As one year comes to a close and a new one begins, many people will examine their career progress and choices and decide it’s time to make a change. If you plan to be one of the millions of Americans who begins 2017 with a search for a new and/or better job, I have one piece of advice I want you to consider. Rather than thinking like a job seeker intent on finding the one right job, I want to encourage you to embrace the mindset of today’s most voracious and competitive hunters of talent and opportunity: recruiters.
Why might a recruiter’s mindset rather than a job seeker’s mindset be valuable today? It’s a very tight talent market and as a skilled job seeker, you hold a lot of cards in your hand. Recruiters work from a place of confidence, knowing that businesses need and pay well for great talent. Take a look at how recruiters tackle the job market and consider leveraging their techniques to help you find great employers and career opportunities in 2017.
Don’t Wait: Make Speed Your Advantage
Recruiters do not have the luxury of time when it comes to filling jobs. Every day a job goes unfilled is lost money for the employer. They work fast and so should you in a marketplace where networking connections are made in nanoseconds and sourcing and matching technologies are putting candidates in front of employers faster than ever.
Rather than putting off applying for an opening or reaching out to an employer, take action. Have your resume updated, edited and ready to send the moment you see an opportunity that matches your ambitions. The fact is, employers are working hard to make it easier and faster than ever to apply, so get off the sidelines and apply. If you wait, others will quickly take your place.
Sell Your Skills
Great recruiters are also sales people who know how to market candidates to employers. How good is your marketing game when it comes to selling your skills and experience? Today the best marketing tools for a job seeker are a strong LinkedIn profile and a standout resume. As I have written before here, a noteworthy resume, especially in tech, is a great way to market your skills. It’s also important to ensure today’s primary professional gateway, LinkedIn, speaks well of you. Build a strong, accurate profile that links to content that showcases your skills and experience. Don’t be shy about adding links to work you have done, articles you have published and other examples of what makes you a great addition to a team. Employers like confidence and experience, so make sure they can see yours when they search your profile.
As recruiters, my team knows that a perfect match of a candidate to a job profile is a rare thing. To bring strong candidates, sometimes you have to look creatively at a position and consider how certain skills and experience translate into a great match. Job seekers should do the same. Don’t look only at job titles that echo previous jobs. Instead, think about the kinds of work you want to do and the kinds of places where you want to work, and see how your skills might apply to various positions. I have helped technologists move into sales, marketing, operations and service roles and watched them thrive. Be open and creative in how you look at opportunities and try not to let titles or departments limit your search.
If you have worked with a recruiter in the past, you may have noticed that they have confidence in their ability to match people with jobs. That confidence is assuring (they know what they’re doing) and it’s justified because they know how valuable great employees are to businesses. Job seekers need to pursue jobs with that same level of confidence. The key to making your confidence work for you is to be sure you’re applying for jobs that make sense. Do you have skills the employer needs? Do you have experience that will help you succeed on the job? Can you succeed in their culture? If you can answer yes to each of those simple questions, you should feel confident in applying to the organization whether they have a job opening or not.
Knowing that unemployment is low and the demand for skilled workers is high should give you another confidence boost. Send in your resume. Make contact with employers and chase opportunities. Show potential employers, with confidence, the skill and wonder that is you. A good recruiter would do it with speed and style, and so should you.