A successful job seeker in today’s job market is someone who stands out as the ideal candidate for a certain position. Although no one is perfect, the next best thing you can do is improve how recruiters and hiring managers see your application by tailoring your cover letter and resume for the specific job you’re applying for. Part of this involves closing the gap between your skills and those found in the ideal candidate. Read on to find out how.
Do Your Homework
Learn about the current condition of the job market and look for industries that are currently experiencing a skills gap. The more skills you have that match those required by a potential employer, the better. At the same time, understand that many employers have a tendency to look for a unicorn candidate—someone with 10 specific skills and 5 years of experience for an entry level position.
So, don’t just limit your research to job postings, company websites, and news. Talk to insiders (i.e. employees, recruiters, and HR personnel) so you know what a potential employer is actually looking for.
Look at Your Gaps
As you embark on your job search, be sure to identify any gaps in your skills and experience relative to the requirements of positions you are eyeing. Although no two jobs will be completely alike, certain skills gaps will be applicable to multiple job postings.
It’s also at this point that you should be honest with yourself, recognizing skills gaps that you may not want to admit having.
Is a Gap Actually a Gap?
When looking at job postings pay attention to the small details. Sometimes, what appears to be a core requirement is actually just a preferred characteristic. This is how many employers get away with looking for unicorn employees. But if an employer specifically quantifies requirements (e.g. 5 years in… or sales of at least…), these are usually hard requirements you need to be mindful of.
This process will help you sort through job postings, identifying roles you actually have a shot at getting.
Figure Out How to Close Gaps
Now that you’ve had a look at the jobs market and identified skills gaps between your resume and job requirements, it’s time to work on “filling in” these gaps. Here are a few options:
- Taking on temporary work assignments
- Enrolling in classes (e.g. coding, graphic design, bookkeeping)
- Earning a certification
These solutions allow you to gain valuable experience and add skills (with proof) to your resume, making you a more marketable candidate.
For more job search tips and insights, be sure to follow this blog. If you need assistance in looking for a job, contact the staffing specialists of Top Notch Personnel to learn how our services can help you.