This post is by Victorio Milian, a human resources consultant, writer, and speaker living in New York City.
I speak with job seekers on a regular basis. Oftentimes they’re looking for advice because they’re frustrated about the lack of results they’re seeing in their search. I try to help where I can. I’ve been a job provider (having been a recruiter for a variety of companies) as well as a job seeker. I understand both sides of the employment equation. Not every job seeker has that insight.
In my conversations with job seekers, I’ve noticed that they do tend to understand the recruitment process. They know how to seek out and apply for roles, the fundamentals of how to perform in an interview, and how to follow-up on their recruitment status. They’re pretty clear on the tactical elements involved in recruitment.
What is often missing is a conscious job search strategy. Many job seekers simply don’t think of a job search as a process that should be thought out and optimized before taking any steps to initiate contact with a hiring manager or organization.
To get job seekers thinking about a job search strategy, I often start with this question: “Why should I hire you?” Understanding and being able to answer this question means knowing your worth and how to communicate it.
A job seeker should be able to send a clear message to recruiters and employers on their professional belief system. Your professional belief system is what signals to employers how you match up to the position and values of the organization in question. It encompasses not just the knowledge, skills and abilities you possess, but how you utilize them to perform at your best. In essence, it explains why you’re the best fit for the role. If you don’t know what that is, or can’t articulate it, then convincing employers to hire you becomes much more difficult.
Taking it a step further, job seekers need to align everything under their control to be able to answer “Why should I hire you?” Think of the companies you’re looking to join. They utilize numerous assets to present a vision of how they wish to be perceived in the market. Whether it’s through advertising, marketing or other means, organizations use a variety of methods in an ongoing attempt to stand apart from the competition. Job seekers should be doing the same.
What do job seekers control? Here are a few things to start with:
- Resume. Your resume should speak less about what you’ve done and more on what you’re capable of doing for an organization.
- Personal appearance. It matters; dress for success!
- Voicemail/Email. As a recruiter, I can’t tell you how many candidates I’ve disqualified because of inappropriate voicemail/email messages.
- Online profiles. If you use Twitter, Facebook or other social platforms, make sure that your profiles are consistent with what you wish to project to employers.
Developing and implementing an effective job search strategy is critical. Doing so gives job seekers the ability to effectively highlight their professional belief system. Also, taking ownership of your online and offline assets enables job seekers to better position themselves as candidates of choice.