First, you need to know that even in the most difficult job markets, there are available jobs. Employers often shoo some folks out the front door while they’re bring new hires in the back door. No one stays in a job forever. Since employees eventually move on, there are going to be openings. Of course restructurings also happen and jobs do disappear because of contracting markets, aging technologies and increased competition.
Assuming you’re a “top talent” performer, how do you make yourself stand out when you’re in an industry or function where there are many candidates applying for few positions?
First, you identify those traits, talents, strengths and attitudes that make you unique. What do you do differently than others who do what you do? What is the standard for your profession and how do you exceed that? Once you have evolved that information, you create a resume and cover letter that reflect the authentic, wonderful you. Nothing speaks louder than accomplishments and achievements, but make sure that what you write is 1) understandable and 2) provides context. What were the circumstances/conditions under which you delivered the positive results?
Think of yourself as a product. Define this product in a way that appeals to the target demographic. What problems does an employer in your industry, function or territory need to have solved? What challenges have you overcome? What value have you added?
Remember, you only need one job. You do not need to appeal to every employer. You only need to appeal to the one that desperately needs what you have to offer.
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC