It is time to change the perspective on how a candidate should view themselves in the marketplace. A job seeker is now the empowered “buyer” in the marketplace and needs to understand the value of their “currency”—their information.
Think about what the candidate really is giving to their future employer during the interview stage: from the onset, when the job seeker sends the cover letter, resume, and references and completes the application, there is nothing but information.
Employers don’t get to “try” out the job seeker’s abilities to their complete satisfaction before extending an offer. A future employer or hiring manager can only extend an offer based on an assessment that comes from information that they have gathered on the candidate.
Therefore, any job seeker must understand their own value, and learn how to communicate it to the potential employer.
From an information standpoint, the one most important thing about a resume is accuracy. Information that does not reflect the candidate’s true experience will devalue that currency. When a future employer feels that they must question the validity of any statement in the resume, then it greatly reduces the employer’s confidence in the profesional’s abilities. The statements in the resume must be clear and concise with the most effective presentation being a bullet point layout.
The cover letter is an opportunity for the candidate to share their understanding of the position and the organization.
It is important that the candidate address the job functions that best match their skills sets and also provide examples which highlight success in some of those areas. There is no need to write a novel filled with the greatest adventures, but please include a couple of strong examples of proven success.
This piece of information is also useful in addressing any areas where the candidate my not have the exact level of experience required. An employer will appreciate that a professional is aware of their abilities. In pointing out a shortcoming, the job seeker must also state how they can either ramp up quickly in that area of skill or how other experiences would translate well into those responsibilities.
Rarely does the job seeker have the ability to correct an answer during the process, so it is important that homework is done thoroughly. Be able to answer fundamental questions because, sometimes, these are the things more experienced professionals take for granted. Even for technical questions, it is always a plus to use real world examples when answering.
If a candidate feels like they need to increase their technical knowledge, Profiles provides free Lynda.com training.
This is where the quality of information is most important and the currency value is truly determined. The future employer will be at their most attentive and most willing to accept the information that the candidate has to offer. The information is presented both verbally and visually.
How a professional is dressed and composed provides information on how they may carry themselves in the work environment and their level of professionalism. When answering questions the candidate must be concise and consistent with the information that they have shared previously via the resume, cover letters and earlier interviews.
The candidate must be prepared to share their story. Go into the interview with the understanding that the future employer is looking to learn more than what they have already seen on paper. The job seeker’s goal is to provide information that cannot be retrieved at any other time.
Be smart about the choice of references given. They must be able to speak positively of the candidate’s background and, if possible, be aware of the type of opportunity the candidate is being considered for. The fastest way to devalue a currency is through a bad a reference.
In summary, the candidate must take ownership of the information that they are prepared to share with a prospective employer. It is the information and the way this information is shared which will determine whether or not the job seeker will get the job that they want.
Profiles is a unique staffing firm specializing in Marketing employment, Creative, and Web & IT jobs. Since 1998, we have served the needs of our Clients and Talent by matching the best candidates with the best companies in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Author Name – Henry Addo
Title – Resource Manager
Location – Washington, DC
Twitter – @Henry_Addo
Byline – Henry Addo is a career consultant and account manager presently with Profiles in Washington, DC. With over fifteen years experience in the Technology, Creative, Marketing, Communications and Entertainment industries, he has proven success in matching talent with opportunities that align with their interests, skills and long term career objectives. As a Resource Manager, he is always looking for innovative ways to improve the communication and process of matching the best talent with top organizations.