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The job search can be fun and exhilarating or it can be slow and frustrating. In some cases, the job seeker and the person doing the hiring are coming from two different perspectives. Consider this – traditional job searches consist of candidates applying for jobs online in the privacy of their home. This act in itself is very solitary. On the other hand, hiring managers anticipate new openings and although the position will be advertised, the first thing they think of is “Who do I know?” They launch in to their contacts and begin the conversations. This approach is very interactive. The standard practice of “Who you know” is still very much in fashion. Most employers would prefer to hire people they know or who have been referred by people they know. It cuts the risk level.
Here are a few things you can consider when approaching the job search from an employer’s perspective:
- Know your strengths and how you can apply them to solve an organization’s problems. They hire people to help them solve problems. Think through your accomplishments and the types of problems you solved. What was the outcome? How can it help the company with whom you are applying?
- Thoroughly research the company and know what they value, what they do, who they serve, and how they conduct business. This helps to determine “fit.”
- Know how to articulate how your past experiences and strengths can benefit the organization. Let them know how you intend to make a positive impact on their bottom line, and how you will do it.
- Be intentional about your job search. Don’t try to “fit yourself” in to a position and apply to anything you think you can do. Approaching the job search in this manner could make you seem unfocused.
This approach does require research, preparation, and work ahead of time. Schedule an appointment with a career specialist to get a jump start on your own job search strategy.
An Employer's Perspective is a series where employers are interviewed about what they look for in a candidate.
Here are some comments from some employers who work with the Office of Career Services: