When its time to look for that new position there are several key area of consideration related to how to get an interview. All to frequently, people follow the Ready-Fire-Aim approach to finding and responding appropriately for their next position. Whether you are unemployed and looking or employed and still looking these basic principles apply:
- Determine your career objective. Assess what career and personal goals you are seeking, identify the skills that you possess which relate to the new position, what functional expertise do you have, what education and / or job experience do you have or need for the position.
- Develop and write as many Significant Accomplishment Statements as you can that support your level of expertise, experience and past performance related to the new position you have identified. Employers what to know that you have actual experience not simply knowledge of subject areas. Include quantitative information in your statements especially when identifying the results that were accomplished. Managers manage to numbers so they need to see numbers in your statements.
- When developing your resume, which is often the first document a prospective employer reads that markets you as their next employee of choice, include your career objective statement and a minimum of four and a maximum of nine significant accomplishment statements. Employers need to know what you are looking to do for them and why you are the most experienced.
- The balance of your resume needs to be strictly factual (and 100% accurate and honest). Include as many past employers in your career history section that supports your experience in the field in which you are applying, doing so in reverse chronological order. Consider that employers can quesstimate your age from this section. List appropriate formal education and training programs as well as technical info that might be important for the employer to know up front.
- This is often your first exposure to the new employer so make that initial impression count. Keep your resume to 2 pages, spellcheck everything, keep paragraphs short and use bullet points when possible. Tailor every resume to the specific open position including as many of the key words that you have gathered from the employer’s website, job positing, classified ad or word of mouth. Write your resume from the readers perspective, not yours.
- A cover letter should accompany every resume. Limit the cover letter to one page and if possible specificly list the employer’s needs that they identified and how you can satisfy those needs. Never include salary requirement or reference lists in your cover letter.
Identify who your top ten prospective employers are based on criteria that you have developed, criteria like industry, geographic considerations, benefits, values, etc. Now network into those companies to get in front of the decision makers. Don’t limit yourself to companies that advertise open positions, go after the companies that meet your criteria and then “sell” your ability to satisfy their needs. Hand over your resume at the networking meeting. This face to face presentation will set you apart from the rest of the crowd of prospective applicants.