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Here’s How To Get Your Dream Job Even Though You’re Under-Qualified

Here’s How To Get Your Dream Job Even Though You’re Under-Qualified

This article uses the word “under-qualified” in the title because that is how most job candidates view themselves when they see certain job postings. After a conversation with job candidates I show them how most of them are qualified. Perspective is a funny thing, especially when we look at ourselves. What makes a person qualified for a job? They have the skills the employer is looking for to do a particular job. How you define those skills is where someone who thinks they are under-qualified becomes qualified. Here are 6 common skills listed on a job description you possess but may not know about.

1. Analysis

In every job data is analyzed. Retail sales clerks analyze their sales for the week. Office Managers analyze budgets. Wait staff analyze their average check amount. If you see “Analysis” in a job description think hard about what you currently analyze, and put it on your resume.

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2. Determine

Determining the outcome of a situation is how we live our lives. Say something rude to your girlfriend? You can determine that the odds are great you just started a fight. Did you eat the five alarm chili right before bed? You can determine you will have heartburn in the middle of the night. Is the place of business where you currently work slow at the beginning of every month? You can determine you will have to be more proactive at the beginning of the month to stay productive. Think about what situations take place in your current job and determine the outcome. Then put it on your resume.

3. Assist

Do you assist customers to find merchandise? Do you assist other departments to process their work flow? Do you assist your superior with their reports or their schedule? You probably assist people in many ways in your current job. You just call it “helping”. Think about who you assist and how, and then put it on your resume.

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4. Excellent Communication Skills

If you have to collaborate with coworkers to accomplish any task and you consistently complete that task chances are you have excellent communication skills. This is a tricky skill to put on a resume though because unlike the skills above where your bullet point would actually start with the word “assisted” or “determined” communication is a skill you show through an action. It is not enough to say “communicated with a team of six our daily sales goal numbers”. This shows you communicated, but not that you communicated with “excellent communication skills”. In order to show excellent communication skills you have to go further. Your bullet point would read like this, “communicated with a team of six our daily sales goal numbers and consistently increased sales the following day by 10%”. The fact that you increased sales by 10% the following day is what shows the interviewer you have “excellent communication skills”.

5. Self Direction

Self direction can also be referred to as works independently.  Is it your job to open the store? Do you complete tasks without a lot of direction? Have you ever started a project to make your department more efficient without being asked to? If you have, then put it on your resume.

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6.  Works Well in a Team Environment

Basically what this means is that you will not be working alone in a cubicle in the basement. This skill is a lot like “excellent communication skills” in the sense that you have to tell a story about how you work well with a team. There is a trick here however. A resume should always show what “you” did and not what “we” did. The company interviewing you is not hiring your old team. They are hiring you. You want to talk about your contribution to the team and how that contribution added value to the overall objective of the team or the project. You also have to think about how you define the word “team”. You may have been an individual sales person and competed with others in your office, but management saw you as a sales team. The teams overall objective was to produce sales. Your sales contributed to the overall goal. As a server in a restaurant you may have a section, but you are providing service as a team of servers to the overall restaurant, and yes you all are “selling” the food. Once you have identified the team in your current role you can identify your contribution and then put it on your resume.

I have already written a little about using the actual words above in your bullet points on your resume. I cannot stress this enough. The language you use must match the language the company uses in their job description. How else can they really know you have the skills they need unless you use the words they understand.

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Featured photo credit: https://www.theundercoverrecruiter.com via google.com

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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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