His academic records speak highly of his acumen. His work experience as a neophyte in the corporate world is outstanding. He looks smart and exudes confidence. Overall, he is a good catch! But then again, John has been a ‘bum’ for almost a year now contributing to the increasing statistics of unemployment in the country after the company he was working for closed shop. With his impressive credentials, why the long ‘jobless’ period?
Like you, I was also surprised. Reality bites! Even the most confident and highly qualified job-seekers go flat tires especially now that job opportunities for both neophytes and experienced professionals are becoming increasingly competitive. For the experienced job-hunters, getting out of work for a long time is harder to deal with and can certainly wear down self-esteem. Thus, it is important that you concentrate on your strengths, continually empower and arm yourself with strategies to create your ‘distinct appeal’ in the job market.
Here are a few suggestions to help you stay on track on your job-hunting spree!
1. Develop your job skills portfolio. Nope, this is not like a resume. This goes beyond stating who you are. This will give your target employers a clear picture of your educational background, accomplishments or work milestones, your abilities and skills, as well as your potentials in areas outside your expertise. Always bring this portfolio during interviews so you can immediately emphasize a point or show the profundity of your experience. But keep your portfolio updated and well-organized. You could probably divide it by categories - by work, by year or by company – as how you see it fit.
2. Explore. Don’t set limitations as to what you can do for a specific job. Boost your hiring chances by opening yourself to additional, new set of job loads even if it is ‘outside’ your loop of expertise. Accept challenges. Show your willingness to learn! Other than the employer, you are the one who will benefit from this. As what a wise man once said, “ experience is an asset of which no worker can be cheated, no matter how selfish or greedy his immediate employer may be.”
3. Focus on results or on your ‘solutions’ in response to the employer’s needs. Remember, employers look for applicants who could move them closer to their goals. To achieve this, it is essential that you do research about the company and study how your expertise can benefit them. Together with your resume, highlight in your cover letter how you could possibly contribute in the achievement of their goal and that you are available for interview to discuss the matter. In other words, hit the target right away. But be sure that you can really deliver the ‘promise’ or your USP (unique selling proposition).
4. Prepare yourself for a ‘communication’ in meeting with the employer. Meaning, you should not keep yourself at the receiving end of the question all through out the interview session. Throw good questions to the employer. Ask open-ended and thought provoking questions relating to the company’s goal and the position you are applying for. You can ask questions such as “If I’ll be given the chance to work with your company, what would you like me to accomplish in my first 60 days?” or “ How do you see this position will contribute in the achievement of the goals of the company.
Lastly, be confident and go out to win the job! More than anyone, your chance of getting that job highly depends on you. Show them your stuff! If despite and in spite of everything you fail to get the job you want, don’t despair. Get on with life and continue your search.
As what Sir Winston Churchill said, “ A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”