Finding a job is tough. Finding a job that you want to do and that’ll make you happy can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Not only do you have to find a job that makes you happy but you have to convince an employer that you’re the right choice. And therein lies the tricky part. You might find a job that sounds amazing and you might know that you could successfully perform in the role but what if your employer has specific ideas about what they’re after. What if you can’t fulfill these requirements?
Figure it out first
You can safeguard yourself somewhat against this type of quandary if you spend some time figuring out what will make you the most employable candidate. This doesn’t mean you’re expected to be a mind reader. This simply means that, taking into account the industry you work in, the trends that prevail within that industry and the latest big news pertaining to your role or to the company you’re hoping to work for, you can make a strong play for the job you’re after. You can up your game and when you know you’re perfect for the position and the company, your confidence will soar and you’re all the more likely to nail the interview.
Looking for a round peg to fit the round hole
The person the company puts in charge of the recruitment process is ultimately looking for a perfect fit. This is an impossible task but they will whittle down the list of applicants and only spend time interviewing those who are the closest to “perfect”. So your paper matters. What is on your CV is so important as it is the only way you can secure a chance at an interview. So, while your sparkling personality and in-depth knowledge will wow in the interview, it is your CV that you need to sort out first.
Align your CV to their dealbreakers
Of course, you make your CV attractive by pinpointing the absolutes that the employer is after. What are their dealbreakers? Read the advert they have listed very carefully, as how they phrase the list of requirements will indicate the hoops you need to be able to jump through. If your prospective employer indicates that a degree certification is a non-negotiable and you don’t have one then you’re already on the backfoot. However, if they list a requirement that is not within your main skillset but you have some basic experience in the field, you should make sure to outline what you know in your CV. Align every aspect of your skillset to their requirements so that they can see how you are ticking boxes for them. Ensure that all of your qualifications are listed, even if they don’t pertain to the job description. You never know when short courses will come in handy. The couple of short online marketing courses and business communications training you completed a while ago might be the thing that swings the final vote.
Spend some time on their website too and note the types of clients they work with. For instance, if you have a degree in botany and a diploma from a digital marketing course and you’re applying for a digital strategist role and their clients are environmental organisations then you have a foot in the door. But only if you bring this to their attention.
Rid yourself of online shenanigans
Before entering the job market, make sure to clean up your online act. This is incredibly important. Employers will look for you online. They will snoop around your Facebook profile, your Twitter feed, LinkedIn and your Instagram account. If you don’t want that then change your privacy settings and keep your feeds clean. Also, use the internet to boast of your successes. If you keep your profiles open then make sure you list your successes on them.
Preparation is truly the key
The very best thing you can do for yourself is prepare. Of course, if you simply happen upon a job that you’re interested in applying for, then the preparation time is minimal. But if you have your eye on a company and you can see yourself working for them in the future then start preparing now for what you know they want and need. Sign up for the likes of online marketing courses or attend toastmasters or qualify in Google Analytics. You might not have the opportunity to apply for a job with the company of your dreams right now but eventually you’ll get a chance if you keep looking. When opportunity comes a-knocking you will want to have your ducks in a row. Make sure that your portfolio is up-to-date, that your skillset has grown and developed over the years and that both your CV and online presence is clean and sharp.