Have you been out of the job market for a while? Are you concerned? You can’t agonize over things you have no control over, but you can have a workable plan in place. Overcome your concerns through a strategy of steps to prepare you for re-entering the marketplace. The key is not to wait until the last minute to start your reentry, but rather design and execute your plan well beforehand.
Targeting: There are three steps in targeting. First, target your greatest skill or ability. What can you do better than most? If you were a hiring manager, what value could you add to the job? Second, target the kind of industry that needs your contribution: Where the supply of talent is low and the demand for results is high. Healthcare? Digital Marketing? Personal Services? Computers? Sales? Third, target the companies in your location that need people like you. Why target these three areas? With the economy turning upward, companies are hiring new talent to help them grow ahead of their competitors.
So how do you get ahead of your competition for an open position? Plan ahead: A year or two before entering the market identify the education, certification, requirements, experience, or preparation for the work you want, then sharpen your skills sets in those areas. It may mean night school, on-line classes, certification courses, intern hours, or volunteering at a non-profit organization. You will be a top candidate when you get some direct experiences in the work you want to do. It will also greatly impress the hiring manager.
When interviewing for an open job, show how you are uniquely qualified:
- Present yourself as an experienced problem-solver. Show you’re a practiced hand.
- Be a “cheerleader”: Support the goals and direction of the boss and the team.
- Show you’re flexible: Give examples of quick responses to problems and multi-tasking.
- A team player: Give examples of assisting others to succeed in a team project.
When making a hiring decision, a manager plays the percentages, looking at the candidate’s potential, cost and performance. Potential is viewed from past results; the marketplace will determine cost; and future performance is predicated on successes in similar situations.
How can you show you are worth the risk?
- Demonstrate value: Results that have worked other places that are applicable here
- Achievements: Success breeds more success. Show you can get things done
- Communications: Be articulate. Show you can communicate up, down and across
- Productivity: Research shows that older, more experienced workers are more productive
- Make your boss look good: Give examples of how you made your prior bosses look good
- What can you do that others can’t?: Emphasize your value. Help the boss with alternatives
Many talented people are out of the marketplace and want to get back in. Follow these steps and reposition yourself to regain traction in the job market.
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