Am I qualified? Is my experience relevant? Will the hiring team understand my resume and connect my experience to this job?
For so many of us who have been active job seekers (basically, everyone!) we have come across an open job and asked these similar questions. Specifically, will the Recruiter have enough time to read my resume and connect my skills? Will the Recruiter notice I’m great for this role? Unfortunately, as a Recruiter operating in a fast-paced environment with a current low unemployment rate the criteria for each requisition tends to be strict. We are looking for the one candidate who is a match and get them in the door before another company reviews their application and gives them a call first. With recruiting styles truly being authentic to each industry and each recruiter lets discuss some ways to stand out!
Think about the first job you had. Maybe it was your waitress position at the local diner or the bank internship you had the summer after college. Considering these two positions are very different, how are their experiences and skill sets similar? Just to start let's focus on the communication and interpersonal skills required for these roles?! If being able to manage a situation with a hangry customer isn’t resume worthy I don’t know what is! The same goes for the bank intern who has a disgruntled customer that claims their direct deposit didn’t come through and you are trying to remain solution-oriented and empathize with your customer as you focus on a remedy. In these scenarios, neither of these applicants have O&G manufacturing experience, but what I need in my Outside Sales role is a person that prioritizes customer service, customer experience, and confident in their ability to learn new products and meet team goals. Both candidates will grab my attention if they carefully read the minimum requirements and highlight their trans-disciplinary skills. YES – that simple!If I can review your resume and you highlight your experiences specifically by your top skills (hopefully as they relate to the role or career path you’re focused on) then you will increase the time a Recruiter reviews your resume and likelihood you receive a phone or in-person interview.
This of course sounds a lot easier said than done. Am I right? So, here is a real life example from this past weekend. I went to meet friends for a birthday celebration Saturday night and being the guy who truly enjoys meeting people and talking about career passions I went on and on about talent acquisition and the future of finding the right role for "you". Although some entertained my topic and then moved on I did catch the attention of Megan. Megan is in her late-20's and has been working since college for a liquor distributor and has been promoted to a regional manager level. Although, she has successfully closed large deals, created and cultivated new business relationships, managed a team, and proven her leadership abilities to her management team she still did not feel qualified for roles in industries outside her current role. Why on Earth would she not feel qualified? Well, the simple answer is because she has applied for roles outside of her current industry and yet to receive a call for an interview. Not even a phone screen! That’s frustrating!
As we chatted more I started to discuss trans-disciplinary skills and how these top skills needed to be easily picked out in her resume. As she started to describe some of her projects and experiences I helped her translate those experiences and skills to my Outside Sales role as an example. Megan leads sales in her region, can strike a conversation with anyone, continuously learns new products, creates customer profiles and prioritizes needs, and has an authentic personality that people can relate to and feel comfortable around. The accomplishments in her role just needed to speak the same language as the job she is pursuing. Translating her skill set to focus on the job she wanted is key and the advice I left her with.
If you’re still wondering how this advice can impact you as you blaze your trail chasing your dream career I would suggest continuing to concentrate on connecting your skills each and every day to your dream career. Notice I did not say dream “JOB”. Your dream career will continue to change and evolve just as you do as a person. However, if you are chasing your passion and doing work that fulfills you it will be easier to identify your top skills and the impact you bring to that job. Connect these skills throughout your experiences and show this on your resume, on your social media, and live it authentically every day.
You are qualified! Your skills are relevant! And hiring teams will notice you, so go out and chase your passion!