience and the industry skills you’ve learned in the past are enough to get you the position. When looking for a job, you have to develop some skills particular to the task, as well.
All employers are looking for the “right fit”. The best way to present yourself as just that is to make sure you know what they’re looking for in the first place. Make sure you do your research. Before sending off an application, make sure all the information you provide is prioritised, with the details most relevant to the position being presented first. Research the company before the interview, too. Find out their mission statement, their stated values, and find out what you can about the company culture. Look for employee reviews online to get the last example of info. It’s not always easy to find, but if you can get some insight on the inner-workings of where you want to work, it gives you the best possible angle to make yourself look like the right hire.
That’s not to say you should focus entirely on the company. You should focus on yourself as well. Your time to shine is primarily through your resume. If you haven’t written one in a long time, then use a resume writing service and take a look at how they present the most pertinent details about you and where they focus most of their effort. Follow their lead, but if you’re applying for more than one position, make sure you add a little variation. While it’s about self-promotion, you should switch details to fit the priorities of the position you’re going for.
A lot of research and self-promotion can be done out in the field, as well. If you have the opportunity to be proactive in your approach, then do it. As they say, it’s not what you know but who you know. Starting a rapport with people in the industry, getting your name out there, and learning more about the industry are three fantastic reasons to start networking professionally. Trade shows, networking events, and industry expos are great places to start networking. It’s also a way to both work on and showcase strong communication skills, which will come to play in both of the following tips, as well.
Bad news for the introverts, but if you want a better chance at landing every position you apply for, you have to be as impressive in-person as you are on paper. Take your time getting as comfortable and confident with potential interviews as possible. Think about the kind of questions they’re going to ask and start practising answers to yourself. Give yourself talking points to memorise. Note, this doesn’t mean recite rehearsed statements. Keep your practice loose enough so that you can change an answer to different questions using the same talking points without using the same precise language. Work on mastering confident body language as well. Just make sure that confidence doesn’t bleed into arrogance. Looking like you know what you do is one thing, but looking like you’re certain you’ve already got the job is going to throw your prospects into question.
We’ve mentioned that your skills don’t matter as much as the application process. However, self-improvement is something that employers are definitely going to take notice of during that application. If you take the time to learn further training outside of work, then they will know that you’re dedicated to the career and more likely to be an engaged, proactive employee. Similarly, by working on your soft skills, you show that you know that experience and industry skills aren’t all that matter. Your career should be a constant path of upwards trajectory, so make use of the time and give yourself an excuse to learn the hard and soft skills that will make you better suited to that career.
You might not think it’s the most intuitive way to get the best hires, but when employers are looking for a new member of the team, they’re not just looking for people who can do the job well. They’re looking for the people who can do the best in the application process. Always remember that when it’s time to go sifting through the job market again.