Marketing Your Strengths To a Potential Employer
Getting a job is challenging, but here are some ways you can improve your chances by effectively marketing your strengths to potential employers.
You can also find useful tips and information on employment and entrepreneurships from Joanna Riley, the CEO of Censia. Her experience in helping businesses to acquire top-tier talent means she knows exactly what employers are looking for in candidates.
Qualifications – keep them relevant
Whether you have a long list of qualifications or just a few, it’s best to highlight the most appropriate ones to any potential employer. If you’re applying for a job in technology, then any courses you’ve studied or completed in relation to technology would obviously be relevant. You should mention them in detail in the cover letter or in your personal profile on your resumé. You need to make sure the employer knows about these immediately. HR departments have many applications to go through, and you don’t want them to have to search at the bottom of a document for your educational and specialist qualifications. Make sure they are detailed at the top.
If you don’t have formal technology qualifications but have become proficient in its use by, for example, studying courses where you’ve had to use it, mention that instead.
The same goes for jobs in other sectors. Mention the most relevant first, then state how other qualifications may help you in the role.
It can be tempting to write one cover letter for each sector you’re looking to work in and send that with your CV for all jobs in that sector, without making any changes. The impersonal nature of this will be quickly noticed by HR staff and it could put them off.
Even though it will take time, it pays to research a company you are applying to work for to find out as much about it as you can. At interview, you could be questioned about the company’s business in some detail. If you are knowledgeable about the organization, it shows that you’ve made an effort to learn about it and have given thought to how you could fit in with the current team.
Experience is important, in conjunction with qualifications – or instead of. Any aspect of your current or past employment could be used to market yourself if it relates to the job you’re applying for. It’s vital to be honest with a potential employer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. You may have to spend some time writing down all the duties and extra tasks you’ve had to do as part of your past and current employment, before you find something relevant to the job you’re applying for. Just be sure to make it clear to the employer how your past experience would be helpful. It may not be immediately obvious in your resumé, so explain in your cover letter how it relates to the role.
Showing that you have undertaken some volunteer work is a good way to impress employers. If the job is an entry position, voluntary work may be enough to show your eagerness to gain experience by taking unpaid work experience, and it highlights that you are willing to spend your time learning and gaining experience.
Hobbies and interests
Listing your hobbies on your CV can have some benefits, though only if they relate to the role you’re applying for. Watching television isn’t something you want to include! Mentioning voluntary work again can be a good one if it is relevant and takes up a big part of your free time. If your hobby is creating book covers or other digital artwork, then this is a great one to include when applying for a graphic design job.
Similar to hobbies and interests, some of the things you do in your personal life may be worth mentioning in order to market yourself. If you’ve taught your children or elderly relatives a skill, it could be helpful to include that in your personal profile. That illustrates that you have the ability and are competent enough to pass your knowledge onto someone else.
Another good way to market yourself is by creating a strong online presence, such as with blogging or vlogging, use of social media, or creating a personal website that shows off your skills in some. Set anything that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see to private or, better still, don’t post it at all. Remember! What you post will stay there and it could be accessed by a potential employer. Social media settings are subject to change and you don’t want to risk something becoming public if it hinders your chance of employment.