When it comes time to look for a new job, any professional will know you are entering into competition with a number of other motivated candidates. So what does it take to be the ideal candidate for the job you want? In many cases, just being the ideal candidate is not enough. You also need to be able to sell yourself as the ideal candidate. You may be an experienced and talented professional with a great many professional skills, but you need to have the skills for the job at hand. To ensure you can present yourself as the person for the job it requires you to assess your skills and determine what you are bringing to the position and what more you need to bring. This can be more difficult than it seems, so let’s look at the most effective ways of evaluating your skill set for a new job.
Before you start with an evaluation of your skills, you need to be ready and able to take a critical approach to the process. We’ve often talked about the underrated talent of self-evaluation and how it can be a very difficult thing for many people to accomplish. Confidence is an important part of the job search process, but confidence doesn’t mean you are unwilling to recognize faults in yourself. In fact, having this critical eye for your work can actually improve your confidence as you identify areas of struggle and turn them into strengths. Take an honest look at your skill set stacked up against the job. What is stopping you from being the ideal candidate? Use this critical eye for all the following steps in the evaluation process and you’ll finish with a much stronger skill set than when you started.
The job description is your guide.
When vying for a new job, the job description will forever and always be the number one tool at your disposal. No amount of confidence should ever let you think the job description is not important. It should be your Bible for the application process. Remember, employers want to find the right person. Everything they put in the job description is valuable information for you, especially when it comes to your skills. They lay it all out for you in plain English every skill they consider to be essential for the position. They aren’t trying to trick you into thinking you’re right for the wrong job. Study the job description thoroughly and ensure you as a candidate are addressing each and every point in the most effective way possible. If there is anywhere you are falling sort, put the work in until it is among your strongest skills. In the end your resume should be a mirror of their job description.
Look at it from the employer’s view.
Your objective as a candidate for a new job is to make the hiring process as easy as possible for the employer. Picking the right person for a job is a lot of pressure and you better believe they are going to do all they can to ensure they are selecting the best option. Therefore, you want to present yourself to the employer as the clear and obvious choice. While there are variety of aspect they’ll be looking at, special attention will be paid to your skills and how they relate to the job. Consider how you can present your skills to them in a way that would leave no doubt in their mind that you can excel in the position. Look at yourself as a candidate from their perspective. Where are the big question marks? Thinking about it from this perspective can help identify where you need to fill in the gaps and become the strongest possible candidate.
Think about proven skills.
Finally, when an employer sees your resume and sees your skills that apply to the job at hand, their next question becomes, how well do you implement these skills? The value that experience gives you as a professional is that your skills are proven. The skills you use in your day-to-day work become more valuable to an employer the more you can demonstrate a proficiency in using those skills. A candidate who not only possesses the necessary skills for the job but has also proven they can use them to great success in a job will always standout to an employer. Think of how you can demonstrate this in the hiring process. Certain projects or work that clearly shows you putting the skills to work successfully will further convince employers you can hit the ground running in a new position.
Your professional skills are an incredible asset when looking for a new career path, but remember that your skill set can always grow and improve. These kinds of evaluation help to make you a candidate that cannot be ignored.
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