Your standard dream job description may require an average of three to five years of experience when you only have two years of experience. Do you just walk away and do not apply? No, apply anyways. You may be surprised and get at least a phone interview. Pay close attention to the keywords of the job description and ensure that you put them in your resume also.
Do not inflate your experience in this field or call attention to your lack of three to five years of experience in a cover letter. There are other things a recruiter looks for aside from number of years of experience. Maybe the job calls for someone who can work tirelessly towards a specific goal for long-term rather than short-term gratification. Or perhaps your background in customer service will be a great add-on to the skill sets required in the position. Personal characteristics, related skill sets and ability to work hours that are different from just the 9 to 5 grind may also make you an attractive candidate. If the recruiter describes the type of person that would fit best into this position, listen carefully, then provide information on why you are that person.
Training also counts towards making you the ideal job candidate when you do not have the requisite number of years of work experience. While some managers like to train their new employees from the ground up, realistically, it can be cost prohibitive and time consuming to do so. Arriving with some relevant training can also make starting a new job easier.
A flexible, can-do attitude also counts in your favor. If you can be flexible with start dates, hours, where you work, what equipment you do your work on, all of these things can add up to make you the best candidate for the job, even when you do not have the preferred amount of experience.
Employers like to hire people who keep their skills up to date. The best way to do this is to become a life-long learner. The Education resume section shouldn’t just begin and end with your university degrees. Keep on learning. Take classes, view webinars, participate in association chat and conference sessions, anything that will increase your knowledge and expertise in life and your job.
There are a variety of places to look for life-long learning opportunities. You can start with Continuing Education through your professional association or college. Many PBS television stations carry some form of adult learning classes. Take the seminars that are offered through your job. Checkout online videos or webinars that showcase college lectures. Search for higher education institutions that allow you to take online classes. Some classes are free while others have a charge for earning credit. Scan your local paper for museums, institutes and other public places that offer classes. Classes for credit are good because you are tested and held accountable to learn what is being taught. But even classes that do not offer credit or that are not taken for credit will still add to your skill sets and knowledge base.
These learning opportunities make you more valuable to employers. Employers are so interested in finding life-long learners as employees that some companies will offer educational opportunities to their employees on a regular basis. It may be in the form of company-sponsored computer classes, tuition reimbursement or even professional conferences. While you may be required to make a presentation on what you learned when you return from a conference, the knowledge gained and the increased skill sets on your resume may be worth it.
Today’s post is by guest blogger, Kenneth McCall. Read more about Ken at the end of the article.
When people hear the words “easy to train”, the first thing that often comes to mind is a household pet. But believe it or not, the phrase applies to people too. And it is especially relevant to a person looking for a job.
Many people assume that employers limit themselves to a standard and predictable set of criteria when they go about hiring: Where did you go to college? What kind of degree did you earn? What kind of experience do you have? How many years have you worked? What are your talents and skills? Questions like these are always going to be asked. But employers who have hired a lot of new employees in the past and are familiar with the process of assimilating a new person into their workforce think differently. They understand that no matter how qualified a new hire may be, there will always be an initial learning curve of some type……to be followed by several future learning curves as the business continually adjusts to market changes. And they know that the true value of a new employee is often measured in units related to the ease of successfully navigating all these learning curves. To an employer like this, one question usually supersedes all the rest: How trainable is this job candidate?
You won’t hear employers asking a question like that in an interview, at least not directly. Instead, they look for clues…..things about the job seeker that are good indicators of trainability. I like to call them trainability factors. If you are that person looking for a job, it might help you to know what these factors are so that you can highlight them in your resume and during your interviews. Here are some of them:
- Willingness to learn: Employers know that when it comes to trainability, half the battle is the employee’s willingness to be trained. The last thing a company manager wants is to have to train someone who approaches a training session kicking and screaming, or just as badly, goes along with the training but does so with a notable lack of interest or effort. As a job seeker, you should make it clear that you are not a person who falls into this category. Specify in your resume and cover letter that you are a quick learner who is willing and able to ramp up to speed in learning the job. If a particular job entails a certain educational, certification, or licensing requirement, state your willingness to do whatever is necessary to fulfill that requirement. Even better, include examples to show that you were willing to undergo training, certification, or licensure in the past. If you are already aware of specific training requirements for the job you are seeking, then you can enroll in this training before your interview and show by your actions exactly how willing you are.
