These days, employers have their pick of the litter. For every job opening, you can expect at least 100 competitors vying for the spotlight. The need to stand out in this job market is greater than ever. To help you do just that, I’ve gathered some of the most helpful pearls of wisdom from the most impressive professionals I’ve encountered over the years and offer them to you here.
On seeking a position
Understand the value you bring. Be able to articulate your value clearly.
Be aware of the culture fit. Do your research on any and every potential employer. Make sure you fit the culture and make sure the culture fits you. Only a mutually beneficial relationship will thrive.
Be self-aware and realistic. Think critically before you settle on a path. Again, do your research. Does the position you are applying for fit your long-term career vision and goals?
Does the organization feel good? Is their message clear? Is it consistent? Does it fit or fight your personal values?
On setting yourself apart from other applicants
Leverage your network. The broader your network, the more likely you are to have people inside an organization advocating for you. Get a warm introduction.
Tailor your résumé. You have a very small window of time to make your case. Position yourself as a match for the role and for the organization. Be specific. Be concrete.
Respect the stated application avenue but don’t be afraid to reach out and ask insightful questions. Asking for support sets you apart if you do it respectfully, professionally and without expectation of more than advice.
On leaving the work force to go back to school
Having an MBA is not as critical as it used to be. Demonstrated success says just as much. Think long and hard before leaving the workforce to pursue an MBA, unless your chosen field absolutely requires one.
If you DO decide to go for that MBA, make sure you do your research, apply for scholarships and pick the very best program for you.
Final Pearls of Wisdom for Job Seekers
Be bold. Leverage your connections. Recognize the power of your network.
Be realistic. Understand the roles available to you. If you don’t have the experience you need right now, find out what you need to do to gain that experience. Then do it.
What pearls of wisdom would you add to this list?