Job hunting can be lot like dating; you’ve got to find a good match to develop a lasting relationship. Thankfully finding a good match can be easier than you think and it starts with tailoring your job search. With September being one of the busiest times for recruitment, now is a great time to invest in your career, take the leap and look for a new challenge.
There are hundreds of great blogs and guides out there to help you create the perfect cover letter and resume. Today, I want to talk to you about the next steps after you’ve completed that: targeting the right employers and applying for the right jobs to support your overall career goals.
You know it’s important to update and tailor your resume specifically for the job that you are applying for, but how do you decide which jobs to apply for in the first place? Which jobs are going to serve your career best? Do you apply for every job you’re qualified for and some that you are partially qualified for?
Finding a job that blends with your personal values, passions and abilities is like winning the lottery! You thank your lucky stars that you get to work in a place that you believe in, where you enjoy going to work and get a deep sense of job satisfaction and personal fulfillment. Similarly, there is nothing more satisfying for a hiring manger than offering a job to the perfect candidate. What makes the candidate perfect, however, is not just the ability to do the job. The perfect candidate must also have shared values, a common goal and compatibility with the company’s mission and culture. That is why as a job seeker it’s vitally important that you research the employers before applying for a job. When your research gets you excited, then you’ve got a potential match.
There are two keys things that I look for when I’m recruiting for any position that I want to share with you to support you in your career and job search.
What is company culture? In summary company culture is a combination of the company’s mission, vision, values, behaviors, working norms and communication style among other less tangible things. Essentially, it is a byproduct created by how they do things and carry out their work.
Why is this important? Like with any relationship, a shared direction is more conducive to lasting partnerships. Having shared values means that the same things are important to you which in turn leads to a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship. For example, if there is a company culture of supporting innovation and innovation is something that you value, bingo, you might be a match!!! The more your values align with that of the company’s, the more interesting a candidate you will be.
How can you self-coach to find a compatible company culture? Research, research and more research!! Specifically, you want to try to answer these questions for yourself: What connections do you share and who can you talk to? What media outlets are likely to give you credible information? How do you find out the company’s values? How do you know if your personal values are aligned with the company’s? What are the cultural norms in the company? What is the work environment like?
What next? Once you are happy with the company’s cultural compatibility, it’s time to you make that clear in your application. A cover letter can make or break an application to a values driven organization. Make the most of the opportunity by letting them know all that you have in common. Make the profile section of your resume pop by telling them all of the great qualities you share. Ensure that you reiterate your commonalities all throughout your application. And finally, when you get that interview, continue forming that lasting bond by demonstrating that you truly do understand their business and culture.
Capability with room to grow
What does this mean? It’s all well and good to be aligned with the company’s mission, vision and values but if you don’t have the core capabilities (i.e. qualifications, skills & experience) to do the job you’re going to have limited success. Similarly, if you’re more than capable to do the job you may not have as many opportunities to develop which often leads to boredom and a sense of un-fulfillment.
Why is this important? From an employer’s perspective, the ideal candidate will be able to keep productivity high by being able to do the majority of the job, but not so much that they become bored quickly and start looking for a new job within a short amount of time.
How can you self-coach to ensure a good skills match? Ask yourself, how realistic am I being about my skills and abilities? How much of this job can I do comfortably and how much will be a challenge? What percentage of this job is going to be new to me and what resources do I have to fill that knowledge gap? What opportunities for personal/professional growth am I looking for and would this job offer these?
What next? Work out how you’re going to showcase your capabilities. Tell them how you plan to bridge the gap between your own capabilities and the requirements of the job? Demonstrate your self-awareness and share with them your plan to develop and succeed whilst still showcasing your strengths and cultural fit.
Whilst this may seem overwhelming, working with a career coach can support you during this process of finding the right job match. A coach can help you to dig deep, identify and align your purpose with your actions, clarify your values and goals to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success in your career. This time of year is one of busiest times for recruitment, seize the opportunity to grow.