Getting called for an interview is an exciting experience, particularly in today’s shaky economy. You may have been unemployed for months, even years. Understandably, the prospect of an interview fills you with a sense of hope. Perhaps your day has come. You are just one final step away from being gainfully employed.
But then suddenly, the interview’s over. Days go by and you don’t hear anything from your potential new employer. Those days turn into weeks. Maybe you receive a rejection letter, maybe not. Either way, the truth becomes painfully clear: you have not been chosen for the job.
In many instances, this same chain of events repeats itself over and over again, leaving the job seeker completely dejected, wondering if they will ever have a job again. The secret to finding a job lies in capitalizing on identifying what the company needs and then convincing the hiring manager that YOU are the one who can meet that need.
Begin by making a list of 10 to 25 companies you would like to work for. Many job seekers skip this step and merely hop online to visit their favorite jobs site without first taking a good long look at exactly what they want from their job search. By compiling this list first, that gives you the opportunity to study these potential employers and identify what exactly they need from their employees in order to meet their business goals.
Learn more about potential employers through LinkedIn and Zoominfo. Also, remember to Google the company in question. You may even wish to sign up for Google Alerts on the companies you have targeted. Doing so will ensure you are notified every time that company makes the news. Perhaps the most effective tactic, however, is to simply visit the company’s website. You can learn a great deal about their goals and activities by reviewing their press releases, annual report, and other key sections of the corporate website. Don’t forget to tap your personal and professional contacts for information, too.
Once you know what potential employers need, it’s your job to demonstrate that you are the one to deliver on what they want. First, do a little introspection by defining your most marketable skills. This is a key point, so spend some time really considering what you have to bring to a potential employer.
Next, compare your list of qualifications to a potential employer’s list of needs. Find a way to weave any potential matches into your cover letter. A note of caution: Do not write, “I understand you need people with strong marketing skills. I have lots of experience in marketing.” Subtly mention your qualifications, but do NOT make the connection in your letter. Leave that to the employer. Trust me. They will.
Take advantage of similar opportunities during the interview to mention the myriad ways you are a good match for the employer. Again, don’t be too blatant about the fact that your skills and experience perfectly answer their needs. If you do, they may begin to suspect that you are merely claiming to have certain characteristics because you have read about their business. Instead, casually talk about your past jobs and experiences as a means of demonstrating the fact that YOU are the one person to meet their needs.