This is not your father’s job market. Finding a job is different than it’s always been and if you want to land that dream job these days, you have to approach it differently. It’s a jungle out there; submitting a resume to a company makes it one in about 400 resumes they receive for a job opening. No matter how good you are, it’s difficult to work your way up to the top of the pile. All the rules about experience and accomplishments still hold true today but there are two additional keys to landing that dream job.
One is differentiation. Of all the many candidates being considered, you must stand out. There must be something different about you that sets you apart. A resume on colored paper is not what I’m talking about. It’s a skill set, trait, experience, etc. that makes you different. Most of us have differentiators but lack the ability or knowledge on how to sell them to the job market. You must sell yourself on how you are different and learning how should be your top priority. “Same” is dull and “dull” is bad in the job market. The last reaction you want to your resume is “Yuk”, the next to the last is “So What”.
The other key to landing your desired job is proactive career positioning. These days if you wait until you need a job, you are way behind. You find the best positions because you are known for something. You become known for something by networking and proving yourself over time. Career positioning is different than job searching and you should always be career positioning, even if you’re totally happy in your current job. Get out there and get to know people and get people to know who you are and what you know. Being in a position to be called on for a position opening beats searching for a job any day. And that’s how a lot of the best jobs are filled.
Ben Paramore is a financial executive and business blogger at www.BeyondBeans.net