Nationwide, unemployment is low because employers are hiring. Businesses and organizations are adding employees in a variety of ways: by hiring, of course; by outsourcing; and by utilizing staffing firms. No matter how the hiring occurs, the fact remains that the employee is in demand. In order to make “right fit” decisions, both the job-seeker and the employer need to be immersed in the three primary areas of analysis during the hiring process: presentation, behavior, and skills and experience. Last month we focused on presentation and behavior. In this article, we’ll look at skills and experience to understand what employers want and how candidates can best meet those requirements.
Employers are, for the most part, quite clear in job postings about the skills and experience required for a position. Yet hiring managers commonly report that they receive dozens of resumes from people who are not qualified for an open position. Job seekers who submit resumes for jobs for which they are clearly not qualified in the hope of being discovered for another position are taking the wrong path. Rather than creating more work for the hiring manager, express your interest in the company with a letter to the human resources department. Include your resume and the type of job you are seeking. Such inquiries are more likely to make it to the hands of someone who might be interested in hiring you, and most resumes are kept on file for up to one year.
When job seekers locate a position that is a good fit, there are strategies which can leverage your experience to your advantage. When listing past jobs on your resume, include a description of your primary duties, but also cite examples of initiative. Showcase projects where you implemented improvements or went above and beyond the call of duty. Highlight any relevant training or certifications earned or in progress. Professional development activities display evidence of proficiency and a desire to enhance your skill set. Be sure to brush up on any skills you highlight on your resume, as employers may ask you to complete a skills assessment to objectively gauge your proficiency in key areas.
As mentioned in last month’s article, the whole point of the hiring process is to ensure a good match for both the employer and job seeker. Each party needs to do their part in order to successfully accomplish this. If one side falters, it is usually to the detriment of both parties. This is why the hiring process, though often times difficult, is so critical to all involved. IBI