One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA. Oh, sure... we're not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is...
With unemployment soaring and the job market becoming saturated with quality candidates, it’s time for you to start getting creative in your quest to engage in your next professional opportunity. Give some thought to engaging the services of a recruiter or career coach.
In developing your brand and proper messaging, there are five valuable discussion points to consider when meeting with a recruiter or coach:
1. Professional integrity
One way to demonstrate your professional integrity is to make sure that you leave a company in great standing. This shows that you are accountable for your performance at your former company and relationships with your previous colleagues.
In completing reference checks on candidates, I have had prospective employers ask for references from people in the most recent applicable employer, which may include your former boss; peers; subordinates; and in some cases, the clients. Have a complete understanding of what your references will say about you, and make sure that they are ready to start taking calls.
2. Showcasing capacity
One of my favorite things to do when screening candidates is to determine if they have the appropriate skill set to become flexible and scalable. Candidates often need to be ready for expansive growth with the prospective employer. That said, I often ask the candidate to explain the difference between having depth and having capacity to be successful in the company; rarely do they have the right answer.
Depth is coming into a role with a solid background and necessary knowledge to do the job. Capacity is demonstrating the skills and proper knowledgebase to assume the role but also possessing the skills to take on more as the job grows.
As you look around, you may know people that are very content having the depth to do the job. The ones that get promoted are usually those who demonstrate the capacity to take on more responsibility.
3. Claims versus evidence
As the candidate, you must be able to demonstrate examples of your performance as solid evidence in the body of your resume. In other words, you can talk about the success that you may have had in your previous role, but it has a much higher perceived value when it becomes a statement on your resume.
Nearly every task in every job affects revenue, systems or people. This is the evidentiary and supporting data that is vital to understanding the effect you have had in your previous role. Your resume should not look like a job description. It must contain quantifiable results, especially if you were in a sales role.
4. Communication skills
Lack of conversation reflects lack of interest. A solid candidate should have exceptional communication skills on several levels. It’s important to be able to carry on with typical small talk because many relationships are established this way, but you must also be a person that the company can count on to deliver executive-level presentations to internal and external clients and customers. Recruiters will gauge your level of comfort with communication.
5. Financial benefits to the company
Among other things, remember that the hiring manager really cares about the financial aspect of the candidate’s contribution to the company. Regardless of the role that is being filled, there are usually two important considerations that must be reviewed in screening the right candidate for the role: Revenue and Timing.
Revenue - Based on the background of the candidate and the role that will be filled in the company, the hiring manager must be able to determine or anticipate how much revenue you will generate as the candidate of choice.
Timing - The hiring manager then needs to understand how quickly this candidate can begin to generate revenue for the company. The return on investment will vary based on the role being filled, but this is vital to determine that the candidate is of long-term value to the company.
As you embark on your professional journey, and establish relationships with your recruiter or career coach, I am confident that these five points will prove instrumental in your search strategies towards success!
Go get’ em!