There are several stages to getting the perfect job. The journey actually starts years before you even know that the job exists, as you go through life gaining experiences, skills and personal qualities at school, work and through the full range of your life experiences.
Gradually, you get to know who you are and what you want to do with your life. You start working towards the job that you know you were meant to do. Finally, you see it advertised! You know that you have the right skills and qualifications to make a go of it. You have the right mindset and you’ve been preparing for this moment your whole life. Now, there’s just one more hurdle: convincing your potential employer that your skills and qualifications are the right fit for the role.
In a perfect world, this last step would be a mere formality. Unfortunately, in real life, so many theoretically perfect candidates fail at this point, simply because they don’t have the knack of selling themselves. Remember, there may be several other applicants who are just as well-qualified as you, so anything that can give you an extra edge needs to be brought into play.
The first step is tailoring your CV or the job application form to the role in question. Work out exactly what your skills are, along with examples of where you’ve learnt or demonstrated them. If you have an academic qualification, such as an MBA online in business administration, this will sell itself as it’s a universally recognized indicator of certain skills, achievements and personal qualities. However, you should also look at skills that you’ve applied in previous jobs, outside interests, sports, and elsewhere.
Be a CHAMP
Besides specific technical skills, job adverts generally list soft skills or personal attributes that are also considered vital for the role. Many of these are universal and apply in any employment sector. The top qualities sought can be summed up in the acronym CHAMP: communication, hard work, adaptability, motivation, and passion. If you can demonstrate, with concrete examples, that you possess all of these attributes, then you’re on your way.
In an interview
When you get an interview, whether that’s face to face or via Zoom, focus on the needs of your employer. Be prepared to tell them exactly how your skills can benefit them, again using examples. Look at yourself from their perspective: why should they be interested in you? Create a picture of you in their mind, operating successfully in their workplace and making their life easier.
Like any salesperson, you need an elevator pitch. The only difference is that the product you’re selling is yourself. Be prepared to sum up in 30 to 60 seconds exactly why you’re the best person for the job. Focus on specifics: all the candidates saying that they’re a hard-working perfectionist will blur together, but if you can back this up with a memorable anecdote, then you’ll stick in the memory. Just keep it concise and to the point.
Face to face and even online, body language can make or break an interview. Make confident eye contact, maintain good posture, and don’t fidget. Your interviewer doesn’t need to be an expert in body language in order for this to make an impression. So often, the final decision is based on an instinctive gut feeling, and this, in turn, is often based on an unconscious reading of body language.
Having the right skills and qualifications is half the battle – marketing them successfully is the other. Be prepared with sold examples. After all, good communication is one of the most valuable job skills, and this is where you demonstrate it.