In order to understand an effective career strategy, you first need to understand what’s going on in the marketplace, and also how you best present yourself within it. Here are some informational pieces that begins to address your strategic and tactical issues.
At the macro level:
- One major trend is that companies are hiring from within more often. Internal promotions are increasing over external hires. Why? Because the “Boomer generation”, ages 56 to 74, are estimated to be retiring at 10,000 a day.
- What that means is the “next in line” employee takes less training and presents greater continuity than an outside hire. There appears to be less risk of a wrong hire since the internal candidate is a known quantity. Whether they can do the job is a different question.
- Although the internal candidate brings continuity, the external candidate brings a variety of ideas and different experiences from a number of other companies. So, it comes down to risk versus potential reward with new approaches.
- What does this mean for you? Don’t be surprised when after a highly successful interview you don’t get the job. It’s not about you, it’s about an internal candidate projecting less risk.
- During the interview, emphasize the results you have achieved that the hiring manager is looking for in a replacement. Internal candidates have not yet achieved the results that their bosses want. If you have successfully done it before, you have the edge.
At the micro level:
- You may be sending multiple resumes with the wrong approach. If you use generic words to describe your contributions, you may doom your candidacy. Words like: “Excellent communicator”, “Team Player”, “Detail oriented”, “Results driven”, “A track record of results”, are all meaningless without facts. These are all throwaway lines that must be documented as they can’t be trusted by hiring managers. You’re wasting opportunities for an interview.
- Demonstrate your results with measurable examples that gives the hiring manager something of value: What you may be able to do for him/her.
- Validating past results targeted to the needs of the hiring manager shows what you have achieved in the past, and potentially can do again. If your resume only conveys universal generic words, you may not get the opportunity to tell your powerful story of accomplishments. Your resume won’t do its job of getting an interview.
So, what are the key words to move your candidacy forward?
- Check out the position description, especially the first 5 or 6 items. When a hiring manager puts to job description together, the top items are the most important. Make sure your key words are included in those items.
- Include key words from the function and industry your pursuing. The automotive industry key words are different from the mining or electronic industry.
- And most important, define how your results benefitted and impacted current or past employers. Hiring managers want to know if you can help them with greater results.
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