With the employment rate remaining at a record high, coupled with massive skill shortages across all sectors, it’s no wonder that we have turned into a nation of risk-averse employers. With many hiring managers continuing to select from a depleting pool of applicants, the length of time it takes to hire is increasing whilst they chase the low-risk, tried and tested candidate. But what damage is this doing to our businesses productivity and reputation and are we limiting the potential for growth if we always choose the safe option?
This hiring behaviour is also having a major impact on job seekers who are struggling to WOW prospective employers of their potential. A job seeker may initially show a lack of experience and their qualifications may not be enough to convince an employer. The art of painting a compelling picture of a future performance is a skill in itself and being equipped with the know-how is critical to be on the right pathway to success.
So, how can you inspire an employer with a glimpse of what you could become and the difference you will make?
Prove your value. Evidence where you have solved problems before. Provide context and be specific with your examples. How have you improved efficiencies or increased business and what was the impact? How have you saved money and what difference did this make? Don’t be shy with your achievements and accomplishments, make them relevant to the pain-points of the prospective employers. Show and prove to them how you can make a difference to their business.
Show how you learn. Your willingness and ability to learn will increase your employability and convince employers of your potential. Attributes associated with learnability are humility, adaptability, curiosity and know-how. Show your daily commitment to becoming more than you were, letting go of what no longer serves you and stay up-to-date in a rapidly evolving climate. Be honest with yourself and the employer about where you need to develop. Show your commitment to self-development and lifelong learning.
When applying for jobs or wishing to grow in your career, seek a collaborative rather than individualistic culture. Ask questions to show an employer that personal and professional development is important to you. For example, what development opportunities will the employer provide? What support will I receive to help me learn on the job? Do I get a mentor? You want reassurance that the culture will be right for your potential to blossom.
Employers look for a can-do attitude. Hard skills or technical skills can often be trained once you are in the job. Give employers examples of getting things done, going the extra mile and how you have bounced back from set-backs.
Seek out ways where you can demonstrate your potential. If you are available immediately, offer to volunteer or do the job as a temp. Develop your personal brand by creating videos or writing articles or blogs on topics that demonstrate your personal values and potential and post them on social media. Create a portfolio of your work to prove your capability. Show warmth, personality and excite them to put you to the test.
Like I said, job seeking is an art and a skill. Wowing a prospective employer with your potential means that you need to persuade them to believe in you. And you can only do that if you believe in yourself!