Today's job hunters need an edge

resumeIt's getting increasingly competitive in the job market these days. With current unemployment figures ranging anywhere from 5% to 7.5%, depending on who you believe, the search for a decent, well paying job has become an undertaking which can quickly lead to disappointment. Job hunting is a different and exciting challenge these days. It is a far more specialized process now, than it has ever been before.

Because I have been invited by my employer to pursue our open position for an Industrial Production Manager, I have had an opportunity to get a special view of the hiring process, from both sides. Today's Human Resource Managers are a savvy bunch. They are highly trained and quite sophisticated. They have new tools and a multitude of new information sources. I'd like to share with you a few of the insights this opportunity to compete for position has provided for me.

These days, simply having a sharp resume isn't enough. Although a well prepared resume is essential, presentation alone won't win you an interview. Today's HR Managers are placing less emphasis upon what you have accomplished, while placing more emphasis upon how you'll fit in. In other words, they want to know more about what you can do for them than what you did for your previous employers or in school. Today's resume writers must adopt an in depth strategy of forward thinking. Quality resumes must now present a picture of future success.

Gone are the days when you could expect job hunting success by writing up one good resume and then carpet bombing a host of potential employers.That old strategy might still work, but in the long run you'll be cheating yourself out of interviews. Today, the most effective resume creation strategy requires that you tune your resume to each potential employer. Again, this strategy involves presenting less of what you have done, and more of what you intend to do. You begin this process by researching your potential job and employer. Find out what the job entails, and what makes the company tick. You can then figure out how to present yourself as fitting into your prospective employer's needs.

Begin by becoming completely familiar with the job description for the position you are seeking. You can easily do this right from your computer. There are descriptions online for every job that you can possibly imagine. Simply do a web search and start reading. Within a fairly short time, you should be able to recite a comprehensive list of responsibilities and duties for the job you are seeking.

Next, research the company you'd like to have an interview with. Find out what the company's core focuses are. Find out what it's great achievements have been. Find out where the company is directing it's forward momentum. These things will form the template for your resume. Once you have isolated the essential aspects of the position you seek, and have a feel for the company you are approaching, you will take your resume draft, and drawing from your own items of experience and education, you'll create a description of yourself which appropriately matches that job and employer. It's really quite easy and the results can be very impressive.

Once you get an interview opportunity, you again need to shake off some conventional wisdom. Naive job seekers tend to place their focus on reciting their past accomplishments. This practice wastes the interviewer's time. Remember, if you won an interview, your resume has probably been thoroughly reviewed. The interviewer already knows where you've been and what you've done there. Unless they ask you specific questions about it, leave the past in the past, except as it applies to the company's specific needs.

Today's hiring professionals want to hear about how you intend to pick up the job they give you, and carry it into the realm of success. They want to hear about your bold and innovative strategies. They want to see your enthusiasm for new opportunities. They want to know how you will project yourself into your new assignment. They also want to know how effectively you can communicate.

You might make a great impression by describing how you could help the company to be the leader in developing some cutting edge technologies. You may win interview points by explaining how you would like to streamline processes or trim costs on the company's projects. The key is to take those concepts and frame them in the context of that particular company's forward view. Make the company your own, before you ever sit down for an interview. Then, share a vision of company success with your interviewer, and they'll often reward you with an invitation to join the team.
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