Job Hunting: Know Yourself

Now that you have stopped submitting your resume and applications to job postings online, it is time to discover who you are through a self-evaluation. This is not a trivial exercise, it’s serious. You are doing this for two reasons:

  1. To maximize your odds of landing the job you want: your self-evaluation will enable you to focus on only the best fitting organizations and positions for your skill set. Conversely, the hiring organizations prize you as a candidate because most of the resumes they get are mediocre or bad fits.
  2. To be happy and successful once you get it: If you are going to be a rock star and then follow it up with disruptive change that makes your company better, you have a huge head start by being in the right culture and position from the start.

The output of your self-evaluation must be a concise narrative describing what skills enable you to overcome obstacles, how you apply them and what situations you apply them to best. For example:

  • “I possess excellent process mapping and data analysis skills that enable me to solve complex quality problems where humans and technology interact.”
  • “I have an unmatched ability to uncover peoples’ emotional reasons for dissatisfaction, enabling me to design and implement successful service failure recovery programs.”
  • “I am excellent with motivating others, enabling me to lead underachieving individuals and teams to full potential.”

Can you see the power of these statements? This is an incredibly concise piece of self-awareness that can effectively be used to target specific positions at specific organizations (more on targeting in the next job hunting post).

These are not statements that can be written after a just few minutes of thought, however. They have to be real, backed by objective evidence. Here are a few steps to achieve this:

  1. Document your honest opinion about what you are good at and love to do
  2. Document every single success story in your career
  3. Document your failures
  4. Uncover patterns in your success and failure stories that objectively point to your strengths
  5. Interview five or more people you have worked with in the past and ask their brutal opinion of your strengths and weaknesses
  6. Take the elements that ring true objectively and have backing evidence and write your statement with them. Remember:  you are going to have to back your statement up with stories to recruiters and hiring managers.

Now you have the strongest tool possible to breakthrough and win THE job.

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