Up is down
Many aspects of job hunting are counter intuitive. On many occasions, what you think makes sense, is in fact the wrong way to look at it. Take your CV for example. Most of us think our CV is about highlighting our experience, qualifications, skills and expertise to prospective employers. However, on most occasions, this is not the case - your CV is not about you!
Being a 'solution'
Understand that every time you see a job advertised, you are viewing a problem the employer has. If it is advertising for a sales rep in Northland, the company is saying it lacks sales presence in the Northland region, and will quickly start to lose market share as no one is representing their products in this area.
If an advertisement for a CFO is online, you are witnessing the fact that the organisation lacks strategic financial leadership, which in turn will lead to negative outcomes if the role is not promptly and professionally filled.
Therefore, every time you see a job being advertised, understand that you are viewing a "problem" the employer has. It's important then, when applying for a vacancy, that you position yourself as a "solution" to the employer's "problem" in your CV and cover letter.
At the early stage of the application process, it's vital to remember that your CV is your "brochure". For example, when a company develops its website and brochure to sell and promote its goods and services, it looks at the perceived needs of the customer, then develops its marketing collateral with this in mind.
In the same way, at the early stage of the job hunt, an employer is more interested in solving its own problem, than in you and what you offer. Therefore, the more you are focused on meeting the needs of the employer, the more your application will be taken seriously and lead to an interview. It is a subtle difference, but very important nonetheless.
You are not the audience
On many occasions the first person to read your CV is not actually qualified in your field. If you are an electrical engineer, for example, most recruiters and HR professionals have no idea what you do on a day-to-day basis, so rely on screening your CV against keywords in the job description to determine if there is a match or not.
The technique of "mirroring" what the recruiter or prospective employer wants to see as their "solution" becomes vital in this highly competitive market. Ensure that your CV and cover letter are (legitimately) mirroring key words and phrases, making a solid case that you are a "solution" to the employer's "problem". Doing this well will make certain your application will be taken more seriously when it is being assessed, and lead to the all-important first interview.
Contact Tom for a free LinkedIn or CV review, or to be your personal career coach. Visit www.CareerCoach.nz or www.CV.co.nz to find out more.