Because of the difficult economy competition is tough for jobs. Communicating the skills employers want will help simplify a job search.
Any job seeker who has taken the time to really read a job posting understands that when employers develops an ad, they do it with very specific skills, abilities and experiences in mind. Yet time and time again candidates seem to forget these prerequisites when they apply to job postings.
The truth is that communicating these requested traits on a resume and during the interview is vital to landing the right job. That’s why, when job seekers read job postings, they need to be aware of the qualities each employer is looking for in candidates and make sure they communicate how they embody these traits.
Learn to Read Job Postings
There can be a lot of different reasons why job seekers are not contacted for a specific job – there are better qualified candidates, they lack sufficient experience, the position was filled or canceled. However, one of the primary reasons is that they don’t create a resume to reflect the job posting.
There are several vital parts of job postings that job seekers should pay careful attention to and compare their background and experience. First, there is number of years of experience. It is clearly a red flag to a hiring company if a resume lacks the number of years of experience required to be successful in a position, especially if there are other candidates out there who meet the minimum requirement. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that when an employer requests five years of experience that two years as a teacher’s aide and three years as a human resources clerk won’t translate into five years total experience for a position as a human resources assistant. It’s all in how the information is presented.
Next, the type of experience is important. While in the example above there is definitely some wiggle room, it is much tougher to sell an employer on five years of totally unrelated experience. Finally, having the required skills is important especially as it relates to things such as industry or job specific skills (i.e. forklift or CPR certification) or technical skills (i.e. specific computer software). Job seekers need to show they meet the criteria or they risk being ruled out.
Keep in mind that sometimes job postings indicate that certain skills are only “preferred.” While this skill may not be required, candidates who have it will have a better shot at landing the job.
Communicate the Right Job Skills
Once job seekers understand what skills and experiences employers seek, it is important to develop a resume and interviewing style which mirrors those requirements.
Begin by creating a resume which highlights the key elements found in the job posting. Make sure to use terms and experiences which parallel as closely as possible what the employer has requested in the job posting. It’s not enough to just use the same terms, it’s important for job seekers to demonstrate their understanding of the skill by painting a picture in words.
For instance, if a job posting were to state that time management skills are essential as the position requires the juggling of many projects at once, job seekers could utilize this information to their advantage by considering what they have done in their career that has required them to manage multiple priorities. Outlining how they single-handedly coordinated a sales meeting for 100 guests with only two months notice including arranging the transportation, lodging, conference room, banquet and entertainment, demonstrates visually how their experience fits. This same technique is important in the face-to-face interview, too.
The idea is that job seekers need to know how to communicate the key skills that prospective new employers are looking for in candidates. It’s all about being prepared in advance and knowing how to highlight the skills that land jobs.
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