Unfortunately, it’s an employer’s market. This means that if you’re a jobseeker, you have to cater to the needs of employers to get hired. They certainly won’t cater to your needs. First and foremost, businesses want to make and save money. Thanks to the recession, many businesses simply aren’t profiting as much as they would like. So, they’re spending less money on hiring, employer’s liability insurance, and employee benefits to make up for it. If you want to land a job these days, you have to think like an employer and prove you’ll be an asset to the business. Here are a few tips to help you start thinking like a hiring manager instead of thinking like just your average jobseeker:
1. Focus on Results in Your Résumé
Employers don’t necessarily want to know everything you did at your previous positions. Instead, they often want to know what you achieved. So, make sure you include your professional accomplishments on your résumé. Write about how you met your sales goals 100% of the time and how you generated $100,000 every year for your previous employer. Employers want facts and figures. And they want to hire someone who’s going to be able to help their company get the sort of results it needs. So, you should use your résumé as an opportunity to let employers know that you’ll make and save them money and deliver results.
2. Send Your Résumé to Employers Who Aren’t Advertising Open Positions
This is a tactic that Richard N. Bolles suggests in his influential job search guide, What Color is Your Parachute? It takes a lot of work, money, and time to actively recruit a job candidate. Employers who are looking to fill positions oftentimes actually prefer hiring candidates who approach them about a job before that job has been posted on job boards. So, focus less on applying for specific positions that are advertised, and focus more on applying to work for companies that aren’t advertising any positions. This may seem counterintuitive, but it works.
Many of the companies you solicit for work won’t be hiring. However, a few of the companies you contact will have a position that’s going to be opening up in the near future. If you send your résumé to them before they start putting forth the effort to recruit for the position and you’re qualified, you’re practically a shoe-in for the position. Many employers would prefer to avoid all the rigmarole associated with hiring and just have a candidate fall in their laps. Be that candidate. Make things easier for them.
3. Don’t Seem Like a Risk
You may be thinking, “I just wish someone would take a chance on me. I know I can prove myself.” Don’t let any potential employers know you’re thinking that. Employers rarely take chances on people. They want to hire someone they know can perform the job and perform it well. So, focus on your relevant experience in your résumé and during the interview. Do not focus on what you would like to learn at the company, i.e. what you don’t quite know much about yet.
Additionally, you shouldn’t give potential employers any reason to believe that you may be late to or frequently absent from work or that you’ve had conflicts with your previous supervisors. So, be careful during interviews when you’re asked about your greatest weakness and how you got along with your old boss. Don’t say that your weakness is that you aren’t very punctual and that you and your old boss had a difficult relationship. Stay positive, and don’t give them any reason not to hire you. Employers don’t want to hire anyone who’s going to have attendance problems or interpersonal issues.
In the end, employers make hiring decisions based on what’s best for their businesses. So, prove you can bring in money for the company, and don’t be surprised if you get hired.