Tag Archives: transferable skills

So you didn’t get the job; ask yourself 3 questions

So you didn’t get the job you wanted. You nailed the phone interview, had great rapport with the recruiter, he loved you and said you’re in consideration for the face-to-face. But you don’t hear back from him. Crickets.

Rejection2

In my Interview workshops I ask people if they’ve had a telephone interview lately. Some raise their hand, so I ask them how the interviews went. Their typical response, “Not so well. I didn’t get to the next step.”

They were probably right for the job but didn’t have one of the three components employers’ look for—they didn’t meet the technical requirements for the job. Having the other two components, willing to do the job and being a good fit, just didn’t cut it.

Let’s face it, recruiters, are foremost concerned about your ability to handle the task assigned to you. The other two components are important, but the first priority is meeting the job specifics. Their job is to determine if you have the technical skills.

This is wrong according to Mike Michalowicz ‘s article in WSJ.com called The Best Recruits May Not Be Who You Think, but many employers don’t realize the value of the variable. He writes:

“When hiring new employees, most recruiters consider qualifications first – and last. They’re looking for someone with the best education, the most experience and the most impressive skills. This is a mistake because you can teach employees what you want them to know, you can give them the experience you want them to have, but you can’t change who they are on a fundamental level. Their attitude, values, willingness and work ethic are all ingrained in them.”

Let’s take a marketing specialist position that lists the following requirements:

  1. Familiarity with data storage software.
  2. Write copy for direct mail and electronic distribution, including web content.
  3. Manage relations with appropriate departments.
  4. Coordinate projects with outside vendors.
  5. Speaking with media, partners, and customers.
  6. Research competitors’ websites and reporting activity.
  7. Coordinate trade shows.
  8. Photo shoots/animation development, webinars, product launch planning.
  9. Willingness to travel 25%.
  10. Plus a Master’s Degree in Marketing preferred.

Now, if the other candidates have all the technical ingredients for the job, and you’re lacking webinar production experience and coordinating projects with outside vendors, have limited experience speaking with the media; the decision of whether you advance to the next round may be based on your lack of experience.

You may be perceived as someone who is motivated to work at the company, because you express enthusiasm for the duties and challenges presented; and come across as a great personality fit, because you demonstrate adaptability to any environment and management style. But these components usually aren’t weighed as heavily by recruiters.

The fact is that most recruiters must be assured that you can hit the ground running. They want to hire someone who has 80%-100% of the requirements under their belt. You can’t beat yourself up for not getting the job, despite shining in every other way.

CareerCenterToolBox.com published an article called 5 Things You Need to do After the Interview, in which one of the things suggested was to evaluate your performance. It says: “Right after the interview, recall what happened. You need to start by asking yourself these three vital questions:

  1. What went wrong?
  2. What went right?
  3. What can be improved?

As I tell my workshop attendees, “What went wrong?” was probably the fact that another candidate presented herself as more qualified for the position based on her experience. Or there are other reasons that were out of your control.

Read about 10 reasons you’re not a fit for the job.

What went right? You stood up to the pressure of an interview and presented an articulate, thoughtful, and personable candidate. You answered all their questions with confidence and poise, maintained eye contact.

When asked about direct experience, you highlighted transferable skills that would make the transition seamless. You learned more about what is expected at an interview.

What can improve? Ideally you’ll apply for jobs where you have 80%-100% of the job-related requirements; but don’t shy away from jobs where you only meet 75% of the requirements, because occasionally employers see other qualities in you other than the alphabet soup. Please don’t throw in the towel yet. Keep fighting the good fight!

Photo: Flickr, Sheila Janssen

Advertisements

Job Search Tip #3: Assess your skills

Last week we looked at assessing your work values. Now we’re going to look at assessing your skills.

When asked at the interview about your greatest strength, you’ll most likely respond by talking about one or two of the three skill types: technical, transferable, or adaptive (personality). You might address your expertise in C++, market analysis, team building, or innovation, for example.

Of course the best policy is to talk about skills that relate to the job at hand. In other words, if the company or organization is looking for someone strong in communications, customer service, and Oracle, these are the skills you’ll highlight, providing you’ve demonstrated them with accomplishments.

The same strategy applies to writing your tailored résumés and cover letters, and your LinkedIn profile. Your emphasis will be on the skills required to succeed at the position for which you’re applying.

Assessing your skills. Knowledge of your skills is not only import in succeeding at the interview or when writing effective job-search documents; you’ll highlight them when networking and sending follow-up letters, as well as preparing your elevator speech. It’s important that you know the difference between the three skill types and can talk to them with conviction.

