What does it take to land a job?

Empty workstation

It’s hard finding a job, really hard. It’s even harder to find the right job. When you factor all that goes into finding that elusive opportunity, you have to imagine there are (at least) ten or twenty other people fighting for their chance to earn that opportunity.  Like it or not, it’s on you, the job seeker.

So the question begs, “What are you doing to separate yourself from the rest of the pack?

Like any good coin parable, there are two sides to this – the applicant side, and the employer side. You, the applicant, can always find good cause for people (employers) to look at things from your perspective.  The problem with that line of thought is that the employer is the one calling the shots. They will decide on a myriad of factors including, but not limited to:

  • How many applicants to review
  • The job description and duties
  • Perquisite skills and experience
  • How many references to check

So again, as the job seeker, what are you doing to separate yourself from the rest of the pack?

Why can’t employers figure out that I have the work ethic to do what they want me to? Why can’t they just give me a chance to prove myself? Why can’t they train me to do the job?

All great questions, but at the end of the day, the employer is in the business of making, distributing, or servicing widgets. It has nothing to do with lack of trying, or lack of effort, it’s a time and budget constraint in many cases. There is a limited amount of time that a hiring manager/employer has to spend on reviewing candidates for the position they are hiring for. There’s an unspoken expectation that the job seeker understand and comply with this. What does that mean?  Make it as easy and simple as possible for the employer to see, understand and be sold on the fact that you’ve done the job they’re asking you to do, or you have the core competencies necessary to do the job from day one.  What does that look like?

Make yourself stand out. The more work the employer has to do, the more likely you’re going to not end up in the “yes” pile of applications/resumes being reviewed.  How?

  • Include specific details of your accomplishments in your resume. This includes referencing the key factors in their job description.
  • Write a position specific cover letter to THEIR role.
  • Include the availability of Earned references.
  • Researching the organization (and its competitors).

In case you’re wondering, here are a few things employers WON’T forget:

  • Asking the employer to go to your favorite online job board and find your resume.
  • Employers won’t overlook your errors or out of date resume.
  • Being underprepared when you are  applying for work (no resume, lack of dates, less than casually dressed, brought your BFFs with you).
  • You walked in smelling like you bathed in an ash tray or perfume or worse.
  • How much information you shared with them as a total stranger (your sister’s best friend’s ex stole their phone, car, wallet, or didn’t pay for something on some for sale site).  All of those are things YOU (the job seeker) should be in control of. Separate yourself from the pack. Be fully aware of the full package you’re presenting to the employer and that YOU want to work for THEM. If you aren’t, someone else is (remember the twenty other applicants?), so be that someone. Stand out (in a good way). Be the employee the employer is searching for, and then some. Will it land you your dream job? That’s impossible to say, but if you’re looking to take the next step, take control of your own destiny and put your best foot forward.

For more job seeking advice (temp jobs, direct hire jobs), visit your local AccuStaff office, or read more on our blog at www.accustaffny.com/blog.

Leave your comments


  • No comments found