With many executives saying they are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill open positions, now is a good time for you as a candidate to start thinking like a hiring manager to figure out exactly what skills companies are looking for, and how best to convince them you are the right person for the job.
Think like a CEO
As you start out on your job search, try to think about what a chief executive officer looks for in an employee. Managers are constantly looking for workers who can fill the skills gap in order to strengthen their companies’ competitive advantage. Think about what qualifications you have that can give a company an edge, and what kind of an impact you will make as a new employee.
According to job search coach Marvin Walberg, executives are in need of workers who can solve problems, assimilate information, think creatively, prioritize job tasks and be effective leaders.
Tweak your resume and cover letter
As you keep in mind what skills your potential boss is looking for, you should tailor each resume and cover letter to match those needs for each job.
Employers want to know that you are interested in the job and why you are best suited for the position. Spending time researching the company’s website and looking at industry articles and other social media sites will help you get a better feel for the company’s business, which will help you fine tune your resume and cover letter to match the job description.
You can look online for cover letter examples which are geared toward specific industries.
Don’t forget the details
Alison Green, a hiring manager at a Washington-based nonprofit, told U.S. News and World Report that often times the small stuff can be a deal breaker when it comes to new hires because executives want reliable employees.
When you’re on a job search, a small blunder can take on far greater importance than it would in most contexts, Green says. “Here’s what can happen in a hiring manager’s head when a job candidate makes a noticeable mistake: ‘She told me she was going to send me this writing sample Monday, but then she sent it on Tuesday without acknowledging the delay. This might be out of character for her; everyone screws up occasionally. But if I ignore this possible red flag and hire her, and then she turns out to be scattered and bad with deadlines, I’m going to be kicking myself for not having paid attention to this sign now.”
Set the right tone during the interview
Keep in mind that while employers are looking for workers with the best qualifications, they also want workers who have good communication and social skills. You can set your interviewer at ease by making eye contact, asking a lot of questions about the job and the company and using friendly body language, which can help you gain an edge over other applicants.
The interview is also an excellent time to demonstrate how your soft skills can benefit the company. Make sure you tell a story about how those skills helped you solve a problem or finished a project in a timely manner. Potential employers want to hear examples of how you can work with others to finish certain tasks.
Look at your options
In today’s challenging job market, you need to look at your options, especially if you are trying to break into a new industry.
Suzanne Lucas, a human resources expert, said you can increase your employment opportunities by applying for positions where you can transfer the kinds of skills that companies are looking for in any new hire.