- Adaptability and flexibility: There is nothing as certain as change. This is especially true in the corporate world, where businesses are constantly adjusting to new technology, emerging trends, and changes in the business market. Employers know that a potential hire who is flexible and can adapt to change easily will become an employee who is trainable. Point out in your resume (and during interviews as well) any situations in your past where you were required to adapt to a new set of circumstances and did so successfully.
- Eagerness and enthusiasm: If you are an enthusiastic person by nature, then make sure you allow your enthusiasm to shine during your job interview. And be sure to mention your eagerness to work and learn prominently in your resume and/or cover letter too. Eagerness is a very attractive characteristic to potential employers. Managers are instinctively more confident in a person’s ability to assimilate in a new job and new environment when they see that the person has an enthusiastic outlook. And they know that this type of attitude will make a person more responsive to training.
- Perseverance and commitment: When the going gets tough, employers want tough employees who will keep going. Learning something new can be frustrating and difficult but a person who doesn’t give up easily can overcome these hurdles. In your resume, give examples of circumstances in your past where you tried your best to persevere through tough times.
- Integrity: It’s not hard to see that people who are prompt, dependable, and always keep their word are looked upon as valuable employees. They are also viewed as very trainable. Put your integrity on high display throughout the job seeking process. Always give honest answers to questions in your interview. And be very honest and forthright when you write your resume as well.
Your skills and your background are important considerations to a future employer – but they are far from the only ones. Employers want individuals who provide the best fit and that usually means individuals who can be trained successfully. When you write your resume with the trainability factors in mind, your resume will stand out because it will speak beyond your skills.
Kenneth McCall is director of IT for storage.com In this role he builds the systems that help customers find the best self storage units for their needs, for example through Kenneth’s and his team’s work customers can find self storage in Chicago and other cities. In his spare time, Kenneth likes to bike and participate in outdoor activities.
Society is in an ever evolving state of change. As new industries develop and older ones are outdated, the newest version of technology will quickly replace the methods used before. If you are considering a job change, or are new to the job market, you must keep up to date on the most dynamic and flourishing industries to apply to. Unfortunately, there are some industries that are on their way out.
Statistics show that as the population ages and manufacturing jobs lessen, the most growth in the next decade will come in service industries like health care or business services. Consult the guide below before investigating any new opportunities in these fields. All percentages provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released in the final weeks of December 2009.
Wired Telecommunications Providers
As the country becomes more and more wireless, land line phones and payphones are becoming obsolete. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this industry will lose 11% of its employment opportunities by the end of the next decade. Companies like Total Telecom and Adtel Communications are among these providers.
Gas prices keep rising and stations become more self sufficient than ever. As this evolution continues and the dynamic markets of clean and alternative energy flourish, this industry is one that will not be as secure within the next decade.
Mining support agencies and companies are projected to lose around 23% of their current jobs within the next decade.
Internet publications are on the rise, and print media is in decline, however unfortunate that may be. Newspaper publishers are projected to lose 25% of their current job markets.
Apparel Manufacturing- cut and sew
Outsourcing to less expensive labor markets is the main reason that this industry is projected to lose 89,000 jobs in the next ten years.
Most companies are now choosing to “go green”- therefore eliminating paper products and exchanging more information electronically. Unfortunately, this also means eliminating about 16% of the jobs in the next decade.
