If you want to get anywhere in recruitment and in life, it is often worth taking a minute to consider what you bring to the party.
Too many job seekers consider their “added value” in a vacuum. They sit down at the start of their search and compile a list of their top qualities. They scour every moment of their past to build up a mouth-watering picture of their candidacy. They spend so much time thinking about it, that it seems to be burned into their heads like a red-hot brand:
“I must mention these things at interview, no matter what.”
It is all well and good thinking about yourself in this way, but unless you consider the nature of the “party” that you will be attending, there will nearly always be a disconnect between what you are projecting and what is required.
In any job search, you simply have to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring company, research what makes them tick and approach the interview process from their perspective rather than your perspective. Why should they hire you? How will you make their business better? What will their business look like a year after you have come on board?
In certain circumstances, they couldn’t care less about your past achievements. Unless those achievements are relevant to the role that you will be taking on, to them, your proud narrative will be the equivalent of hot air. To engage someone, you need to make it about them, not you.
Candidates have never been so spoilt in terms of being able to find out about potential future employers. There is no excuse for going into any recruitment process blind, but it is shocking how many people simply talk about their past experiences at interview rather than how those experiences will translate to assisting those future employers.
Maybe think of it in another way. If you are looking to make an investment in a project, you want to be certain that your project partner has done their due diligence. If they don’t seem to understand what value they bring to the table, and how it is relevant to your organisation, you will be unlikely to invest your money and your time in the relationship.
There are shifts in the candidate market at the moment – across all sorts of industries. Over 2016, it seems likely that job cuts will increase across the globe, and competition for roles will become much stiffer. The market has been fairly candidate led during the recovery, but these realities can change quickly. If you about to get into the job market, don’t be complacent, don’t assume that your worth to the hiring company is obvious – do some research, think about yourself from their perspective – and then spell it out for them.
If your hiring-company-centric business case is compelling, you will have every chance of securing that dream job. If your business case is “I’m great, please hire me” – you’ll probably have to settle for second best.
Written by Alex Turner, Edited by Paul Drury