We are in unusual times. You need to take unusual actions to find an open position which will advance your career direction. While some have been furloughed or moved to a lesser job, others are losing their developmental skills which reduces their marketability. Here are ideas to help position you for the next step.
First, you need to be proactive and take a firm hand in your effort and time. A passive response during this time period may set you back a year or more than your more active colleagues.
Redo you resume – Certain words have more impact than others. The words you use on your resume need to do two things: Match the skills and experiences that the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate, and show measurable results. Your resume needs to be compelling so the hiring manager wants an interview to learn more about you and how you achieved your results. Match the words and experiences defined in the position description with both hard and soft skills. Make sure you validate the transferable skills and experiences from past jobs to the new one.
Critical skills – In the aftermath of the pandemic, organizations will be looking for those who can increase productivity, reduce cost or accelerate income. Highlight your skills, abilities, experiences and results in those areas. Hiring managers are not looking to maintain their status, they have to reverse the stall from the past half year to a higher level.
Upgrade your credentials – Determine what new skills or knowledge are being sought after within your function and industry: Project Management? New system or application? Data Analysis? Consumer behavior? Market Trends and Projections? Find an on-line course to upgrade your certification in the most asked for skills. You can be one step ahead of all others when the marketplace opens up. Volunteer in an area that will expand your experiences. Supplement your core competencies with knowledge and abilities that will demonstrate your readiness at a new and higher level.
Practice interviewing skills – You should be at the top of your game while interviewing by telephone (usually the first contact), a video interview (social distancing) or a face-to-face interview (the last step). The more you practice the better your results. Take your resume and view it as would a hiring manager. What questions will be asked? Usually the key questions are, “What did you do? How did you do it? What were the results?”
Connect with others – People that you know, who are in the function or industry you are pursuing, can be your greatest asset. They know what is going on, who is hiring, what skill organizations are looking for, when a job may open up, and sometimes, who is the hiring manager? Make contact with those who can assist your efforts. Ask for their help.
Preparation and practice are the keys to your next career step. Take advantage of the time available to you now, before the rush.
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