Potential candidates need many skills to even get to the interview during the job search process. You must compose a cover letter, put together a resume, make contacts within the human resources department and gather the proper references before your face time with people who may hire you. All of this occurs after you check for the essential requirements to make sure you meet them.
Former HR executive Liz Ryan writes five truths about a job search that no one tells job seekers. Instead of paying attention to outdated job skills or obsessing over every single requirement of the position, perhaps you should change your focus to remember a few essential truths about getting a job that interviewers may not reveal.
1. Qualifications Reside in Individuals
Qualifications reside in each individual candidate and not in some piece of paper. During your job search, prove you have what it takes to make the position yours as opposed to letting interviewers pore through your degrees, certifications and skill set. Essential requirements provide a framework for your skills, but only you have what it takes to communicate, solve problems, manage your time and use technology on the job. Focus more on your people skills, and the paper-based qualifications become secondary.
2. 50 Percent Rule
If you possess 50 percent of the qualifications listed on a job description, feel free to apply for a job with confidence. No hiring manager in his right mind believes a magical candidate walks through the door with every possible qualification. This means you can expand or narrow your job search to fit your needs.
3. Speak the Truth at the Interview
When you give standard answers at an interview, chances are your interviewer may not notice you. Speak the truth in the interview, no matter how zany your answers may sound, and the people in front of you may remember you among other candidates. If the point of a job search remains standing out from the crowd, try the truth instead of cookie-cutter answers.
4. Avoid the "Yes Man" Mentality
Do not be afraid to go out on a limb and call out your interviewers. If the salary feels lower than the industry standard, say so. Learn how to negotiate a salary and mention your true value to your potential new employer.
5. Walk Away From a Bad Job
Another goal of your job search should be demonstrating why you are the best fit for a company. That does not mean you have to knock down everyone else in the proverbial boxing ring. If the company feels like they do not want you, they probably do not deserve you. Someone eventually finds you valuable, so keep looking.
Keep these five truths about a job search in mind the next time you try to earn a position. Sometimes, you just have to realize your worth means more than potentially debasing yourself or groveling to an employer. You — the job seeker — may have more power than you realize in terms of finding that perfect match.
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