With the elimination of paper goes the elimination of paper delivery. The postal service has been an embattled industry for years, and the Bureau predicts it will lose 13% of its employees in the next ten years.
Auto Parts Manufacturing
After this record year of auto industry flops, it is no surprise that the manufacturing side of the auto industry is projected to lose 19% of the 544,000 jobs it provided last year.
Semiconductor and Electronics Manufacturing
A projected loss of a massive 34% of its jobs in the next decade is sad news for an industry that generated such a spark in the last half century.
More people are shopping online or in low-cost bargain stores, rendering department store services obsolete. Although services industries are projected for growth, these relics of a bygone era will be cherished in memories alone as the industry is expected to lose about 10% of its overall job market.
If your job falls in one of these categories, maybe you should consider training of another sort, as backup. It’s better to be prepared for the unexpected… don’t you think?
In a tight job market, there are ways for job seekers to show potential employers that not only can they fill a job need, but they can potentially save an employer money by having little start-up training time, and they can be an on-site expert in their field.
Through demonstrating specialization or large amounts of knowledge in a specific area, job seekers can show a high level of value to potential employers while achieving job satisfaction. Specialization can make the process of looking for a job much easier for the specialized job seeker.
Through job specialization, a job applicant can realize some benefits in the job market.
• Specialization in a niche sets a job seeker up as an expert in their field. For positions that require a great amount of knowledge, like nursing or computer/IT, specialization separates you from job applicants with generic pools of knowledge.
• Specialists can command a greater amount of money than non-specialists. When an applicant for a job shows an expert level of knowledge in their field, a company may be able to justify better pay for that specialized knowledge.
• Job specialization is in itself a form of marketing, a tool that makes an applicant stand out from others. It helps brand a person in a field, and in local markets, a person with specialized knowledge may find their name come up often, a great demand placed on their knowledge.
• People with job specialization have credibility in their position that creates trust for and reliance on their expertise from others.
• An expert in a field has knowledge that is not easily replaced. Many jobs emphasize the importance of having broad knowledge, but in many technological and medical fields, a wide range of knowledge is not as valuable. A nurse with a specialization in heart medicine will find her niche within a cardiology practice much easier than an RN with a broad area of practice.
• Specialization often means doing repetitive work, which may sound annoying in practice, but in a field someone loves, doing the same thing over and over is not as problematic. Specializing in the right thing is key, but it is important to remember that people who know how to do the minutia involved in jobs and do it well will always be in demand.
• Similarly, because specialization involves what some consider drudgery, fewer people are willing to do it. Be it becoming the person in the office who knows everything there is to know about a computer program to being a neuro-surgeon, specialization requires work some consider boring. If a person is willing to specialize, simply the act of specialization may be enough to set them above other job applicants.
• Employers often post narrow job requirements, such as knowing a couple of specific computer languages. Sometimes these narrow requirements are not the whole of the job but are posted as a way to weed out under qualified applicants. These narrow requirements will automatically eliminate many job seekers. By knowing the narrow requirements that employers post, an applicant has a far better chance of making it to the first interview.
“The more you learn, the more you earn” — Brian Tracy
I was thinking of my hoards of clients who continually improve themselves by taking a training course or getting an advanced degree. Any type of Professional Development is only going to improve your earning curve, whether it be in your current job or the next one. And really, in some jobs training is as important or more so than an advanced degree.
I’ve just begun some training on certain aspects of resume writing and I’ll tell you, I am SO EXCITED about it! I’ll be able to offer clients something different and it will improve my skills even more. Will I raise my prices due to this training? Well, that will depend on the resume. This is for special types of resumes, so perhaps for those, I will. And I should. It will be an enormous value for clients and will improve their chances of landing dream jobs even faster.
Have you had any training lately? Have you updated your resume with that? If not, do it now. It adds to your income earning potential and makes you more employable.
Whenever you get the chance, take that free training offered at your company. It adds tremendous value to you.
Until next time…