I’m Just a…fill in your own blank…this week I’ve had people say I’m just an Operations Director, Accountant, Teacher and my personal favourite, “lucky to be in the right place at the right time”. In my last blog, I highlighted how few of us “choose” our careers, how hardly any of us feel we have every known what we want to do. Hiding behind the job title takes it that one step further, do we ever appreciate the value we bring to the organisation we work for?
What makes you different?
When you are going into the job market there is a lot of competition, there are potentially hundreds of applicants who are fighting for that position. An employer will usually look for reasons not to give you the job, rather than think of reasons why they should give you the job. What do I mean? It is easier to find a reason to say, “NO” than “Yes”. You may not have one of the essential criteria, you may be missing a qualification, a specific industry expertise the list goes on. When you are reading through hundreds of CVs- it is always easier to look for what is not there- at best you make it on to the maybe pile. Are you showing how you are different- what is the extra they get from you?
Sell yourself on paper
When you are creating your CV, you need to look past the technicalities of the day job, the day to day duties and responsibilities will not demonstrate the impact you have made on the organisation you are leaving. Gatewood Consulting offer a free CV review if you are needing guidance on making yourself stand out. My top five CV tips are:
1. Be clear about the results you have achieved
2. Demonstrate what makes you different to other candidates
3. Less is more – gain their interest but don’t reveal everything!
4. Ensure you are using the right key words and terminology but not jargon
5. Be honest – you need to backup everything that you write!
Remove the emotion from the situation – underselling yourself in a competitive market will not do you any favours. A potential recruiter may not read between the lines, they may not assume that you must have done X as you are a Y. A job title is simply that – test my theory- ask someone who is close to you what you actually do……. This week a client asked his nearest and dearest to get the answer, “Something to do with chemicals”. He is an operational specialist who have ensure companies avoid injury, litigation and has saved countless lives. Even those close to us don’t necessarily understand what makes us special in our working world.
Sell yourself in person
So you have secured the interview- this is your chance to shine. Are you fully prepared? Do you know your CV inside out? One of the most common errors is a candidate not demonstrating in person what is written on paper. To think you cannot be prepared for an interview is a fallacy. Thinking there are going to be surprise questions is merely an excuse, if the interview does not go your way- there are a finite number of questions you can be asked. I’d love to hear more about your interview experiences.What is the best and worst question you have ever been asked at interview?
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