How to Impress
Imagine you’ve met someone
at a party. After brief introductions, the person you’ve just been introduced
to launches into a lengthy discussion about himself, his
interests, and his goals.
“Hey, what about me?”
you may be thinking. “Aren’t you interested in hearing what I have to say?”
Apparently the answer is
“no.” He doesn’t care about you or your needs. And because of that, it’s
unlikely you’ll want to talk to him again, and you certainly won’t want
to develop a friendship with him.
It’s obvious that being completely
self-absorbed isn’t effective in social situations. That’s why it’s amazing
that so many people make the mistake of sounding self-absorbed when applying
for a job.
Of course a potential employer
wants your resume and cover letter to have information about you including
your work experience, education and achievements.
But to make the short list
and get an interview, a potential employer wants more -- they want
to know the benefits to them of choosing you over the numerous other
qualified people who have applied for the job.
For example, an employer
doesn’t want to hear that your career objective is “to have a rewarding,
high-paying position where I can learn and move up within an organization.”
After all, don’t most people
want something like that (along with a corner office)? This type of statement
doesn’t tell your employer anything about what you will do for their organization
or what the benefits are of hiring you instead of someone else.
To have a huge advantage
over the other applicants for your job, do something radically different
than what many job-seekers do: focus on what value you can bring to the
employer instead of what they can do for you.
When you are preparing your
resume, imagine the employer has asked you to answer the question: “What’s
in it for me if I hire you?”
For example, to make your
resume stand out when you’re applying to the XYZ corporation, try using
a powerful objective statement such as the following:
To use my five years of record breaking sales experience to increase the
sales and profitability of XYZ Corporation by 10% each year.”
This is a strong statement because
it includes specifics. Avoid stating a generic objective such as “to contribute
to an organization,” which will not make your resume stand out from the
An alternative to stating
your objective within your resume is to use a “summary statement” at the
top of the page. A good example of a strong summary statement would
be something like:
leader who consistently delivers revenue generating and cost saving solutions
In addition to showing what
you have to offer an employer in your resume, make sure when you're called
for an interview that you learn as much as you can about the employer.
In a national survey conducted
in 2006 for the staffing agency Accountemps, 47 percent of executives polled
said that having little or no knowledge of the company is the most common
mistake job seekers make during interviews.
The survey included responses
from senior executives in human resources, finance and marketing departments
with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.
“Candidates should learn
as much as they can about a company before meeting a prospective employer,”
said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps.
“The most successful applicants
will have a beyond-the-basics understanding of the firm, including its
history, chief competitors and business objectives. Armed with this knowledge,
job hopefuls should be able to describe how their skills and experience
can help the business reach its goals.”
Accountemps offers the following
tips for researching potential employers:
Find information at your fingertips.
By visiting the company’s website, you can locate a wealth of information,
such as the firm’s mission and values, what products and services it provides,
recent press releases and more. If it’s a publicly traded company,
call the investor relations department to request an annual report.
Research the industry. In addition
to learning about the company, research the industry in which it competes
to gain a better understanding of the market and specific issues and trends
that may affect the organization.
So the next time you send out
your resume or go on an interview, take the time to research your dream
employer and focus on the benefits you will bring them
Check your network. Ask your
colleagues, friends and others for information about your prospective employer.
Your contacts may have worked for or with the organization and could provide
insight that may prove valuable during a job interview.
When they offer you the job
you can ask for all those things that you want.
Then the next time you’re
at a party and someone asks, “What do you do?” you can talk about how you
landed your great new job.
Tag and Catherine Goulet
are founders of FabJob Inc. and authors of the book Dream
Careers: How to Quickly Break Into a Fab Job! Visit www.FabJob.com
to discover how to break into the career of your dreams.
by Tag and Catherine
Sisters Tag and
Catherine Goulet are the Dream Career Experts. In 1999 they founded FabJob.com,
a publisher of guides on how to break into a dream career, which has been
visited by 50 million people. They have been featured giving career advice
in media from ABC to Oprah.com and Woman's Day to the Wall Street
Journal online, and their career advice appears frequently on the career
pages at MSN.com and AOL.com. They are authors of the book Dream
Careers: How to Quickly Break into a Fab Job! Visit www.FabJob.com
to discover how to break into a dream career.
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