It’s never been harder to stand out from the pack and land a job than it is right now. At the same time, employers complain that it’s hard to find great people to join their teams. So, what’s the matter? We know all too well that job hunting is quite the experience – preparing a resume, sending out applications, crafting a cover letter, attending multiple interviews, the works.
A great resume usually gets you a spot in front in the interview room, but that’s where the real work begins. Everybody else in that room has a resume that impressed the recruiters, so how will you make yourself stand out? You’re just as qualified on paper, maybe even less, than the others who made the cut. So, what else can you offer? Show the recruiters that you have these four things:
Sure, your resume demonstrates your skill and experience, but recruiters want to verify that you understand what is required of you. So, your recruiter might describe the responsibilities of the position. Do you know what those responsibilities require? Make that clear. They want to hear you say “I’m familiar with that. I performed a similar role in…, this is how that turned out…”
In addition, you need to seem interested in the opportunity. Being unemployed for long can be frustrating, and before long, you’re willing to take any job that’s offered. This desperation is a bad sign and interviewers can pick up on it. Show how excited you are to work for that company or in that role. Demonstrate specific interest. Do your research about the team before the interview. That way you can honestly say “this is my dream opportunity; I’ve been following your company since you did… I’ve prepared to take this role by…”
This quality manifests itself in two ways: in your willingness to learn and your ability to work effectively in a team. It also helps to demonstrate the ability to lead. Leaders are learners after all. Most roles require on-the-job learning and recruiters want to see that you’re a fast learner. Moreover, company culture is different in every setting, so you should be able to adapt to new practices and traditions. You can highlight your teachability by saying “At my previous job, I learnt how to use… and it took me… Also, I was unfamiliar with… but with the help of (names), I got used to…”
Everything is quantifiable. The number of meetings you booked. The number of people you welcomed. The amount of new business you created. The increase in the value of the company or its share price while you were a part of the company. Talk about the new customers you brought in, the number of reports you wrote, the number of articles you wrote, the number of products you launched and the users you acquired.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, definitely. It’s important to remain confident in your abilities. The coronavirus has made it no less easy so speak up, answer questions clearly, also ask questions of your own. Show the recruiters that you’re interested and give them a glimpse into just how much you devote to tasks you consider important, your ability to learn and unlearn. Stay safe and happy job hunting!
Kanu holds an MBA from Stanford University, a master’s in Journalism from NYU and a bachelor’s in Engineering from Calvin College. His career has included time at Konga, Amazon, The United Nations, Esquire, CNN, and Black Enterprise magazine. Armed with a strong conviction that you can live a great life no matter how much money you have, JR founded REACH Technologies, www.reach.africa. His company builds software to help young people and companies to manage and grow their money.
If you would like to submit a topic or question, please send a DM to his social media handles – jrkanu on Instagram or email [email protected]