No matter what your level of experience, when you are on the hunt for a new role, it can be a difficult task to work out what exactly you need to do in order to both stand out against the competition and to portray yourself as the most interesting and credible candidate for the employer whom you have chosen.
It's important to have a plan for this, because when you've done the research and have a strategy in place you're already far ahead of most of the other candidates for any role - this article will show you how to take that further, set the right plan and get yourself into the best possible mindset for winning your desired role.
The human condition is such that when you really want something sometimes you'll be prepared to bend the rules a bit to get it - this is borne out in study after study of resumes and job applications where applicants have told what they thought were undetectable 'little white lies' to make themselves more attractive to the employer.
Being upfront and honest about what you know and what you don’t prevents you getting into a situation that can and will create problems for both you and your employer further down the track.
If you’re worried about not looking like you have the right knowledge or experience in in an interview, plan to turn it into a positive. Be the one to bring it up, talk about how you plan on dealing with the knowledge gap and highlight other skills that you do have or instances where you haven't known something and have taught yourself and mastered the skill. An employer is much more likely to appreciate your being up-front and highlighting your strengths than they are when they find out you lied later (which, let's face it, they will).
As discussed in this article, one of the most likely questions (let's face it, bit of a default for Hiring Managers) is where you see yourself in a few/5/10 years?
Have you got a good answer for this question? Considering your career progress will not only help you to come up with an honest answer to this question, but will show that you are actually thinking about it, something that a lot of other candidates won’t have done.
Considering and laying out the milestones you feel you should hit as your career progresses will help to build a view of the right next step in employment and will motivate you in a way that you wouldn't otherwise be. Ideally setting up a six-month, 12-month and 24-month plan that describes your career progression can be hugely valuable. Separately, tracking that and being accountable for achieving the goals you have set is incredibly important.
Ultimately if you are responsible and accountable for your career it makes you a much more attractive candidate as you'll come across as confident and in control.
Following on from the previous point, if you're really clear on where you want to go in your career, when you see that perfect role come up you'll know that you want to do everything in your power to get it.
That means tailoring your application materials for the role and working hard to make the application as unique to the opportunity as possible. This serves to clearly and concisely align your skills and experience to the role on offer and importantly can be instrumental in getting your application through automated application systems that the company or recruiter might be using to weed out non-aligned applications.
Note that a large percentage of job-seekers just don't spend the time to do this - they put together a CV and a generic application letter and mail-bomb roles until they get a hit - in the process making themselves less interesting and much less likely to succeed. If you have a clear goal in mind you won't make this mistake.
On other very important point to make when you create your perfect application for the role you want - key-wording! This means looking at the role and any prerequisites the employer has provided, considering the right keywords and making sure you are using them in the right way across your CV, LinkedIn and any other platforms where your professional experience is outlined.
Considering these tips and building them into your thinking around the roles that you want and how you approach them will assist in boosting your credibility as a candidate, help you succeed in the longer term and ultimately make you stand out from the crowd.