There is still a large number of people out there looking for a job. Whether they have a job or not, millions of people are doing the same thing everyone else is doing: going on the internet, posting their resume on the job sites, and applying for jobs. If they’re lucky, their resume will “wow” who ever is reviewing them and they will get moved on to the next round in the process, typically a face-to-face or phone interview.
Are you doing things like everyone else?
A few years ago I submitted my resume to a fairly large organization that had posted an opening on the internet. At the top of my cover letter and resume I put a quote that an industrial psychologist had said about me a few years earlier.
Her quote was:
“He is the type who manages to see the bright side of challenging situations. If anything, he may underestimate the level of difficulty a situation might be.”
When I received the call from the regional manager, he said he received hundreds of resumes and mine was the only one to catch his eye right away. Eventually he offered me the position.
Don’t be like everyone else!
Starting with your cover letter and resume and moving all the way through your interview process, you must differentiate yourself. There are many ways to do this, but I believe that there are three things you can communicate that will separate you from your competition:
1. You Are Focused
Whether you are applying for a sales position in technology or a customer service position at a call center, you had better be able to articulate your focus in that area. We have a million distractions on a daily basis and distractions are not profitable. You don’t want to give people the feeling you are only there because you just need a job—you want them to believe that you are there because you are really interested in their organization and the opportunity to work with them. Show them that you are focused by researching the company and learning about the opportunity before you talk to them. Again, distractions are not profitable, and if they don’t believe you will be an asset, you will not be considered.
2. You Are Stable
This means you are mentally, emotionally, and physically stable. There are a lot of people who are applying for every job they think they are halfway qualified for simply because they need a job, and their desperation and insecurity comes through in their interviews. There are others who hate their current job, and during their interviews they feel the need to share why they hate it. Both scenarios have insecurity and drama written all over them, which does not communicate stability. Stability equals dependability in the eyes of an employer: if they do not feel you will be dependable, you will not get the job.
3. You Are Profitable
At the end of the day, being in business is about profit. Profitability equals survival and growth, so your ability to communicate how you will be profitable for the company will instantly make you stand out. To do this you must first understand how the company makes money.
Next, you must understand how the position you are interviewing for impacts how the organization makes money. If you are interviewing for a sales position, it’s about the amount of revenue you are able to generate. If you are interviewing for a customer service position, it’s about service and keeping your customers happy so they continue to spend money. Directly or indirectly, every single position within an organization is important and impacts profitability. The bottom line is the bottom line, so understand how your role impacts that!
Whether you are unemployed or just seeking other opportunities, your ability to show that you are focused, stable, and profitable can be the difference between landing the ideal position or having to keep on looking.
It is important to have some questions prepared and here are a few that could really help: Seven Great Questions to Ask at a Job Interview