Let me let you in on a little secret: tons of companies are still hiring. But, right now, if a company has decided to hire for a specific position, it’s because they’ve determined that particular role is essential to the growth (or survival) of the company.
(Spoiler alert: it’s always been that way. Companies always only hire to solve, alleviate, and tackle problems or challenges.)
But now more than ever, it’s important that you know that. Most job seekers assume getting a new job is all about them. But, the truth is that the decision to hire for a role is never about the candidate’s needs as much as it’s about the company’s needs.
Thinking it’s all about you is the biggest mistake you can make when looking for a new job, especially right now in a slow job market when the competition is intense. Yes, your career is about you but the hiring process isn’t. You must shift your focus if you want to increase your chances of landing a new role you’ll enjoy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are two ways you might be making this mistake in the hiring process now:
In an application…
You have great experience and you feel good about taking the next step in your career, especially after editing your resume 17 times. You take a second to skim the job description for some keywords and drop them in your resume, hoping that will boost your chances of getting through the ATS system. You think to yourself, “Here’s all my experience, I hope they see how amazing I am and give me an interview.”
You send off your application, assuming that all you need is a chance to talk to someone and you’ll be all set from there. But, not so fast. When applying for roles, assuming that every position is the same because they all have similar titles is thoughtless. Every company is different and every company has a different reason to hire. Especially now, during the pandemic, if a company has decided they still want to hire for a particular role, it’s for a vital purpose. Not taking the time to analyze the company to discover that purpose likely means you’re focusing too much on you and not enough on the company.
In an interview…
After scrambling to research the company and prepare for the interview, or worse, thinking you’re so good at interviews you don’t need to prepare at all, you jump on the video interview ready to talk about your experience. You wait for the interviewer to ask you questions. If they don’t ask, you assume they don’t want to know. You wait for interviewers to spot your weakness before you address it, instead of being proactive and showing why your experience is valuable to them. You share examples of your accomplishments that put you in the best light, without thinking about why your accomplishments are beneficial to the role. Because of this, you leave the interview feeling like it went well, but ultimately end up receiving an email that they decided to go with someone else.
Here’s why: Hiring managers hire people they like and trust. While interviewing, it’s your job to build their trust. When it comes to talking about yourself and convincing hiring managers that you’re the one, your focus should be showing them you can alleviate their problems, tackle their challenges, and add value to them. When you emphasize you and your needs over them and their needs, you fail to show them why they specifically need you for the role. This leaves you being remembered as a “good candidate” but not good enough to hire.
How to fix…
Now, is not the time to play the guessing game with your career. In a competitive job market, when hiring might be slow, you need to know how to seize every chance you get to impress hiring managers so that you can land a new role as quickly as possible. This means that instead of doing your usual apply-to-everything-and-wing-everything-else strategy, you need to know how to better communicate your story and value. You must be willing to master the skill of understanding what companies really want. Then, you need to know how to align with their needs in applications and interviews so that they constantly see you’re the one they need for the job.
Companies don’t hire you because you need a job, they hire you because you provide a solution to their problems. If you want to land a new role during the coronavirus pandemic, you must be sure to avoid the mistake of focusing too much on you in the hiring process. Things have changed, so you must be willing to change too.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Get instant access to her free training on how to land a new job during the coronavirus pandemic.
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