Technical skills are absolutely required to do the job. Let’s say you aspire to be a marketing manager. Technical skills for this occupation include, but are not limited to:

Product Marketing

Retail Brand Management

Pricing Distribution

Account-Based Marketing

Transferable skills are universal: If you think any job can be performed with technical skills alone, you’re sadly mistaken. (You’ll notice that the list above is shorter than the subsequent lists. Your transferable skills are necessary, if not more than your technical skills. 

When thinking about your transferable skills, think about them completing the thought, I can….Here is a list of transferable skills considered important in general, but by no means is it conclusive. 

Knowledge of Basic Marketing Principles Communications Skills (Listening, Verbal, Written) Analytical
Managing Priorities Management Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness
Collaboration Strategic Thinking Motivating Others
Problem-Solving Research Coordination
Computer/Technical Literacy Planning Reasoning
Organizing Project Management Presentation

Adaptive skills define you as a person and worker. How would you describe your work habits? What makes you a fit in the company? The answer to these questions has a great deal to do with your adaptive skills. In fact, some employers rate these as some of the most important skills, yet some jobseekers disregard them.

You might describe yourself as a team builder who consistent, fair, insightful, and others supporting personality skills. When thinking about these skills, thing about them completing the thought, I am….Here are some common adaptive skills:

Intelligent Leader Have Vision
Honest/Moral Adaptable/Flexible Tenacious
Dependable Creative Loyal
Positive Motivated/Energetic/Passionate Professional
Self-Confident Diligent A Team Player

From this limited list of transferable and adaptive skills chose the ones that best describe you and are most important to what you do, and also what the employer seeks in his/her next employee. Keep in mind that your transferable and adaptive skills play a major role in shaping you as a productive employee.

Next Friday we’ll look at revising or writing your résumé.

Make room for supporting skills on your résumé

Guest article from Martin Yate, CPC, author, Knock ’em Dead Series.

If you want your résumé pulled from the databases and read with serious attention, it’s common knowledge that it needs to focus on the skills you bring to a single target job. However, employers still want to know about your supporting skills.

For example a colleague and hiring manager in the IT world says, “ I don’t just want to see evidence that someone is a hotshot in say, the .NET Framework; I also want to see that they can get around with other languages, so that I know (a) that they understand programming as distinct from just .NET, and (b) that if my company introduces a new programming language/development environment in the future, I have someone who will be able to handle that with ease.”

To satisfy these understandable needs, your resume must nevertheless

1. Be data-dense enough, with that data focused on the “must have” skills of the job to get your résumé ranked high enough in database searches. A recruiter will not read your résumé unless it ranks in the top 20 of that recruiter’s database search; because twenty résumé is about as deep as they ever go.

2. No one enjoys screening résumé, and the process is initially visual, in that recruiters scan a résumé for key content and will naturally favor those résumé where the layout enables a reader to rapidly access key information.

These factors contribute to the need for your résumé to have a laser focus on a target job: the résumé’s goal is to get you into conversation and if it speaks clearly and succinctly to capabilities as described in your analysis of Job Postings it will do so. This approach is proven and it is the default starting point for a productive résumé.

You can still get this important supporting skills information into your résumé, without taking up too much room, by using a Core Competencies section. This will come at the front of your résumé, after contact information, your Target Job Title and any Performance Profile or Summary.

The Core Competencies section is a simple list of all the skills that you bring to the job. You’ll start with those skills most important to your Target Job; but you can also add all those skills, that support your all-around professionalism.

Here’s an example of a Core Competencies section from an operations management resume:

Professional Core Competencies

Strategic Business Planning Project Management Cross-Functional Team Building
IT/IS Human Resource Issues Employee Benefits
Risk Management Hiring, Training & Coaching Negotiations
Research & Analysis Financial Modeling Business Modeling
Portfolio Management Acquisitions & Divestitures Policies & Procedures

Adding a Core Competencies section to the front end of your résumé and then repeating those same words in the context of the jobs in which they were used has two major benefits

  • It’s a concise review of all the hard skills you bring to the table and is a real attention grabber to a recruiter
  • It multiplies the occurrence of keywords likely to be used by recruiters in the database searches and will dramatically improve your resume‘s ranking

You can learn much more about resumes in Knock em Dead Resumes & Templates on the book pages here at http://www.knockemdead.com
Courtesy, www.KnockEmDead,com