Securing the job of your dreams is no doubt a tricky task. How is it possible to stand out from a sea of applicants who are all qualified, motivated and hardworking?
Hint: it’s all about finding the balance! For instance, recruiters have shown to want employees capable of being confident with their current skillsets but also be humble enough to admit what they lack knowledge in. Acquiring this sort of balance can be a tough row to hoe but fret not, I’ve narrowed it down to 8 pointers to help you get there.
1. Leave No Room for Doubt but be Flexible When Necessary
Regardless of the position you apply for, you’re expected to immediately jump on the wagon and start performing upon hiring. Therefore, recruiters look for individuals who can demonstrate confidence in doing what’s in the job description. Tailor your CV to show that you’ve tackled similar jobs before and can fulfil all the responsibilities they require. If you’re unsure about your capabilities, don’t be. You can always learn along the way, but be sure to highlight what you can bring to the table as well as your readiness to learn. If you train yourself to be driven by producing successful end-results, you can achieve anything you want.
Now here comes the contradicting bit; recruiters want employees who are confident but not necessarily set in their ways. Flexibility is important because change is constant and they want to know that when the time comes, you can change what’s needed. You can easily demonstrate this in your interview by describing situations where you’ve successfully done things differently to suit the situation at hand. Use a scenario and enlighten the interviewer with your way of doing it before asking them about the company’s process when undertaking the same task.
2. Emphasize on Your Cross-Functional Skill Sets – It’s a Great Asset, Really
For 2016, it’s been determined that engineering is the most in-demand technical skill. But whichever your technical skill is, just be sure to highlight it in your CV and state how you can use those skills to bring the company to greater heights. List out certifications and trainings you have done but also tell them about your reliability, goal-driven personality and innovativeness so they know you’re an all-rounder that can produce results.
At the same time, a company needs more than just technical folks. Projects these days usually consist of employees from various departments coming together to make one big thing happen. This is where your cross-functionality comes into play. Traits like adaptability, solid communication skills and being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes are what’s in demand. Polish up your knowledge on other fields whether it is marketing, resource management, customer behavior and so forth. Communicate in your CV how you’re able to work peacefully with different characters and you’re looking to explore other fields apart from your own. Recruiters will be over the moon to hear that!
3. Knowing the Company in a Not-So-Creepy Way
Anybody can want ANY job. But you have to tell recruiters what makes you want THAT job. What is it about the role that fits with your goals and what is the company doing that’s attracting you to them? You don’t have to portray your enthusiasm by going on and on about the plus side of their products or retweet everything that’s posted on the company account. Instead, do it in a more subtle way. Tell them about your experience with their product, both good and bad. Throw in some solutions for the bad. This shows recruiters that you’ve got something to offer and you’ve done your homework too.
Knowledge that’s industry-based is also a requirement. For instance, if you’re applying for a film-making company, you’d have to know about the film-making industry. If you don’t know much about the industry you’re applying for, start right now! Talk about it in day-to-day conversations with people who share the same passion, keep updated with industry experts on social media, read about the industry happenings and get to know what competitors are up to. It’ll give you leverage when applying and your recruiter will know that you’re coming in with an understanding that’s not from a one-day read.
4. Responsible Solo Rider but also a Team Player
The tech industry – start-ups and large organizations – is embracing entrepreneurial traits. If you’d like to succeed, you’d have to show that you’re a person who can uptake any project and handle it with minimal babysitting. We’re talking individuals who can innovate and design systems while leading change on their own and still deliver success. How do you communicate this to recruiters? Share with them on how you’re a self-starter, your capabilities for innovative, creative thinking and how you’re able to multitask in a fast-moving environment. Share with them a past experience on how you had identified a problem, thought of a creative solution and executed it while having other things on your plate.
Working independently is a great asset, but you hit homerun if you can also engage in teamwork. Some of the best solutions are said to come out from teamwork. So elaborate on past occasions where you’ve been a team player and succeeded. Highlight also on failures and how you were able to handle the feedback gracefully. One direct tactic of showing you’re a team player is by initiating a warm gesture – a smile, a friendly nod, a greeting – to everyone you meet along the way to your interview. This act of friendliness speaks for itself on how you will treat people, whether working in a team or not.